View Full Version : OBS 2wd extended cab 2pc drive shaft upgrade
03-31-2012, 08:36 PM
Gonna have to do u-joints here pretty soon and was wondering about upgrading my stock steel 2pc drive shaft to aluminum or even composite. It's on a 95 c1500 extended cab 2wd auto/4l60e. Anybody know if there are any OEM options that are aluminum or even composite that I could keep an eye out for at the scrap yard? Couldn't find much on this using search or even Google for that matter. Did see that some 96 models came with aluminum but they may have been 4wd. If all else fails probably will call my local Drive Train Specialist and see what they have to offer.
04-01-2012, 06:03 AM
That's a nice looking truck!
When you say "upgrade", what are you hoping to achieve, other than something nicer to look at when you poke your head under the truck? If it's a showtruck that sits on mirrors, then I understand.
It's not going to help performance as lightweight wheels do. A mass rotating on a ~3.5" diameter doesn't have much inertia.
I'd replace the U-joints, sand and "ospho" it for a better look, if that's what you're after.
04-01-2012, 06:25 PM
They are really going bad? How many miles?
I've read more then once that the two piece steel drive shaft is superior to the one piece aluminum stock drive shafts. IIRC its more of a high speed issue that the aluminum shafts can't handle and have self destructed. Also the two piece steel shaft is stronger, heavier, but stronger. Having 3 u joints also spreads the load out better and takes the stress off them compared to a one piece shaft with 2 u joints. If it were me I would put some new u joints in the original drive shaft and keep on going. The GM u joints are high as hell but should be as good as the originals. If not that I would go with Precision super strength non greaseable u joints. I put a super strength greaseable style in mine when I did the yoke swap for the 80E and so far so good but I've still got the original u joint and its still good so it will eventually get reinstalled.
04-01-2012, 10:22 PM
96ImpSS, thanks! I was hoping for a little gain in performance going to something lighter. Have heard that reducing rotating weight is as much as a 1 to 10 ratio (-1# rotating ~ 10# static). From my personal experiences I really don't believe it's that much but maybe around 1 to 3. Not really too interested in how it looks under there either.
oldred, my truck's got around 197k on it with the stock u-joints. Truck is lowered and (embarrassed to say) the angles haven't always been what they should have been. Noticed some grease sling around all three joints last time I was under there. Also think I am noticing a little more clunk/clink putting it in gear etc. Not really looking to go to a one piece setup but was just wondering if there is anything from later models that may be available. Thanks for the advice on the joint suggestions!
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