Springs.....highly doubtful. Front drive shaft.....I've seen crazier things.
Oh, rest assured...it got crazy. Scroll down to the pictures for evidence of that.
How about a seized track bar?
I hadn't thought of that, but I can always pull it out and check.
Bound at the CV seems unlikely, what is very possible is that it's seized at the splines. I guess that could cause a rough ride and would be very very, hard on your T'case. I'd pull it and see if you have smooth telescoping action.
I sort of came to the same conclusion this morning, which was all the more reason to disconnect the shaft at the pinion and see whether or not there was adequate freedom of movement. So, I did exactly that.
Pictured: I even used my favorite little ratchet.
Pictured: And I made some reference marks, just to make sure it all went back together as intended. I'm so naive.
There was a lot of pressure on the shaft, so I gave the end of it a light tap with a hammer to unseat it, and then a slight problem showed up...and when I say "a slight problem" it should be understood that what I really mean is "a bunch of needle bearings."
Pictured: I don't think this is supposed to happen.
The good news is that the shaft moved without a lot of resistance - I could compress it about an inch or so and extend it by the same amount - and the bad news is that the cap came loose and fell off when I lightly tapped the shaft; I have no idea if I collected all of the needle bearings or not, because they went EVERYWHERE when the cap hit the floor. I've never seen one just literally jump off like that...especially not when the cap itself was barely pointing downwards. Since I couldn't be sure that I could get all of the bearings back in place and because I don't particularly like that solution anyway, I just pulled the other cap loose - which took NO effort at all - and used a bit of extra nylon strapping to hold the front driveshaft in place while I search out a new universal joint.
Pictured: I really didn't want to do this, today.
Since I already had the shaft pulled and tied out of the way, I decided to take a short drive...and the result is that there's no change in the ride whatsoever, so the driveshaft isn't the culprit, either. This is getting downright supernatural. Anybody got suggestions on a u-joint? Any reason to go with anything other than a Spicer greasable?