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Thread: Converting to One Piece Shaft?

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    President Member 345 DeSoto's Avatar
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    Converting to One Piece Shaft?

    I'm converting the 2 piece driveshaft in my 289 Sky Hawk, with 200-4R transmission, to one piece driveshaft. Would anyone with this combination have info on shaft length, series U-Joint, and shaft diameter? My Hawk and I are in two different locations, so I am not able to get this info on my own. Thanks in advance...

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    If I may say, it IS best if you do your own measuring.

    While I have a similar combination, I'd hate to give you my measurements, and you have yours built to the same, to be an inch or so different than what YOUR car actually needs. Easy to happen.
    While an inch doesn't sound like much, it could ram your yoke right up against the back of the trans. Or...it could pull the yoke out just far enough that while driving on the freeway at 75mph, it actually doesn't have the bearing support that it needs and whips out and trashes your trans., floor, drive shaft...and lots more.

    So again, while you can do this, your car, your money (as another says !), I'd make the trip to your car with a good tape and get the dimensions from...your...car.

    Mike

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    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    Maybe not feasible for you, but when I do a custom build, I haul the vehicle to the driveline shop and have him measure it up. He's the expert, and knows how much travel there needs to be in the slip joint. Have always had great luck this way.

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    I just had my drive shaft shortened. The fellow at the drive shaft place told me to put the shaft all the way in the tranny until it bottoms out then measure from the center of the u-joint on the tranny side to the center of where the the u-joint would fit in the yoke on the rear end. I did that and he took 1 inch off my drive shaft length, balanced the shaft and sent me out the door. It fits perfectly...$85 later. He reduced the measurement I gave him by 1".

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    President Member bensherb's Avatar
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    I have a 700R4/4L60 trans behind the original 289 in my '62GT, with the original Dana 44. My drive shaft is 55 1/4" long joint center to joint center, the U joints are Spicer 1310 at both ends 3.219" x 3.219" x 1.062" and the shaft is 3" diameter (the original was smaller and a bunch shorter). My shaft was made by Tatton's Driveline in Murray Utah and shipped to my door, balanced with new U joints installed, for $200.

    Your 2004R is 3.062" shorter than my trans. Assuming your engine is in the same place as mine and the axle is too (which I doubt, I believe the springs are different), you should need a shaft around 58 5/16" long. This is quite a long shaft and many makers will not make one this long, particularly one as small as 3" diameter. You will almost certainly have clearance problems with a shaft any larger diameter, especially one that long.

    We have a 3" shaft in our '53 with 700R4 and Ford axle, and it will occasionally contact the rear edge of the tunnel. It did the same when it had a Dana 44.

    As mentioned by the others, MEASURE YOUR CAR, with the weight on the suspension. There are many variables that can affect the measurement and 1" can make a huge difference.

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    $85?!?! WOW shop in Nashville charged me $400 to do a 6 footer for my dodge truck. That was for me bringing in the measurements and my old shaft.

    Quote Originally Posted by chet445 View Post
    I just had my drive shaft shortened. The fellow at the drive shaft place told me to put the shaft all the way in the tranny until it bottoms out then measure from the center of the u-joint on the tranny side to the center of where the the u-joint would fit in the yoke on the rear end. I did that and he took 1 inch off my drive shaft length, balanced the shaft and sent me out the door. It fits perfectly...$85 later. He reduced the measurement I gave him by 1".

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    President Member Jeff_H's Avatar
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    Some possibly helpful reading here from my own adventures with driveshaft fitment:

    https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....-HT-rear-floor

    Jeff in ND

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs K Corbin View Post
    $85?!?! WOW shop in Nashville charged me $400 to do a 6 footer for my dodge truck. That was for me bringing in the measurements and my old shaft.
    Sounds like they wacked one end off and rewelded it back shorter. IAC $85 is an excellent price for that. The last drive shaft I had modified was like above with new u-joints and balanced $190 locally. For the 74 Avanti I bought one from a local speed shop that set me back about $240.

    The OP will need to add a bit more as he will need a new slip yoke for the transmission. Based on my experience with my 74 i'll guess he will need about 61-62 inches so the least expensive route if he doesn't go new is find a Chevy drive shaft in a yard that is over 62" and have the shop graft on his old shaft rear or just use the Chevy setup and find a u-joint that has Chevy and Dana ends.

