It has been a year since I installed the 5.3 chevy in my CJ. It's quick for a Jeep, but I just had to find out how "quick". Found an Iphone app called zero2sixty. So here we are, on vacation having towed the Jeep to FL. We are up near Suwanee on the gulf, lots of straight deserted roads. So I say, hey honey, bring up that 0-60 app and lets try it. So, with nobody in sight behind or in front of me, I stop and the app's gps says speed is zero, so I can launch any time. I do kind of a soft launch then nail it. The engine winds out pretty good and when I pass 60 I let off on it and read a 7.66 seconds. I really thought it would be better than that. So I try it again, only this time at 53 mph, BANG, and a really bad thumping/rattle. Pull over, go under, and as I suspected, the straps on the rear U-Joint gave way and the DS spun wildly banging into my nice stainless steel Magnaflow muffler and hits the fiberglass floor so hard the stress cracks show up inside on the floor. 7 miles back to the RV and 7 miles to the closest town (Suwanee). I get this real bad feeling in the pit of my stomach as this is our daily driver down here and most of my tools are at home in MI. Oh crap.
Then it occurs to me, hey I can put in 4X4, remove the rear DS and get home with front wheel drive. Fortunately I still had my 5/16" socket with me so I could remove the front strap bolts. DS looks OK, just need to replace the rear U-Joint, get new straps and bolts and figure out how to remove 2 of the bolts that sheared off flush with the yoke. We went on down the road to town got a Sunday morning breakfast, went to one local viewing area and made it back to the RV at 45 mph. The wife took it pretty good considering I ruined her hopes of exploring the sights today. Could have been a LOT worse.
Got it fixed, thanks to a NAPA parts store/machine shop. I had them install a new U-joint, they sold me new straps and bolts and I asked if they had a screw extractor and the correct size bit (I had a drill in the RV). He said good luck using an easyout on a grade 8 bolt. He suggested using a Dremel tool (I have one in the RV) to flatten the broken screw, then use a small cutoff wheel to cut a slot and just back it out with a screwdriver. I had recently run a tap into the yoke holes so I knew they weren't seized up. Gave it a try and his suggestion worked like a charm. This isn't the first time a knowledgeable parts counter guy saved my bacon.
Those driveshafts can tear $%&^ up when they flop around.
I am so glad the rear of the DS let loose and not the front. That could have done some SERIOUS damage. I now see why some folks have a cage to contain the DS if it comes loose. Got some fiberglass work to do on the floor pan.
Always wondered the pros and cons of either style. I've heard the u-bolt style can be overtightened, putting the bearing race out of round. Could be that I just didn't get the bolts tight enough. I use a 1/4" ratchet with as much force as I can get on that short handle. I got a new 3/8" digital torque wrench and it seems like I get about another half turn using that, but I forgot to stick it in the RV for my FL trip.