Bad Propeller /Driveshaft U-joint - need to replace! - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 01:12 PM
Nutella
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Bad Propeller /Driveshaft U-joint - need to replace!

Ok so I asked Toyota to lube the prop shaft on my '97 RAV4 (as it states in the manual). But they lifted it up and found that it cannot be lubed. They have sealed bearings/joints. Ok fine. Then they tell me there is a grinding noise from the shaft hitting the gas tank heat shield when accelerating. Damn that!!

Apparently, the U-Joint on the rear propeller shaft has some play and causes the whole shaft to move a bit when accelerating. THIS ONLY HAPPENED WHEN I TOOK IT TO TOYOTA. NO NOISE BEFORE I WENT THERE!

They messed it up or it really did move a bit after they lifted the car and all the suspension components were hanging. They say I need to REPLACE the entire propeller shaft. It's all one unit (front and rear shaft with center bearing) WTF!!

Anybody know what this may cost?
 
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-09-2006, 03:54 PM
ag0w
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I'd have a look at it yourself or take it to another place and get them to show you any problems on a ramp.

The prop is pretty much maintainance free and 'relatively' simple

It comes out the transfer at the back of the engine where there is a U joint - it then runs back to a very solid bearing support in the middle and then on again to the rear diff (simple 4 bolt connection)

Most people report a certain amount of clunking on take up and gear change but there is a rubber support on the back of the diff that can fail

If a heat-shield is rubbing the prop it is most likely the heat shield needs bending out of the way
 
#3 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 01:00 PM
Nutella
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Thanks. I have removed the shaft myself.

Well I took off the rear U-joint and centre bearing bolts. But kept the front portion of the shaft intact on the spline (because the transfer case fluid slowly leaks out if I take off the shaft completely - and I dont want to have to refill that)

The rear U-joint is not 100% perfectly smooth moving. There _is_ infact a little 'micro binding' but I dont think that can cause the shaft to rotate off balance to hit the gas tank sheild. This binding feels like increments in movement as I bend the joint. But Toyota has enough to defend themselves against repairing my problem because they claim this U-joint "is bad and is an existing problem that they are not responsible for". Hence they will not replace the shaft regardless of whether it started touching the tank shield after it left their shop.

My dad suggested exactly what you did -> bend the heat shield. But to me this seems difficult since it's hard pressed against the tank. I guess I will try some serious bending or hammering. I need very little clearance.

The other possible cause is the play in the centre support bearing. With the shaft intact, I can push up on the centre portion and actually cause the shaft to hit the tank shield. To me, _all_ the play comes at the centre bearing (rubber surround). Is this normal? I'm talking 1/8" or more. Perhaps that is the real problem. It certainly is not snug or tight. But not loose - just a little flexible.

Dad also suggested to add washers between the centre bearing mount and the car -to effectively lower the bearing by a tiny bit.

What do you think?

Thanks in advance!
 
#4 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 04:07 PM
ag0w
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Most of my heatshields have been bent back or I've put clips around them to stop rattles and catching - there fairly flimsy and rust.

If this happened at Toyta it is much more likely they have disturbed a shield than damaged the prop shaft.

I'd say the movement you describe is normal - that little movement causing the shaft to hit the heat - shield is not
 
#5 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 04:36 PM
Nutella
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Thanks a lot for your advice and feedback. I'm gonna take a close look at the rear diff mounts and go for bending in the gas tank shield.
 
#6 (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 12:51 AM
Nutella
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driveshaft grinding 'fixed'

ok so I 'fixed' my problem! The gas tank shield that was touching the propshaft has now been cut and flaps pushed away. Now it does not touch the shaft when it gets torque on acceleration (and apparently flexes a bit at the centre bearing location). Toyota dealer can kiss my azz asking $1235 + labour for a new bloody propeller shaft!
 
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