I grew up around cars my entire life and could turn a wrench around the same time I learned to walk. As a result, I've learned a lot about car maintenance, repair, and mechanics. I also learned that a lot of people don't have that level of understanding, so I wanted to share my skills and my knowledge with others. I've created this site to help teach people how to maintain their own cars safely so that they don't risk disaster on the road. I hope the information here helps you to take better care of your car and maybe make fewer trips to the local auto repair shop.
If you own a 4-wheel drive vehicle that has a modified suspension system or lift kit on it, you may find that the drive shafts seem shorter now than they did before. They aren't but they might need to be altered or replaced if you are installing more than 6-inches of lift in the suspension. There are several reasons this may apply to your truck and different ways to deal with the issue.
Custom Drive shafts to Avoid Damage To The Truck
One of the biggest concerns when lifting a truck's suspension to high is the drive shafts. If the driveshaft is not right after the lift, it is possible for it to cause damage to the transfer case, the transmission, or the differentials. You may want to consider having the drive shafts modified by a qualified machine shop or replacing them with new drive shafts, custom-made for your truck or SUV. Custom drive shafts are a great option but you will need to carefully measure for them so speak with someone at the shop when they will be made and find out what measurements they need before you order the shafts.
One of the most common reasons that vibrations develop in the drive shafts after a lift is the steeper driveline angles that are a result of the differentials being further away from the running gear. Even if the driveshaft does still fit, the steeper angle that is produced can strain the u-joints and cause the shaft to bind when you are moving. The result is damage to the drive shaft, the transfer case, the differential, and other parts of the running gear.
Vibration and Wobble
You may find that your truck or SUV has developed a vibration of that the drive shaft appears to wobble under the truck. These are signs that the drive shaft needs to be dealt with. A vibration can travel through the transmission and into the engine, causing catastrophic damage if not dealt with. If you start to feel a vibration after installing a lift kit or other modification to the suspension, check the drive shafts and running gear right away. If you can't find the problem, take the truck to the shop and have it checked thoroughly.
Buying A Custom Drive Shaft
There are several well know driveshaft shops that will allow you to measure then order the driveshaft online or over the phone. They will ship you the custom drive shaft but be sure to check with them about returns or exchanges because custom built parts are often not returnable if you get the measurement wrong or it does not fit for some other reason. Remember the old adage, measure twice and cut once? It applies here in that you should measure for the new drive shaft, then recheck your measurements several times before placing the final order.
For more information, contact companies like Jons Shafts and Stuff.