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Old 03-28-2012, 08:13 PM   #1
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Drives shaft question

How much slack should you have in the front drive shaft. I can turn my drive shaft about a 1/2 inch by hand. Does this seem correct ?

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Old 03-28-2012, 08:53 PM   #2
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Are you talking 1/2" rotational? If so that is probably normal. Keep in mind that you are moving more than merely the pinion in relationship to the ring gear. There are also side gears and spider gears in there that are moving. Take each gear and if it moves a few thousandths of an inch all of that movement adds up.

In order to get a true measurement of backlash, which I like to check at each differential service interval, you need to remove the differential cover and use a dial indicator against the ring gear and then measure the amount of movement between the ring gear and the pinion gear.

If you are worried about the u-joint or CV joint look closely at the joint and see if there is any movement between the shaft itself and the flange on the axle pinion.

Also keep in mind that mileage will play somewhat of a role in this. As mileage adds up on your vehicle small amounts of clearance generate between some components, such as splines in driveshafts.

Mike.

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Old 03-28-2012, 09:14 PM   #3
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Yes a 1/2 inch of drive shaft rotation. I just started noticing the noise yesterday. If this seems normal then ok. I just never noticed this noise before the gear swap. Its more noticeable when backing up. Maybe i need to get the back lash checked. The gears have a little over 500 miles on them. Thanks for the info.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swamp dogg View Post
Yes a 1/2 inch of drive shaft rotation. I just started noticing the noise yesterday. If this seems normal then ok. I just never noticed this noise before the gear swap. Its more noticeable when backing up. Maybe i need to get the back lash checked. The gears have a little over 500 miles on them. Thanks for the info.
If you just had the gears done and now it is making noise then I would definately get it checked out. According to your original post you didn't mention that you had just had work done, which can be a huge red flag.

Under normal wear and mileage it could be normal wear over time and "slack" in the drivetrain adds up.

In the future please add as much detail as possible when describing an issue so we can assist you the best we can. Also, keep in mind that all vehicles, even same make/model, will have some unique idiosyncrasies. This is why it is good to know your vehicle so when something "changes" or doesn't feel normal you can start to inspect things. Giving as much information as possible such as latest repairs done and anything out of the norm will be of huge help when asking for help diagnosing a problem or suspected problem.

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