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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
'99 DII w 168,000 miles and orig drive shaft w/out grease fittings. I am now getting an unusual rough, growling sound; starts at 35mph and goes away at about 45-50 mph. Thought it was a rough tire sound at first but tires are smooth. Rough sound, maybe like a bearing going or universal joint going.

With all the posts about installing a greaseable front drive shaft, I wonder if this orig drive shaft could be going?

Any ideas?

Thx.
 

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STOP DRIVING THE TRUCK, especially if you are suspecting it is the front driveshaft!!!!

You are lucky to have made it through 168K miles on the original driveshaft. A catastrophic failure of the drive-shaft while the vehicle is moving is going to hit your transmission case. It will typically require the replacement of the entire transmission if the failed drive-shaft creates a hole in the transmission case.

You really need to change to a NEW greasable drive-shaft ASAP!
 

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I second what ACG said. Get a Tom Woods or similar aftermarket shaft stat. If you get extremely lucky, that front shaft will just whack a dent in the transmission pan when it lets go (as is the case on my Disco...happened before I bought it) but in plenty of cases they'll bust a hole in the transmission housing.
 

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From what we've all read/seen/etc I wouldn't waste your time "testing" the old driveshaft although a skilled LR mechanic could probably look at it and tell why its junk. You're lucky that it hasn't failed already. Throw it out and get an upgraded driveshaft.
 

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If it's the original propeller shaft, it should go. You can tell it's original because it has only two zerks.

If it's growling, you will not have to test it. It will be visually evident that it is failing. The cups will be loose on the bearing cross, the shaft will have some play in it. The rubber seals around the cups will be broken and worn out. You will be able to wiggle the propeller shaft and feel some play, or even see some movement. The double joint nearest the transfer case will have some play in it. you will be able to "bend" the shaft at the double joint.
 

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On the original shaft, there is one zerk on the u-joint nearest the front axle, and a second one on the slip yoke right next to it. The three bearings (two u-joints and a centering bearing) near the transfer case don't have zerks.

As everybody else said, if it's the original shaft, it should go even if it looks ok to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
LB - good info. Thanks. Usually Pep Boys or Sears will install a part if I do not have time. Both said no thanks to installing the front driveshaft. Need to look at Rave to see how complicated it is. Worried about the centering ball - have never seen one before. All my driveshafts just slid up into the tranny. Chevys. Not British.
 

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Replacing the shaft is easy. There is a flange with 4 bolts at both ends of the shaft. The wrench size is 9/16 I think. The slimmer the wrench the better. With two wrenches, it take about one hour to replace, taking your time, while sipping a beer. Very easy. No adjustment, both ends are different, you can't miss. With the special tool and an impact wrench, it takes about 15 minutes tops, including lifting and placing the jackstands under the truck.

Rebuilding the shaft is another matter. If you have done it before, it should take about 2-3 hours with the right tools, then it has to be balanced professionally. The cost difference between buying a new one and rebuilding and balancing it is not really worth it IMO.
 

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If you decide to rebuild, make sure you check the rubber cup around the centering bearing. I took mine apart and after cleaning the crud off discovered the rubber was nearly split along the middle. Does anyone know if the rubber cup is replaceable? I have a new bputah shaft arriving tomorrow. Cannot wait. Thanks.
 

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Wow, you really got a lot of mileage out of the drive shaft. Mine gave out after I hit 105,000 miles and I replaced it with a Tom Wood's Front Drive shaft. I recently ordered a rear drive shaft from Tom as well. The rear just started giving out at 106,000 miles. A buddy of mine wanted to help me rebuild it but I opted for going with Tom Wood's product. They are really tough from what I can see. I hope everything works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, guys I am not sure there is anything wrong with the front driveshaft. I climbed under and took pictures. It is absolutely solid, nothing moves or can be turned or squiggled by hand. The universal joints, caps, rubber - everything looks great. There is no give anywhere; stone solid. The only thing I saw was that the rubber cap that is at the front of the driveshaft is in two pieces; like a cap and a bottom. The cap had moved forward about 1/4 inch and you could look inside - I just slid it back down against the rubber which surrounds the 4" (a guess) driveshaft. Then I checked the back driveshaft and it is solid too.

So I am wondering if the front driveshaft is OK and something else is going - maybe like a bearing.

Sound starts at 35mph and it just roars. Feels rough like a rough tire or a bad driveshaft and I am thinking maybe a bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OK, have time to work on the Disco again. How heavy is the front shaft? Can I handle it myself without using something (like a tranny jack) to hold it. Is it too heavy for one guy?

Thx.
 
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