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Old 11-13-2017, 09:42 PM   #1
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Default U-joints bad, not sure what to do

Hey guys,

I'm new to the forum, but I've got a 1991 Nissan D21 standard cab that has been in my family almost since my birth. Unfortunately, it seems to have some drive-shaft u-joint problems (according to my mechanic). He's struggling to figure out what to do as he ordered some u-joints, but none of them fit, and he's getting weird answers from different suppliers about replacing the whole shaft, etc. He doesn't really know what to do other than have me buy one on eBay or get one from a junkyard.

The current shaft came from a junkyard a few years ago to replace the bent drive shaft (I have no idea how it bent, but God bless this truck for fighting through it). A different mechanic performed that change.

I'd prefer to not go to a junkyard again if possible, so I'm hoping that someone here may be able to help me find a place that has the propper u-joints or entire shaft.

Thanks for any info you have!

John
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:56 PM   #2
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Is it a 2wd 4cyl? If so you have staked in joints. I had one go bad and ended up getting another shaft from the junkyard to get me by. There are specialized aftermarket joints available but they are not cheap and require some fabrication. Perhaps a driveline shop could cut it and weld different yokes on.

Last edited by SBJ; 11-13-2017 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:34 PM   #3
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Like SBJ said, if you've got the one with the non-serviceable U-Joints, your best bet is to take it to a driveshaft shop and have them chop the joints off and put serviceable ones on there.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:37 PM   #4
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Yeah I got my old shaft sitting around with bad joints still. Not sure if I'm going to get Rockford joints for it or have a shop cut them off and weld new ones.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:26 PM   #5
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@SBJ you nailed it. 2wd 4cyl

If I understand correctly, the best strategy is the following:
- have mechanic install a junkyard shaft to get me by
- take my current shaft to a driveshaft shop, cut off the u-joints and have them put serviceable joints on the shaft.
- when the junkyard shaft goes bad some day, just use the shaft modified from the driveshaft shop with new/servicable u-joints.

Do you guys have any recommendation on joints to provide the shop? Joints that you have used in the past with success?

Thanks!
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:53 PM   #6
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Also there was a year change between 1989 and 1990 where Nissan changed the size of the U-joint. an 89 driveshaft will still work on a 90+ and vice versa, but when you go to buy u-joints they're all different sizes.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:06 AM   #7
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if youre going to get a whole new shaft is there a 1-piece that fits like from a later model frontier 2wd or something?

honestly i would just have a new drive shaft made. its surprisingly common to do this and the turn time is quick.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:45 AM   #8
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One piece shaft won't clear the carrier bearing crossmember at stock ride height.
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:34 PM   #9
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I called the mechanic this morning and requested he put a junkyard shaft on it. I told him I would take the old shaft to a driveshaft shop to have the old u-joints cut off and replaced. After which he promptly argued that it's impossible etc. etc. I told him that it is possible as other D-21 owners are doing this to deal with bad shafts/joints. He at least stopped arguing at that point.

But now the task is to find some u-joints that will work.

@SBJ You mentioned "Rockford" and "Driveline". Are you referring to this company: http://www.motormasterpowersports.co...ed-in-u-joints

These seem to be made for my truck: http://www.motormasterpowersports.co...u-joint-430-12

I've found some driveline shops in Tampa, but does anyone happen to recommend any in this area?

Thanks guys!

John
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:35 PM   #10
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Kinda sounds like you need to find a new mechanic lol. Anyway, swapping a driveshaft out isn't that hard. If you have a modicum of mechanical ability you can DIY that junk pretty easily.

I wouldn't bother sourcing the u-joints yourself. A proper driveshaft shop will know what you're trying to do. They should be able to source the parts and provide you with part numbers for u-joints for future use.
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