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square tube front drive shafts

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by highrider_44s, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. highrider_44s

    highrider_44s 1/2 ton status

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    so whats the final word on these sqare tube long travel front driveshafts i am thinking about puting one in my truck but i heard that sometimes they bind and then break things :dunno:

    also what's the best way to build one. any tips or tricks or special design features
     
  2. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    Think of a square tube slip joint as a 4 spline. All the torque is being taken on 4 surfaces. Put torque on it then try to slide 1 tube out of the other. There's where the flaw is. Plus the inside of the big tube and the outside of the small tube are not polished so there's more friction. You're best bet if you want to go this route would be to smooth the tubes as much as possible and grease the hell outta them.
     
  3. spoolnaround

    spoolnaround 1/2 ton status

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    best if used as a spare.
     
  4. PhoenixZorn

    PhoenixZorn 1/2 ton status

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    I'm just going to take this a bit off topic for a moment... In bicycles, there are two kinds of frames... round tube frame (including oval tubes) and square tube frame. The round tube frame has been tried and true to BMX and just about every ramp you can throw at it. BMX to bikes, in case you didn't know, is the equivalent of us dropping our road rig on the trail and seeing what it can do. Square tube bikes however, are more akin to racing on a track, very-low air time, and super light weight components. If you use a round tube bike for racing, you pretty much don't lose anything, but if you use a square tube bike on a BMX course, you will invariably break it because a 4 line weld is not nearly as strong as a single circular weld.

    Case in point... I have a Redline BMX bike in High School... It has a round tube frame and I am very hard on it on purpose to attempt to break it on the trails. It takes me over a year of hard ground pounding and extreme air on table tops, valleys, and every other natural - or unnatural - trail feature you can imagine to break the main bar-fork weld on this bike. There is no chance any other part broke before or since. The dropouts were 3/8" thick monstrosities, and the tube was nealry 2 inches thick on the main bar.

    My friend finds a Hawk for really cheap... like $30.00.... this bike sells off the showroom floor for over $500 at the time, and it is designed for high speed low drag racing. It weighs in at about 5 lbs total weight, is 100% aluminum frame, but is reenforced like a tank with double welds at every point where the manufacturer thinks it could break. This thing is designed to go fast, get a little air, and be as light as possible while doing it. We take it to the same trail where I broke my Redline.... it was only $30.00 remember... and take it off the table top. The bike is so light, my friend gets about 6 feet of air off the first table top... he comes down on the pedals, back tire first, and as he slams the front tire into the dirt to regain traction, he splits the frame from the main bar just as I did after a year of riding the Redline.

    Square tube is not meant to handle high amounts of torque or shearing force... it great for direct force like a jack extender like I saw in another post, but breaks under the slightest pressure from anything that we would put it through if it were a driveshaft or roll cage. That's why we use round tube for just about everything on our vehicles. Rectangular tube is another story entirely, and should not be confused with square tube when reading this.
     
  5. rcpilot

    rcpilot 1/2 ton status

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    Hey spoolnaround... you have a PM on the Norcalbigdawgs site... can't PM ya here :confused:

    :D
     
  6. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    They are talking about using very heavy square tube though. When people build square driveshafts they use 2.5" .250 wall square tube on the outside and 2" .250 wall square on the inside. So your driveshaft is very thick, takes lots of abuse, can have a huge slipjoint, and is cheap.

    The downside is the fact that if you have alot of torque on the driveshaft it may not slip when you need it to because of the wide tolerances and lack of splines. When this happens the driveshaft is not going to give. That means something else will.

    Baddog literally cracked a TH350 transmission case in half because it was the thing that gave when his driveshaft wouldn't slip.

    77ChevyK10 stripped out all the bolts on his tcase adapter when he had a similar thing happen.

    77Chevy K10 is has now revised his square driveshafts and is testing them for the same problem. So far so good. His case is special though. His father is a machinist and he is learning the trade. He has access to tool most people only dream of. His driveshafts are close enough in balance that he drives his truck at 65-70MPH on the highway with very little if any vibs from the square driveshafts.
     
  7. highrider_44s

    highrider_44s 1/2 ton status

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    do you know what 77 chevy k10 did different to make his driveshaft? :D
    I was thinking of cutting lines (roughly 1/8" wide by 1/6" deep) paralall down the inside shaft and greasing the hell out of it. Also maby make a boot to protect it :dunno:
     
  8. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    He is a machinist so he has access to alot of cool stuff. I think he added material onto the 2" piece to make it fit more snugly inside the 2.5" piece. This elimanated some of the binding force that was created by the slop in the 2 pieces.

    Then I think he milled down the 2" piece in some areas leaving a couple 1" bands of raised material around the 2" piece. This elimanated more of the problem of the large amount of surface area between the 2 pieces.

    Lastly he added in grease zerks to be able to grease the slipjoint.

    I am not positive that is what he did but that is what I seem to remember as the explination of what he did when I asked him.

    Harley
     
  9. highrider_44s

    highrider_44s 1/2 ton status

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    i got access to a milling machine its not very big but it works thats what i was thinking to use to mill the inner tube. how long has he had it in is he happy with it?
     
  10. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Sofar I think he has about 3 good runs in on them and has had no problems since he has done the recent modifications to the shafts that I mentioned above.

    He runs them front and rear. He runs a TH400, doubler, 3/4 ton gear, and 37" MTR's. I know the one most prone to the problems is the rear axle especially on stuff like waterfalls.

    Harley
     
  11. highrider_44s

    highrider_44s 1/2 ton status

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    i wander if i should hold off on it for now. :confused:
    I just don't want to have something smash to pieces under there
    did he post any pics of what he did,just wandering, wouldn't mind taking a boo at them i searched under his name but nothing came up :dunno:
     
  12. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I don't believe he has posted any pics of what he has done. That is not his style. He just builds what he needs and runs it. He is not a pic whore and keeps things pretty low key. He also doesn't have a huge amount of driving time in on them yet. He has 3 good runs I believe but that isn't a huge amount of time.

    Harley
     

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