    I wouldn't be shocked if what he wants fabricated by a quality shop with yoke, u-joints, fully assembled and balanced would be around $400.

    Bob
    , ,

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    President Member bensherb's Avatar
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    Here's a new yoke $44, https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sdh-2-3-6081x

    As I mentioned the Stude shaft ends won't work, where they meet the shaft tube is too small. The ends of the two piece shaft are WAY too small.

    Most makers will not make a 3" diameter shaft over 56" long. They will go to 3.5" diameter. Over 60" get's even larger. A typical 3"x .083" wall drive shaft 60" long only has a recomended safe opperating speed of 3092 RPM and a 1/2 true critical speed, (maximum cruise speed) of 2751 rpm. Even my 55" shaft is only 3680 rpm. With my 0.70/1 overdrive and 3.54/1 axle I'd be going 120 mph at 3680 rpm.
    1/2 true critical speed1/2 true critical speed

    All I sent Tatton (10 months ago, August 8, 2018) was the legnth I wanted, the U joint size and $200 via email and paypal. A week or so later a driveshaft was on my doorstep. It fit perfectly and works great.

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    "If I may say, it IS best if you do your own measuring."

    True times 4.

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    President Member 345 DeSoto's Avatar
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    Measuring done...61 1/4" from end of trans tail shaft to middle of differential U-joint saddle...

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    This thread is a bit old but why convert? what is the issue with the two piece shaft?

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    President Member 345 DeSoto's Avatar
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    No matter what I or the Driveline Shop could do, we could not stop the center bearing carrier from "wobbleing" in the cross member. 100% new Stock parts, installed properly, shafts balanced/properly aligned, in phase, proper angles, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 345 DeSoto View Post
    No matter what I or the Driveline Shop could do, we could not stop the center bearing carrier from "wobbleing" in the cross member. 100% new Stock parts, installed properly, shafts balanced/properly aligned, in phase, proper angles, etc.
    This is moot, because the decision has been made to give up and go one piece.
    However, it's obvious some of the above only appeared to be correct. Millions of two and three piece driveshafts function correctly for the past hundred years. Drive alongside a medium truck at freeway speeds. Because of the low gears trucks run, the multi-piece driveshaft is spinning so fast it's a blur and narry a wobble.

    Installing a one-piece driveshaft can bring its own problems. The early Stude tunnel is quite small, so the more desirable large diameter driveshafts cannot be used. Also, with passengers in the rear seat and/or a load in the trunk, on hard acceleration, the u-joints can hit the underside of the tunnel.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    President Member bensherb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    The early Stude tunnel is quite small, so the more desirable large diameter driveshafts cannot be used. Also, with passengers in the rear seat and/or a load in the trunk, on hard acceleration, the u-joints can hit the underside of the tunnel.

    jack vines
    It doesn't even take hard acceleration, just a decent "whoop" in the freeway. Actually it's the shaft that hits; about 6" in front of the rear U joint. That is with a 3" diameter shaft, any larger will take much less.

    Raising the rear of the car, heavy duty or helper springs, and heavy duty shocks can help.
    Last edited by bensherb; 06-16-2019 at 11:28 PM.

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    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    About 15 years ago I installed a TH400 in a 56J, and used a one-piece driveshaft, I believe 3" OD. I, "massaged" the original 2-piece carrier bearing hole, and rear tunnel for clearance in the areas mentioned above. Also installed HD rear springs from SASCO and HD front springs (526125) built to OEM spec by Coil Spring Specialties (which I woulda done anyway). I drove the car over 40,000 miles before selling it, and the driveshaft would very seldom kiss the floorboard, usually with 2-3 people in the back seat and hitting a large dip. So it really was a non-issue.

    That 56J was one of two I have driven that did not have a droning noise, most prominent at 70-80 MPH. It seems to originate at the carrier bearing, then reverberate off the cardboard headliner. The only other 56Js I ever drove that did not have the drone had cloth headliner, instead of OEM cardboard. So I believe if the PO's Sky Hawk has a cardboard headliner, he may experience a noise reduction he did not even know existed. OTOH, maybe it's just a 56J thing. All I know is, I have driven maybe eight to ten 56Js (owned or repaired/test drove) and all but the above three had the drone. Never drove a Sky Hawk.
    Last edited by JoeHall; 06-16-2019 at 04:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bensherb View Post
    It doesn't even take hard acceleration, just a decent "whoop" in the freeway. Actually it's the shaft that hits; about 6" in front of the rear U joint. That is with a 3" diameter shaft, any larger will take much less.

