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Time To Rebuild the Driveshaft Assembly


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While performing regular maintenance on my wife’s truck Ifound that one of the universal joints was shot. It was making some horrible screeching metalto metal noises on the test drive whenever I applied any throttle.

Her truck is a 2001.5 long bed that has the 2 piece driveshaft. Since the universal joints and components onthe driveshaft appear to be the original OEM components, I want to replace ALLof the universal joints AND the center bearing. I want to replace the universal joints withSpicer Heavy Duty/High Performance universal joints and a Timken centerbearing.

Has anyone done this task recently and if so, I sure wouldappreciate any comments, suggestions, and tips before I buy the parts and getstarted with the job. Pictures wouldREALLY be great! TIA.

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I can completely appreciate you wanting to tackle this on your own. Its not a "difficult" job although its time consuming and is best done with the right tools, but aren't required. In saying that, I've replaced many u-joints and I've come to the conclusion over the years that its simply better removing the driveshaft and taking it to a driveline shop and having them replace the u-joints. Its sooooo much easier and doesn't cost that much more than the cost of the u-joints either. I'm not trying to steer you from trying it but there is risks of doing it wrong. The ears of the driveshaft can be bent, the u-joints can be misaligned, they can be installed "out of time", the can become out of balance, etc..... And because you said that you're changing "everything", you're going to be replacing the Double Cardan joint on the front driveshaft. That complicated part of the front driveshaft involves two u-joints in one small unit loaded with a ball with two springs, and you wont want to mess that up. I'm only trying to save you not only time but possibly money in the long haul.....and this is your wifes truck too. :)

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You guys must have read my mind. I have had some reservations and thoughts about taking the driveshaft assembly to a shop but was not sure if it was really required or such a big deal. I have done my share of universal joints in my day but never an entire drive shaft assembly such as this. I found a shop that I think does this type of work and will give them a call tomorrow.

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I did the center carrier bearing replacement on my rig, you will need to take it somewhere to have the new one pressed on and the old one pressed off. you cant do this at home, took a 12T press and almost stalled it. replacing ujoints is easy, just take your time and do it right. but you could take it all to a shop and they can knock it out for ya. either way it has to go to a shop as the carrier bearing needs to be pressed off. write up below http://articles.mopar1973man.com/2nd-generation-24v-dodge-cummins/28-transmission-systems/244-driveshaft-center-carrier-bearing

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What kind of troubles have you seen when rebuilding the front shaft? Is it something that showed up later? I did mine last fall and haven't had trouble yet but would like to be ready just in case.

As mentioned, replacing u-joints aren't that difficult. They can be a more of a hassle than anything and if you dont have the right tools it can be easy to do things like pinch the ears if using a vice and cause alignment issues in the caps. Re-installing out of time is something beginners arent aware of either and that will cause a decent vibration. If you got everything together correctly then you shouldn't ever experience any future problems. If you're feeling any harmonic vibrations then there's a problem and will eventually lead to failure if not fixed. One of the most violent mechanical failures on a vehicle is when then driveshaft fly's apart too. Also, you have a 2000 and that year came with the CAD front axle which means your 4wd system is part time and the front driveshaft spins only when in 4wd. But LiveOak has a 2002 and his wifes is a 2001.5. The likely hood that both of his trucks are non-CAD front axles is very likely and if so then the 4wd is full time and the front driveshaft spins all the time. That makes a HUGE difference since your front driveshaft isn't spinning when you're cruising along at 70 mph and his is which is a reason not to mess with the complicated Double Cardan unit.
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Thanks for the explanation. I have done many u joints over the years and naver had any problems but this was the first double cardan for me. It was a bit of a PITA but there isn't any vibration when in 4x4 so hopefully it will be good to go.

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Removal the center/hangar bearing first? I have printed out the Dodge shop manual pages covering the task of removing the driveshaft assembly and it says to remove the center bearing first. This seems to make for a loose hand full for a single person holding things together during the removal. I take it this is a 2 man job? Seems like it to me but it will be a Dad and daughter job.

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Not sure I read a manual before removing mine, but i believe I removed the rear of the shaft and let it rest on the ground while I took the center bearing loose. Either way an extra set of hands or a board to hold up the center bearing while you unbolted it would make it easier. I cant see any harm in dropping the rear first, it makes more sense to me.

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Not sure I read a manual before removing mine, but i believe I removed the rear of the shaft and let it rest on the ground while I took the center bearing loose. Either way an extra set of hands or a board to hold up the center bearing while you unbolted it would make it easier. I cant see any harm in dropping the rear first, it makes more sense to me.

I heard that about an extra set of hands! My daughter and I got the driveshaft assembly out OK but it didn't want to come out peacefully. I removed the center bearing first by removing the entire frame mount it is bolted to. That part came out fine. The rear universal joint was rusted in place to the differential yoke. No amount of prying would break it loose so I had to resort to a 5 lb. hammer and a wide punch to gently tap on it until it came free. That was after I soaked it good with PB Blaster penetrating oil. The other universal joints looked to be in pretty good shape for 160,000 miles but I am still going to replace everything in the driveshaft assembly including the center bearing with Spicer 5-801x universal joints and a spicer center bearing. I decided to go with the 5-801x universal joints because they are solid forged steel but have no grease fittings. If they last 160,000 miles.......God Bless'em. The 5-601x are the greaseable joints which is what the guy at the driveshaft shop sells a lot of. I asked him what he would put in this driveshaft if it were his and he immediately said the 5-801x joints because they are MUCH stronger and will very likely last for the life of the truck.
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Glad you got it out. Mighty helpful daughter you got there. Mine will do a fair amount but I just cant picture her under my truck with a drive shaft in her hand:lmao2:.I especially like the part about the 5lb hammer and wide punch to "gently" knock it loose. 5lb hammers, my truck and gently dont go together!!:lmao::lmao2::lmao:

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Glad you got it out. Mighty helpful daughter you got there. Mine will do a fair amount but I just cant picture her under my truck with a drive shaft in her hand:lmao2:. I especially like the part about the 5lb hammer and wide punch to "gently" knock it loose. 5lb hammers, my truck and gently dont go together!!:lmao::lmao2::lmao:

Good point! :lmao2::lmao::lol:
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Removal the center/hangar bearing first? I have printed out the Dodge shop manual pages covering the task of removing the driveshaft assembly and it says to remove the center bearing first. This seems to make for a loose hand full for a single person holding things together during the removal. I take it this is a 2 man job? Seems like it to me but it will be a Dad and daughter job.

i did my driveshaft on my own. remove the rear portion first, then the forward portion that has the carrier bearing. the rear portion slips off the front half just past the carrier bearing. look at the pics, basically in that order of the write up i did.
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