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Thread: Ham's '48 - Driveline Question

  1. #1
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Ham's '48 - Driveline Question

    Projects never seem to have a definite end. H’ep me, y’all!

    The 1948 2WD Willys-Overland Jeep trucks had a two-piece driveshaft. There is a support and bearing at just about the front end of the bed, with a short shaft from the transmission to that point and a longer shaft back to the differential.

    The universal joints on that shaft are a ball and roller joint. I’ve found out that these style joints were used on 1934 Chryslers – and maybe somewhere else – but I don’t know of any other applications. These joints are covered by a boot or bellows kind of like modern CV joints. There are a total of four joints and four boots.

    The problem is availability of parts. I have seen no place to get pieces and parts for the u-joints. A second problem is the boot/bellows that covers the joints. There is a boot available, but it is shown as a Jeepster or Station Wagon part, not a truck part. When I go to the truck parts manual, I can find a part number for the proper boot – but I have not found that part after a lot of eBay and Google searches. I have this feeling that it is non-obtainium. I have gone through two sets of the Jeepster boots and they split and disintegrate pretty quickly – leaving the joint open to dirt and crud – not a good recipe for long life. I don’t know if I have bad boots (old, dried out stock) or if I am misapplying the part.

    I am considering the option of going over to the local driveline place (which does fabricate drivelines for Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs – that’s an advantage to be living close to Auburn, IN) to investigate having them make a custom one-piece driveshaft with Cleveland or Spicer joints.

    Has anyone ever looked into this sort of project? What are the things I’m not thinking about and what questions do I need to ask?
    Last edited by LarrBeard; 05-03-2019 at 11:31 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Being that your rig is a parade and show truck, the question is what would you like to have for a final product. Do you want to keep with the two piece with the carrier bearing, or convert to a single piece? How original in appearance do you want to keep it? A single piece drive shaft will drastically cut down in maintenance and replacement parts. If you chose to keep with the two piece design, I would look into having the drive shafts made to incorporate easily accessible parts, i.e. a carrier bearing that would be for a Chevy or Ford 2WD pickup. You can have your original shafts modified, but your best route would be to have a custom one made. The shop that you listed can better serve you some options on what works best in a given span.

    I used to make a lot of my own drive shafts due to having access to a lathe. I would search the bone yards for late '60s-'70s Chrysler Imperial drive shafts. They were equipped with CV joints at either end, so they wouldn't break even if the pinion angle was buried in the negative. Most of the time, the shafts needed to be cut down to fit in a shorter wheelbase New Yorker. With the lathe, You cut out the weld that secured the yoke plug in the end of the shaft. Then you would mark your length out, and cut off the shaft to your new length in the lathe. This helped to keep everything square. After tamping in the yoke, you can check the run out while it is chucked up as well. When everything is square, you could take the tool bar and use it for a rest for the MIG gun. Turn the lathe down to the lowest speed and hold the welder steady as the piece rotates. Darned near looked factory. If it were a street vehicle, then I would take it and get it balanced, but if not let it go.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    That sounds like the original Spicer design. Does it look like a Model A U-Joint?

    I assume it will be OK? Or, does it need attention prior to the show? If you decide to go with a more modern assembly, I am sure I can help you when you get it to Toledo, If you want. I can help you lay out a new design. You can call call http://www.4xshaft.com/ with the layout and, I am sure he can make it for you. His price is tough to beat.

    Just for grins... my driveshaft credentials from 1993 Hahaha! https://spicerparts.com/en-emear/vid...erating-angles
    Last edited by bmorgil; 05-03-2019 at 09:07 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Great video bmorgil! '93 doesn't seem that long ago.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmwillys View Post
    Great video bmorgil! '93 doesn't seem that long ago.
    I know that guy has no hair now! What there is, is white or grey, I havn't decided. It's funny that here I find myself restoring driveshafts for my Willys, without the benefit of my former work! Man this stuff is overpriced!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    U-Joint and Driveshaft

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorgil View Post
    That sounds like the original Spicer design. Does it look like a Model A U-Joint?
    I don't have any problems other than the split out boots that cover the joint and it probably needs to be balanced. There is a vibration about 35 - 38 MPH. Here is what that joint looks like.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Driveshaft Video

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorgil View Post
    . Just for grins... my driveshaft credentials from 1993 Hahaha!
    Wow - you were a silver tongued devil back then. Very smooth.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    That is the same style of joint that goes on the PTO shaft. Interesting. Learn something new every day.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    That is identical to the military style joint that was on the early WWII light vehicles. I wonder if it can be found in some military cataloging. Any type of light vehicle might have that type. It is unique in that it is a slip member as well as angle transfer joint. It is kind of cool.

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