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Old 01-09-2005, 11:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Driveshaft U-joints. How to tell if bad?

I get this grinding sound coming from the back when when I let off the gas in top gear. It happens exactly at the point when you let off the gas and have it coast in top gear. It happens at all speeds, but it's really noticeable on the freeway at 65mph+.

Would worn U-joints cause this? If so, is it possible to rebuild them? I never did U-joint work before.
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Old 01-09-2005, 11:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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u joints usually clunk when almost slowing to a stop then taking off again, but grinding noise you may want to check the fluid level in your rear end, ....but as far as ujoints u just buy new ones from the auto parts store
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Last and only time I have ever bought Toyota U-joints I bought them from Jess over at High angle driveline. I hear he gets them from the same place the toy dealer does but his price was cheaper than the stealer
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Old 01-10-2005, 03:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockComa
Last and only time I have ever bought Toyota U-joints I bought them from Jess over at High angle driveline. I hear he gets them from the same place the toy dealer does but his price was cheaper than the stealer
Really? I need to give him a call.
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Old 01-10-2005, 04:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i just replaced a u joint it was like 320 bucks for the parts. just looking at it you could tell it was gone, the whole thing was out of alignment. caused the whole truck to shake.
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Old 01-10-2005, 06:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I had the exact same problem. Some times it would do it worse than others and some times it would go away all together for a while. Always it was at speeds >40 mph and with coasting while in gear. I thought it was the center support bearing and repalced that. But, after reading all that I could on it on the net that sound, I believe is actually a worn or dry (lacking grease) u-joint To me I would have thought a u-joint that needed grease would make more of a chirping sound. The repair manual that I have actually says in the troubleshooting section that a "scraping" sound is indicative(sp?) of a worn u-joint. So about 3 or 4k miles ago, including two all day road trips, I greased all of my u-joints after the noise became prominet again. Since then no noise. I still suspect that one of my u-joints may have worn excessively during the time that it was dry. I think it is the cardigan (sp?) joint that is the problem. I would just go through and grease everything making sure you get to all of the recessed zirks as well. Let us know how this turns out because it seems to be a fairly common problem that seems to confuse a lot of people.
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Old 01-12-2005, 12:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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similar problem

Hey Guys I have the same problem, like you say cruising after 50,60<.

But couple of days ago, the problem reversed itself, and now I get a vibrating, shacking when I press the gas, and quiets down after let go of the gas.

I went to 3 different mechanics,
1st mechanic lubed up the driveshaft, but this didn't help.
2nd mechanic told me it was my front differential??

Finally the 3rd mechanic made some sense. After he lifted the 4runner, he inspected the shaft that ran from the front to the back wheels along the center of the car. He then told me that it is the Rear DriveShaft in my situtation. Said that it was loose, and was recently replaced (not me) and causing this shaking problem. So pretty much he said that it's the rear driveshaft with the u-joint.

He said I can only get dealer parts, because aftermarket is hard to get and will be crappy quality or fitment problems. Said it should run me about $400 for the entire front/back of the rear driveshaft.


Have you guys had any lucks repairing since seeing these problems, and does it sound right what the 3rd mechanic is telling me?
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Old 01-12-2005, 02:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Driveshafts U-joints. How to tell if bad?

I have the same problem, it started to occur after I replaced the rear leaf springs with OME springs. I get the grinding sound coming from the back when I let off the gas. If I maintain the speed there is no noise. It happens exactly at the point when I let off the gas and have it coast in top gear. It happens at speeds ober 40mph but the faster I'm going the louder it gets.

I took it to various shops and this is what has been done:
1. Balanced tires $90.00
2. Balanced Driveshaft checked U-Joints $65.00
3. One other place could not ID the noise but did charge me $25.00 to check it out.


One guy I called (recommended to me) that used to work for Toyota said that the problem was the steering dampner.

I'm thinking it could be a bearing problem in the differential??
I greased the U-Joints and made sure the driveshaft was secure. I also measured the angles of the T-Case pinion and the Diff pinion, they're within specs.

Let me know how and if you solve your problem.

Good Luck!!!
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Old 01-12-2005, 06:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcinque
I have the same problem, it started to occur after I replaced the rear leaf springs with OME springs. I get the grinding sound coming from the back when I let off the gas. If I maintain the speed there is no noise. It happens exactly at the point when I let off the gas and have it coast in top gear. It happens at speeds ober 40mph but the faster I'm going the louder it gets.

