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Drive Shaft Noises

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Drive Shaft Noises When  operating  a  vehicle  to  verify  a  complaint. keep in mind that other components could be at fault. A worn  wheel  bearing,  squeaking  spring,  defective  tire. transmission, or differential troubles could be at fault. You must use your knowledge of each system to detect which component is causing the trouble. Drive shaft noises are usually caused by worn U- joints,  slip  joint  wear,   or   a   faulty   center   support bearing. Drive shaft noises and possible causes are as follows: Grinding and squeaking from the drive shaft is frequently caused by worn universal joints. The joints become  dry,  causing  the  rollers  to  wear.  The unlubricated, damaged rollers then produce a grinding or squeaking sound, as they operate on the scored cap and cross surfaces. A clunking sound, when going from acceleration to deceleration or deceleration to acceleration, may be caused by slip yoke problems. The splines may be worn. The yoke transmission extension housing bushing may also be worn. This will let the yoke move up and down with changes in drive line torque. An excessively worn U-joint or differential problem can also cause a similar noise. A   whining   sound   from   the   drive   shaft   is sometimes  caused  by  a  dry,  worn  center  support bearing. Since this bearing makes complete revolutions. it will make a different sound than a bad universal joint. A high pitched. more constant, whine will usually come from a faulty center support bearing. Any other abnormal sound should be traced using your knowledge of mechanics. a stethoscope, and the vehicles service manual troubleshooting chart. Drive Shaft Inspection To inspect the drive shaft for wear or damage, raise the  vehicle  and  place  it  on  jack  stands.  Look  for undercoating  or  mud  on  the  drive  shaft.  Check  for missing  balance  weights,  cracked  welds,  and  other drive shaft problems. To check for working U-joints, wiggle and rotate each U-joint back and forth. Watch the universal joint carefully. Try to detect any play between the cross and the yoke. If the cross moves inside the yoke, the U-joint is worn and needs to be replaced. Also, wiggle the slip yoke up and down. If it moves in  the  transmission  bushing  excessively,  either  the 5-8 yoke or the bushing is worn. Inspect the rear yoke bolts for tightness. Make sure the rear motor mount is NOT broken.   Look   at   any   condition   that   can   upset   the operation of the drive shaft. If after a thorough check of the drive shaft you fail to  determine  the  problem,  notify  the  shop  supervisor. The drive shaft may require detailed measuring (drive shaft runout and drive shaft angle) or have its balance checked. Universal Joint Service The   universal   joints   on   many   automotive vehicles   are   factory   lubricated.   However,   construc- tion   equipment   have   universal   joints   that   have lubrication  fittings  that  should  be  lubricated  at regular   intervals. Service   to   universal   joints   that   are   factory lubricated  is  limited  to  replacement  when  signs  of excessive   wear   are   present.   The   universal   joints provided  with  lubrication  fittings  are  only  lubricated with a hand operated low-pressure grease guns. Use of a   high-pressure   grease   gun   will   damage   the   seals, resulting in early failure of the universal joint. Another area to be concerned with when servicing the universal joints is the slip yoke (joint). Slip yokes may be lubricated from the transmission or lubricated through a lubrication fitting. NOTE Always consult the manufacturer’s service manual  for  lubrication  intervals  and  proper lubricants to be used. A worn universal joint is the most common drive line  problem,  causing  squeaking,  grinding,  clunking, or clicking sounds. The grease inside the joint can dry out. The roller bearings will wear small indentations in the  cross.  When  the  bearings  try  to  roll  over  these dents,  a  loud  metal-on-metal  grinding  or  chirp  sound can result. Quite often, a worn U-joint is discovered when the transmission is placed in REVERSE. When the vehicle is backed up, the roller bearing is forced over the wear indentation against normal rotation. When this occurs, the  rollers  will  catch  on  the  sharp  edges  in  the  worn joint, causing even a louder sound. UNIVERSAL   JOINT   DISASSEMBLY.—The universal  joint  may  require  removal  and  disassembly to   enable   you   to   check   the   condition   of   the   joint



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