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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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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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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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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Discussion Starter #9
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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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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Discussion Starter #11
Actually, the 2005-2013 mustang driveshafts are very similiar except longer. Worse case buy one and have it chopped shorter. I have also found serviceable aluminum yokes and steel flanges to rebuild the factory shaft except it could be rebuilt in the future. The only thing that I am not sure about is the plunge spline.
 

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Actually, the 2005-2013 mustang driveshafts are very similiar except longer. Worse case buy one and have it chopped shorter. I have also found serviceable aluminum yokes and steel flanges to rebuild the factory shaft except it could be rebuilt in the future. The only thing that I am not sure about is the plunge spline.
You're way beyond the scope of my knowledge at this point.

If I couldn't buy a new or reconditioned one from FCA, I'd probably be searching the salvage yards, I'm sure they are around for the picking.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes the WK uses the same driveshaft in the same years. The probablem is they are not serviceable so sooner or later the same problem will occur.

So I have determined that the plunge spline is ok. The entire shaft was bouncing and not the spline. I found serviceable aluminum yokes for about $60 each on Ebay and the flanges for $50. That is what I am going to do. I am planning on maybe grabbing another used shaft to convert and then swap them.
 
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