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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-03-2001, 09:28 AM
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driveshaft play

Hi all,

I've got a little bit of play in my rear drive shaft. It will turn about 1/4" while in park sometimes and sometimes it's solid. Sometimes when I accelerate from a stop there is a minor "thump" sound from back there. Any idea how much trouble I'm in or is it something that can wait a little while before it lets me down.


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-03-2001, 09:59 AM
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Re: driveshaft play

Could be a couple things:
U-Joints starting to go, or improper relieving of the joint. Check to see if the joint moves freely in all directions.
Pinion nut could be backing off. Does the vehicle roll forward excessively when you put it in park on an incline? Broncos are prone to this one. It could explain the thump when you accelerate. Worth taking care of as soon as possible.

post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-03-2001, 12:19 PM
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Re: driveshaft play

As for it being solid in Park sometimes, this makes sense to me. It all depends on if the d/s is preloaded, ie holding the vehicle on a slight incline. If it is, you of course won't feel any play. You always want to check for d/s play w/the vehicle in neutral and parking brake set, preferably on a level surface :-) It could be any of your 3 rear u-joints or the slip shaft. IME, it's normal to have some play at the t-case output and of course you'll see some play at the pinion itself, this is just the ring gear/pinion backlash. What you DON'T want is play anywhere in the d/s ITSELF. Truthfully, the VERY BEST way to do this is spend 5 mins to remove the d/s entirely and then check it all out. I had a ton of play in my CV (double cardan) that I couldn't feel until I dropped the shaft and tried to twist it by hand.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-04-2001, 01:17 AM
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Re: driveshaft play

I've had the pinion nut back off several times; had several u-joints go out; had too much backlash in the gears; HAVE too much slop in the t-case; HAVE too much wear in the centering ball in the double cardan; and I've had too much wear in the slip joint - any of these will do what you describe. You have to do some more diagnosis to narrow it down.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-04-2001, 09:16 PM
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Re: driveshaft play

Thanks for all the starting points, I haven't had time to fart lately so when I get a chance I will take the DS off and investigate further


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