The cardan shaft that we will be rebuilding in this article is a near-constant velocity joint. It is often referred to simply as a CV joint. It is comprised of two u-joints and a centering assembly that enables us to use our drive shafts at the angles necessary for the smooth and proper operation of lifted vehicles.
A more conventional two joint driveshaft found on many stock vehicles is limited by the amount of movement a single u-joint allows. The double cardan joint driveshaft is going to be the most common type of driveshaft you will find on lifted vehicles and even if you have a conventional driveshaft this guide will help you rebuild that as well since it is a simpler assembly.
There are a million reasons you should want to know how to rebuild a driveshaft. Maybe you’ve been driving around and it sounds like there’s a nest of angry birds chirping from beneath your vehicle, maybe you’ve started noticing a vibration from the driveline, or maybe you even pulled an old, nasty driveshaft from a junkyard and want to have a good trail spare.
Whatever your reason, we always encourage increasing your knowledge base when it comes to vehicle components, especially those that will inevitably wear out or are prone to failure.
We recommend you gain some understanding of one of the most common joints found on solid axle off-road vehicles, the universal joint, or u-joint for short.
Overall rebuilding a double cardan driveshaft is a simple task that most people can do and only requires about $100 in parts, some basic tools, a few hours of your time, and lots of patience.
The amount of time and patience this project requires is highly dependent on the amount of rust and corrosion the driveshaft has but on average I’ve found that it takes about three hours from start to finish.
Install driveshaft on the axle side followed by the transfer case side. While the reference markings are not as vital here to balancing and vibration as when assembling the driveshaft itself, it’s far too simple of a step not to take in order to reduce the risk of a new vibration.
If this driveshaft has never been on the vehicle then don’t worry about it, as long as the driveshaft has been balanced you should be good. If the driveshaft has not been balanced and you need to use this driveshaft on your vehicle we recommend it only be used at low speeds.
It should be noted that there are additional ways to disassemble and reassemble a driveshaft or u-joints other than using a u-joint tool. We do plan on adding those guides in the future so keep an eye on our page for more updates.
If you think we missed anything or have any neat tips and tricks we should include please comment them below or feel free to email us. We are always learning here at 4WAAM and love getting your feedback.