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aluminum driveshafts

This is a discussion on aluminum driveshafts within the LT1 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; i was thinkin about swappin the driveshaft in my 96er but i was wondering if the ligher aluminum ones are ...

  1. #1

    aluminum driveshafts

    i was thinkin about swappin the driveshaft in my 96er but i was wondering if the ligher aluminum ones are worth it, are they as strong as the stock steel ones? does the 5-10 pounds or whatever really make a difference?

  2. #2
    Junior Member Mike99V6's Avatar
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    Unless you've got really high power levels, an LS1 aluminum shaft will be plenty strong. Lots of us V6 guys put them in when we swap out the POS two-piece unit.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I prefer the steel actually as far as stock driveshafts go. I'm not a fan of aluminum driveshafts. Although people have run fast on them without issues,,,,I have also seen stock power levels twist them like a prezel. Depends on alot of things.
    Nothing wrong with the steel shafts though.

    I personally pass on the aluminum and go right for a custom made chome molly myself when looking to upgrade.

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    If you have balanced the tires/wheels and still have a bit of vibration, the aluminum driveshaft is supposed to be the cure. In theory the aluminum driveshaft will take out that last little bit of vibration out of the driveline. I have 194k miles on my 95 TA and have always had a just little bit of vibration at high speeds. I can't get the vibration out no matter how many times I have changed or balanced the tires. I plan to swap out the steel shaft soon and will let you know if it works.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I would think at 194,000 miles it may be time for u-joints. Sloppy u-joints will also give you the sensation you are feeling at high speeds.

    If u-joints are working as they should, quite possibly the driveshaft just needs to be balanced at a competent drivetrain shop. There are a few around here that do it.

    There isn't really any reason why you have a driveshaft vibration problem just because it's made of steel. Steel shafts have been around since cars were invented, if balanced properly they should be fine.

    Maybe GM just did a shitty balance job at the factory but worn u-joints are usually the culprit most of the time.

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    I agree with you, and I have tried all of the things that you mentioned. I bought the car when it was two years old and it has done it since I have owned it. Most people that ride with me probably would not even notice it, but it is just one of those nagging problems that bug me because I can't find it. I am on the second steel driveshaft and third different set of u joints. Even changed the yoke on the rear end trying to find it. Same vibration. I had given up on it, and then I ran across a GM tech bulletin where they were recommending the aluminum drive shaft to cure some vibration problems that people were complaining about. It may not be in the driveshaft, but I plan to try the aluminum anyway. Found an LS1 aluminum driveshaft for $100 and thought it would be worth a shot. Besides, If it doesn't break in half, having less rotating mass probably won't hurt the performance any.

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    I have not heard about this as a fix for any vibration, but always if you can have less mass absorbing HP then you will have more HP to the pavment. Flywheel, driveshaft, less wheel weight, lower weight clutch, stronger and lighter crankshaft, whatever. It all helps. Their are carbon fiber driveshafts available too, just to help with less rotating mass.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ope28 View Post
    I agree with you, and I have tried all of the things that you mentioned. I bought the car when it was two years old and it has done it since I have owned it. Most people that ride with me probably would not even notice it, but it is just one of those nagging problems that bug me because I can't find it. I am on the second steel driveshaft and third different set of u joints. Even changed the yoke on the rear end trying to find it. Same vibration. I had given up on it, and then I ran across a GM tech bulletin where they were recommending the aluminum drive shaft to cure some vibration problems that people were complaining about. It may not be in the driveshaft, but I plan to try the aluminum anyway. Found an LS1 aluminum driveshaft for $100 and thought it would be worth a shot. Besides, If it doesn't break in half, having less rotating mass probably won't hurt the performance any.
    Well shucks, that sounds as though it's been a pain in the rear for quite a while. Hope the aluminum shaft straightens it out for you. Let us know how that turns out please.

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