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Single Piece Driveshaft = Vibes....BE GONE!!!

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by ItalynStylion, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Feb 16, 2017 at 7:34 AM
    #1
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion [OP] Sounds Gooooood

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    Like many of you, following my lift I was plagued with vibrations in the drive train that I couldn't fix. I tried everything. New U-joints, new carrier bearing, new carrier bearing with various length spacers, zeroing shaft angles, axle shims. You name it, I tried it.

    In the end I learned a lot about the drive train but I was not successful in smoothing out the vibes. Ultimately, I was only able to change at what speed the vibrations presented themselves and or how severe they were. I dealt with this for about a year. For an entire year, I was scared of the gas pedal because the vibrations under quick acceleration were pretty bad. What's worse is my vibrations at 35mph sucked because that's cruising speed for a lot of the roads around where I live. Vibrations at 70mph on the highway just added insult to injury...

    Here's a video of what was happening under my truck when starting off at a standstill.
    Times of note...42 seconds, 2:50. This was the original OEM carrier bearing. After switching to a new one, things got slightly better, but it wasn't fixed by a long shot. The drive shaft still wanted to escape but the new carrier bearing simply did a better job at controlling it since it was fresh.


    Solution #1: If you are on STOCK gearing (if not....skip to solution 2)
    After a year of sulking about the issue I finally bit the bullet and bought a single piece drive shaft from Tom Woods. http://www.4xshaft.com/
    I worked with Karry and sent him the measurements he asked for (listed below). A day and a half later my drive shaft was en-route via UPS and I had a tracking number. Below is everything you'll need to send to Tom Woods to get a proper drive shaft made to order.

    A) 1.808"
    B) 3.661"
    C1) 2.589"
    C2) 2.589"
    Driveshaft length (on level ground) is 67.5" for a DOUBLE CAB SHORT BED.
    Get a double cardan input joint. This is key to eliminating vibrations!


    The existing OEM flanges we have (both the one at the t-case and one at the rear diff) are Spicer 5001905 flanges. Same as the ones in this link.
    http://www.northerndrivetrain.com/product/PTI-3302-185.html

    [​IMG]

    That brings us to the finale. The new shaft installation was easy and went along without instance. Perfect fit and the build quality is excellent. And I'm sure it goes without saying, but my vibrations are a thing of the past! I left my axle shims in since they helped point the 3rd member up toward the transfer case. I suspect it would have been fine without them too but I figured if it was performing flawlessly, why mess with it?

    Anyway, this thread exists for one purpose...to tell everyone who has failed at eliminating driveline vibrations from their Tacoma the end game solution is a single piece drive shaft. For $529 shipped and 1 hour (tops) to swap in the new shaft you can't beat it.


    IMG_20170213_140150_zpskcedl16p_a088bac907efae693e611655ee494af23bbf07c3.jpg
    IMG_20170213_163037_zpstiyuhwee_599188565ee217c7cd447b2720fa0800d027fa00.jpg
    IMG_20170213_163051_zpscuacetk3_f83a3104430a63fdadc9cb743726bd3435bebbd3.jpg
    IMG_20170213_163129_zpspzb6mekn_d98c0f30d3e5d31fdad40181ae6621516675d87c.jpg
    IMG_20170213_163112_zpsb9905kmr_8166076cc2a19b72123659c90b37a321c0c7c3c7.jpg

    Solution #2: For trucks with more aggressive diff gearing
    After a really long business trip (and some other finagling) I can finally update this post as I've finally made it to the vibration free promised land. Yes, 100% vibration free. Here's what's transpired after my first post in this thread.

    Originally, I'd bought the single piece 3.5" diameter drive shaft from Tom Woods. When I was on stock gearing, it was heaven. However, when you re-gear to a more aggressive gear ratio (4.56 for me) your drive shaft will be expected to spin VERY fast. Faster than what's called the "critical speed" of the shaft which is defined as the max safe operating speed of the shaft. For me, I wasn't able to go any faster than 55mph without horrible vibrations. Just to be clear, this shaft and operating angles worked prior to gears. Another member on here who also has 4.56 gears used a 4" diameter single piece shaft and said he doesn't have any vibrations even at high speed. I can't comment on his experiences since I don't know his setup.

    However, for me, the best solution for a large number of reasons was a custom version of the OEM shaft. Since the shaft utilizes an OEM carrier bearing, it has a MUCH higher critical speed RPM than a long single piece shaft. It also offers better ground clearance. The shaft I had made is very similar to the one @1MK tried once upon a time. The custom shaft uses the OEM shaft at its core but deletes the u-joint sitting directly behind the OEM carrier bearing in-lieu of a double cardan input joint. A double cardan joint is often referred to as a CV joint although it's not a true CV joint. Regardless, it serves a very important purpose in this case. A double cardan joint will tolerate an angle that's double what a single u-joint will allow. So for lifted vehicles with angles you'll pretty much never fix; it's a HUGE help. This is also what makes the single piece shaft solution from Tom Woods work so well.

    I want to be very clear on WHY this fixes start off vibrations. It fixes it because the pinion angle changes SEVERELY under hard acceleration. Thus, the u-joints get out of their operating range and you get some bad shit happening where the drive shaft tries to escape the carrier bearing. This is likely what's causing so many of you to go through carrier bearings like crazy. I suspect that leaf pack selection and lift height have the most to do with this.

