Has anyone broken a driveshaft? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Has anyone broken a driveshaft?

4pointslow

Explorer Torture Tester
Elite Explorer
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Gloucester City, NJ
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 2Dr,2,000 & 04 4dr xlt
I am looking into where the week point might be on second Gen explorer driveshafts. If anyone has heard of a broken driveshaft or joint please let me know. Pictures would be awesome too.

I am planning a driveshaft loop installation and want to install it at the most useful location.
 



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This happened to me several times on my 1988 van. The U joint near the differential starts to go, then you feel a lot of vibration, hear clicking noises, and feel like you were rear ended every time you tap the throttle pedal. A lot of the symptoms suddenly disappear when you let go of the throttle pedal, then come back as soon as you tap the pedal. Mount the driveshaft loop in the middle to catch it just in case the U joint breaks on either side. So far I've only seen the U joint break on the differential side.
 






I broke the spline sleeve. When I did my SOA, I didn't get a longer driveshaft. This caused the driveshaft to be pulled nearly out. Then I went 4wheeling in the snow and did a lot of snow bashing. The LSD in the rear was working overtime and giving me a lot of axle wrap, which twisted the axle down some and further pulling the driveshaft apart. I cracked the spline shaft just enough to allow it to get spit out without breaking any off. This picture shows about how much was engaged vs the new shaft with its increased travel:
e0fa89aa4faf97028d67eee531e588ce.jpg
 






Are you having any problems with the front driveshafts cv joint yet? I've been wondering how its holding up to your monster
 






driveshaft

Thanks guys for the input. This helps a lot.
I don't know if it will fit in the middle but I will try to see if it will. I was thinking about putting one at the front and one at the rear of the shaft if possible. I saw some that mount to the rear differential but they were not explorers. Maybe I can find one for the ford 8.8 rear that bolts to the differential housing.

I also found this picture below from this thread
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205363&page=4

ouch! This was not from a second gen, it was a front shaft for a first gen with a custom front rear. Guess it does not apply but the picture is cool.
 

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Are you having any problems with the front driveshafts cv joint yet? I've been wondering how its holding up to your monster
My front is from a Jeep Grand Cerokee because I swapped transfer cases. I just had it in at the driveshaft shop and they said the CV still looked good.
 






Front

Are you having any problems with the front driveshafts cv joint yet? I've been wondering how its holding up to your monster

No problems yet, I do have a right front differential seal that seeps. I replaced it twice using the factory ford installation tool and even did my 4 door explorer too and they both seep. I think the aftermarket seal doesn't meet the specs of the OEM one. For now I just clean it off once a year.

I contribute the lack of broken axles or shafts to the fact that the power is being sent to 4 wheels instead of just two, otherwise something would have broke by now.
 






a loop for the front drive shaft, front side i dont think would be too hard. you can bolt it to the hanger in yellow

DSC01058_Medium_1.jpg


on the back side of the front shaft, you could drill holes in the frame and bolt the loop to it.
but the rear driveshaft will be the big head scratcher

DSC01063_Medium_.jpg


the only thing i can think of is maybe drill holes on the one side that didnt have them there from factory, make extensions going past the u joint and welding a loop onto it. the nice thing about that would be it would float with the diff when ever it moves (like they do for monster trucks), but i dont know if that will be strong enough.

the real hard one is the front side of the rear drive shaft

DSC01061_Medium_.jpg


the damn gas tank is in the way on one side, then the exhaust is on the other side.
but even more of a challenge is guys like myself who are running a 4406 case

DSC01364_Medium_.jpg
 






NHRA regulations

Driveshaft loop required on all cars running
13.99 (*8.59) or quicker and utilizing slicks; except vehicles running 11.49 (*7.35) seconds or slower equipped with street tires.

I guess I will follow the regulation guidelines for the front, even though I am not using slicks. After all it is safety. Has to be within 6 inches of the U joint.
 

