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Thread: Thoughts on upgrading driveshafts

  1. #1
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    Thoughts on upgrading driveshafts

    Some back story: I'm planning on upgrading my transfer case with the Tom Woods Super Duty SYE. That'll put flanges on both my rear axle (ford 8. and transfer case. Which makes it really simple to upgrade to a heavy duty driveshaft with 1350 u-joints as opposed to the 1310s on there now.

    From the research I've done, the internet seems to believe upgrading your driveshaft means that when you break something, it'll be more catastrophic than a $15 u-joint (like a ring or pinion gear, or an axleshaft). And while that makes sense hypothetically, I'm doubting either of them will break any time soon. And if they do break, I doubt it'll be caused by a stronger driveshaft. However, the stronger driveshaft will definitely hold up better to off-roading and lead to less downtime. So what's your thoughts on upgrading driveshafts?

  2. #2
    Less posting, more wheeling!
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    What gearing do you have in your axles? Have you had any driveline issues in the past (breaking u-joints/etc)? What type of wheeling do you do? Do you plan on going to larger axles in the future and reusing the driveshafts?

    I'm all for building things to survive and maybe even going a little overkill to prevent potential issues, but if you haven't broke anything (and broke because of abuse/application....not because of maintenance neglect), I wouldn't see a need to go to the bigger joint. Changing from a 1310 to 1350 u-joint will add additional cost to the new shaft (don't forget you'll have to swap the yokes on the axle too) as well as begin to limit the amount of travel the shaft can take without binding. You likely wont run into a binding issue, but just running through all the scenarios.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJchris98 View Post
    What gearing do you have in your axles? Have you had any driveline issues in the past (breaking u-joints/etc)? What type of wheeling do you do? Do you plan on going to larger axles in the future and reusing the driveshafts?

    I'm all for building things to survive and maybe even going a little overkill to prevent potential issues, but if you haven't broke anything (and broke because of abuse/application....not because of maintenance neglect), I wouldn't see a need to go to the bigger joint. Changing from a 1310 to 1350 u-joint will add additional cost to the new shaft (don't forget you'll have to swap the yokes on the axle too) as well as begin to limit the amount of travel the shaft can take without binding. You likely wont run into a binding issue, but just running through all the scenarios.
    I haven't broken any u-joints yet. I am replacing all the driveshaft u-joints this coming weekend because one of them is chirping, one is running hot (probably from running dry), and none of them have zerk fittings for greasing. Also, I don't know if these issues are due to wheelin' or due to them being older than dirt. The whole reason this came up is because I'll have flanges on both the transfer case and rear axle after the SYE, so upgrading is really simple. Which got me debating the upgrade and whether or not the added cost would be worth it. I'm not overly concerned I'm going to destroy u-joints in my current set up, but I plan to eventually step up to 35' or 37" tires. So I feel that eventually I probably will start snapping them.

    I guess a good test will be to see how much wear these new u-joints have when I go to do the SYE swap this spring.

  4. #4
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    I went with a beefier custom driveshaft on my RC, when I went from 3.55 to 4.56 gears, and 35" tires. I also went SYE. I've broken some U-joints, but that's because I ALSO keep breaking eyebolts in the springpack, although I think Dave has finally fixed that.
    '07 Commander - 2" Daystar lift, 32x17x10 Cooper ATPs, Flowtech exhaust, aFe CAI
    '92 Dodge Ramcharger - 4 1/2" lift, 35's, 318 Magnum... a work in progress...

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