Is an aluminum drive shaft worth the money? - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010 Thread Starter
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Is an aluminum drive shaft worth the money?

I have heard that the one piece drive shafts noticably increase your throttle responce. Is this true? Granted they are around 20lbs lighter than the stock 2-piece clunkers but does the change make a noticable difference? Is it worth it on a car with 320 RWHP and 4:10 gears or better left for high HP cars?

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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010
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i thought all the V8s had one peices...?


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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010
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Yes, it'd rotate faster ... so you'd accelerate quicker. But they're over $700! If i had $700 right now, i'd get one.

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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010
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The OEM steel driveshaft is actually 3 pieces. The aftermarket aluminum driveshafts are two piece shafts. The front piece (that bolts to tranny output) slides in and out of the main shaft.
The OEM driveshafts weigh almost 50 pounds. They have an extra CV joint in the middle of the shaft. I would recommend an aluminum aftermarket driveshaft as a good modification.

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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010
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Very worthwhile mod. A lightweight drive shaft gives faster acceleration and better throttle response. You will feel a difference with it. Just be sure to check pinion angle when you install it.

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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010
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Very worthwhile mod. A lightweight drive shaft gives faster acceleration and better throttle response. You will feel a difference with it. Just be sure to check pinion angle when you install it.

+1...It frees up the horsepower that is already there. This was one of the first mods I made and never really knew the difference until I had to put the stock D/S back on for a couple weeks. The very instant I got the aluminum D/S back and installed it I could feel a big difference.
post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010
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is Squidd the only one who drives his car fast? Or the only one that has had a vibration problem with the one piece shaft? Read the literature on drive shaft alignment the Mustang is not correct. The universal joints also called hook joints work when the mounting surfaces are parallel and you can't do that with a Mustang. There is a reason that Ford went to the trouble of putting in a two piece drive shaft with the extra universal joint.

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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010
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is Squidd the only one who drives his car fast? Or the only one that has had a vibration problem with the one piece shaft? Read the literature on drive shaft alignment the Mustang is not correct. The universal joints also called hook joints work when the mounting surfaces are parallel and you can't do that with a Mustang. There is a reason that Ford went to the trouble of putting in a two piece drive shaft with the extra universal joint.
No as a matter of fact he isn't even driving his car and no he is not and no it is not just the angles and yes Ford knows there is a problem. If it were the angles every car would vibrate.

https://www.allfordmustangs.com/forum...riveshaft.html
post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010
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I run my car at the strip and have no trouble with with noise or vibration at well over 100mph.

Some have adapters to make them fit, others you need to change the pinion flange, it's your choice. I went with a pinon flange change.

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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks, who makes the most trouble free shafts?

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I run my car at the strip and have no trouble with with noise or vibration at well over 100mph.

Is Old Dominion Raceway still open? Ahhh...those were the days.

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Thanks, who makes the most trouble free shafts?
Everyone will tell you the one they have is awesome and trouble free. The D/S is not usually the culprit. Just about all the companies make a quality product. Some have a little thicker walls and others remove the adaptor plate. You really can't go wrong...and now that I have said that odds are you will get one way out of balance. Sorry!
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Is Old Dominion Raceway still open? Ahhh...those were the days.
Old Dominion is still open, alive and well as I'm sure Casey4s will tell you

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It is not just the angle it is that the angles are opposite. Hook joints the + shaped universal is really a poor joint as it accelerates and slows down the shaft every revolution. If you have two of them and they are parallel but necessarily straight the acceleration of one is nullified by the second one and that is the way they have worked for 100+ years. The CV joint is a much better universal joint as it doesn't have this problem of accelerating and slowing of the shaft. A one piece drive shaft with two CV joints doesn't have to be parallel to run with out vibration.

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What the Driveshaft problem really is:

First it should be defined as what it is. It is not a driveline “vibration” problem but a driveline harmonics issue.

There is no way of guaranteeing that you will not have harmonics issues. Contributing factors to driveline vibrations are:
  • Driveline angles
  • Driveshaft balance
  • Harmonics from the rear end which includes a change to the gear, diff, axles, bracing, cover, etc can all contribute to driveline harmonics.
  • The wheels and tires you are running can contribute to driveline harmonics.
  • The upper and lower control arms you are using can contribute to driveline harmonics.
  • The springs and shocks can affect it too.
  • Going with an aluminum shaft opposed to a steel shaft will affect harmonics even if they are the exact same design.

