TrailMaster '98 Explorer lift Driveshaft Problems | Page 2 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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TrailMaster '98 Explorer lift Driveshaft Problems


Is it me, or does anyone else see a problem with laying out over a grand for a suspension lift kit that has problems, only to have to turn around and spend even more money (sometimes to the same company you bought the lift from) in order to correct a problem that arose from installing THEIR kit!?! I seems like they get you coming and going!!

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That would be logical Mr. Spock.

Can't buy the lamp without a bulb!

Mr Spock

Originally posted by gage
That would be logical Mr. Spock.

Can't buy the lamp without a bulb!

Good one Gage!! Kinda like eating rice krispies without milk! You can do it, but it just ain't right! LOL!

Mr Spock says:
Ahem. "Live long and prosper!"

Or is it, "Live long and WHEEL?" I get those mixed up!

Gage, the setup is still the same. Very much like you described it. First, there is some sort of conical looking part that comes out of the transfer case (this is stock and it is held in by some sort of pin), then there is the adaptor I talked to you about, which is a metal disk that screws on to the previously mentioned part, and then the shaft attaches to this.

The rear part of the shaft has 2 "U" joints attached to each other with a "ball in the middle", I guess this is a "CV", then the long part of the shaft to a smaller part, that slips into itself, a U joint and into the front diffy.

For what I understand, you had this problem with the stock shaft, once you had one made you were fine. I never rode with my stock one after the lift. I had no shaft for about a month until I had one made; the one I have now, which I think it looks like yours??

I have to take some pictures and post them.

I did test drive it without the front shaft and the sound was about 95% gone. For some reason I could still hear it but very lightly, almost not there unless you knew to look for it, which of course I did. I don't know what bad gears are supposed to sound like, so I'd have no clue. Remember that I get this problem at about 70 MPH and above.

Thanks for your help.

Has anyone seen what the shaft trailmaster is offering looks like??


No on the trailmaster shaft! I would like to see it!

The 95% could be a set of Tight gears! Depending on who put them in. I have found that If you go to a person that is known for racing of any type they will configure that gears tighter. As they did in some of my mustangs. If you go to Ford then they want warranty and don't seam to care about any thing else.

Does it look like Djohnson's drawing?

Factory on a 98 will have a U-joint on the diff side a "SOLID" shaft no moving parts (no slip shaft). and then a solid looking hunk of aluminum that can turn form side to side. "No double U-joints with a ball in the middle.

See the "double cardan joint at the transfer case" that djohnson has at the very beginning of this post. If you do have something like this "IT WONT WORK" I have been there. sorry.

A CV joint is completely enclose and nothing should be seen by the eye. unless you have my old one!

Yes Gage, mine looks pretty much like the picture he has up there. What is it you have then? I tried looking at your drawing, and I can't really tell (I am less of an artist than you are)

I just got off the phone with the gears guy (Drivetrain Direct) and he says that by my description it sounds most likely like it is the shaft. He said gear noise would be much different. He said the shaft may be out of phase? (angles may be different at either end) The shaft guy says they are OK???

I think it most be a design problem on the shaft side, like you said, what I have does not work! What should I have? You are not using any of the stock parts right? You have a new shaft right?

Thanks for your help!!!

I just received a response from Trailmaster. I asked for specifics on their shaft, and they said they could not say much, but that it is a dual cardan shaft.


2 quick questions for those with Sports
1) Can you get underneath your tranny and push it up with your hand? Does it have play? Does it move?
2) If you have a new front shaft, does the output part of the transfer case (where that 6 bolt part is) move in and out about 1/4"?

Gage, does your shaft look like this?

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That is the double cardan CV shaft. From what I and some people I have been dealing with that won't work at all.

As far as"The shaft guy says they are OK" they might be on paper or a Chevy or whatever but not here.

What you should have is a factory replacement part that has had the shaft lengthened 1-1.5"

Yes all my parts are right off an explorer (reconditioned/NOS/retooled) But the shaft is longer by 1"

Shaft out of phase? I suppose it is possible but the shaft is NOT BALANCED ON THE TRANFERCASE AND DIFF. So what phase is left to be out of?
See this about phase
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I will check on the trany movement I would hope not though it should be fairly solid. it will have some flex for the motor flex and tork.

The tranfercase mount no it does not move at all exp in a circle of course.

the only thing on a stock shaft that can move at all is the U-joint and the CV joint.

The U-joint joint is fixed it can change angle and nothing else.

The CV can change the angle and the length of the shaft but when we added the lift it exceeds the length we need to compensate for angle.

No my shaft does not look like that at all.

Nice pic though.

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Top page third from top on pic is a CV joint style on both ends they also talk about phasing on other problems.
This is Tom Woods new link

here is a great drawing of what I was trying to show with my water colors
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at the bottom you will see the guts of the CV joint and what it looks like at the top. The gear at the bottom left is the gear that has the c-clip to hold it on the shaft. Consider the spline that you see in the top two left pics as the shaft.

that is a CV joint it can slide in and out and rotate at an angle.

I also found this link.Dead Link Removed

Dude, that makes me sick. You are telling me all you did was buy an adaptor and you kept your stock shaft? I paid $400 for this POS shaft and they convinced me to not take home the old one because it was useless!!!!

Now I'm pissed.

How much was that piece you bought?

And where did you get it?



Hold on!

It is a stock shaft but 1" longer. My CV joint is stock form along with the UV joint.

"You are telling me all you did was buy an adaptor and you kept your stock shaft? I paid $400 for this POS shaft and they convinced me to not take home the old one because it was useless!!!!"

No new adaptor other than a retooled stock CV joint and 1" length on the shaft.

Greg @ Clutch & U-Joint/Proven Force
7474 Co Rd 81 N BRKLYN PK MN 55428-1229

(763) 425-7474

The install was great. I had more than enough room to make things work. Give Greg a call he can tell you what they found out about my shaft. they where on the phone with ford and a lot of others trying to find a solution.

Sorry no pics yet I will do it soon.

I'm sorry man! But it is just a STOCK shaft and parts minus a longer drive shaft.


Ok Kids here they are!


This pic shows the bearings and the retainer not installed. notice the gear chips that are missing!


If you follow the bearing groves you will find wear marks toward the back of the grove. if we lengthen the shaft it allows the bearing to ride towards the middle. You can also see dents from the bearing when this let loose.


SOA diff. angle


Fully assembled Stock CV joint transfercase view.


This is the front diff side of the CV. Keep in mind that it should have a rubber boot and a drive shaft coming out of this side.


This is a side view of the CV. Notice the dents from the bearings. also you can see where a hole was formed from one of the six screws the hold it on the transfercase.

Still Dealing with this!


What did you end up doing?


I have began to have some issues as well. I don't have vibrations or anything like that but i do get a click every onc e in a while. I assume it is from the UV joint.

You are still having the other issues Felsmann? Vibrations and such?

I am working on calling Superlift to see if they would sell just the front diff mount for my "X". If not i will have to come up with something else.

But for $700.00 i can live with a UV replacment once a year!!

Yep, still dealing with it.

Make sure the clicking you are hearing is not the rear shaft flange. I guess there was a TSB on this and they have a new part for it (Ford) At least on '97.

We'll see what cooks up!