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NHRA requires it near the front so you do not become a pole vaulter when the universal joint fails. If the rear fails, it "may" drag on the ground but if the lopp is properly sized, it should not thrash around too much. Nothing wrong with looping both ends but you really do need a loop near the front.
 






I can't imagine it'd be that hard to build a loop attached to the axle where the 3rd shock bolts up.

The front is the problem, can you bolt the loop to the transmission itself and have it loop the drive shaft right behind the joint?
 






Front Loop

I have a transfercase behind the transmission, doesn't look like I could bolt to it.

I am thinking the 6 inch rule may not work for a driveshaft like mine. See picture. I don't think they took into consideration two piece driveshafts.
If I put it where they say it would protect in the case of a broken u joint but not if the slip joint broke. Maybe around the shaft where it gets thicker (about the 10 inch area) would work better for both types of failures.

What do you guys think?
 

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I have a transfercase behind the transmission, doesn't look like I could bolt to it.

I am thinking the 6 inch rule may not work for a driveshaft like mine. See picture. I don't think they took into consideration two piece driveshafts.
If I put it where they say it would protect in the case of a broken u joint but not if the slip joint broke. Maybe around the shaft where it gets thicker (about the 10 inch area) would work better for both types of failures.

What do you guys think?

Why not 2? One is the 4" and another at 12 or so
 






2 loops

That would probably be safer. The added weight would be a downside though.
And I still was thinking of adding a rear one, and then there is the front shaft....

Trying to get it to run in the 12's consistently, 12.9 when it is hot out and anything lower than that when it is cold out. Don't know how much more I can get from the engine, I guess that's why I am trying to lower the weight.

Sure would suck to have a driveshaft break without protection though.
 






Use aluminum and keep them as small/light as possible? Add a 90* bend on the edges if you can. I'm not sure what kind of tools you have access to, so maybe that's not a possibility.

I don't see a problem with the front, the front shaft doesn't move much since the front end is IFS. Run one loop off the transfer case just past the ujoint, and another loop off the differential just past the joint.
 






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So maybe too little too late but the day before this thread was started my transfer case rear bearing seized up and the tail of the transfer case snapped off resulting in catastrophic failure of the drive train. A drive line loop would have saved my truck. Everything forward of the rear axle has been destroyed. I have not had the time to get good under truck pics yet. When I got under the truck while on the tow truck, I found a flattened Cat, a punctured gas tank, a dent in the floor pan, a tear in one of the floor cross members, and obviously the broken transfer case. When I went to try to start the engine later that night, I found out that it also cracked the transmission bell housing. I hope it didn't destroy the engine too. When the drive line came loose it bounced off the pavement 3 times at 65 mph in the fast lane of the freeway. After the third bounce it caught asphalt and pole vaulted under the truck, busted off and rolled to the shoulder (but not before getting ran over rby a drunk woman in a mini cooper. The coupler flange that came out of the transfer case wanted attention of it's own so it decided to start a grass fire on the side of the highway. Bad day for me and to top it off, I was 40 miles from home and had no AAA.
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anybody know how to post images from Google drive?
 






Wow

Wow!
Where there any noises before it went boom?
How many miles?
Year make and model?

Glad you are OK, that is the important part.
Did the drunk lady get arrested?

Again, WOW!
 



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Wow!
Where there any noises before it went boom?
How many miles?
Year make and model?

Glad you are OK, that is the important part.
Did the drunk lady get arrested?

Again, WOW!

nope the drunk lady didn't get arrested because we were more concerned with getting the truck away from the fire so it didn't burn too. A guy in a 4runner towed me the 2 miles to the exit and I used the drunk's AAA to get towed home.

The only indication I had that it was going to go was the speedo stopped working about a mile before it blew, and immediately before, a very strong vibration. Then bang!

1997 Mountaineer with 131K miles. Still worth saving if I can get the parts cheap enough. So far I have a line on a tranny, front drive shaft and transfer case for $300, the wrecking yard wanted $250 for the xfer case alone. Skimming the interwebs for more deals.

I am happy that I didn't roll
 






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