Pretty much anything can cause a driveline harmonics problems depending on the specific combination of parts. That’s why some people have no driveline harmonics issues and some do. There does seem to be a trend of the more aftermarket parts you have in your driveline the more likely you are to experience driveline harmonics issues though. That being said there are stone stock cars out there with harmonics problems.


The bottom line is that you can have perfectly balanced/round wheels and tires, perfectly set up rear end, perfect driveline angles, clutch centered perfectly, everything torqued to spec, etc and still have a driveline harmonics issue. In most cases you will not find that any one component is “out” and causing the harmonics issue. As stated above if all of the components that can affect driveline harmonics spec out perfectly on their own that does not guarantee you that when they are combined as a system you won’t have any harmonics issues.

I dug all my notes up that I took while mapping out the driveline angles in the chassis the other day and compiled them into something cohesive. The bottom line is Ford stuffed a huge motor with a very high crank centerline and a Trans with a relatively low output flange centerline into the front end of a car that they wanted a certain look from. Sacrifices were made. I know exactly how to solve the driveline angle issues in the car. On a basic level it’s easy. The problem is easy. The Trans output flange as delivered points at a point that is lower than the center of the pinion flange centerline even with the car not being lowered. It gets worse when the car is lowered. In a perfect world the Trans would point at a spot above the center of pinion flange. If it were set up like that you could get the driveshaft set up to be perfectly in phase (something like a DS angle of 1.5deg down coming off the trans and 1.5deg up coming off of the pinion). As delivered that can not be done because of where the Trans points.

It could be solved by shimming the Trans at the cross member till it pointed up a few more deg but there is not enough room between the Trans and the tunnel. Not even close. You can slam the Trans into the tunnel and you will only get .4deg out of it. You would have to move the tunnel to make it better. Obviously a lot of work.

Another way to solve it would be to lower the motor but even with the pan sitting on the steering rack I could only get .6deg out of it which was not enough. And obviously you can’t have the pan touching the rack anyway. And you can’t move the rack “down” because that would make the current bump steer issues even worse to borderline in-correctable. To compound the problem the back of the pan was quite a bit lower than the K-Frame which is just begging to get broken open. To get the motor low enough to even be in the ballpark you would need to dry sump it. Of course that would pay you back with a ton of performance advantages (lower C of G, more HP because of less windage, more HP because of the small vacuum placed on motor, oil stored in trunk which moves the weight to were you need it most, you could run a 10qt system if you wanted to and never have any oil issues, etc). Of course the downside is that it would be very custom, incredibly expensive, incredibly complex and nudge the car pretty far toward “race car”. I think at some point I will dry sump my car but that would be at least 2 more years and the car will be pretty far down the development phase by then and to a point where most people don’t want to take their cars.

If you combine shimming the Trans and lowering the motor as much as possible it’s still not even close to where you want it.

The last Idea I have to fix the situation, and one that would not be very expensive if done in a large enough quantity would be to remove the trans tail/flange and bolt on a custom mini “transfer case” that would simply raise the trans output flange up and therefore relocate the output flange higher. There is room in the tunnel for that because you wouldn’t be moving the large part of the Trans. And while designing it you could ditch the output flange in favor of a “normal” slip yoke so the driveshaft would not need to telescope like they do now which does not help the DS balance/whip/harmonics one little bit. I could make this part out of billet without much trouble and use some OEM 1:1 “transfer” gears of some sort so durability was already proven. The problem is making one would cost at least $3,000. If I could put them in production and make 1000 units I could probably do it for $500. I highly doubt I will find 1000 people ready to sign up for one though. It would be far less expensive for me to dry sump my motor and lower it in the chassis a ton.

So there ya go. It’s fixable to the point of having zero issues no matter what combination of parts you are running by setting the car up so you could obtain an ideal driveline layout but not one of them is very easy or cheap.

Next will come a ton of posts from people telling you if they do or do not have driveline harmonics issues and what driveshaft they are running. Unless you are planning on driving their car that information is useless to you. Unfortunately going with a 1pc aluminum driveshaft is a crap shoot.



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What we need is for a manufacturer to sell one with CV type joints but they are much more expensive than Hook type joints.

Call your aluminum drive shaft maker and demand CV joints...:kooky: :yelpleased:


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