Drive Shaft/U-joint Orientation
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    Senior Member My location zippy7575 is on a distinguished road zippy7575's Avatar
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    Drive Shaft/U-joint Orientation

    When removing the driveshaft, what is the reason for making sure the drive shaft is re-installed with the same u-joint orientation? Is it because the drive shaft is balanced to work in one position only or because of how the the u-joint and yoke have worn together?

    I have a driveshaft vibration after replacing my torque tube donut, and it's better now if I put the driveshaft 180 degrees out from how it was before. Just trying to figure out why that is and whether replacing the u-joints would help or not. It's still vibrating a little and I'd like to fix it. Maybe it's just the heavy duty OGTS donut that's causing this?
    Sunburst yellow 1970 GT, 2.0L w/ header, Weber 32/36 (so long Solex!), Pertronix, Sway Bars, BWA Sportstar wheels.

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    Heeeeeeres Jimmy! Frozen Tundra GT will become famous soon enough Frozen Tundra GT's Avatar
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    both of your assumptions are correct.

    did you happen to replace the bearing too? did you evenly tighten the nuts? overtightening one side will make the ubolt lopsided. just a thought

    its easy enough to replace the ujoint, but hard to find one I think.

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    Opeler Lindsay
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    Wondering if a local shop can balance your GT driveshaft?

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    U joints

    The u joints are a pain in the a$$ to replace, P.J. has a thread on how to replace w/ welded end stoppers. The original u joints are hot glued into place, no c clip as a retainer, you have to burn them out. Find a driveline shop, and they can balance the shaft, but they might have to make a holder for it, More $$$. I did mine about 4 yrs ago and used locktite 5 min. epoxy, that has a small self mixing tip, that can be put into the fill hole. The shop might be able to do a custom set up for you, u joints and balancing

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    Check your U joints to be sure they are good and smooth, be careful that you don't overtighten the U bolts. If they are too tight it can bend the bearing cups and cause a vibration, also check your pinion angle. I have never seen an Opel yet that had a correct angle from the factory. Replacing the carrier rubber can make a change in the pinion angle from what it was with the old one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by heliman View Post
    Check your U joints to be sure they are good and smooth, be careful that you don't overtighten the U bolts. If they are too tight it can bend the bearing cups and cause a vibration, also check your pinion angle. I have never seen an Opel yet that had a correct angle from the factory. Replacing the carrier rubber can make a change in the pinion angle from what it was with the old one.
    How do you adjust the pinion angle? Via the front spacer washers where the center donut assembly mounts to the body?

    Better yet, how do you measure it and what should it be?
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    Still got this problem and would like to get to the bottom of it. Ever since I replaced the torque-tube donut I've got a drive-line vibration. Turning the drive shaft 180 degrees from where it was before made it better, but it's still not right.

    I marked the orientation of the front drive shaft before I tore into it, but not the pinion shaft (inside the torque tube). Not even sure how you'd be able to do that as everything is hidden from view inside the tube.

    Still not sure how you adjust the pinion angle, so if anyone can shed some light on that I'd sure appreciate it. I have tried loosening the center donut assembly and making sure it is centered in the tunnel before I tighten it back down, but not sure this is the right way to go about it. It doesn't seem to make a difference in any case.

    Unless anyone has an idea of something I've overlooked, I'll just try replacing the U-joints and see if that helps. Funny that everything was fine before I replaced the torque tube donut though.
    Sunburst yellow 1970 GT, 2.0L w/ header, Weber 32/36 (so long Solex!), Pertronix, Sway Bars, BWA Sportstar wheels.

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    Opeler Steve Daniels is on a distinguished road Steve Daniels's Avatar
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    I have the same problem with my wifes red Gt. I used the heavy duty donut and have the vibration now. Turned the drive shaft 180 deg. made it better but still there.
    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Daniels View Post
    I have the same problem with my wifes red Gt. I used the heavy duty donut and have the vibration now. Turned the drive shaft 180 deg. made it better but still there.
    Steve
    I wonder if the heavy-duty donut is really the problem? Anyone else using the HD donut got this problem?
    Sunburst yellow 1970 GT, 2.0L w/ header, Weber 32/36 (so long Solex!), Pertronix, Sway Bars, BWA Sportstar wheels.

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    FWIW... My son did the donut on his GT (I think it was the HD one) and had the vbration as well. He said it was BAD bad.
    Rotated the U-joint made it a little better but not right. He removed the yoke from the pinion shaft, rotated it 90 degrees, and it's smooth again.

