Rear Driveshaft Bolts Suck. Why Don't People Replace Them?

Rear Driveshaft Bolts Suck. Why Don't People Replace Them?

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » January 5th 2021, 11:28pm

I spent hours a couple nights ago to get two bolts undone on my rear driveshaft where it meets the rear differential. One bolt was already switched to a socket head and took a couple minutes. The last one I left in and bent the strap enough for the ujoint to be released.

2021-01-01 22.04.53.jpg
Pure agony

2021-01-03 19.51.09.jpg
Bent strap with bolt still in there

2021-01-03 19.51.41.jpg
Two rounded hex heads, one socket cap


I was thinking I'd have to figure out a way to replace the bolts with something that didn't suck. The socket head worked, but wasn't easy. I thought maybe I'd use a bolt with a larger head and shim it up with washers so you could get a ratcheting wrench around it. Then I found a sick solution on Rockauto. Why don't people replace driveshaft bolts with u bolts like these??? https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.ph ... 40&jsn=429

I just found these on RockAuto and had no clue they were an option. Seems like a great solution, but I've never seen anyone do it.
If I had u bolts on there it would have taken minutes instead of hours to do the job.

Here is a video of a guy doing the conversion on a jeep -
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Re: Rear Driveshaft Bolts Suck. Why Don't People Replace Th

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » January 10th 2021, 5:45am

Well, I bought them, so we'll see how they go.

Still interested to see if anyone has used them though.
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Re: Rear Driveshaft Bolts Suck. Why Don't People Replace Th

Postby AstroOafAdventurerAstroOafAdventurer is online! » January 10th 2021, 1:24pm

I think my TJ had U bolts. I know my CJ did but I don't remember on the TJ but the straps don't look familiar si I'm guessing it did.
Good luck, looks like a nice upgrade and hopefully easy.
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Re: Rear Driveshaft Bolts Suck. Why Don't People Replace Th

Postby Mmusicman » January 10th 2021, 4:32pm

I've never had an issue with driveshaft bolts, but it seems you certainly have.
My experience has certainly been VERY different than yours.

I've found the best solution to removing them when they are tight, is a good quality small box wrench and a small hammer. Tapping the wrench (while firmly holding it in place on the bolt) works well for dislodging tight or seized bolts. They are strong, so you can't generally hurt them, as long as you get a good solid hold on them. I recommend avoiding using a socket on them (until you loosen them)... as generally they come in at an angle.

The u-bolt upgrade is a great idea (although like I said I'd never need to do it).
Many vehicles use this method already.

I had to remove my driveshaft on the side of the road once when I had an issue.
Needed no jack (thanks to lift).. and I had the driveshaft off in a minute.
Drove off in 4x4 mode propelled by front drive-train.. lol

Here are literally the only tools (I carry with me at all times) that I need to remove my driveshaft...lol. I've had it in and out more times than I can count...
(the wrench fits on the socket adapter and this arrangement allows the socket to sit square on the bolt.. then the socket setup is used to spin off the bolts by hand)

20200906_Driveshaft Tools.jpg
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Re: Rear Driveshaft Bolts Suck. Why Don't People Replace Th

Postby Leeann_93 » January 10th 2021, 5:23pm

The ones on my '99 were a total PITA to remove because it had been an airport shuttle van, run in all weather and, obviously, never had the undercarriage washed.

This is the only pic I have and it's fuzzy, but only one bolt came out easy. The other 3 sucked. Bad.

IMG_2292.JPG


IMG_2295.JPG


On one or two, I used the wrench. One one or two, I used the ¼" bar and socket. Neither was perfect.
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Re: Rear Driveshaft Bolts Suck. Why Don't People Replace Th

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » January 11th 2021, 3:17am

I wish it could be so easy Musicman lol

I went to harbor freight to buy flare nut wrenches, a set of box-end wrenches (slightly smaller shoulder than my ratcheting wrenches) and 1/4 sockets, hoping that one of those would help me get it. Totally failed.

I don't mind having the new tools. But I definitely wish I hadn't needed to buy them in hopes they'd work.
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Re: Rear Driveshaft Bolts Suck. Why Don't People Replace Th

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » February 8th 2021, 7:26pm

So, turns out this didn't work. The ubolts listed for our vans on RockAuto don't fit.

I drilled out the threads on the yoke but just used different hardware - still way better than the original in my opinion.

deets here - https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.p ... 6#p1576436
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Re: Rear Driveshaft Bolts Suck. Why Don't People Replace Th

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » February 15th 2021, 4:16am

Well, it is back together and I am happy with it, but I'm realizing I didn't get pics of the hardware.....

More info in my build thread, but here is the final product:
2021-02-14 21.56.04.jpg
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