If you watched our last two updates, you saw Davin swap a T5 transmission into our 1946 Ford pickup. Part of that process was getting a new driveshaft to fit the new length of the T5. So, we thought we’d take you behind the scenes with Dan at Valley Truck and see what it takes to make a custom-fit drive shaft.
The process seems so simple on the surface, but like any automotive project that appears simple, it rarely is. A tube with yokes welded on both ends will get the job done, but there are a couple fine points that separate the best from the rest. The first is the selection of the tube for the driveshaft. Wall thickness is dependent on the application, with heavier tubing used for high-torque builds. A person could build the same heavy-duty driveshaft for everything, but the rotational weight would actually make a lower-powered vehicle feel sluggish. The second critical factor is the phasing of the yokes on either end. If these are not clocked perfectly to each other, there will be a vibration that will cause any driver to go crazy.
It’s a simple process that requires serious accuracy, and Dan makes it look easy. It’s shops like this that make swaps possible in our old cars and trucks. Measure properly and give your local driveshaft shop a call for your project—or at least go out into your workshop and get your project done.
— Kyle Smith
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