    Raising the year of the car, heavy duty or helper springs, and heavy duty shocks can help.
    I can make him a deal on a pair of NOS Monroe Load Levelers.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    OK, had the same problem. The solution is to ditch the universal joint and install a constant velocity joint. Then realign and put most of ALL the angles into the CVJ. Smooth as silk.

    P6036433aa.jpg

    more details here
    https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....ht=drive+shaft

  19. #19
    President Member 345 DeSoto's Avatar
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    Car has air shocks. The "moot point" being, the 2 piece shaft in MY car is not working, no matter how many "millions" of others are. The Drive Line Shop checked adjusted, re checked and re adjusted numerous times...and had my Shop Manual for reference to boot. THAT'S why the decision to go to a one piece shaft...

  20. #20
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 345 DeSoto View Post
    Car has air shocks. The "moot point" being, the 2 piece shaft in MY car is not working, no matter how many "millions" of others are. The Drive Line Shop checked adjusted, re checked and re adjusted numerous times...and had my Shop Manual for reference to boot. THAT'S why the decision to go to a one piece shaft...
    What do you mean when you say the 2-piece, "is not working"?
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs K Corbin View Post
    $85?!?! WOW shop in Nashville charged me $400 to do a 6 footer for my dodge truck. That was for me bringing in the measurements and my old shaft.
    You need to find a new shop. I just paid $85 for the driveshaft work on my friends Nova also. I'm going back to him for work on the drive shaft on the 37 next. He's already told me it'll be $85 for that one too. And it involves marrying a TH400 to a Ford Explorer 8.8" posi.
    sals54

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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    This is moot, because the decision has been made to give up and go one piece.
    However, it's obvious some of the above only appeared to be correct. Millions of two and three piece driveshafts function correctly for the past hundred years. Drive alongside a medium truck at freeway speeds. Because of the low gears trucks run, the multi-piece driveshaft is spinning so fast it's a blur and narry a wobble.

    Installing a one-piece driveshaft can bring its own problems. The early Stude tunnel is quite small, so the more desirable large diameter driveshafts cannot be used. Also, with passengers in the rear seat and/or a load in the trunk, on hard acceleration, the u-joints can hit the underside of the tunnel.

    jack vines
    I used a 3" one piece shaft in the 54 Coupe, 289 4 speed, 9" Ford rear. To gain clearance I simply used a wedge under the rear end to give it about a 1 degree down angle on the pinion. Even lowered, I never had any issues with the drive shaft, U joints or hitting the tunnel.
    sals54

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    President Member bensherb's Avatar
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    345 Desoto, I believe you misunderstood Jack's statement. The point was moot " because the decision has been made to give up and go one piece. "

    Sal, did you also raise the rear of the trans to match the new wedged angle of the pinion, or are you running it out of line?

  24. #24
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    I was running the engine lower which helped the drive angles a little, but it was never optimal. But also had no vibration.
    sals54

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    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpayed View Post
    OK, had the same problem. The solution is to ditch the universal joint and install a constant velocity joint. Then realign and put most of ALL the angles into the CVJ. Smooth as silk.

    P6036433aa.jpg

    more details here

    https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....ht=drive+shaft
    Yours looks like the best answer, albeit also likely the most expensive. Thanks!

  26. #26
    President Member 345 DeSoto's Avatar
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    UPDATE - One piece drive shaft installed, road tested, problem completely eliminated...

  27. #27
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 345 DeSoto View Post
    UPDATE - One piece drive shaft installed, road tested, problem completely eliminated...
    Thanks for the update. I believe the Stude 2-piece was designed to have some wobble. I have removed the carrier bearing rubber mounts, deeply grooved all the way around, and they did not get that way from holding the driveshaft up. Never heard of anyone running one at speed, on a lift to observe the 2-piece in motion. Even if they had, it would need to be under load (pushing the car down the highway) to be an accurate inspection. Glad you got it solved. If need be, just go under the car and massage any areas needing extra clearance for the 1-piece. It ain't gonna hurt anything. Glad you are on the road now! Keep on Studebakering.
    Last edited by JoeHall; 06-21-2019 at 10:26 PM.

  28. #28
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    Dick S used a 2 piece shaft in his gorgeous 53 Hardtop. It had a hi perf 327 and a 4 speed. He said he never had problems with it.
    sals54

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