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Old November 25th, 2005, 10:14 AM   #1
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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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Old November 25th, 2005, 10:46 AM   #2
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I did this on my old 4runner, I could get up to about 45mph before it started to vibe.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 12:17 PM   #3
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I saw a pic awhile back of a square driveshaft twisted up like a pretzel.
Do some hard wheeling and let us know how it does. I might try it :dunie:
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Old November 25th, 2005, 12:41 PM   #4
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Everyone I know on Pirate running them on the rocks, no ones every broken one except on the yokes. Thats 1/4" wall tubing...
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Old November 25th, 2005, 01:47 PM   #5
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with 1/4 wall square on both inside and outside. There is no way it was twisted into a pretzel. You would twist a pinion in half before that would ever happen.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 03:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brimy311
with 1/4 wall square on both inside and outside. There is no way it was twisted into a pretzel. You would twist a pinion in half before that would ever happen.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 04:02 PM   #7
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Looks like you did a pretty solid job! Let us know how it works!
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Old November 25th, 2005, 05:55 PM   #8
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I had the truck up to about 25 in the snow and it was nice and smooth running..
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Old November 26th, 2005, 12:46 AM   #9
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Nice write up Jesus and im glad there's a Sticky on this.. i may need it sometime soon
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Old November 29th, 2005, 11:58 AM   #10
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How tight is that joint? No slop?
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Old November 29th, 2005, 12:51 PM   #11
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Its pretty good.

You ahve a few options for making it a nice tight fit.

Option one is to spend some cash and buy receiver tubing, whic his seamless and fits pretty snug. But I believe its pretty pricey, I've seen people pay $25+ a foot for that..

In my case, this is standard square tubing. If the fit is too sloppy, then what you can do is weld some additional material to the inner shaft and then grind down to make it snug.

Most people do this by welding a fat bead down each corner thne grinding to be more square. I've also seen people weld thin (24 gauge) sheet metal to the flats then grind it as well.

I didn't do much with mine, and will see how it works and adjust if necessary. Only had it up to about 20mph in 4WD so far. Once we get some heavy snow, I'll try it at higher speeds.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 01:13 PM   #12
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thats a great idea, I never thought of used square tubing
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Old March 4th, 2006, 01:13 PM   #13
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Firsnd of mine beats his 7 to pure uglyness and is one person your wouldnt want to follow unless you hate every strait peace on your Jeep..he went through many a round shafts a year bending and twisting them on rocks. till bout 4 years ago he went square...hasnt had to make another one sence!
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Old April 11th, 2006, 11:15 AM   #14
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I like that idea, nice job with that shaft
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Old September 19th, 2006, 09:51 PM   #15
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I know you can pickup premade square driveshafts at TSC for a decent penny, about $40 perside i think...

for those who are not good at welding
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Old September 19th, 2006, 10:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eroq
I know you can pickup premade square driveshafts at TSC for a decent penny, about $40 perside i think...

for those who are not good at welding
Not with Toyota flanges on them :)

But there are tractor slip-splines you can buy there, yep, squares, and also PTO shafts. I've seen them used with success.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 08:58 AM   #17
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i was considering running these square shafts on my mud truck (s10 with fullsize driveline) due to 18" shortend rear driveshaft (from a fullsize shaft) and a 6" lengthened driveshaft in front (s10 shaft with SAS) But simply added a CV joint up front and lobbed off the rear yoke and re welded it on..

saved myself about oh $160 buyin all the stuff from TSC, it really does help having some welding skills when into wheelin

But making them correctly is the key, being too long (bottoming out on slip yokes) can lead to smashing transfercases and other breakages while playin. Even being out of round or extremely out of balance can lead to cracking parts.

nice writeup tho! oriented toward the beginning fabricators
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Old December 13th, 2006, 09:20 PM   #18
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Very nice write up I might need some advise with my rear drive shaft
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Old December 14th, 2006, 09:00 AM   #19
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If you are running a toyota rear shaft, you can do this with pipe.

2-1/2" schedule 40 steel pipe is almost the right size, just a hair bigger. You use your chop saw to cut the tube off the end yokes, which will leave you about a 1/2" surface which the new tube needs to fit snuggly over. I used layers of tape, about 4 layers total to build up the diameter to make it tight. Don't overlap the tape, do one layer, cut it with no overlap, then do the next layer on top of that, etc...

Then tack weld the shaft together, reinstall it in the truck. Jack up the truck, put the truck in neutral, and spin a wheel, which spins the driveshaft. You can keep tapping it with a hammer to knock it into alignment if its wobbling. Then weld it up.

I run a 4 foot long shaft made this way (I also have about 1/2 cup of ATF in their to act as a balance fluid), which I run up to 65 mph ok.
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Old December 22nd, 2006, 08:04 PM   #20
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I built one of these for Ron86toy and he says he likes it alot.
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