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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the spring I will be going one piece drive shaft to eliminate my driveline vibration, but cannot decide which option to go with.

Option one: order an aluminum shaft from one of the many places out there. I really like the axle exchange one, so it'd probably be that one. Costs $699.

option two: Local, highly reputed driveshaft shop offered to build me a shaft out of 3.5 inch chromoly steel, with standard U-joints (He'd convert the flange to older style), and insulation inside to help absorb vibration. Cost: $500

The atvantage I see to the aluminum is that I can just order it and put it in myself rather than having to leave the car at a shop. Also it is lighter, will never rust, and looks prettier. But aluminum shafts are larger diameter, therefore will have more rotating mass and more possibility of clearance problems. Also, there is always a chance of it needing to be rebalanced anyway.

Atvantage of the custom one is that it will be 100% perfectly balanced, and if I have a problem with it I can just go back to the shop and have them deal with it. Chromoly is stronger (though I don't think streanth will be an issue), and a smaller diameter so less rotating mass and less chance of clearance issues. It will still be significantly lighter than stock I'm sure. ALso, I have heard that chromoly is better at absorbing harmonics, but I am not sure if that is true. Also, obviously, it is cheaper. The disatvantages are that I will have to leave the car at a shop for a day or two, it's a bit heavier, and if the paint ever comes off it will rust. Plus, it will be less pretty but that doesn't really matter lol.

So, any opinions?
 

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Both seem kinda pricey

I had a custom build 60" aluminum 1 piece 4" built for my s-10 for $350 balanced and sent to me, able to put in myself. You should easily be able to measure what you need and have one sent to you, saving you time at a shop.... maybe shop around a little more?
 

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I like the cormo idea, sounds good to me. If you have a problem with it you can just bring it right back and have them fix it, thats worth something right there to me anyway:).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Both seem kinda pricey

I had a custom build 60" aluminum 1 piece 4" built for my s-10 for $350 balanced and sent to me, able to put in myself. You should easily be able to measure what you need and have one sent to you, saving you time at a shop.... maybe shop around a little more?
That's apples to oranges. AN S10 uses a standard slip-yoke stly front flange, and you are replacing an existing 1-piece steel shaft. That is a simple application, which is why it is cheap. An S197 has a flange on the transmission, so the slip spline is in the shaft, not the trans. That is a big part of what makes the shaft more expensive, because the new one has to have a slip spline welded into it, and flanges on both sides. Also, the S197 differential uses an 8-bolt high velocity CV joint, so the flange itself has to be replaced to use a normal u-joint shaft. That is another part of the price. The third part is that the measurements aren't quite as simple when making a conversion shaft like that, when compared to a standard shaft like in an S10. The $500 included making the shaft, replacing my pinion flange and seal, and installing the shaft. Because of the added difficulty with the nature of this shaft, that is why the shop would need to see the car as well. Plus, he will adjust the pinion angle for me too. All stuff I can do, but the less work for me the better. Most of the mailorder aluminum shafts for these cars are between 600 and 800 dollars too, btw.
 

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IBEATU
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The local shop sounds like a pretty good deal to me. If your worried about rust you could paint it black and forget it. There are some issues with the reputable mail-order drive shafts. As mentioned, if there is an issue then you can go back to the shop and let them take care of it.
 

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Easy, Axle Exchange. Just hands down amazing quality. If not for Axle Exchange, Dynatech would be my next choice.
 

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In the spring I will be going one piece drive shaft to eliminate my driveline vibration, but cannot decide which option to go with.

Option one: order an aluminum shaft from one of the many places out there. I really like the axle exchange one, so it'd probably be that one. Costs $699.

option two: Local, highly reputed driveshaft shop offered to build me a shaft out of 3.5 inch chromoly steel, with standard U-joints (He'd convert the flange to older style), and insulation inside to help absorb vibration. Cost: $500

The atvantage I see to the aluminum is that I can just order it and put it in myself rather than having to leave the car at a shop. Also it is lighter, will never rust, and looks prettier. But aluminum shafts are larger diameter, therefore will have more rotating mass and more possibility of clearance problems. Also, there is always a chance of it needing to be rebalanced anyway.

