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Drive shaft setup Single cardan drive shafts on lifted veh

#1 User is offline   Tom 

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  Posted 02 March 2004 - 10:31 PM

:gossip: When we only had CJs and YJs to modify we lifted them usually about 4 inches and just had the stock drive shaft lenghtened, modified, what ever it needed. Now days the TJ gets a lot of the action and it seems most lifts above 3 to 3.5 inches of suspension lift are getting double cardan (CV) drive shafts. This is how the stock drive shaft on a Jeep Rubicon can be used on lifts up to 4.5 inches. At least in this one case, I do not see any reason this will not work on any other Rubicon or TJ with an SYE setup.

A little history on the Jeep, the Rubicon comes with the SYE, so we did not need to do anything there.

We went with the RE 4.5 LA, after the installation was completed, the Jeep went to one of the local drive line shops. The guys in the shop have rigs and bash them hard, so they know how the drive shafts need to be setup.

In checking with them about building a rear drive shaft for the Rubicon, the rear shaft was pulled, so they could check their stock. They found that they did not have any double cardan joints that would fit the bolt pattern on the back of the transfer case. They looked at Ford, Dodge, GM stuff and etc. nothing had this weird bolt pattern. At that time, the only aftermarket shaft available was the Tom Wood shaft. After reinstalling the rear shaft, the shop foreman looked the jeep over and said that he thought the stock drive shaft could be setup to work. That the jeep would be better off if I could do this. When you change to the double cardan (CV), you are adding one extra u-joint plus the pivot ball (which is the first thing to wear out). A lot of the CV shafts I have seen are running at pretty good angles or we would no need them. If you have a shaft that has worn components, it is much easier to change a single u-joint than to mess with a CV or send the shaft in for repair.

Now there are a number of drive shafts available, some are OK some to me are questionable.

What I did to make the stock Rubicon drive shaft work: :wacko:

1. 1 " motor mount lift (helped the driveline angle).

2. 1/4 spacers on the left motor mount to clock the T-case up a little (more clearance between the skid and the bottom of the T-case)(had to modify the skid plate for the T-case drain plug).

3. Removed the angle plate that is on the top side of the RE skid plate and made one that is flat, (use washers to set the plate angles) (had to buy longer plow bolts)(the t-case mount bolts do no protrude below the skid plate).

4. Squaring the Jeep up with the track bars (pinion to T-case flange alignment left and right).

The first three things allowed the T-case output flange to set at about 7-degrees down. I set the pinion at 7-degrees up, and the drive shaft has an 18-degree slope. Driveline shops as well as others say that the max angle for the drive shaft is about 15-degrees, 18-degrees will work but it takes some tweaking.

5. The stock drive shaft is long enough to handle the 4.5” lift on the Jeep and with the 1330 u-joints strong enough so there was no need for a different shaft single or double cardan. This setup may not work for everyone with lifts up to 4.5 inches, but it is worth a try. If the Jeep had a taller lift, then this setup probably would not work.

Also the stock single cardan shaft using 1330 U-joints is stronger than the double cardan 1310 U-joint shafts that are sold to replace it. A person can buy 1330 or 1350 double cardan shafts if that kind of strength is required.

:alien: I had some one ask why I was not running the correct drive shaft? I spent three months in Moab last summer and the drive shaft worked perfectly, in fact nothing broke on the jeep, (knock on wood)... The correct shaft is the one that works not how much money you spend on it. I could have spent $350.00 to $500.00 for a CV shaft, but the Jeep would not operate any better than it does now.

Think this is worth a try for anybody that is on a budget or just wants to save some cash, maybe buy something else, new winch rope, tires, wheels the list is endless....

Happy Wheeling :cry:
2003 Rubicon with mods, likes rocks

#2 User is offline   Jim B 

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  Posted 03 March 2004 - 09:40 AM


Excellent idea. Why don't you put on your dirty clothes and post up some pics of this. I like to see the angle on the rear pinion.

I run a CV with the weaker 1310, this is my weak link as I rather repair this than anything else. Up to this date I have not had any problems, never taken one out.
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#3 User is offline   Tom 

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 10:10 PM


It has rained all day today and tomorrow is not looking good either. First chance I get, I will get some pictures. All I have is a 35MM camera, will see if I can barrow someones digital.

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