Propeller Shaft - Constant Velocity Universal Joints repair

Had some weird vibration type / scraping noice from the rear axle. Replaced the wheel bearings last year but the sound still remained. Knew I had to replace the rear axle but had also discovered that the CV-joints in the propeller shaft did not operate as they should. (Was watching Jasons u-tube video)! 

According to our holy book (Shop Manual) the Constant Velocity Universal Joint are not serviced separately.

However there is a way to fix the vibration and that is to buy 403-01 Rockford Driveline - CV Ball Centering Kit. First I contacted Rockford DriveLine but at that time they did not have a internet shop that could accept payment using a credit-card/PayPal. Believe they have sorted it now. However I was able to buy the necessary 2x 403-01 Rockford Driveline - CV Ball Centering Kit via Ebay. Got the parts and waited for warmer weather.

Come spring and the car is up on jack stands and drive shaft removed.

Separated the shaft at the center bearing support bracket and started removing the original universal joints.

Used a sub-standard Chinese tool! (Note the crack). In the end I had a friend to use a hydraulic press to get the joints out.

CV Joints disassembled and new repair kit displayed.

Before cleaning the seat.

And after.

The original universal joints are secured by a nylon compound. That must be removed and is easiest done by pressing down the nylon through the holes. (Two on each side of the universal joint)

A good picture on the old universal joint with the compound nylon still in place.

Here I did measure the height of the old and new spring. Its not much difference and unfortunately I didn't have a gauge to test compression on the springs. 0,3 mm higher on the new spring doesn't look like much, so I was a bit worried.

The two original balls were in good condition so I didn't need to replace them (that's a tricky job involving a lathe and hydraulic press).

Everything cleaned and applied new grease and started to assemble the kit.

Using a tool to press down the parts.

CV repair kit fully installed.

Tested to see fitness.

Fitted the new universal joints (MOOG/PRECISION 234). Bought the type without grease nipples as I can't get to them anyways, due to the design of the car. Also benefiting from increased cross strength as grease channels are eliminated (MOOG statement).

When installing the replacement universal joints the original nylon compound is of course not available. However the copper washer will fit inside on every joint. It takes a lot of force to push in enough to fit the copper washer. But it will fit!

After installing the new Constant Velocity Universal Joints I tested the function as per Jasons video. It works perfectly and the joints have that "snap" that should remove vibrations. Still to refit the propeller shaft back in the car and test it all. But as I also replace the rear axle I will of course not be able to tell which one was failing. I do however think that failing CV-joints could cause damage to the rear axle (or opposite) so doing both at the same time makes sense. Also the cost of the of the 403-01 Rockford Driveline was minor so I don't see the reason not doing this job. As a side note; its even possible to buy the kit without the ball (403-01A).

Time used? Well a shop should be able to do the job in half a day as a hydraulic press is the key. I have used at least triple time. A friend finally brought the old CV joints to his work and used the 100 tons (overkill) hydraulic press there. I had tried with the vice but it wasn't strong enough. Refitting the new universal joints using the vice was acceptable. A press would help with that as well as there is not much room for the copper washers.

Finally the manual for the Constant Velocity Universal Joint Repair Kit.

If you have to do the full repair and also removing the ball.

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Anders

Love to know -- the results of your repair and if you sloved your vibration problem at the rear Of the car
Mostly interested in the driveshaft part of the repair as i think most rear driveline vibration is the cause of those rear U joints and the way they interact with each other
Many drivetrain shops have had there problems getting our driveshafts working correctly without vibration after many dollars spent by mamy owners
You could be on to a very important driveline repair with the info posted here

Enjoy

Outstanding detail!!  Great photos and "how to".

Thanks Anders!

Very useful info. Thanks!

Update.

Yes the vibration is now gone and the car drives very well. But as I also changed the rear axle I can't say for sure that the problem was with the propeller shaft. Sometimes it just is a combination of things and my car has now had the Hydra Matic overhauled, propeller shaft center bearing and C/V joints replaced and the rear axle replaced. All in all the drive train is now fully working and gives the ride the car deserves.

As the brakes, springs, shocks and all bushings also have been replaced the car is as good as it ever will get.

Did you replace the rear axle? Or did you have your original one worked on and repaired?

First I wanted to buy a good one from Jason, but shipping overseas was a killer. Got hold of a good axle from a us-car parts yard in Sweden.

Replaced the wheel bearings last year in my old axle but problem was deeper. So later on I will remove the axle shafts and bearings and then open up the differential housing and check the gears and bearings. Maybe I can re-build it and have a "new" rear axle on the shelf. If so I will make a new thread on that subject. But that will be far in the future.

This thread is only about repairing the constant velocity universal joints.

Anders

Real nice thread as it addresses a very serious issue with our cars
That of driveshaft vibration
Repairing the universal joints at the back of the drive shaft could be the solution to that issue in many cases
Nice repair work !

Enjoy

This was a very helpful post. My wife and I recently took an 850 mile trip in our 1963 Eldorado Biarritz and about half way through it, the driveline started groaning. I pulled the driveshaft out, disassembled it and found one bad universal joint and a bone dry, worn out ball stud. The information on machining the worn out ball was perfect! I did all the work myself, put it all back together with parts from Denny's driveshaft and it's silky smooth now.
Thank you for the information!!

https://classicbuicks.com/shop/chassis-parts/driveshaft-parts/e-dri...

These are CV joints for Buicks from our cars eras. They should be the same as what we need, or at least one of them. There should be others out there who supplies or make these things. hope this helps someone. Regards Clovis

  • I also had the vibration, found the trans mount collapsed and replaced it. Also had the shaft balanced. Car is now Cadillac smooth.

Fort Wayne Clutch and Driveline is the only place I've been able to find with the correct kit in stock. Dana/Spicer and Nepco no longer make this kit. None of the other suggested retailers have them in stock.

Clovis 

Do you have a part number for the double Carden CV joint at Fort Wayne Clutch ?

Love ——how you find a  difficult replacement part that will work in our year Cadillacs when  you apply yourself to getting that done 

A great gift  you have that benefits the entire community and keeps our year Cadillacs rolling 

Enjoy 

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