I took it to various shops and this is what has been done:
1. Balanced tires $90.00
2. Balanced Driveshaft checked U-Joints $65.00
3. One other place could not ID the noise but did charge me $25.00 to check it out.


One guy I called (recommended to me) that used to work for Toyota said that the problem was the steering dampner.

I'm thinking it could be a bearing problem in the differential??
I greased the U-Joints and made sure the driveshaft was secure. I also measured the angles of the T-Case pinion and the Diff pinion, they're within specs.

Let me know how and if you solve your problem.

Good Luck!!!
When you greased the driveshafts did you get to the small, sort of hidden zerks in the joint just aft of the center support bearing? That is if you have a center support bearing. The only times I got the noise to go away was briefly after replacing the support bearing (so I thought that I had fixed it until it returned about 1000k miles later) and now that I greased ALL of the zirks the noise has been gone for over 3k miles. I am thinking the noise went away the first time because I took the drive shaft off and moved around at angles greater than normal and maybe spread what little grease there was on the offending joint around a bit to quiet the noise.
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Old 01-12-2005, 07:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Rear driveshaft is gonna make some racket when you mess with the angle. Mine sounds like a water buffalo in heat at the moment from the vibration and the bad rear u-joint. Someone standing next to your rig as you start up can tell quick that you got a bad u-joint cause of the speed proportional racket it makes. If you are letting off the gas and there is racket, rear driveshaft vibration, if it is going away under acceleration.

I'm getting front and rear driveshaft work done next week...front 8" longer spline and lenghthen as necesary and rear is gonna get lenghthened, new u-joints in the rear and a cv joint up by the t-case. All that is only around $300 so all that dough you guys are spending on just rear d-shaft work sounds awful STEEP, especially just to replace a u-joint. DIY!

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Old 01-12-2005, 10:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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i replaced the rear u-joint in the tacoma not to long ago and it only cost me 24 dollars, i dont see how it could cost 320 to get it done....


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Old 01-12-2005, 10:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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its called the stealership!!!!
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Last I remember Jess at HA had the cv joint rebuild pieces or either it was the center support but he didn't have the rest of it b/c it was larger and no one had the parts except the dealer. Well you couldn't buy the parts you had to get the whole front half of the shaft. Only cost ya 800 bones
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Old 01-13-2005, 08:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Checking u-joints is really not all that difficult. In most cases, if they are in the early stages of failure, they will make a rythmic squeaking which is directly related to the speed of rotation. It is usually easier to hear if you can find a quiet area with a block wall you can drive along side of. A couple of shots of grease in the zerk fittings will usually quiet the noise, but if they have been running 'dry' for a while, the damage has already been done, and it is only a matter of time before they fail. If the needle bearings in the end caps have worn away, then you get the clunk/clang sound when shifting from forward to reverse, and you will get a vibration at higher speeds. This can usually be verified by jacking the vehicle up on stands so the wheels are off the ground. If you hold the drive shaft on either side of the u-joint and try to twist in opposite directions, you will usually feel the play ( if good there will be NO play). If there is any movement, the joint has to be replaced. It is usually recommended that all the joints in a driveshaft be replaced at the same time. If you replace the joints yourself, be sure to mark all the parts of the shaft so that they all go back together with the same orientation, otherwise you may have a balance problem which can cause an annoying vibration.
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Old 01-14-2005, 03:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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As mentioned if anyone has lifted their trucks the pinion tacase angles need to be fixed. It cause exactly the problems you have all mentioned for me and my buddy. Check the 4crawler site for that.

When i had the problem (86runner) i found I needed the double cardan joint driveshaft cause my angles were too great.

Some things i learned that might help everyone. When I pulled my old driveshaft I found that the staked nut on the t-case flanged was loose. That wasn't good.

I found that a double cardan driveshaft from a 1995-2000 regular cab tacoma fits a lifted first gen 4runner pretty nicely. Only thing i had to do was take a die grinder to the flange on the driveshaft at the cv end.

For the guys who are paying $300 for a u joint fix. I got a junkyard 2000 tacoma shaft off the net shipped for a $100 perfect condition. I also bought a 2000 4 runner shaft locally for $95 in good but slightly rusty condition. It might be easier to get a new shaft and swap it yourself for $100 then pay all the other bill you guys are mentioning. This only helps if it is something in your shaft and you get a good used shaft.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
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my drive shaft moves up and down on the very last ujoint, it moves atleast 2-3mm just for shaking it with my hand.... it rattles when i take off, and now it vibrates the whole truck and sounds like a big detroit diesel vibrating inside the cabin lol
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