If your vehicle has a mixed engine and transmission combination, you might have to shorten the driveshaft.
The driveshaft acts as a bridge between the transmission and the power generated by the engine.
It effectively transfers it to the wheels and ensures they move at a particular rpm.
The speed aligns with the measure of the power in the engine and the speed of the overall car.
If the wheels do not move according to the engine signals, then modifying the drive shaft can help you.
Moreover, if the driveshaft is too long, you may experience some difficulty in the movement of the wheels and the vehicle.
Shortening The Driveshaft: Process
Following are the steps you should follow to shorten the driveshaft.
Measuring The Driveshaft
Calculating the total length of the driveshaft serves as a baseline step to shortening it.
It allows you to assess the total area you need to cut for the driveshaft to fit perfectly.
It would help if you calculated the length and diameter of the output transmission shaft. Along with that, measuring the yolk diameter is also helpful.
You can use specific markers to point out each region.
Making the marks on the drive shaft is also necessary as it will provide you with a generic idea required to shorten the driveshaft.
Moreover, these help you maintain the cutting angle and ensure that you do not upset the position of yolks.
You must draw a straight line along the length of the shaft. Once you secure the shaft for cutting, you can follow these lines as a guide to the frontal portion of the shaft.
Use it at the face angle and then proceed with the next step.
Moreover, it would be best if you also formed short marks that sanction the driveshaft area that you need to cut.
It usually centers around 2 or 3 inches; however, it may vary according to your requirements.
The shaft model that fits your car helps you determine the precise dimensions of the part you need to cut.
Studying The Driveshaft
To shorten the driveshaft, you need to identify the length and recognize different parts. When you retrieve the driveshaft from the car, it consists of u-joints only.
The other surrounding parts, including the gear shaft and transmission, are removed. U-joints are present at either the ends or the middle.
You can find these types of shafts in almost all vehicles. Usually, three types of drive shafts may vary according to your vehicle model.
Each uses the same typical model; however, they have variable strengths.
Therefore, you might have to change your cutting techniques accordingly to shorten the driveshaft.
Remove The U-Joint Caps
U-joint can be present on each of the rear ends of the shaft. These shafts may have an attachment with the yolk.
You must remove the joints on the ends to completely access and shorten the driveshaft.
These are pretty heavy and may often affect your measurement of the shaft and the cutting process.
Therefore, you have to remove the needle-nose holding u-joint to the yolk. Once you detach them, you can move on to a u-joint tightly held by the cap.
There is often a heavy bolt that keeps these parts in place.
In some cases, it may be rusted; therefore, you cannot rely on the specific tools or techniques to detach it.
The grip is quite firm, and you may need force and powerful tools. In most cases, people opt for a hammer to weaken the link between the two components.
However, it can be pretty damaging to the u-joint.
Moreover, there is a high chance that you might end up hitting the shaft while removing the cap.
Therefore, you must avoid such a way to retain the shaft’s structural integrity. Once you remove the screw, you can quickly separate the cap and shorten the driveshaft.
Securing The Shaft
To efficiently shorten the driveshaft, you need to place it on a holder that helps you locate the cutting markers.
It is one way to ensure that you do not make any mistakes during the process.
Moreover, you can efficiently run the saw blade on the shaft and modify it with these steps. You can create these holders by welding certain iron pieces on the table.
You can also use hydraulic fits to secure the ends of the shaft. You can also use hydraulic fits to secure the ends of the shaft.
You can weld these with the holders on the table and secure the shaft.
Moreover, you can also acquire a built-in shaft holder from the market and attach your piece with it. It also helps you analyze the structure of the shaft.
You can assess the roundness and smoothness of the shaft along with that you can also determine how straight the entire structure is.
Cutting The Shaft
Once you level the shaft with the saw blade, you can proceed to shorten the driveshaft.
You must thoroughly assess the region where you want to have the modifications. It would be best if you prevented cutting from the center.
Moreover, you should also avoid cutting the shaft from the points closer to the yolk.
These parts are where the weights are attached, and making the cuts there can ruin the overall integrity of the shaft.
Once you are sure about these details, run the saw blade once or twice to ensure that the cuts are uniform.
Weld The Parts
Once you cut the shaft, you need to weld the yolk region to the rest of the body. It would be best if you thoroughly cleaned the metal.
You can use the grinding wheel to smooth out the ends of the yolk and ensure that both parts of the drive shaft fit each other before welding.
Afterward, you can start welding the two components. These will serve as guides while welding from two or three points around the junction area.
Afterward, you can weld along the entire region and form a reliable reattachment.
Tools You Will Need
Following are some of the tools that you need to shorten the driveshaft.
These can effectively be from the needle noose from the u-joint cap.
It is one of the handiest tools for the process. It will create the air pressure to separate the screw from the u-joint cap.
It presses the bolt until it emerges from the rusty joint. You can then easily remove it.
Magnetic Ground Clamp Attachment
It is one of the tools that will help you during welding. It holds the entire shaft section in place and at an optimal angle while you weld the parts.
Point To Consider
When you shorten the driveshaft, it will act as a temporary solution.
There can be some balancing issues, and you might need to recalibrate the whole parts once you shorten the driveshaft.
Therefore, you might need to get a drive shaft of suitable dimensions from the market.
You do not have to be an expert in shortening a driveshaft at home. All you need is attention and an accurate assessment.
You must perform the proper measurements and make the cuts efficiently. Once you shorten the driveshaft, you can fix it to see if it works or not.
Patrick started his love affair with cars in his childhood. Over the years, he claims a sturdy hold on his driving skills, along with a thorough understanding of cars. We can expect some interesting, holistic, and pleasurable blogs with his flair for writing and his love for cars.
Being a car enthusiast, Patrick has experience comprising of two decades in which he has ridden some of the meanest and strongest machines in the automotive industry. His previous avatars include an automotive professional, photographer, and journalist, and you will certainly experience the roundness of experience in his piece on this site.
In his second decade of reviewing cars and analyzing tools, Patrick is all set to give you convincing, reliable, and the latest information regarding what’s happening in the automotive industry. Currently, he owns a BMW Z3 but cannot get his eyes off Aston Martin DB5. He is a car enthusiast; he loves cooking and listening to music, especially jazz. Here are some of the pieces written by our ace author.