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Old 11-28-2012, 11:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Driveshaft bind with 2" lift

Right before I went hunting, I put a 2" lift and new tires (25" up front and 26" in the rear) on my 300FW, because I need better ground clearance on the old logging roads we use to move around where we hunt. Driving around for a week hunting, I noticed some nasty vibrations in 4th gear, and even worse vibrations in 5th. Turned out to be pretty severe driveshaft bind due to the lift.

With all the wheels off the ground and the rear wheels removed, with the lift on, I'm not getting any vibrations in any gear. Throw either the stock or the new wheels and tires on, and there's a very noticeable "jerk" on each wheel revolution in any gear. Driving around, it's only observable in 4th and 5th gear.

I haven't read about anyone having problems like this after a 2" lift, so I'm wondering if I'm seeing more a symptom of a bad u-joint (OEM from 1995) causing the bind, or if it's simply too much driveline angle with the lift. If it's the lift, I can live without it (although I'd prefer to keep it if I can - makes rutted and overgrown logging roads a lot more navigable); if it's the u-joint, I can get the tool and the part and replace it myself.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A 2" lift shouldn't bind anything on a 300. I would take a better look at the u-joint and also check all your bearings and seels in the rear end because they tend to go out.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Aside from pulling the swing arm, is there any way to really inspect the u-joint? I pulled the bands off the little rubber coupler between the output shaft and the swing arm, but even with the boot pulled as far forward as I could, it's hard to really see much on the u-joint.

Bearings and seals are on the list for the winter tear-down, but I'd like to be able to get the bind taken care of before hunting season finishes up if I can. I've seen a combination 17mm hex/lock nut remover on ebay for the swing arm bolts; is there a better way to remove the weird lock nut on the swing arm (I've tried a punch and hammer already, no luck), or should I just grab that tool?

I should note I'm getting a decent amount of drivetrain slack, too - cruising in 4th or 5th before the lift, and then blipping the throttle would give me a decent "clack" as all the slack got taken up; that's what made me suspect a bad u-joint in the first place.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The only way I know to check the u joint is to pull the swing arm I had a popping noise coming from ET come to find out I had a bad swing arm bearings that was allowing the driveshaft yoke to hit the tube
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I had zero vibrations with my 2 inch lift. I had installed a new rear DS u-joint and fresh bearings in the rear. My brake side bearing and swing arm bearings were in good shape so they weren't replaced. I'd say you have an issue with the u-joint (likely) or rear end bearings. I purchased the swing arm tools and they made swing arm removal a breeze. I suggest you do the same.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A 2" lift on a 300 will NOT cause any vibrations,or u joint problems..I'd be checking the rear diffs ring,and pinion,bearings,rear axle splines,rear hub splines,and for proper torque on the castle nuts,and then if iit isn;t any of them,I'd check the t case,and t case shaft drive shaft...
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll be picking up the hex/lock nut tool today, and once it's in I'll start pulling things apart. I didn't notice any problems with the swing-arm bearings just moving things by hand, but I'll definitely check them out once I pull the swing arm off. I'll check the pinion bearing too, and see if there's any problem there.

I didn't have any problems at all at stock height with the original wheels, or stock height with the new wheels and tires, so I'm hoping it's something as simple as a bad u-joint, rather than a whole host of bearings in the rear being bad.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That points to u-joint in my mind because it's height related.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The u joint may have been dry prior to the lift,as well as the pinion bearings on their way out,or axle splines,or any one of a number of problems,and the lift simply aggravated the previous issue to where it was more noticeable...17 years of riding,water,usage can take a toll on parts over that amount of time...
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Element View Post

I didn't have any problems at all at stock height with the original wheels, or stock height with the new wheels and tires, so I'm hoping it's something as simple as a bad u-joint, rather than a whole host of bearings in the rear being bad.
It's not a bearing issue since you have isolated the problem and its height related.
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