Rear Aluminum Replacement Driveshaft - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2018, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Rear Aluminum Replacement Driveshaft

So I got around to playing with the rear diff. It has been noisy since I bought the Jeep. While reading through the service manual, my brother and I discovered that the noise could be due to the side load not being adjusted properly. I bought the appropriate tool and we opened it up and checked the pattern. Sure enough it was quite far out. After adjusting it, the pattern was very close to optimal. The gear noise is gone but the pinion bearing is trashed so it will have to come apart again.

We also discovered that the rear driveshaft is also in need of replacement. The rear u joint was clunky and the spline wobbled. I searched for a serviceable aftermarket aluminum replacement and could find only one thread on Jeepforum that dealt with it. Apparently a gent in eastern Canada had one created at Pat's driveline. The cost was $700 cad with shipping. That seemed decent so I called them here in Edmonton. I was quoted at least $1000. That is less palitable so I have been looking for an alternative. Anyone aware of one? Thanks.

Last edited by Flex; 06-06-2018 at 12:41 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2018, 12:51 PM
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Most driveshaft shops should be able to create one for you. I know that on the WK forums Carolina Driveline and Tom Wood's Custom Driveshaft are some of the more popular shops, but you can also see whether you can get one made locally.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2018, 05:59 PM
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You don't have to replace the driveshaft when a u-joint goes bad. You can replace the u-joint.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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The factory driveshaft is non serviceable chucky. The u joints are not held in with conventional locks but peened into place.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by consumedbywater View Post
Most driveshaft shops should be able to create one for you. I know that on the WK forums Carolina Driveline and Tom Wood's Custom Driveshaft are some of the more popular shops, but you can also see whether you can get one made locally.

All the ones that I have seen on their sites are metal.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flex View Post
All the ones that I have seen on their sites are metal.
Out of shear curiosity, why do you want a drive shaft made out of aluminum as opposed to one made out of steel like the OEM part?

Other than the fact that I'm sure it's lighter, I would think a drive shaft made out of aluminum is not as strong - and definitely not as resistant to heat, so, what's the benefit?

Obviously, it's not the price.....


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Blue,

The factory rear driveshaft is made from aluminum.

Aluminum driveshafts are lighter allowing for faster rev up and deceleration due to decreased rotational mass. This also allows for better fuel economy and smoother operation with decreased transmition of vibration and noise. They have heavy wall thickness so they are no weaker than a standard steel shaft and could even be stronger. Heat is not a factor as it requires 1300 *F to melt aluminum.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flex View Post
Blue,

The factory rear driveshaft is made from aluminum.

Aluminum driveshafts are lighter allowing for faster rev up and deceleration due to decreased rotational mass. This also allows for better fuel economy and smoother operation with decreased transmition of vibration and noise. They have heavy wall thickness so they are no weaker than a standard steel shaft and could even be stronger. Heat is not a factor as it requires 1300 *F to melt aluminum.
I was not aware the factory drive shafts were aluminum; And I was with you right up until you started talking about better fuel economy - and then I laughed out loud.

Clearly that part of the equation/desired results failed.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Actually the mustang and thunderbird sc guys swap them out for all those reasons. I have done so on 4 thunderbirds and 2 mustangs with noticeable improvement.

I just spoke to the local Pat's Driveline and it was no good news. They can't/won't make the aluminum shaft anymore. He also warned me away from the steel conversion shafts. He said that they have a lot of customers were coming back to complain about vibration and wanted their money back. As a result he said they are no longer selling them anymore.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flex View Post
Actually the mustang and thunderbird sc guys swap them out for all those reasons. I have done so on 4 thunderbirds and 2 mustangs with noticeable improvement.

I just spoke to the local Pat's Driveline and it was no good news. They can't/won't make the aluminum shaft anymore. He also warned me away from the steel conversion shafts. He said that they have a lot of customers were coming back to complain about vibration and wanted their money back. As a result he said they are no longer selling them anymore.
Well if you can't get one from Chrysler/Jeep, the only other option is looking for a donor XK.


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