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Old 08-19-2021, 04:38 PM #1
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Possible issues with rear live axle??

My daughter's 2000 2WD had some issues of shaking and when I checked the vehicle out I found the rear shoes (especially the passenger side) was down to the metal on the edges. I replaced the shoes and they seem to work fine. However, she stated yesterday that the vehicle had a shake at highway speeds that scared her. I checked out all of my work as well as had her have her tires rotated and balanced which was more than needed. The issue wasn't alleviated.

I just jacked up the rear and put her in neutral and spun the tires and checked the propeller shaft joints. The driver's side tire, when spun correlated to the drive shaft turning as expected. However, when I spun the passenger side tire, there was a 1/4 tire turn delay until the driveshaft spun, in both directions, then it spun the same, and then it had a delay again. I honestly have never seen this.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-19-2021, 04:54 PM #2
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Were you watching the other side tire at the same time to see if it was swapping between spinning the driveshaft and opposite tire?

Even then, the 2WD prop shaft (from trans to diff) is known to go bad on the 2WD's with age. Both the u-joints and the shaft itself can have problems. There is a rubber coupler between an inner and outer shaft that wears with time and causes vibrations at highway speed (50-70mph) that feels just like bad u-joints or an out of balance driveshaft. If the rubber section goes bad, the only solution is a complete new driveshaft.

Vibration/buzz normally means driveshaft.

Shaking/wobbling normally means tires or something that rotates at that speed (brakes, etc.).

-Charlie
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Old 08-19-2021, 05:02 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clanofwolves View Post
My daughter's 2000 2WD had some issues of shaking and when I checked the vehicle out I found the rear shoes (especially the passenger side) was down to the metal on the edges. I replaced the shoes and they seem to work fine. However, she stated yesterday that the vehicle had a shake at highway speeds that scared her. I checked out all of my work as well as had her have her tires rotated and balanced which was more than needed. The issue wasn't alleviated.

I just jacked up the rear and put her in neutral and spun the tires and checked the propeller shaft joints. The driver's side tire, when spun correlated to the drive shaft turning as expected. However, when I spun the passenger side tire, there was a 1/4 tire turn delay until the driveshaft spun, in both directions, then it spun the same, and then it had a delay again. I honestly have never seen this.

Any ideas?
What you're feeling/seeing is backlash in the rear differential and it's normal operation. All vehicles have backlash but you will get more as components wear.

Can you describe your problem in more detail? Speed, accelerating/braking/coasting, turning, feel it in the your seat, steering wheel shaking?
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Old 08-21-2021, 10:40 AM #4
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Thanks for your feedback.

So I went out and test drove it with your inquiries in mind:

County road test:
Slow acceleration to 50 mph nothing overtly noticeable.
However, when backing off the gas down a long hill, there was slight shaking in the steering wheel, shifter and seat as it slowed to 45. Acceleration back to 50 mph seemed to reduce the recent vibration.

Highway test:
Moderate acceleration to 80 mph, again, nothing overtly noticeable.
When backing off the gas there as a noticeable shake in the steering and seat. When I performed this again (accelerate to 80 or so cruising speed and then reduced acceleration), it seems the seat area vibration is most pronounced, almost creating a noise or hum along with the feeling of the vibration.
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Old 08-21-2021, 10:43 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phattyduck View Post
Were you watching the other side tire at the same time to see if it was swapping between spinning the driveshaft and opposite tire?

Even then, the 2WD prop shaft (from trans to diff) is known to go bad on the 2WD's with age. Both the u-joints and the shaft itself can have problems. There is a rubber coupler between an inner and outer shaft that wears with time and causes vibrations at highway speed (50-70mph) that feels just like bad u-joints or an out of balance driveshaft. If the rubber section goes bad, the only solution is a complete new driveshaft.

Vibration/buzz normally means driveshaft.

Shaking/wobbling normally means tires or something that rotates at that speed (brakes, etc.).

-Charlie
Thanks for your reply Charlie. My daughter had the tires rotated and balanced, and the alignment seems to be true in road tests, but I could have that checked as well.

