Driveshaft choices, Al, or Steel? - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-30-2006, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Driveshaft choices, Al, or Steel?

So I need a driveshaft. I feel the 3" shaft I was using previously in my 460/c6 combo, which is thinner than the 4" that came with my 351W/C4 combo, is too small. :shock: Granted it worked fine, but the Ujoints are toasted on it anyway, so I might as well do something now.

Of course, I need an odd length, since my tranny is the longer Lincoln C6, in an intermediate body.

I found a nice aluminum shaft, 5 or 6" in diameter, from an 80s Ford van, that I can get cheap. ($25 or so). It uses the larger U joint, which will match my rear axle yoke, and my C6 tranny yoke. All things being equal, should I have this cut/balanced, or go with a steel unit? Any reason to go with one over the other?

A new shaft, at $300, scares me. ops:
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-30-2006, 07:38 PM
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For $25 you cant go wrong. Dont be scared of aluminum, it works great.
Lots of newer cars use aluminum, and high powered racers are using it too.
If the U joints are already a match, then yeah, just have it cut to length and rewelded by a driveline shop.
Dont forget to check it for straightness and balance.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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I assume the shop would balance it, is there any way (other than obvious dents) that I can check for straightness at the 'yard?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Seems to be a wide variance in pricing.. I called the two local shops that do driveshafts (one down the Cape, the other in RI)... Cape Cod Axle won't touch an aluminum shaft.. and they want $200 to cut/balance/new u joint a comparable steel shaft. :shock:

The place in RI (Rhode Island Driveshaft) wants "around" $170 to do the aluminum one.

After looking at places online, ($300 + for steel with shipping, $450 + for Al), I think I'm going to go with the van driveshaft, unless someone talks me out of it on here.

Also... When measuring.. How far should the transmission yoke be inserted into the transmission? Half way? up to the wear point/shiny spot on the yoke?

Sigh.. my budget is about wiped. :?
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 01:42 PM
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5 or 6" in OD? That's REALLY LARGE! Is it going to fit under your car?

I used to run a 3.5" Motorsports driveshavt and broke the weld eventually but that was the WELDERS fault and not a driveshaft failure.

I'm now running a 3.5" Steel Driveshaft via Republic Diesel

http://www.republicdiesel.com/



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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-05-2006, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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So, um.. do adapter Ujoints exist to go from say, a 1310/30/50 to a GM style, or an 'outside' clip, to an 'inside' clip u joint? If so, that'll greatly expand my junkyard search. (Another $25 today, for, well, nothing. I'm borderline realizing why I didn't feel like doing this 460 swap for a long time.)

Turns out the shaft I was using previously used 1310 Ujoints, when I had the 460 in the Elite.. oops.

I'm guessing 1330s will be ok with an auto car on street tires, seeing as 1310s did fine. :?
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-05-2006, 10:50 PM
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Conversion joints...

Yes, there are conversion style Ujoints available that let you go from 1330 to 1350, etc. But you need to find a parts guy that can actually find them in the catalog. Or you can dig around through the boxes. But they do exist.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-05-2006, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psquare75
...Also... When measuring.. How far should the transmission yoke be inserted into the transmission? Half way? up to the wear point/shiny spot on the yoke? ....
When I had my driveshaft done here in Jersey, the guy making it told me to bottom out the yoke in the trans, measure the yoke center to the pinion flange center, where the u-joints would sit, then subtract 1 inch. (The inch is for travel) Mine came out perfect.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-06-2006, 08:02 PM
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Guys,

How thin are the aftermarket "race" aluminum driveshafts?

I can get an aluminum shaft out of a late model Police Crown Vic for about 15 bucks... BUT it is really light. I'd say the wall thickness is about 1/8", if that.... Is this too thin? I was going to get it but passed because I thought it was too thin.

I'm going to need an odd length since the car is back halved and the engine will be slid back. So if this is an alright thickness I'll go get it

John


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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 08:03 AM
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I'm using 1330 series joints in my race car and I haven't broken one yet.

John,

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the aluminum shafts in the crown vic are the same shaft as the Ford Motor Sports shaft that I used to run. The wall thickness is .250" if I remember correctly and it's a 3.5" OD shaft. with 1330 u-joints. I broke my aluminum drive shaft but it wasn't at the wall. I broke it at the weld. After it was broken it looks as if it wasn't welded correctly by the local welder. Plus the WOT transbrake launch didn't help matters :roll:

I know of some 9 second cars running the same aluminum shaft with no breakage.

I did some searching, looks like I was wrong. It's 0.114" wall thickness

http://www.fordracingparts.com/parts...tKeyField=2980

It's not listed but the one I purchased was a "Kit" where you cut it to length and weld on the end cap. Back in 1996 I paid $149 for it. GAWD I'm getting OLD! That was 10 years ago!



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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 12:34 PM
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IMO I wouldn't buy a used JY Aluminum drive shaft for a race car or HP application. Aluminum work hardens , has an undefined life, and not knowing how "used" a driveshaft is would make me nervous.

I perfer steel and would buy a new one rather than have a used one cut and balanced. The cost of the new tube and ends really isnt that much and you know it hasn't been abused (yet !!).

Maybe I'm overkill on this subject, but I perfer not to take a chance on something that is spinning next to me and has potential to hurt me if it fails.
post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 01:34 PM
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Damon,

I remember that kit too. I just don't like it being .144 thin! If it was thicker I'd think really hard about using it.

I guess I'll opt for a nice steel unit. Even though it'll be short I don't want it coming throught the floor!

A friend just had one come through the floor on his chassied camaro. This alone has me thinking of building a hoop all the way around the shaft area inside the drivers compt. Kind of like a chassied car with diagonals on the sides, etc... It would look neat, but would not allow me to run my console. As it is now the top of the trans tunnel is missing as well as most of the front of it. So I guess changing the whole thing up won't matter.

John


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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 01:49 PM
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If you have the option, go ahead and put a thick loop all the way around the driveshaft. It kept my shaft in place when I broke it. My front and rear look is also part of the tube chassis. It's a real pain getting my 3.5" driveshaft in but it's well worth it.

If you have a local driveline shop then I'd opt to have them build you a new 3.5" steel driveshaft. Should be around $200 to $225 depending on if you already have your slip yoke.



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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 01:59 PM
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That's kind of what I was thinking. Me and my chassis guy were thinking of running some tubing forward off of the four link x-member to another crossmenber we'd add between the frame say around the firewall area. Then build the driveshaft "box" above that and tie it into the dash bar in the front and frame rails in the back. Then the driveshaft could come out from inside the car via some removeable cross bars on the top.

John


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