    So to summarize, the double cardan joint placed after the carrier bearing is needed because it tolerates the change in pinion angle due to axle wrap. The two piece drive shaft, using a carrier bearing, allows you to have aggressive gearing and not have vibrations at highway speeds.

    As of now, my setup is as follows...
    • Icon Stage 4 lift set at 3"
    • Dakar Leaf pack
    • 3 degree axle shims
    • 4.56 gearing
    • Two piece drive shaft with double cardan joint.
    • OEM carrier bearing with NO spacers.
    • BFG KO2 34x10.5x17
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  2. Feb 16, 2017 at 7:40 AM
    #2
    Larueminati

    Larueminati Well-Known Member

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  3. Feb 16, 2017 at 7:43 AM
    #3
    wagerhope

    wagerhope s2k

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    Dude... nice. Keeping this in my back pocket for down the road!
     
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  4. Feb 16, 2017 at 7:47 AM
    #4
    wagerhope

    wagerhope s2k

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  5. Feb 16, 2017 at 8:11 AM
    #5
    tomwil

    tomwil Well-Known Member

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    Finding out what us reg cab owners have known for years ... single driveshaft = no vibes!
     
  6. Feb 16, 2017 at 8:11 AM
    #6
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion [OP] Sounds Gooooood

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    I hope it helps!
    After all was said and done, the $529 for the drive shaft wasn't really that much more. What I spent on axle shims, u-joints, carrier bearings, solid aluminum bar for spacers...not to mention the time. The drive shaft was a MUCH better deal!
     
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  7. Feb 16, 2017 at 8:12 AM
    #7
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion [OP] Sounds Gooooood

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    Yee, who art blessed from the factory...we envy you!
     
  8. Feb 16, 2017 at 8:28 AM
    #8
    PaulK

    PaulK Life is hard. It's harder if you're stupid.

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    Do you have any pictures or video showing the before and after ground clearance of the shaft? I'm sure it doesn't make much difference, but I'm curious how much lower the solid shaft hangs. Likely going to do this mod regardless, so thanks for the write-up!
     
    evskie53, DrFunker and ChadsPride like this.
  9. Feb 16, 2017 at 8:38 AM
    #9
    Sae68

    Sae68 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing.
     
    ItalynStylion [OP] likes this.
  10. Feb 16, 2017 at 8:42 AM
    #10
    Subway4X4

    Subway4X4 Shameless Copy Cat

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    Everything TW members recommend
  11. Feb 16, 2017 at 8:45 AM
    #11
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion [OP] Sounds Gooooood

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    Good question. Consider the new shaft still connects to the same point on the diff. So the lowest point on the shaft still hasn't really changed, just the slow. And even then, the change is slight. I don't think I have a picture of the original shaft with the OEM carrier bearing. The new shaft hangs down about 3" lower than the stock one at the area where the carrier bearing WAS mounted (that's an estimate, I'll measure tomorrow when I'm home). That being said, that area is STILL higher than the frame rails so you really shouldn't be hitting that area. The more "exposed" part would be from the carrier bearing heading back to the diff and the difference there is slight where it's below the frame height. I'd be more concerned about the gas tank to be honest.
     
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  12. Feb 16, 2017 at 8:52 AM
    #12
    cj13058

    cj13058 Well-Known Member

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    :thumbsup::burnrubber:
    Been wanting to do this for some time now!
     
  13. Feb 16, 2017 at 8:55 AM
    #13
    DrFunker

    DrFunker Prisoner of the little people circus

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    :yes:

    This has been something I have been considering.
    Thanks for the write up.
     
  14. Feb 16, 2017 at 9:14 AM
    #14
    HolyHandGrenade

    HolyHandGrenade Moab Snob

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    Thanks Lloyd. Already have a spare being built :thumbsup:
     
  15. Feb 16, 2017 at 9:16 AM
    #15
    PoweredBySoy

    PoweredBySoy Well-Known Member

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    :proposetoast:

    I might do this next year.
     
  16. Feb 16, 2017 at 9:39 AM
    #16
    HenrikBP

    HenrikBP Well-Known Member

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    Very nice. Thanks for the write-up. I'm chasing vibrations too ...

    Looks like your axle degree shims helps your new setup by pointing the differential flange up towards the transfer case, essentially straightening out that rear U-joint some. (Edit: and in re-reading I see you already said that ... duh)

    Keeping this in mind for later.
     
  17. Feb 16, 2017 at 9:47 AM
    #17
    1MK

    1MK Desert Explorer

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    You'll need to remove the cross member that the carrier bearing attaches to otherwise you'll bind the driveshaft if you bottom out the rear suspension.
     
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  18. Feb 16, 2017 at 9:49 AM
    #18
    PaulK

    PaulK Life is hard. It's harder if you're stupid.

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    Yikes! Didn't think of that.
     
  19. Feb 16, 2017 at 9:51 AM
    #19
    1MK

    1MK Desert Explorer

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    I just did the single piece as well. I'm happy. It was $479.00 shipped to my door.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Feb 16, 2017 at 9:59 AM
    #20
    1999RegCab

    1999RegCab Well-Known Member

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    Yup, that's a good kept secret among us reg cab owners :D

    Another cheaper option for you guys might be to source a used drive shaft from a Reg Cab, and have it re-tubed (to make it longer) and re-balanced by a shop. Depending on the area, it might be less than $200 for labor.

    If you are lucky enough to get the used one for very cheap, it will save you a good amount of money.
     
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