Front drive shaft knowledge needed

City
Terlingua
State
TX
#1
I'm chasing down rattles on my new to me '81 CJ8 with 4 cyl. I believe it's mostly stock. I was under it last night pushing and pulling on anything that moves to try and find a particularly loud rattle when I noticed the front drive shaft has a lot of up and down play in it.

In the middle of the shaft, where the two halves come together is where the play is. Right where they slide in and out. It looks like there should be some kind of bushing in the larger part of the shaft to allow the smaller part to slide in or out without play? If so, can I rebuild this shaft and fix this issue or do,I need to buy a complete new front drive shaft?

Thanks,
Brad
 
City
Terlingua
State
TX
#3
A driveline shop can rebuild it for you.

I would start by removing it completely to see if your noise goes away.
Thanks for the reply. I agree, I’ll remove the drive shaft this weekend and see if that is the culprit, but regardless I think this shaft needs to be repaired or replaced.

I’ll call around, but I don’t think we have a driveline shop that would do that work within a reasonable drive. I forgot to mention that I live in far SW Texas and the closest town that has a Walmart is 150 miles away (not that I’ll have Walmart do the work, just pointing out how far from civilization we live). That’s why I’m hoping I can rebuild myself. If not my next option might be to order a new drive shaft for around $200.
 

jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Maple Hts.
State
Oh
#5
If the 2 half's aren't pulled apart (a suspension lift or so), it may be the splines are worn out (has too much slop in them). If I remember right they slide together. On the outer one, it has threads, which a rubber seal slides up against it, then a metal collar that threads on. Helps keep the water out and grease in. It will be interesting to see how they would fix. My guess is needs new splines (male side) and matching for the female side. By the time you replace them they may tell you it's cheaper to have a new one made (or off the shelf if the suspension is stock). If stock someone on the forum probably has one, you can work with them to get.
 
City
Terlingua
State
TX
#7
I'm gonna pull the drive shaft tomorrow. In the mean time I put up a short YouTube video to show issues.


Any help with a parts diagram or where to find parts to repair this would be appreciated. I'd like to rebuild it myself if possible, second choice would be to find a good used one, last resort, buy a $200 new one.

Edited to add that I'll,pull shaft tomorrow and see if it's worn splines, I'd so I'm guessing I have to go with options 2 or 3?

I'll really be surprised if it's worn splines. Hard to believe the Iron Duke could have enough power to do that.
 
Last edited:
City
Terlingua
State
TX
#8
There must be someone out in the BB area that knows how to fix a drive shaft.
If they exist, I haven't found them yet.

My '77 CJ5 T150 transmission needed to be rebuilt. None of the shops within 150 miles would touch it, with few exceptions, the exceptions wanted $2,000+. I gave up calling around and ordered a $150 kit, watched YouTube videos and did it myself. I'm not complaining, I chose to live here for a reason, it's just a daily reality.
 

CJ8Rockcrawler

The FABLED 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Minneapolis
State
MN
#9
Is there a tractor repair shop? They should be able to do it. The only thing is they might not have the hi speed balancing machine.
 

jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Maple Hts.
State
Oh
#10
Splines are shot and I'm guessing is part of the shaft. It will be cheaper to get another and you install new u-joints. Take a measurement of the drive shaft collapsed (center of u-joint cap to center of u-joint cap). Expend the drive shaft and do the same measurement. Contact on this forum Jerseyjeeps or Certifiablejeep. They may be able to help. They can use the measurements to compare drive shafts.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#12
Yeah, this is not a rebuildable part like you’re wanting — similar to that tranny, this is simple metal on metal wear and that thing looks to be trashed.

Finding a good used replacement or simply getting the length measurements to a shop that can build and ship you a completed new one is going to be the way to go if you don’t have a shop near you. Even if you did, the time it takes to “repair” one of these isn’t usually worth it because it’s too close to the cost of simply putting together a new one.

If the slip joint is that far gone, it’s seriously likely you need new u-joints on both ends anyway. That’s another reason to just get a new one if you’re keeping it stock for a while. My :twocents:
 
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