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Discussion Starter #1
I am breaking down the drive shafts and halfs shafts. I got the U Joints out using a rented U-Joint remover. Do the half shafts have to be balanced?



On a side note, O'Reilly tools has an excellent tool rental program. They have a great selection of tools and they are basically free to rent.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I read through all of the threads but I can't find anything in the links about balancing the half shafts so I guess its not needed.
 

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rebalancing is rarely required
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What brand of Universal Joints do you guys recommend? I see my local stores have Spicer and my local drive shaft repair shop uses Neapco. I abosolutely require that it be American made.
 

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What brand of Universal Joints do you guys recommend? I see my local stores have Spicer and my local drive shaft repair shop uses Neapco. I abosolutely require that it be American made.

Dana Spicer & Neapco are both very Good.
Used by the top drag race driveshaft builders like Mark Williams, Strange Engineering, & Denny's Driveshaft.


Earlier this year Dana Spicer was the very last Made in the USA U-joints.
They may have switched production to overseas.


Vintage Precision brand U-joints are very good & made in the USA. Hard to find New Old Stock local & online.


I used Moog 1350 series U-joints in my 87 Corvette aluminum 1/2 shafts earlier this year.
Dana Spicer 1350's were $80 each from Summit Racing & all others were as high as $150 each.
Moogs are holding up...Made In Mexico.
I bought the Brute Strength series.
I hit 150 mph at least 50 times this year in my Vette.
No U-joint failures.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
After looking around the forum I think I’m going to try the Spicer 5-1350x for the half shafts. They are on summitracing.com for about 19.00 each. The comments say they are Made in USA.
 

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I have been told the ones without the Zerk fittings are stronger. You will need to balance out the benefit of ease of greasing with strength. If you are going to be driving hard I would recommend the one without. My $0.02
 

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Go with the solid spicers and don't look back. I have installed a lot of them and the only ones that broke were on our car that dead hooked and sheared them in 1/2. For street car they should last a very long time.

One word of caution,the flanges can not be even tweaked or the joints will bind and you won't get the clips in the grooves.
 

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Alot of U-joints share the same Cross main body.
Each are Hollow or Rifle drilled bored.
Just the Cross is not final drilled for a Grease Zerk.

Something to look into.

Last set of True Drag Race U-joints Solid forged and zero rifle bored cross body I have seen are old TRW Lakewood Racing U-joints.
On my 70TA driveshaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Half Shaft U-Joint Install

I ended up getting the Dana Spicer U-Joints. The boxes are stamped made in the USA!



4 x Half Shaft 5-1350X
2 x Drive Shaft 5-1330X




I got the U-Joints installed using a press tool. The half shafts had no issues with the retaining clips. They seated without much effort. Getting the U-Joint pressed into the flange was a bit tricky. The retaining clips did not want to seat so I must have tweaked them when I was removing the old U-Joints. I had to use a dremel with a cutting wheel to clean up the grooves enough to get the clips to seat firmly. I think this particular car has had the U-Joints replaced at least 4 times. It looks like someone took a hammer to the half shafts and flanges at one point. Some of the grooves were damaged. I will probably purchase new flanges if I ever have to do this again.
 

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I did my halfshafts years ago. Recently noticed the Ujoint on the driveshaft at the tranny is bad as there's play.

My understanding is the halfshafts don't need to be rebalanced, but that the driveshaft would need to be rebalanced.

I've been doing research, but I find some say you have to and some say you don't have to remove that crossmember brace thing when you pull the driveshaft. I guess it's one of those things you'll have to find out when you get under it and try pulling the shaft out. I'm hoping the crossmember brace doesn't have to get pulled. Though I have had for some time a small tranny leak out the rear shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Balancing

I called my local driveshaft shop, Drive Line Service of Jacksonville, they said that GM didn't balance the shafts originally. They would balance the half shafts but it was only the weird corvette guys that wanted them balanced! LOL.

The process to balance the drive shaft uses heat + water and welding small weights and that will damage the paint or powder coating (in my case). I was told that I would have to repaint after the work was done.

Colt,

What cross member brace are you referring too?
 

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I called my local driveshaft shop, Drive Line Service of Jacksonville, they said that GM didn't balance the shafts originally. They would balance the half shafts but it was only the weird corvette guys that wanted them balanced! LOL.

The process to balance the drive shaft uses heat + water and welding small weights and that will damage the paint or powder coating (in my case). I was told that I would have to repaint after the work was done.

Colt,

What cross member brace are you referring too?
I believe the driveshaft was originally balanced from what everyone always says. I know mine has a weight welded/glued to it, which would suggest it was balanced.

I think you really need to research more on balancing the shaft. I've seen generic videos of driveshafts spinning on a balancer machine that has a lot of visible vibration to it before it was balanced.

They also say to mark at the differential side of the driveshaft so it goes back in the same way.

The "cross member" brace I'm referring to is the long aluminum brace that is bolted to the rear of the transmission and to the front of the differential. It also has the rubber hanged bolted to it that connects to the rear Y-pipe behind the catalytic converter.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Balancing

I should have provided more details in my first reply. The half shafts are not balanced from the factory. A drive shaft shop will take your money if you want them balanced.



The drive shaft is absolutely balanced from the factory and I will be taking mine up to the shop next week for balancing.



When I replaced the u-joints on the half shafts I could find no discernible difference between differential vs wheel bearing end. Why does everyone say to mark the ends so you don't mix them?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don’t have an aluminum cross member like that on my 76. It’s an automatic if that makes a difference.
 
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