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single piece drive shaft swap.

pcollins

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got a question i hope you all can help me out with. Specs for my ranger are: 1997 XLT 4x4. 4.0L V6, 5 speed M5OD.

I was wondering if there is any bolt on single piece driveshaft that would require no mods other than removing the carrier bearing support? I have a 2 piece now, and have an obnoxious clunking noise on most take offs, and changing directions (forward to reverse). i would like to eliminate the carrier bearing as the issue, i already replaced all the U joints.

Does anyone know what the clunking might be? i've heard of the slip yoke bind, but this seems to get worse the more stress thats put on the driveshaft (backing out of a sloped driveway vs flat for example). thanks for the help!
 


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Yellowsplash

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You need a driveshaft from a 98-00 truck. It will have the 2.5" bolt spacing flange on the transfer case side and the 3" spacing flange on the rear differential.
 

pcollins

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thanks for the info guys. i'll be making a junk yard run tomorrow or tuesday before work. should i worry about the whole hitting the gas tank skid plate issue? i don't offroad alot, a little around the farm but i never do any flexing. and is there really any noticeable difference in aluminum or steel?
 

Yellowsplash

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The steel driveshafts are the ones that are more commonly found with the correct 2.5" bolt spacing flange on the transfer case. Most of the aluminum driveshafts are found primarily in the 01+ trucks, which come with the 3" bolt spacing (the flange bolt spacing is the same on both sides of the driveshaft). This shaft won't bolt up without modification.

There are exceptions to this because of midyear changes and TSBs that replaced factory steel driveshafts with aluminum ones due to the clunk issues found in the slip yokes. Some of these had the correct flange on them and will bolt up.

You will have to physically examine the driveshaft before purchase to verify it has the correct flanges.

I also recommend sticking with the steel driveshaft as it is smaller in diameter and is less likely to rub. Your more likely to rub with the aluminum one (~3" vs.~4"). Either will be more prone to scrape the higher you lift your truck, as not only flex improves, but the position at which the driveshaft is located changes relative to the skidplate and positions it closer to a contact point that sticks out on the skidplate itself.

I can tell you that I have the steel driveshaft and did not have to trim the skidplate till I installed Skyjacker leafs with belltechs in the rear. Prior to that it never rubbed. So in other words, with less than 4" lift, you will have minimal, if any, trimming needed. Over 4-6" will require significant trimming. Having an aluminum shaft only makes this worse.
 
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pcollins

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Well, i'll never lift this truck. Its simply a daily driver/farm hauler. So i will have to take those measurements to the JY and match one up. It'd be nice to find an aluminum one, to get rid of the slip yoke bind...but if i'm going to have clearance issues....
 

Yellowsplash

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If you don't plan on lifting it, running the aluminum driveshaft shouldn't cause any rubbing at all, unless you've made some modifications. Remember, they come off of a stock ranger too.
 

pcollins

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Hmmm...good point. i guess i'll be running to the junkyard before work today.
 

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