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Drives like an old man
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys

I've just ordered a new front prop shaft from Lucky8 and wanted to know if there's anything I need to know about this job. On the surface, it looks pretty cut and dried. But are there any bugaboos or tricks I need to know about? I bought the nut tool, even though I don't know what it's for, assuming I'd figure it out once out and under. Any light you may shed would be very much appreciated.
 

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Yep; I did a whole thread on it which could be quite useful. Let me see if I can find it.

http://www.landroversonly.com/forums/f40/99-dii-growling-sound-front-driveshaft-111321/


Successfully replaced front prop shaft today. There were things I learned and a couple of things that did not work but it is in there now. So comments:

1. When removing original prop shaft, never was able to get the old prop shaft to turn to gain better access to the other bolts. Got them out but it was hard. I turned and turned the wheel, no problem, but the prop shaft would only turn about 1/8 to 1/4 turn. Forgot about instructions from one of the guys to place tranny in Neutral - I kept it in gear. Was that the problem? Tried it with emergency brake on and off but old prop shaft just would not turn to gain access to the hidden bolts. So for next time, how do you get the prop shaft to turn enough to bring the top bolts into view?

2. I reinstalled the rear of the prop shaft first. This is easy. The old bolts remain with the drive line and you just fit the new prop shaft (rear portion) over the old bolts and replace the nuts. The nuts always are on the forward side. Then when I crawled up to the front with the new bolts, I found that the new prop shaft was about two inches too short. What the heck? About to panic; ready to call up Lucky 8 and ask them why they sent the wrong prop shaft. And then I thought to pull on the front u-joint. Sure enough the prop shaft was collapsed all the way. Slid the front u-joints forward and then it fit fine. One emergency handled.

3. Next when I got to the front to reinstall, the doggone bolt holes would not match. Got one bolt in but no way the others were going to go; the holes just did not meet up. What the heck again? Lucky 8 again? Took a closer look at the old one and guess what - the holes have a short orientation and a long orientation - they are not evenly spaced. No one told me that. Fortunately even though it was bolted in at the rear, I was able to turn it 90 degrees and got it to fit. See the pic which shows the hole pattern on the front. Sure enough they are not cut in a pefect square; they have an orientation.
 

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Drives like an old man
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I tried to find an article like this before I posted but couldn't. Thanks a lot for finding and reposting. If my shaft arrives before the weekend, I should be good to go by Saturday afternoon. And I'll put everything in neutral!
 

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Drives like an old man
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I figured it would be dead easy. I've rebuilt the Jaguar-type 5-link rear end in my old Datsun 240Z a million years ago, so if that was easy, this should be cake. Famous last words.
 

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Drives like an old man
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One final question on this: what type of grease is recommended? There's a confusing array of greases, each claiming to be better than the next. Just plain ol' grease? High temp?
 

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The best grease is the one you apply regularly. A heavy duty synthetic will serve you well pretty much just about anywhere. It's usually red. The added benefit is that you won't have to deal with that lithium stink on your hands for a week afterwards
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just unpacked the new shafts and greased the Cardone and the double u-joint end but CAN NOT get my grease gun to fit the fitting on the single ujoint. Is there a secret or did I get a lemon? Apparently Lucky8 isn't open on weekends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, I went to O'Reilly's and got a needle, which allowed greasing difficult to reach fittings. Worked like a champ.
 

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I had a two-door Tahoe a few years back. The drive shaft was about 2 feet long. It was a bitch getting to the front joint. Somehow, somewhere, I found a 2" long extension. I unscrewed the fitting and screwed this in. Still, I never got more than 30K out of u-joints on that truck. The needle works, but it's slow.

This is the #1 reason I have and always will do my own maintenance. There's no way a quick lube is going to spend even an extra minute getting grease into a spot like that.
 

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It is somewhat near the cat and I'd imagine if you sat at alot of red lights or creep along in traffic it could get warm. But if you use a good synthetic grease, it's going to have a very high melt point. Your brake rotors get pretty hot and they have grease inside them- and that works. Race car brake rotors get so hot they glow.

If you grease your u-joints when you change your oil, they'll last a long time.

Being un-greaseable was the major chunk of the problem. Being a short shaft and having full time engagement doesn't help, but regular greasing goes a long way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I put it in on Sunday. No problems, very simple. But I think it's not very well balanced as I can feel a slight vibration above 70 mph that I'm fairly sure wasn't there before. It looks like it was balanced; I just don't know how well. I'd love to know how they balance these- as a unit or in two pieces. Personally, I'd prefer it balanced in two pieces. That way, it wouldn't matter how it went together; it would still be in balance. I suppose I'll find out eventually just how well balanced it is. :-/
 

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It all depends on who did the balancing. I typically use one of either two places that I've known for almost 40 years. All they do is driveline work- building shafts, etc. On my son's, I was in a hurry and all I needed was a joint replaced. I had my local machine shop that does other work for me. It vibrates exactly as you describe yours. I pulled a shaft from one of my parts trucks and had the driveline shop do it. haven't picked it up yet, but I will ask what they found on balancing.

Apparently you can't just stick a new joint in one of these front shafts.
 

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Drives like an old man
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I had assumed (yes, I know what happens when you assume) that the new ones would come ready to drop in and go. It has weights welded on, so someone at least tried. I don't really feel like pulling it off again but I must say I'm disappointed.
 
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