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Shortening a driveshaft at home???

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by TruckNutzDude, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. TruckNutzDude

    TruckNutzDude 1/2 ton status

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    I need to know how to shorten my front and rear driveshafts. I have access to a welder, cut off wheel, sawzall and a few other tools that I think I can use for the job. I am shortening a short bed rear driveshaft and a front drive shaft from an automatic truck to fit my K5 with a 465/205 and 6" of lift. I have new u-joints already and I think I have my measurements right. I'm aiming to be halfway through the stroke of the driveshafts at ride height... Tell me what I need to measure and how to cut and re-weld these please. I'm not worried about balancing, this is strictly an off road project. Thanks guys (once again) /forums/images/graemlins/bow.gif
     
  2. sickquad

    sickquad 1/2 ton status

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    I know someone in West Bridgewater that will do them for free if you can get them to me. He's grumpy, but he'll do it.

    I also still have your pulley.

    -Chris
     
  3. TruckNutzDude

    TruckNutzDude 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I know someone in West Bridgewater that will do them for free if you can get them to me. He's grumpy, but he'll do it.

    I also still have your pulley.

    -Chris

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'd really like to find something a little more local... this may be a cut, fit, cut, fit kind of thing since I have a lot more droop than up-travel in my rear suspension and I'd like to cycle it.

    I also still have everything you need to A/C a Blazer.
     
  4. MTBLAZER89

    MTBLAZER89 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Carefully grind the welds down at the yoke to the tube diameter "carefully". Clamp it in a piece of angle to cut it with a cutoff saw. I had a guy do mine this way. I just watched, but it works very well so far...9months. Mark it so the yoke gets welded back on exactly the same way it came off and it will be close to as balanced as it was before.
     
  5. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    also try and setup some type of jig when welding it, like have the gun fixed and make the driveshaft rotate so the weld is even and straight at least this is what they do at my local shop /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  6. ratzila

    ratzila 1/2 ton status

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    Once you get it cut & welded how are you gonna get them balanced? At least the rear one or you'll get a lot of vibrations /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  7. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Once you get it cut & welded how are you gonna get them balanced? At least the rear one or you'll get a lot of vibrations

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That's what I was thinking cause even off-road they will be turning pretty good rpm depending on your axle ratio, tire diameter and speed of course.
     
  8. sickquad

    sickquad 1/2 ton status

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    We do them in a lathe. If you don't indicate it in I'm not sure how long it would last even if your just offroad.

    The homebrew method is worth a try. It's always good to experiment, learn something new everyday.

    If not we can make it happen for real cheap. Free!!
     
  9. bigblock44k5

    bigblock44k5 1/2 ton status

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    You will be fine as long as you cut the tube square, mark the yokes, and weld it evenly. As long as the welds arent boogered up it will be in bablance as well as it was before. Ive done a few at home.
     
  10. Poohbair

    Poohbair 1/2 ton status

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    I am on my 3rd or 4th home shortened rear driveline... just grind the yoke out, cut the sum bitch off where you want it (make it a straight cut!), pour a pint or so of ATF in the tube and tap the yoke back in (w/ the u-joints in line correctly) and welt it back up.
    I could go 100+ mph in mine (well, before I rolled it /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif) w/o any driveline vibration...
     
  11. Rolled

    Rolled 1/2 ton status

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    This should work -

    Get a six inch piece of stock tube that has the same OD as the ID of the driveshaft.

    Cut drive driveshaft in the middle.

    Cut another piece off one the shaft halfs to get it to a desired length.

    Now slide 6 inch stock tube insid both halfs of the driveshaft.

    Make sure both yokes are parallel and weld up the gap being sure to penetrate the 6 inch stock tube, as well.



    This would keep the shaft straight no matter how bad you cut it. You could also,easily, dry fit the shaft before you weld it up. If you are not worried about balancing, this would be a fairly cheap and easy method...


    That may be hard to read, sorry.

    BTW - I have never done this /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  12. FRIZZLEFRY

    FRIZZLEFRY 1/2 ton status

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    I have never done a rear but I have done a front /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    I found out the night before a trip my front shaft was too long.I wasnt gonna shorten it myself at first but damit I wanted to wheel /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif I ground off the weld,beat the spline part out with a plastic hammer,cut what I needed off the tube with a chop saw,beat the spline part back in,and welded it back up.I turned the welder way up to get good penatration.I was in a hurry and so tickled that I got it apart and back together so easily,I forgot to phase it (its realy close) /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif Came out good though.Its taken alot of abuse and it doesnt vibrate and thats all that matters /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    This is after I ground it before I beat it apart /forums/images/graemlins/grind.gif
    [​IMG]
     
  13. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I've done a few "home grown" driveshafts too--I had the luxury of a chop saw at work to do a front driveshaft I made to eliminate the CV joint on a plow truck I had--before that I used a pipe cutter to cut the tube,it worked but it made for a tough time getting the yoke in because it "rolls" the tubing slightly inward.The main thing is to get it cut square,and be absolutely sure the yokes are phased (lined up with each other just as they were before)and weld it up good. A ghetto fab way of balancing then is to use hose clamps--it works but looks very hack!.As for the ATF trick,it sounds cool--but I hope the ATF doesnt decide to flash while your welding it! BOOM! /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  14. bigblock44k5

    bigblock44k5 1/2 ton status

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    Also for cutting, a porta-band works really well if you have one available. Whatever you use make sure to mark the driveshaft all the way round using a belt, piece of paper, tape measure, or something of the sorts. Just follow the line all the way around. If your off a little bit it shouldnt matter since the yoke will slip insode the saft and be square. You might just have to fill a small gap with weld. BTW, if the part you need to cut off has the weight attached to it, mark which side of the DS it is on and reweld it back on later as close to the original spot it was.
     
  15. TruckNutzDude

    TruckNutzDude 1/2 ton status

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    I cut it apart tonight and tack welded it back on until the sun comes back out tomorrow. I cut about 1/2" more of the tube off than I should have but it's close enough since I still have to lower the t-case. I had to cut the part of the shaft that had the weights on it off but I marked where they were and welded them back on in relation to where they were from the factory. I made sure to mark where the u-joints were so they are phased together. Hopefully when all is said and done I will have no vibrations... but I doubt I'll be able to tell while rolling on unbalanced 44" tires. Even then the open headers blowing against the floor boards should make any vibrations or noise just about non-existant. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif Just the way I like it. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  16. bigblock44k5

    bigblock44k5 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like you did it right, now just make sure your welds penetrate well, and are as even as poosible and you should be good to go.
     

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