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Unread 10-18-2007, 06:11 AM   #1
lturley
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How strong is the factory driveshaft?

How many of you run the factory driveshaft with the u-joint straps? How important is it to install the u-bolts in place of the straps? You ever have the u-joint break the straps?

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Unread 10-18-2007, 08:16 AM   #2
rustywrangler
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The factory drive shafts are just fine. Some have destroyed them but that was after significant rig mods. You can install ubolts on them but IMHO, I would rather have a Ujoint blow and take the straps off then dig into the drive shaft.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 08:32 AM   #3
grenMEG
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So the driveshaft will most likely not be affected by anything balance wise, but depending on your pinion angle (the degree of your rear axle and its relation to your t-case) you could be running in to a vibe/u-joint problem. If you are drop t-case, or get a SYE for the t-case, or change the spring perches on your rear axle. If this isn't the case, that you are not running a lift, then you should be fine replace the straps and u-joint, and inspect your yoke because when the straps snapped might of taken some thread with it. If you wanted you could get your shaft balanced again, thats your own call.
yes i have had the u-joint break the straps, it was a cold winter morning sitting at a street light, light turns green...Jeep shakes here a snap...pop it in to 4HI and drive to my house in front wheel drive, and then i did the same thing all the way to the parts store too.
My friend just did it @ st.mary's GLacier, sucked going down a decent as this snap happened . Had to push the jeep, take out the driveshaft and go back home in front wheel drive. I always carry a spare U-joint but my friend wasn't thinking.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 09:04 AM   #4
bigrobby
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i've broken the straps. as far as the actual driveshaft, you will break numerous things before it goes. as for me i've broken the straps, spider gears, the slip yoke itself twice, and the 1310 u joints will definietely go before the shaft itself
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MY THEORY OF PERPETUAL SPENDING: if i've built my drivetrain strong enough to where i can't break it anymore, i clearly don't have enough power. Strokin' is in the future.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 09:12 AM   #5
jeepster93
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I must just be unlucky...
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Unread 10-18-2007, 10:42 AM   #6
bigrobby
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oh yeah i forgot about that, my bad. i was thinking the actual shaft splitting which i've never seen. but unless you have the bigger u joints which i think was only 94 95 then the u joints and the slip yoke are usually first to go. nice work on that one jeepster
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MY THEORY OF PERPETUAL SPENDING: if i've built my drivetrain strong enough to where i can't break it anymore, i clearly don't have enough power. Strokin' is in the future.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 01:37 PM   #7
Matt87YJ
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Like Rusty said I doubt you'll break the D/S unless your rig is heavily modified and you beat the crap out of it. I've broken quite a few U-joints on mine and slung the D/S out of the jeep while driving and I had to buy a new muffler because of it. I wouldn't replace the straps with something else when the straps are cheap and make the U-joint fairly easy to change. To be honest I kinda wish I still had the straps instead of what I'm running now, it was alot faster to change them before.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 01:46 PM   #8
lturley
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Thanks guys.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 02:47 PM   #9
E_ROCK
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I am going to disagree. Stock shafts are very thinned walled. There are pretty weak and don't hold very wall against any type of rock damage. Once they dent it doesn't take much to twist them up.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 03:46 PM   #10
slater03
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PUT U-BOLTS IN! One of my straps broke causing an expensive series of events. First the strap broke and released the driveshaft. It flopped around til it hit the exhaust whcih crushed it. The impact broke both halves of the t-case and shredded some inside stuff and it dented the driveshaft in. But I just swapped in an 8.8 to fix the strap problem.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 04:26 PM   #11
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ok this is the deal: straps vrs. diy ubolts.
the straps are a good thing for a couple of reasons, some mentioned.

the straps are designed to hold with the proper amount of force on the ujoint cap without deforming it no matter how tight you get the bolts. ubolts can be tightened until the caps are out-of-round. it doesn't take much for this to happen, and in our enthusiasm as 4wheelers to keep things from breaking, is easy to do. when the cap deforms it will cause the needle bearings to gouge the ujoint inner surface. the needles can wear to the point of eating themselves and the cap will fail. *

the straps will typically fail long before anything else bad happens. these typically go way before the ujoint itself goes potentially avoiding much costlier driveling damage. you should be able to throw a shaft without any major damage. dented muffler is usual. the tangs on the ujoint, little teeth designed to hold the cap from shifting laterally, often break off.

its not a simple case of swapping ubolts out for the straps. you have to drill out the threaded holes. once you've done this there will be very little "meat" on the yoke left around the ubolts. after drilling, before i even installed the ubolts, i decided never to do this again.

not long after the conversion i proceeded to stretch and deform 2 sets of ubolts as well. so considering the drawbacks and the fact that they didn't perform much better, i think its not a worthwhile use of time.

if you want to convert to a ubolt style strap then do it right and buy the kit with the yokes that are machined properly for this. its like $50.00.

*Powertrain Industries supplier of commercial driveshafts and ujoints.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 05:15 PM   #12
dave_dj1
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every time i've seen the straps break, so did one or more of those pesky little 8mm bolts that hold it to the yoke, not a trail fix! i had to drive home in front wheel and then take the yoke off, weld some washers over the broken remains in the yoke, then weld a nut to the washer and unscrew what was left......i have to have a front strap break though.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 10:27 PM   #13
fratis
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this is a good point. i think this one would be a "con" for straps and a "pro" for ubolts. i havent had to do this for a few years as im using a companion flange.

ive been able to unscrew them with needlenose pliers. i used to keep some items in the box to back out the remainders as well.
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Unread 10-18-2007, 11:50 PM   #14
ImRaptor
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Few weeks ago I had my straps bust, well it was actually one of the little bolts that went. I had some luck on my side for this particular incident. First, I was nearly stopped when it went so it did very minimal damage. Only a dent into the exhaust. And second, I have 2 spare complete axles in my garage.
I made up a new pinion yoke to hold ubolts and have two others that I can use for straps again if I ever feel the need.

So far the Ubolts have held up well, but like fratis said you have to be careful tightening them as to not wreck the ujoint.
I didn't tighten them any harder than I would the strap bolts and then just put some thread locker on them to keep them from backing off.
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Unread 10-19-2007, 04:44 AM   #15
doug_1994
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To save on down time, or trail fixes like mentioned above. I drilled out the threads on my corp. 14 rear, but I still use the straps. I got tired of ripping the heads off of those pesky bolts also. So now when it happens all I gotta do is pound them out, and insert new bolts. Sometimes the straps can get deformed, but a little bit of banging on them they go right back into shape.


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