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Old November 25th, 2005, 10:14 AM   #1
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Join Date: 11-06-05
Location: Oxford, MI
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Default How To: Square Front Driveshaft

OK, here's a little write up on my front driveshaft.

Toyotas have shackles at the back of the front springs, unlike Jeeps. Which means that the axle travels in an opposite arc from the driveshaft. As the suspension compresses the axle moves backwards, and under droop it moves forwards. This results in the need for a long travel driveshaft, which can be pricey.

As an alternative, for trail use, you can build one from square stock.

Step 1: Lop the ends off your favorite driveshaft. I left about 1/2" of old shaft on each one.

Step 2: Find the center of the shaft, and draw out where your tube needs to go, then grind flats into the 1/2 stub so it fits nice and snug. In my application, I was using 2" and 1.5" tubing (0.250" wall). So, in this pic, I'm grinding a 1.5" square into the front yoke.

Once it fits on there tight, and its centered as best as possible, tack the yoke in place. I used an angle finder to get it aligned as best as possible, then welded them up. Same process for the other end (I used a CV yoke because its what I had laying around).

OK, so now you have two halves of the driveshaft. So, I'm doing it the cheap way, and using standard HREW steel tube, which has a seam inside it. So, on the smaller tube, you need to grind in a slot in line with the seam in the larger tube, so it fits together.

At that point, you trim them to length. In my case Ileft room for about 3-4" of compression. That gives me about 14" of overlap between the tubes in my 30" overall length shaft. If its a probelm, I'll switch to a non cv yoke to get more travel. Once trimmed, I weld a flat piece to close the end of the smaller tube, then flap wheel that end nice and smooth.

Grease them up, and assemble:

Final shaft after painting:

Total cost was about $30 plus one old driveshaft. In general these are low speed use only, but with careful work, people get them up to ~50mph without too much vibration. You can use receiver stock, which is expensive but a snug fit with no seam. What most do is use the HREW and weld a bead down each edge and then grind them down to fit tight. I will do this as I tune the truck.
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