Atvantage of the custom one is that it will be 100% perfectly balanced, and if I have a problem with it I can just go back to the shop and have them deal with it. Chromoly is stronger (though I don't think streanth will be an issue), and a smaller diameter so less rotating mass and less chance of clearance issues. It will still be significantly lighter than stock I'm sure. ALso, I have heard that chromoly is better at absorbing harmonics, but I am not sure if that is true. Also, obviously, it is cheaper. The disatvantages are that I will have to leave the car at a shop for a day or two, it's a bit heavier, and if the paint ever comes off it will rust. Plus, it will be less pretty but that doesn't really matter lol.

So, any opinions?

Actually *******, it is the weight of the shaft not the actual size of the shaft that determines rotational mass. And actually the heavier shaft, or the one with more rotational mass, will tend to vibrate less. You are right though in that the chrome moly material one is going to absorb any vibrations better than the aluminum one, especially if it is heavier. But then you are going to lose the advantages of the lighter weighted shaft, quicker revving and less loss of HP. So it is a trade off. In my opinion, if you can get an aluminum one without vibration issues it is the best of both worlds. The only advantage to the localy built one is ease of service, but any reputable driveshaft shop will certainly work with you if you have any issues. It will just be more of a hassle with shipping **** back and forth.
 

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That's apples to oranges. AN S10 uses a standard slip-yoke stly front flange, and you are replacing an existing 1-piece steel shaft. That is a simple application, which is why it is cheap. An S197 has a flange on the transmission, so the slip spline is in the shaft, not the trans. That is a big part of what makes the shaft more expensive, because the new one has to have a slip spline welded into it, and flanges on both sides. Also, the S197 differential uses an 8-bolt high velocity CV joint, so the flange itself has to be replaced to use a normal u-joint shaft. That is another part of the price. The third part is that the measurements aren't quite as simple when making a conversion shaft like that, when compared to a standard shaft like in an S10. The $500 included making the shaft, replacing my pinion flange and seal, and installing the shaft. Because of the added difficulty with the nature of this shaft, that is why the shop would need to see the car as well. Plus, he will adjust the pinion angle for me too. All stuff I can do, but the less work for me the better. Most of the mailorder aluminum shafts for these cars are between 600 and 800 dollars too, btw.
I got a quote from my local shop for my Shelby, they are going to do a Chrome Molly drive shaft for $350 when I go to my 9"...... In case your wondering the S-10 has a 4l80E in it with a 9" rear end if that makes any difference to ya
 

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Urban, how much more does the custom steel shaft weigh than the aluminum one? Wouldn't be surprised if the cromo steel one isn't all that much heavier than the aluminum one.
 

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I always go local if I can. I like being able to deal with people face to face. For me it has always gotten better results. So, I'd go the custom route if it is going to be a quality piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Urban, how much more does the custom steel shaft weigh than the aluminum one? Wouldn't be surprised if the cromo steel one isn't all that much heavier than the aluminum one.
I'm not sure. I doubt it'd be much heavier since it would be smaller and thinner than aluminum.
 

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Easy, Axle Exchange. Just hands down amazing quality. If not for Axle Exchange, Dynatech would be my next choice.
Is that the old Spydershaft, Michael?
 

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Is that the old Spydershaft, Michael?
Neither are the old Spydershaft. The Axle Exchange is a 4.0" tappered to 3.5" design to eliminate any rubbing. The Dynatech is a 3.5" design which is plenty big. I've never heard any vibration or any other issues with either. The Spydershaft is just a Ford Ranger driveshaft modified. I've heard of some people with vibration issues and that's enough for me to not buy it. I know there are plenty of people running it without any issues.
 
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