Garage Projects

The Lone Ranger – Extending your own driveshaft

Edit: Don’t do it this way, there are better ways of doing this, but I wanted to make the truck move so you do what you have to do sometimes…

Well I’m one more step towards getting the truck mobile again. I extended one of the Cherokee driveshaft’s I have laying around. There’s really not much to this, and I’m hoping I can get the thing to balance out later. If it won’t balance, well, I made a nice spare shaft.

Going by Dana’s information, total allowable run out for the drive shaft is 0.020” which is about what I measured this shaft at when I was done. That’s said a little tongue in cheek though as I really don’t have a good way to measure this at home or at work.

So step 1, acquire your shaft (no not that one, the drive shaft!) and cut it up:
Sara L.: Build and Misc &emdash;

The Cherokee (XJ) drive shafts are 1.75” on the ID and they are made with 0.120” wall HREW tube. Since its HREW, you can’t just slap a slug in there and call it done.

Enter Step 2, find some “Plug” material and mill a couple of slots to clear the weld slag inside the tube. The extra bonus of the slots is that it makes it easier to keep the two ends of the drive shafts even:
Sara L.: Build and Misc &emdash;

Step 3, hammer it all together as it’s a bit of a press fit. If you have some heat available to you, that’ll make life easier:
Sara L.: Build and Misc &emdash;

Step 4 is a little tricky. I don’t have a good way to hold everything in line, so I bolted the DS back in its home to check for the correct length. While it was there, I slapped a dial indicator on it to rotate and tap in line. This is far from ideal so I’m not so sure on how accurate my 0.020” run out reading really was. But as I said, worse case is I just have a spare shaft now. Add to it, I can’t really remember if this was a good shaft to start with so who knows how good it is at this point!

Step 5, remove the now tacked together DS from the truck and burn everything home, clean off your slag and you’re done!
Sara L.: Build and Misc &emdash;

As a side note, for my plug, I’ve got an extra 1” that was driven into either side of the DS (I needed to extend the shaft 6.75” and my plug was 8.75” long, dig?). I’m sure this thing will work just fine for a spare, we’ll see how well it does at speed.

Once I find my U bolt’s for the front yoke, I’ll be able to move this thing again (Though, without brakes currently). I’ve bought three of these dang U joint U bolt sets, and I can’t find a single one of the dang things. Go figure right?

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