How to Shorten & Balance a Drive Shaft

Written by alan temple
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How to Shorten & Balance a Drive Shaft
A well-balanced driveshaft is vital to a car's overall performance. (luxury car - model toy car image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com)

Your vehicle's driveshaft is responsible for turning torque into the rotation of several other components. The length and balance of the driveshaft is vital to the smooth operation of the vehicle. Shortening and balancing the shaft is an exact process and requires knowledge of the internal mechanisms of your vehicle. If you have the time and experience, you can save yourself a great deal of time and money by doing the job yourself. You'll also be rewarded with a much more pleasant driving experience.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Chalk
  • Grinder
  • MIG gas welder

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Mark the driveshaft using a chalk line. The mark needs to run from the centre of the front universal joint to the centre of the rear universal joint. This will help you weld the new universal yoke on straight, and in the proper position.

  2. 2

    Remove the rear yoke with a grinder. Cut the yoke at the welded seam by rotating the driveshaft and holding the grinder against the weld to cut through it. Keep the cut as straight and square as you can.

  3. 3

    Remove the yoke and set it aside. Cut the driveshaft tube to the desired length with a saw.

  4. 4

    Place the yoke inside of the shortened driveshaft tube, while making sure that the chalk lines are lined up perfectly.

  5. 5

    Push the yoke into the tube until it seats fully. Secure the yoke into the tube by rotating the driveshaft as you weld the entire length around.

  6. 6

    Balance the driveshaft. Take the shortened driveshaft to a machinist and have it balanced. If you don't do this, your vehicle could end up vibrating and the bearings might wear out sooner.

Tips and warnings

  • This is not a job for inexperienced home mechanics. It requires some expertise and the right equipment.

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