It seems that there is a shake/vibration that comes when the truck is decelerating, not under acceleration. (see reply above as I tested this on a County as well as an Interstate road with the same observations.
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Old 08-21-2021, 01:30 PM #6
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Also, I just replaced the rotors as my daughter stated that "everyone is telling me it has to be the rotors," even though I disagreed. Well, she bought them, I did the labor, so there's that.

Test drove it and nothing changed for the better.
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Old 08-22-2021, 10:43 PM #7
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So is the shaking from the front or the back? How many miles are on this beast? If I was going to check the ujoints, (with trans in neutral, wheels down) I would hold the yoke in one hand and the driveshaft in the other. Try and twist in opposite directions. Muscle them around and look for play. Check the yoke at the 3rd member and the output shaft at the transmission. Does it have a double joint at the trans? As others have mentioned there is also a splined joint in the shaft itself. You can try and push pull and look for deviation...

I can't see feeling this in the steering wheel though.
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Old 08-23-2021, 02:01 PM #8
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Quote:
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Does it have a double joint at the trans? As others have mentioned there is also a splined joint in the shaft itself. You can try and push pull and look for deviation...
The 2WD shaft does not have a splined section at the center, it uses a slip yoke at the trans with single joints at each end.

It does seem like the next step is manually checking the driveshaft. 4 nuts/bolts at the rear diff and it will slide out. Check for good operation of the u-joints.

Since it doesn't happen at steady-state cruise, it is less likely to be an issue with the main part of the shaft, but it could still be u-joints.

-Charlie
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Old 08-24-2021, 07:33 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D'arce View Post
So is the shaking from the front or the back? How many miles are on this beast? If I was going to check the ujoints, (with trans in neutral, wheels down) I would hold the yoke in one hand and the driveshaft in the other. Try and twist in opposite directions. Muscle them around and look for play. Check the yoke at the 3rd member and the output shaft at the transmission. Does it have a double joint at the trans? As others have mentioned there is also a splined joint in the shaft itself. You can try and push pull and look for deviation...

I can't see feeling this in the steering wheel though.
Can't tell, but the shaking definitely isn't simply the front, that's for sure. The beast has just under 300K.

There is NO play in the u-joints that I can muster out of them at all.
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Old 08-24-2021, 07:34 PM #10
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Can't tell, but the shaking definitely isn't simply the front, that's for sure. The beast has just under 300K.

There is NO play in the u-joints that I can muster out of them at all.
It may not be play, it may be tight spots instead. Pull it out of there and test manually.

-Charlie
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Old 08-24-2021, 07:35 PM #11
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Originally Posted by phattyduck View Post
It does seem like the next step is manually checking the driveshaft. 4 nuts/bolts at the rear diff and it will slide out. Check for good operation of the u-joints.
-Charlie
So I need to pull the driveshaft to check it correct? I can do that in the AM.

Thanks!

Dave
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Old 08-25-2021, 08:31 AM #12
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Quote:
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It may not be play, it may be tight spots instead. Pull it out of there and test manually.

-Charlie
Will do, thanks!!
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Old 08-25-2021, 02:39 PM #13
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Quote:
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It may not be play, it may be tight spots instead. Pull it out of there and test manually.

-Charlie
I pulled it and the rear U-Joint is free in one joint, but stiff in another joint especially when bent one way over the other.



Seem like the culprit? Now to figure how to replace it....
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Old 08-25-2021, 02:42 PM #14
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I pulled it and the rear U-Joint is free in one joint, but stiff in another joint especially when bent one way over the other.
Seem like the culprit? Now to figure how to replace it....
Is there any use in cleaning that up really well and then pumping the zerk fittings full of new grease to see if you can bring it back to life? (I don't know the answer.)
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Old 08-26-2021, 07:44 AM #15
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Is there any use in cleaning that up really well and then pumping the zerk fittings full of new grease to see if you can bring it back to life? (I don't know the answer.)
I don't know either, but a new MOOG joint is $19, so I went that way. The local machine shop pressed it out and installed the new one for $30, and I thought that quite a good deal as I'd have to use a hammer and some joint support blocks made of wood laying around and be on my knees in the heat more than likely...
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