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Old 01-16-2008, 02:15 AM
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piecing together my drive train..

I have a 450-ish hp small block in a 68 el camino, and since i will be getting my driveshaft balanced I know that i want new yokes and u-joints. I will be running slicks so the above parts will be taking a beating. I have decided against the t400 and ford 9 inch plan cause that takes more power to turn than a 350/12 bolt. on that note, i want my driveline to be as light and strong as possible.

Im going to get the best of everything so i dont have to worry. some questions-

aluminum yokes save about 2 pounds over steel. im presuming theyre as strong as steel? is rotating weight a factor when the parts are only rotating on a fixed axis? will the motor "feel" the difference? whats a part number i should check out for a t350/12 bolt?

at what point do people go to an aftermarket/aluminum driveshaft? its stored dry now and has real minor surface rust, should i just get it balanced?

do grease fittings on u-joints affect strength? what is great/not so great about grease fittings? is 1350 the way to go?

what are U-joint girdles? saw it on summit. worth it? or is it unnecessary weight? never heard of them.

Most importantly. The car had a 10 bolt and a powerglide, will i need a new length driveshaft when going to a 12 bolt/ t350?

its simple. I want to squeeze all the efficiency out of the motor and not have to worry about breakage. money is not so much an issue. so im wondering what you guys have done and any other tricks of the trade.

Last edited by cameano; 01-16-2008 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameano
I have a 450-ish hp small block in a 68 el camino, and since i will be getting my driveshaft balanced I know that i want new yokes and u-joints. I will be running slicks so the above parts will be taking a beating. I have decided against the t400 and ford 9 inch plan cause that takes more power to turn than a 350/12 bolt. on that note, i want my driveline to be as light and strong as possible.

Im going to get the best of everything so i dont have to worry. some questions-

aluminum yokes save about 2 pounds over steel. im presuming theyre as strong as steel? is rotating weight a factor when the parts are only rotating on a fixed axis? will the motor "feel" the difference? whats a part number i should check out for a t350/12 bolt?
They aren't "as strong as steel" they are more forgiving than steel to driveline abuses in high powered applications, even though they are on that "fixed axis" you still have to force heavier objects to turn more than light ones.

Quote:
at what point do people go to an aftermarket/aluminum driveshaft? its stored dry now and has real minor surface rust, should i just get it balanced?
since you didn't really state what your main intention for the car is, if full race- go with an aftermarket aluminum or carbon fiber driveshaft, both will accept much more race abuse than a steel shaft, but the cost prohibits you wanting to use them for the street.

Quote:
do grease fittings on u-joints affect strength? what is great/not so great about grease fittings? is 1350 the way to go?
The fittings are put into an area of the main body of the joint that is not in the designed fail point areas of the joint, the strongest joints would have the zerk fitting in the end of one of the bearing caps.

Quote:
what are U-joint girdles? saw it on summit. worth it? or is it unnecessary weight? never heard of them.
They add area for the bearing caps to ride on, effectively making the mounting points of the universal joints stronger than those without them.

Quote:
Most importantly. The car had a 10 bolt and a powerglide, will i need a new length driveshaft when going to a 12 bolt/ t350?
The TH-350 and 12-bolt together would make the driveshaft too long on each end, the 12-bolt is nominally 1 inch longer than a 10-bolt at the universal joint mounting centerline.

Quote:
its simple. I want to squeeze all the efficiency out of the motor and not have to worry about breakage. money is not so much an issue. so im wondering what you guys have done and any other tricks of the trade.
An aluminum shaft will reduce the amount of weight the engine has to turn to allow a faster rate of rotational speed as compared to a steel shaft, and a carbon fiber shaft increases that weight loss program, but at a significant cost, for example I was quoted on a driveshaft for a project truck.
I removed a 1 piece shaft that had heavy rust and was flaking, and I knew there was some amount of degradation of the shaft strength, so I contacted many driveshaft shops to get a price quote on a new steel shaft.
None offered the length I needed in a single tube shaft for steel or aluminum, and all recommended installing a carrier bearing with two shafts making the needed connection, or upgrading to carbon fiber for any length up to 8 feet overall. I was quoted no less than $1200 for that CF shaft from any shop that would custom fabricate it. I ended up having a local shop check the tube on the one I removed, and was able to reuse it with a 1 inch shortening job to make the new engine transmission combination I decided on installing in that truck.

If your main intention is for street, then you could get away with a steel replacement or aluminum upgrade.

Weekend race would eliminate the steel shaft, and full on race would call for carbon fiber.

The choice is yours.
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:08 PM
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3.5" x .083" wall tube, 1350 forged yokes, and 1350 cold forged Spicer non-greasable joints (5-799X iirc)... good for street to low 10 sec. cars. We build 'em everyday. Aluminum while lighter weight will eventually fail because of it's inability to recover from strain (not a big deal on a full blown race car that overhauls the drivetrain a couple times a season), steel is more elastic and will last for years. Greaseable joints are weaker and do fail (when abused) because of the lack of material in the cast centers no matter were the zirc is located, I've got boxes of broken warranty ones, both styles. As far as length, there are too many combinations of engine mounts and rear suspension setups to say for certain, the best way is to simply measure tranny seal to the flats on the diff yoke (your new 1350 one 'cause conversion joints suck) with the weight on the suspension. Take that number to your local driveline shop, and tell 'em what you want.
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