    This thread was the inspiration for the "fix". We figured the worst thing he'd have to do would be to move the yoke one tooth at a time but the 90 degrees was the trick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by First opel 1981 View Post
    FWIW... My son did the donut on his GT (I think it was the HD one) and had the vbration as well. He said it was BAD bad.
    Rotated the U-joint made it a little better but not right. He removed the yoke from the pinion shaft, rotated it 90 degrees, and it's smooth again.

    This thread was the inspiration for the "fix". We figured the worst thing he'd have to do would be to move the yoke one tooth at a time but the 90 degrees was the trick.
    Great info, thanks!! Were you able to do that with the torque tube and donut assembly still in the car? I seem to remember that getting that yoke off the shaft was not easy.
    Sunburst yellow 1970 GT, 2.0L w/ header, Weber 32/36 (so long Solex!), Pertronix, Sway Bars, BWA Sportstar wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy7575 View Post
    Great info, thanks!! Were you able to do that with the torque tube and donut assembly still in the car? I seem to remember that getting that yoke off the shaft was not easy.
    The yoke was easy to remove from his car. And, you don't have to do anything to the donut. Just remove the rear of the driveshaft, remove the giant nut, pull the yoke off, rotate it 90 degrees, reassemble.

    I think we tried three configurations and it took about an hour.
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    Quote Originally Posted by First opel 1981 View Post
    The yoke was easy to remove from his car. And, you don't have to do anything to the donut. Just remove the rear of the driveshaft, remove the giant nut, pull the yoke off, rotate it 90 degrees, reassemble.

    I think we tried three configurations and it took about an hour.
    Awesome! I guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow.

    Do you really mean 90 degrees, or 180? Of course, it might not be the same on my car, but I want to try what you did first.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy7575 View Post
    I wonder if the heavy-duty donut is really the problem? Anyone else using the HD donut got this problem?
    I do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy7575 View Post
    Unless anyone has an idea of something I've overlooked, I'll just try replacing the U-joints and see if that helps. Funny that everything was fine before I replaced the torque tube donut though.
    There are two large spacer (shims) between the donut supporting bracket and the car body (floor). They are often missed but are important to properly line-up the drive shaft.
    Check that they are there.

    Tip: Replace 2 bracket 15mm bolts with 10x50mm s/s studs. That will make reinstallation of the bracket way easier and will prevent striping the thread of the nuts welded on the car body. Use some threadlock to keep the studs from turning.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy7575 View Post
    Awesome! I guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow.

    Do you really mean 90 degrees, or 180? Of course, it might not be the same on my car, but I want to try what you did first.
    Yes. I mean 90 degrees.

    THe U joint can only be oriented in 180 degree increments so I figured that if neither one of those orientations worked then you have to think outside the 180 degrees. How far out can you think than 90?

    But there are about 20 (or however many splines) different orientations you can try. Try 90 first.
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    I'm running the HD donut tube from OGTS, and glad to say no problems, I had to even install a different drive shaft , due to the shop had lost the end caps off of the newly installed u-joints in the driveshaft that I took them to balance :banghead::banghead: got it back 3 mo. later, with smaller caps, but at least they were able to balance it, and didn't charge me a thing. Plus I have an extra set of caps , but I wasn't going to tell them that

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    Quote Originally Posted by First opel 1981 View Post
    Yes. I mean 90 degrees.

    THe U joint can only be oriented in 180 degree increments so I figured that if neither one of those orientations worked then you have to think outside the 180 degrees. How far out can you think than 90?

    But there are about 20 (or however many splines) different orientations you can try. Try 90 first.
    Makes sense. I'm excited to have something new to try. This has been eating at me for a few months now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy7575 View Post
    I wonder if the heavy-duty donut is really the problem? Anyone else using the HD donut got this problem?
    Heavy duty donut will not cause the vibration. It will only transfer more of the existing vibration to the body as it is harder than standard donut.
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    First Opel's suggestion seems to have been the fix. It's not perfect, but it's the best it's been. Without trying each and every spline on the shaft (which means removing the yoke every time) it's going to have to do. It probably wasn't Lexus smooth to start with anyway.

    I tried moving the yoke 90 degrees first, which made it worse, then went another 45 degrees, which made an improvement. Each time I moved the yoke I would also try flipping the drive shaft 180 to see if one way was better than the other.

    Thanks to F.O. for the tip!
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