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Discussion Starter #1
Hello rav4world.

I just picked up a 4.3 about a month ago and
noticed a metallic hum from the rear of the vehicle
at all speeds. Took it to a mechanic and was diagnosed
with a bad rear u joint, $1300 repair :crying

May go to pick up new @ wholesaleimportparts.com $520
and install myself.

So, I was wondering would all 06-12 driveshafts fit my 2009?
Might just pick up a used one at a local junkyard if so.

Thanks
 

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Welcome to the forum, sorry about your problem. Use the "search" feature at the top of the screen for "U-joint replacement" and you'll find many posts. Several folks go to a driveline specialty shop and have the non-servicable u-joints cut off and replaced with servicable ones. They seem pretty satisfied overall for a lot less money.

Also, make sure you have identified the right thing. Do a search for the "differential coupler" issue in case that is your problem. (That's a growl coming from the rear differential area.) There is an enhanced warranty on that and the Toyota dealer will fix it for free.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for recommendation. I have searched and found that some people do get new u joints welded on for about $200. Used drives shafts I found range from 50-150 around my area. Just wondering if the driveshafts are the same 06-12

I will get a second opinion to make sure it is indeed a bad u joint before doing anything
 

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Cheapest would be to take it to a driveline shop. A non serviceable driveshaft/u-joint uses caps that are "staked". These can either be removed by a shop and regular u-joints installed or a new yoke/flange welded on. They don't weld the actual u-joint.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cheapest would be to take it to a driveline shop. A non serviceable driveshaft/u-joint uses caps that are "staked". These can either be removed by a shop and regular u-joints installed or a new yoke/flange welded on. They don't weld the actual u-joint.
Thanks for clarifying that. I love this forum! People actually help each other!
 

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My truck eats U joints. I recently went through all four so I am fairly well versed. The typical check for a bad u joint is to feel play. Get the car in the air enough that you can crawl under. Not going to get into the details of "you need to secure the vehicle so it doesn't fall on you"; but a jack is not enough, use some jack stands. You need to get the drive shaft to turn free. On a typical rearwheel drive/AWD/4wd this would mean getting the rear wheels off the ground, e-brake off, and tranny in neutral. Locate the u-joints and check for play. There should be none.

A good indicator that the u-joint is bad is if the cap seal is broken or not. If the seal is busted most likely the needle bearings are toast. The seal is the red part in the picture below. Of the 4 pivots, if one is bad than the whole joint is bad.


You mentioned that you are hearing a "metallic hum". I would describe the sound to be a "squeak" that occurs with each rotation of the shaft. The faster the car goes the quicker the tempo of the squeak. This is most noticeable at start up speeds. The squeak is caused by a u-joint that is bound up. The seal has failed and the bearings inside are toast. This means that you caught the issue early and that most likely the u-joints will have no noticeable play. You will still be able to confirm the bad u-joint by the squeak when you rotate the driveshaft by hand. You will acutally be able to feel the squeak at the bad joint in the form of a vibration.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For those of you who have replaced it, how'd you get access to the front driveshaft bolts?

I'm thinking a ratchet extension but it seems the driveshaft would be in the way?

Maybe a flexible extension? Not sure where to buy this.

Edit: I'm thinking about going to pick up some flex sockets. Didn't even know those existed lol

 
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