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Old 12-01-2018, 09:11 AM   #1
77blue
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Custom Driveshaft - Steel or Aluminum ?

Need a custom (shorter than stock) driveshaft for my 77 and have been waffling between steel or aluminum. I am using 1330 u-joints with the original slip yoke from the TM-350 for the new 4L70e. The price difference between a 3.0" OD x .083 wall steel shaft and a 3.0" OD x .125 walled 6061-T6 aluminum shaft is only $ 100.00 so price is not really an issue. Would you go aluminum for weight ?
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:52 AM   #2
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personally I prefer STEEL, drive shafts , and any performance drive shafts should be fabricated of at least 3" diameter, tube of sufficient wall thickness to have a significant safety margin,
for the power level you intend to subject the drive shaft too!,
but have a detailed discussion with the machine shop or drive shaft fabricator your dealing with, as to their thoughts,
as its much less likely to suffer from stress induced micro fractures and welds are far more likely to be structurally secure,
stress damage is cumulative , properly painted steel is far less likely to fail over repeated life time of stress,
any weight savings will be all but meaning less.
\
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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:28 PM   #3
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It depends upon Horsepower and intended use.

I usually prefer Steel driveshafts.

My 87 Corvette has factory Aluminum Halfshafts and main driveshaft.
About 450-500 Hp is what has been put through them by others bone stock and not fail.

Mark Williams makes the very Best aluminum driveshafts.

Strange Engineering Racing Steel driveshaft are Heavy but strong. Double the stock driveshaft weights I have noted.
Strange Engineering Chromoly driveshaft are light, close to OEM Stock but far stronger.

Ford Racing sells an Aluminum bolt in driveshaft rated at 550 Hp for old 5.0 & SN95 Mustang for $250.00.
I have personal seen them pushed to 1000 Hp with drag slicks and not fail at the Dragstrip.

Chromoly has the longest Fatigue strength.
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:35 PM   #4
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What about carbon fiber?
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Playmate View Post
What about carbon fiber?
Mark Williams makes custom Carbon Fiber Driveshafts.
For When You need to Win that Road Race or At the drag strip.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:13 AM   #6
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After chatting with a couple of suppliers I decided to go with a steel 3.0". The shaft will only be 26.50" u-joint center-line to u-joint center-line so I decided the cost savings was a better choice (for my build anyway) than the weight savings with aluminum. My selected vendor was very responsive to my questions and didn't try to talk me out of 1330 u-joints like one of my calls. Shipped off my slip yoke to them Wednesday and I'll let you know how I like it when it arrives.
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Old 12-08-2018, 04:07 AM   #7
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As an FYI, if you ever get in a pinch for money, a steel shaft can be shortened relatively inexpensively if you are a decent welder and want to invest some time
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Old 12-29-2018, 07:04 AM   #8
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Driveshaft Installed

My apologies, I like it when folks let us know after a post / discussion what they actually wound up doing. Well, I didn't do it myself this time so... I went with a 3.0" steel custom driveshaft, For my swap I ordered a 26.50" length / 1330 U-joints. Order to receipt was 6 days, sent my slip yoke in and vendor called to let me know he received it and verbally verified my requirements. Welds look good and I am happy with overall quality. $ 259.00 plus my $ 9.00 shipping for the slip yoke I provided so - $ 268.00 all in. Not sure if I can identify the Vendor or not but I'd recommend him so PM me if your looking for a driveshaft.
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Old 12-29-2018, 02:31 PM   #9
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AS long as you are not affiliate with him it is okay to say his/her name with either good or bad experiences. Just don't turn it into an advertisement. Sounds like it worked out well for you
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:23 AM   #10
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Thanks Torch - different rules on different Forums, wasn't sure. Vendor was Action Machine Inc. in (South Bend, IN) - Bob Guzman helped me out.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:04 PM   #11
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Sounds like the vendor is very helpful with the updates and communication. That goes a long way in my book! Price doesn't sound bad either. I had mine shortened which was much cheaper. Spent the other bit of money on ds and hs safety loops.
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