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Resistance is futile
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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone ever had the center joint go bad on a halfshaft? I've had a vibration for awhile and alignments, balances, rotations, and different tires never effected it. I put the left front on a jackstand and put it in drive with the wheel off. I notice as the hub is spinning that there is a subtle clunkclunkclunk sound. I couldn't see any 'wobbling' to speak of until I looked at the middle of the halfshaft. About 1/2 way between the two CV joints there is a little boot that is covering some sort of joint. Overall, only about 1/2 again as big as the shaft itself. So I shut off the car and grabbed the shaft at that joint and yank it up and down really hard, and I can feel clunking slop in there.
So I have a new shaft on order, but I was wondering - what the hell is that joint for? It can't be intended to bend there, so what is it for? I've already had to replace the wheel bearing on that hub, which could in part be due to the added stress of a flopping halfshaft. I only hope the bearing in the transaxle isn't suffering the same fate!
Also, should I put in a new trans seal when I swap the shaft?

Thanks,
KD
 

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My friend's Prelude had the same problem last week. CV's were fine, but the axle was causing a vibration, that finally got so bad to warrant 2 new axles.

Can you take a picture of the exact area you're talking about? I'm having a hard time figuring it out in my head. But I will take a look at my car when I get home. It's still up on jacks, so I can get a good look.
 

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Resistance is futile
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Discussion Starter #4
A halfshaft attached to the subframe? That seems odd. I mean, one end has to move with the trans, and the other with the hub/strut. On my dodge the passenger side was attached in the middle to the engine block with a bearing because it was alot longer.
This is the driver side shaft. I can see the entire shaft from trans to hub (not that that is very far).
It gets more convoluted - I went to AutoZone to pick it (for a 97)up and it didn't have this center 'joint. I have a 97.5. He looks up 98 and the part number is different, and they don't have one in stock for me to look at. Here's mine looking into the wheel well from the front, weird joint thing highlighted by red square.
http://home.insightbb.com/~kieran.dill/DCP_0780.jpg

On a side note, anyone have/know someone with a late-80s to around 90 Nissan pickup? I'm thinking of one for a second vehicle/beater and wondered how they hold up.
 

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Resistance is futile
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Discussion Starter #6
Peterson said:
That's wierd.


I'm gonna ask the guys at the dealerhsip about that....

Only because you're such a sweet girl, I ran out to the gayrage and snapped a pic.

Thanks. The guy at Autozone suggested I ask a dealer about whether mine is the same as a 97 or 98. Or neither.

The one at Autozone for a 97 looked like yours - straight from one CV joint to the other.

That I am a sweet girl should come as some news to my ex-wife...
 

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Resistance is futile
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Discussion Starter #8
Peterson said:
Maybe they new you old shits needed some sort of damping....You tend to shake a bit with age.
:D
Hey - maybe it ISN'T the car that's vibrating...

A guy at work thought maybe there was something like a spline joint under that boot to allow the shaft to 'telescope' as the suspension travels. Guess I'll see once I find a replacement.
 

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missing El Polo Loco...
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kierandill said:
O, that thing..I never know what that's for either, but the rubber has been removed on all of the rebuilt halfshafts I got in the past, seems nothing more than a dampener. There's no telescoping mechanism beneath it either (disected the old halfshaft before returning it as a core), just solid steel rod. All the needed telescoping job is done by the CV-joints.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I went to Pep Boys and they didn't have anything in stock. I did notice that the Haynes manual shows these in photos on 10-6 in the chapter about control arms, but in the chapter about the halfshafts, it's just barely visible in one pic on 8-14, and they never mention it in the text.

So Ashura- you're saying this amounts to essentially like a harmonic balancer for the shaft? Then maybe the 97 shaft at Autozone is the right one for my car after all...

edit
I jacked it up and yanked around on the shaft some more and I now can tell that:
- The little thing in the middle isn't a boot, it is solid rubber clamped on there
- The slop on my shaft (!?) is in the inner CV joint.
 

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missing El Polo Loco...
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^good to hear you found the real culprit. I guess since that halfshaft is so long, Nissan decided to put in a harmonic balancer, just to reduce the wobble associated with extra-long parts. I never dared to open the rebuilt unit I got, but I think it's as balanced as it gets from the rebuilder.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Went back to Autozone and got the 97 shaft. Fits perfectly. Unfortunately, after 5" of snow and bad roads, a meaningful test drive wasn't possible.
 

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my old driver side axle used to (can't remember about the passenger side) but the rebuilt one i got didn't have a rubber thing on it...at first i thought they gave me the wrong one but it was correct
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ASHURA said:
less rotating weight = more hp right? like how much does that worth? J/P :p
:D
Maybe I can sell a "Drivetrain Upgrade Kit" on Ebay for $30 -
"Makes 20 HP in independent testing"
 
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