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Prop shaft and half shaft phasing


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I recently replaced all 6 u-joints on my car as part of the `if its not broke, i should break it` phase of finding and fixing stuff on my car. To make matters worse I'm beginning to suspect that the driveshaft / half shafts are "out of phase" because I did not make any markings or keep track of the yoke orientation on any of the shafts when I assembled them. Is my only real option to get everything balanced? I feel and hear vibrations when at highway speeds.. I dont think figuring out the phase is something that I can do in the garage is it?

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I'm not sure what you mean by phasing the the propeller shaft or halfshafts. The half shafts yokes should be in line, but that is very visable if they are not.

The main source of vibrations after changing uni-joints is the tolerance in the uni-joint. The uni-joint should have 0,02mm endplay. This is important to keep the shaft centered and balanced. Nissan make 7 different sizes (1.49 to 1.67mm) to calbrate the tolerance to the correct specifications.

This could be your source of the vibration.



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Let's see... I think that would be 2 to the sixth power, or 64 different combinations. So happy hunting! LOL.

In reality, I doubt that the configuration at one end of a shaft would have much impact on what's going on at the other, and I also doubt that what's going on with one shaft would have much impact on any of the other shafts. So if those assumptions are true, you could narrow it down to three sets of four combinations, or 12.

I was going to suggest that the answer was 42 and just leave it at that...

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In the olden days, they were adamant about getting the U-joints back together the same way they came apart because everything was balanced that way. In today's more consistent manufacturing plants, they don't seem to be as adamant. I didn't check the FSM... Do they mention anything about that?

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@Captain Obvious

They don’t mention anything about the ujoints putting the u joints back in the same orientation. I’ve heard that from other people as well, that the manufacturing for the ujoint is most likely going to be balanced as their production methods have gotten better.

all the joints that I bought were made in Japan, so I feel good about their production quality. 

On the passenger side half shaft I found that one of the u-joint was binding (it had a lot of resistance to movement in two directions) so after pulling it out I beat on the ear with a dead blow to get it to be looser. Perhaps the other 2 shafts should also be inspected for this binding.


the endplay inspection seems straight forward, is it “ok” to have less endplay or none? Or is that not really a possibility?



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Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 9.37.44 AM.png


I wonder if i installed the wrong type of ujoint on the driveshaft, it looks like some are specified for the rear axels and NOT the drive shaft.

From my records I had 2x Beck / Arnley 1020361 and 4x GMB 2200029

When I opened the B/A 1020361 box the u joints were stamped GMB.


Per this thread, it looks like 1020361 are for the driveshafts, hopefully no mixups on the install...


Edited by heyitsrama
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2 hours ago, heyitsrama said:

the endplay inspection seems straight forward, is it “ok” to have less endplay or none? Or is that not really a possibility?

The tolerance is 0 to 0.02mm If you can get the circlips in without forcing the circlips in willbe OK. A little tap with a screwdriver to send them home is normal.

To measure the tolerance, tap the yoke with a hammer like in figure PD-2 in your post nr.7 to pusn ghe caps ouf against the circlip.

The 240Z used the same uni-joint in the half shafts and propeller shaft. The 280Z used a different staked non replacable uni-joint in the propeller shaft. That might be while some manufacturers are quoting only the half shafts or propeller shaft.

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The variety of thicknesses for the Nissan u-joints are probably for variation in the yokes, not the u-joint spiders.  So, an aftermarket joint that only comes in one thickness doesn't have any way to address that variation.  Might be interesting to measure that end play after a u-joint replacement.

I spent $90 at OReilly for a full set of Precision u-joints then took them out and returned them when I realized that they were looser than the factory joints I had replaced.  I really only needed one but I thought that doing all would be better.  Luckily I had another pair of old Nissan half-shafts that could be greased up and were good to go.  After that I started collecting them at the wrecking yards.

There are six separate u-joints in the drivetrain so any looseness adds up.

I assume that Nissan is talking about measuring spider movement in the bearing cups.  Look at that tiny number.


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I decided that I did not want to pull out the drive shaft today, because I did not want to drop the exhaust from the header. Really hate that the OEM exhaust does not have a flange at the end of the down pipe. I feel like I should add one...

I found multiple things, one the driver side half shaft needed to be tapped slightly to get looser along one of its axis. 

I also found that grease fitting that was in the body on the GMB half-shafts has a slight interference with the rubber on the end cap. I went to the hardware store and got some of those Allen key end caps that fit into the threads to block it off. I used 1/4x28 - 1/4” long end inserts so that there is less chance for contaminates to enter the joint. I can spin the brake drum and I’m not able to feel the bind spot anymore.

there is still a vibration at 60mph+ so I think ill have to drop the exhaust on Saturday morning and inspect the drive shaft u joint on the yoke that goes into the gearbox. The one that is on the differential did not seem to bind at all. 

At least it’s getting better.....

@Zed Head smart to have some backups laying around, I can’t find any Zs at the junkyards around here. Pickings are super slim, and usually there is competition for parts.


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