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Technical Drive shaft

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. I got a call from a old friend last night and he was looking for a driveshaft, it seems his supply has dried up, he had priced having one custom made but didn't want to spend the money having someone else do what he has always done, he prefers to cut a old driveshaft down to fit.

    Being a pack rat I have bought several cars in the past to get engines,transmissions and rear axles, I always kept parts I think I might need in the future and drive shafts are one of those pieces along with the yoke.

    When he shows up this afternoon he can pick one out and cut it to fit, do any of you guys still use older drive shafts? HRP
     
  2. We keep a pile of them, mainly as cores to use the ends and the yolks. Still send them to a shop to have a new tube made and then balanced. Our pile though has been getting smaller as we have been doing 67-72 C10's and converting them from 2 piece setups to 1 piece.
     
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  3. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,824

    RmK57
    Member

    I bought my last one from a fellow that wrecks mostly P-71's. He must have had 10-15 driveshafts to choose from. There Alcoa aluminum, 3.5 diameter, 1350 u-joints front and rear, balanced to 140 mph.
    They have a painted stamp on them that says "police" and "discard if dropped". For $50 I'd say it's a pretty good deal.
     
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  4. 4tford
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,758

    4tford
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I use to use them but when the junk yards disappeared so did the used supply. My last build I bought made to order.
     
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  5. Bill Nabors
    Joined: Jul 24, 2011
    Posts: 283

    Bill Nabors
    Member

    I usually kept a few, but only have one left. It will be cutdown for my 32 build.
     
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  6. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,904

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    I was watching one of those restore TV programs the other night and cringed when I seen this guy clamp the driveshaft tube in the vice and proceed to beat the U joint out. :eek:
    Oh, and yes I run cut down used driveshafts. :)
     
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,528

    squirrel
    Member

    My supply is also rather low right now, I've had a few made new recently....$300 a pop vs $100ish these days to get one shortened. Used to be I'd get them cut for $20, but I'm getting old, too.
     
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  8. Anymore I just use these guys. https://www.actionmachineinc.com/
    I know one of the owners( no discount!) He lives about a mile from me so i get personal service.
     
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  9. Xtrom
    Joined: Mar 23, 2010
    Posts: 1,018

    Xtrom
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Forman, ND

    I've been cutting them down for years and then truing them up in our 9' lathe before welding them. But they're getting harder to find as many manufacturers went to a "bottle neck" design in the 70s that don't work as well to shorten in the process we use. I've watched my grandfather and uncle build dozens of driveshafts over the years and we've never had one balanced and never had an issue. Just make sure you line up the yokes and having the big lathe to get them true makes a big difference.
     
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  10. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,565

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Don't keep them too long, those yolks will rot.;)
     
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  11. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,958

    joel
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I also used Action Machine for a new driveshaft. I read some engineering stuff that I got from a friend and I realized the used shaft I had shortened was not even close to meeting the rpm and torque requirements that I might need. The guy at Action agreed.
     
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  12. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 21,630

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    The local salvage yard I have been going to for over 40 years still has a giant shelf full of driveshafts. I have been able to find "right length" shafts out of that pile many times. When I changed my 61 Impala from a turboglide to a turbo 350 back in 1985 I shortened and welded the front half myself and it is as smooth as a gravy sandwich at 100 mph and I have put 50,000 miles on it since
     
  13. I have three left, and at 76, I can't see using them all.
    Bob
     
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  14. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,072

    Boneyard51
    Member

    I use what I can find and have a large stack of them. I collected them years ago, I was able to use some rear drive shafts to to replace the spindly front 4x4 drive shafts in pickups, with no machining.
    I always had my driveshafts modified at our local machine shop. But had a friend that would cut and weld his driveshafts right in his shop. Neve seemed to have any trouble.,








    Bones
     
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  15. Smooth as a gravy sandwich? that's a new one on me. :D HRP
     
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  16. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020

    RichFox
    Member Emeritus

    I have a few leftover and several short ones from different engine/trans I ran an moved on. Always cut down stick shafts.
     
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  17. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,077

    Beanscoot
    Member

    I used to dig through the huge pile at the junkyard to find the one of the correct length with the right size cups, no need to spend money shortening them.
    Cost was $20 to $25 twenty years ago.
     
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  18. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 551

    bill gruendeman
    Member

    I used ones and have them cut, but the last one cost me 170$ to short and balanced with new joints
     
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  19. OLSKOOL57
    Joined: Feb 14, 2019
    Posts: 480

    OLSKOOL57
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Mine for my ‘57 Chevy Sedan was made by SouthWest Speed. Seems nice, not run yet.
     
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  20. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,194

    Russco
    Member
    from Central IL

    I don’t usually use old ones anymore. I use 2 local places that do really well for a good price and I’ve used Denny’s in the past too. I had this happen behind a 286 Flatty once.
    39A874EC-14FB-4B7F-A885-E81077C71E0E.jpeg
     
  21. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,964

    choptop40
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I bought a 3 " big sucker NASCAR steel driveshaft for 50.O0 bucks..Got a couple GM shafts hanging around...
     
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  22. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,664

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    I have a pile of junk to choose from , usually keep a few on hand . I have one to share with all of you . I had a 70 Torino Cobra , 429 SCJ Drag Pack, 4 speed , car years ago . The drive shaft was 3 pieces , as in the yoke ends were pressed in to the main tube in rubber . How in the hell did that work and not twist the yokes out of phase or just sit and spin the yoke in the tube . I ran that 4000 lb vessel rather hard all day long . When you banged a gear , the ash tray would fly out and it felt like you just got rear ended by a loaded dump truck .
     
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  23. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,964

    choptop40
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Cadillacs had a damper built into them....driveshafts make great side pipes ..here's set I built image.jpeg
     
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  24. Use the old one's for fence posts..........
     
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  25. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    For those who like to shorten their own, and are looking for longer ones to start with, some 1973 longbed C10's had a one piece driveshaft when equipped with a TH350.
     
  26. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,047

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    I’ve still got a few short ones, but no long ones.:( No yards left close to me anymore either, and pull a part has mostly fwd junk. I actually had to lengthen the one in the Lincoln when I swapped it to Ford power train, had one that slipped down into the other just right, welded it up. Going to try it and see how it works, if it vibrates I guess I’ll have to order one online somewhere, no driveshaft shops around anymore either.
     
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  27. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,811

    atch
    Member

    Sounds familiar. The shaft in Clarence was $15 in 1992. Had to spend a couple of hours going through a pile at a boneyard. I had planned to go back to that same place when the Model A is ready for a shaft. Unfortunately the owner of that yard died last year and everything got sent to the crusher. I don't have a source any more. I'll be up a creek unless I find another source. OR I'll have to shell our the ca$h to have one built.
     
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  28. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,077

    Beanscoot
    Member

    I stopped in at one new to me junkyard back when I was looking to dig through a driveshaft pile.
    I asked the man how much the driveshafts were, and he answered, "Depends which one, they're around $25 to $75."
    So I immediately answered, "How much is one that's 57 inches long with Ford small U-joints?"

    Not surprisingly, he wouldn't give me a price other than "Dig one out and we'll see.". I said that was ridiculous and left.
     
  29. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,072

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Who won? You or him?










    Bones
     
  30. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,077

    Beanscoot
    Member

    I guess we both lost, he didn't make a sale and I didn't buy anything.
    But at least I didn't waste a pile of time to be told that the crusty old driveshaft I found just happened to be the expensive one.

    I got a shaft at a different yard shortly after, for $25. It did involve a bit of sorting through a pile of driveshafts, and bushwhacking, but was a straightforward, pleasant financial transaction.
     
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