drive shaft assembly is toast (I think) - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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drive shaft assembly is toast (I think)

1977 Spider
Drive assembly has vibrations, thumps, and slack.

I want to know if I should be able to turn the drive shaft back and forth. It has about 1/2" slack before it catches.

The first u-joint has slack in it.

If I take off slow and give it too much gas, it thumps the floor.

If I keep the rpm's up around 2750-3000, it is pretty smooth.

The only thing that I really need an answer on is the slack thing. If it's normal, or in the drive shaft (not the engine), I found a complete drive shaft I can just bolt in.
Does that sound like a good idea.
Other than that, and a little oil usage, it's a pretty good car for a spare.

Any responses are greatly appreciated- Mike
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 11:18 AM
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No question that your driveshaft has some issues. 1/2" of play, slack in the U joint - those are NOT normal conditions. So yes, some work is called for.

This "complete driveshaft" that you can just bolt right in - you're talking both driveshaft sections, right? Including the giubo joint and the front shaft support bearing? If all the components are good (no play and not overly tight U joints, giubo not cracked, shafts properly balanced) then sure, unbolting the bad and bolting in the good will make things better. Just be sure this "complete driveshaft" isn't a "completely worn-out driveshaft".

Although it takes more time & money, sometimes it is better to fix what you have, rather than install a used part and hope it's good. Putting new U joints and a new giubo into your driveline will probably fix the problem (unless it is imbalanced, bent, or ....). With new, you know the components are good, and they will last longer than used parts.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

Last edited by Alfajay; 06-03-2012 at 11:43 AM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 11:31 AM
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I'd just replace the parts on the one you have. U-joints with play are bad and should be replaced. Thump on accel is probably worn center support bushing (though even with a new bushing it'll still sometimes thump pulling away in first, so don't worry too much about this). Those and a new giubo and yours will be as good as new, and don't forget to put a little grease into the nipple on the sliding section of the driveshaft while you're at it.

Rotation in the driveshaft before it catches is probably in the differential, not the driveshaft. New driveshaft won't change that. Both my Spiders have probably that amount of rotation in the rear of the driveshaft before the diff catches. Never gotten a straight answer if that's normal or not, but unless the differential is making a lot of noise you're probably fine.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the answers guys! .
Since I posted the question, I managed to get the rear shaft out. It definitely needs u-joints replaced. I had the middle u-joints replaced a while back (I've only had the car for around 2 years). It has a little play. I'm thinking the middle "round" support and the big rubber thing in the front will do it.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 12:56 PM
But Mad North-Northwest
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The middle round support is the center driveshaft bearing/bushing. The rubber donut at the front is the giubo.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Gubi, I'll look on ebay for those parts. My brother owns a mechanic shop, he can press on the u-joints. It looks like I'll be up and running again soon!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2012, 06:22 AM
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A spare - rebuilt - driveshaft is a great part to have hanging around the garage when you own an Alfa. I keep an extra for my Spider and an extra for my GTV. You would be suprised how easy it is to swap out when the drive shaft is all cleaned up and painted. If the other is cheap, buy it anyway. Freshening up a driveshaft won't break the bank, usually.

......... Bud Feigel ........<Oo \*/ oO>....... Lexington, Kentucky ........
'82 RED GTV6 / 2.5 - '86 WHITE Spider Veloce 2000 - '71 GREEN GTV 1750
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2012, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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I had the rear u-joint replaced yesterday. Now, the little Spider glides along like it's supposed to (again). It's hard to believe how little "slop" in the u-joint will transfer to a LOT of vibration!

This is my spare car and only gets driven when one of my others is broke or undergoing a renovation as in my 1971 VW single cab I just put a 2.3L Mustang engine in. I prepared and only had to drive the Alfa 3 weeks.

The Alfa does need a lot of TLC but has never left me stranded.
Thanks for all the replies, guys! Even though I rarely come here, there's always help when I need it! -
It's supposed to be red-
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