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  #1  
Old 28th January 2007
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Default Driveshaft length question - put simply.

I've gone through as many threads as I can bear for the moment, and the EPC has me confused. Just need help from someone who can give me a definite answer.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand the longer driveshafts are to be found on '87 cars onwards. My car is an '89 auto. I've just spent ages cleaning and greasing up and fitting a spare driveshaft I had (from the LHS just like the one being replaced), and the damn thing appears to be too long, which doesn't make sense, so I can only assume:
  • for some reason the tripod bearing is not sliding into the cup as far as it should.
  • There is a difference between auto and manual shafts, assuming my spare came off a manual.
Any tips?
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  #2  
Old 28th January 2007
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I recently put in a new tripod bearing, and it did need a very healthy shove to get it into the driver. eEuroparts sells the same part for man and auto.
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  #3  
Old 28th January 2007
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Ta SpecialTool, how much is a good shove and how should I shove it? I suppose a few taps with a light hammer with the nut on the end of the driveshaft might be a start... ok..I'm going out to try it before it gets dark....

You on the other hand still have several hours of daylight left!
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  #4  
Old 28th January 2007
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Aahh yes, six o'clock and still a balmy 37 degrees We got to 42 today.

Back to the job -- a couple of whacks with a rubber mallet might "persuade" the bloody thing to cooperate!
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Old 28th January 2007
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Mate, you got it in one. Took some tentative and progressively harder whacks with the old rubber mallet then she just popped right in!

You guys on the wrong coast are ok!

P.S> Back to the weather, low 20s and sunny here. Perfect.
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Last edited by silversaab96; 28th January 2007 at 04:31 AM.
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  #6  
Old 28th January 2007
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No need to hit the driveshaft with a hammer.

I have found that no force is necessary to push the tripod joint into the inner driver.

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  #7  
Old 28th January 2007
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Agreed, you're likely to damage a bearing hitting it to get it in. There are two sizes of tripod, and the shafts they fit to. The correct shaft/tripod/inner joint assembly should slot together neatly and easily if all is lined up.
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  #8  
Old 28th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew
No need to hit the driveshaft with a hammer.

I have found that no force is necessary to push the tripod joint into the inner driver.
A hammer? Honest, sir, I only tapped it with an itty-bitty soft mallet.

No doubt SAAB OEM parts slip together most politely, but I suspect the $188AUD bearing/driver kit I bought wasn't manufactured to the same exacting tolerances -- in fact the supplier had to replace one driver which was just a micron too fat for the transmission housing.
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Old 28th January 2007
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Bad choice of words on my part, written in a rush. I used a mallet, but it did need a decent whack. I'd packed it liberally with grease, so it might be that?

Having said that, I haven't totally convinced myself I still have the right one, especially with Nutcase's mention of two sizes of tripods. Did these two sizes cross over between both size driveshafts, or was one matched to the other?

In other words, can anyone confirm that if I have the right size driveshaft, then the tripod, by rights, must be the correct size?

Cheers
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Old 28th January 2007
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i think the auto's are a little bit shorter than manual shafts as i replaced a manual shaft with one off an auto and as soon as i let the foot off the clutch it lost drive as the splined shaft had come out and were not lining up i found out later(thought i had just done a bad job), so took it to bits again put it all back together turned the wheel(tyre) and shaft turned ok started it up again put it in gear let it of slowly went about 1ft and bang lost drive again so i knew then that something was wrong?? so took it to bits again measured the shaft against the old one and it was shorter by about half inch, so i shimed the shaft so it was locating the hub better and it worked for 6mnths(till i had a accident, nothing to do with repair)so there are different lengths for auto and manual wether it is just the one side or both i am not sure, and if it's pre 86 and after 86 that there might be a difference i don't know but you are right to think that your replacement shaft might be to long, compare and see. they look virtually the same but get them parrallel to each other and see.
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Old 28th January 2007
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Axles from automatics are the same as a manual...as long as the years are the same.

I think the left-hand axle is longer, regardless of year. And I also believe somewhere around 88 or so there was a change in length.

so if you try to put an axle from an '87 into a '90, it won't fit, it would be too short regardless if it was LHS into a LHS. (I think)
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Old 28th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silversaab96
I'd packed it liberally with grease, so it might be that?
Yes that would make a difference, as the tripod has to displace the thick grease. Even a mallet's not needed!

We may let you use a very small toffee hammer

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Old 28th January 2007
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Bentley says 87 and afterward got longer..
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Old 29th January 2007
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Thanks all for your feedback. I'm positive the shafts are the same size, but I agree that given how easily the shafts come out, I shouldn't have had to knock it in even with a toffee hammer! (this is the second I've ever done and the first just slid in).

Maybe, just maybe, I have the wrong size tripod bearings. Now here's a thought - not wanting to spread misinformation - but maybe the spare shaft came off a turbo and they have bigger, beefier tripods? Hmmm. I'll do a bit of research and post back if I find out.

In the meantime I won't have a chance to drive the car for a couple of days, so will see how that goes and let you know what happens.

P.S. I've noticed there are slotted shafts and non-slotted ones (mine are both non-slotted). Anyone know the difference there?
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Last edited by silversaab96; 29th January 2007 at 03:19 AM.
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Old 29th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanF.
Bentley says 87 and afterward got longer..
to be more precise: Vehicle Identification Numbers G2009923 and Up, G3007066 and Up, and G7011598 and Up
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  #16  
Old 29th January 2007
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My install involved putting in a new driver at the same time, ss96, and from playing around with the driver and bearing before installation I had figured out that one of the three "bearing slots" in the driver was smaller than the other two, and the driveshaft had to be whacked, oops I mean tapped , to get the bearing to go into that slot. But with yours being a used driver, with all the "rough edges" gone, it does seem unusual that it took a "tap" to go in.

Anyhoo, now that it's in, does the bearing move freely around in the driver -- in/out, up/down etc? If so, then it's bound to be -- no worries, mate!
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  #17  
Old 29th January 2007
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I would think that putting an oversized tripod into the driver is a recipe for failure, even the joint appears to move freely.

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Old 29th January 2007
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Just to clarify, the later tripods WON'T fit the earlier driveshafts. Cos I found that out the hard way.
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  #19  
Old 29th January 2007
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So if the tripod fits the driver cup, then it must be the right size?

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Old 29th January 2007
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ding ding ding we have our winner
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