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Driveshaft Notes

Published in Technical
Written by  Peter Sant 14 December 2015
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The caption reads DRIVESHAFT but the parts and service manual issued by Studebaker refer to it as the PROPELLOR SHAFT. I think that I prefer to call it the driveshaft as our cars do not have propellers like boats or aircraft

Anyway, in my opinion the driveshaft is the most neglected part of our cars. It is buried in the bowels of the undercarriage where nobody sees it. As a result the universal joints that are attached to the driveshaft are not always lubricated as they should be.

Strange noises or vibrations are a clue that something is wrong. First inspect the universals for any kind of "play". Replace these first. If the noise or vibration continues you may need to take your driveshaft out and have it balanced. ( see note below for recommended Driveshaft Shop)

Still having vibrations, then the next place to check is the rear axle pinion angle. This to me is a "black art" and is best left to a shop that services springs. They will measure the angles to ensure that they conform with the factory specs and add shims to correct any variances This should ensure no more vibrations.

Do not neglect your driveshaft. I have seen where a front universal broke due to neglect and the owner was fortunate to escape with his life. A broken front universal will cause the driveshaft to "flail" and it will remove the floor pan of the car and injure occupants  because the driveshaft, although no longer connected to the engine, is still connected to the rear axle and as long as the car is in motion the driveshaft will continue to turn and flail the bottom of the car.

If a rear universal fails the result will usually mean the driveshaft will fall out and be a hazard to other motorists.

Check AND lubricate your universals regularly.

Recommended Driveshaft Shop: Lindsay Driveline,

   42 Needham St Lindsay.

Cost to balance driveshaft $44.00 plus tax. Takes about 1/2 hour if you remove your driveshaft yourself and take it in to be balanced. Only 4 bolts to undo!

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