Driveshaft play OK ?

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Gotta get outta here...
Sep 20, 2003
went to check another '99 today (geez you guys already got me hooked on the thing and I don't even have one yet...). It has about 57K on the clock with a rear locker.
Anyway, had a look underneath and had a look at the driveshaft play. Was taken a bit aback at how much you could rotate it There was a considerable -I thought- amount of play on the rear shaft. Same with wheels on and off the ground (I had them put it on the rack). I would say the outside of the U-joints would rotate somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4", probably close to 1/4". Was easy to rotate and you could hear and feel a crisp clunk at either end of the slop. Not mushy at all. (The driveshaft had the spliny telescoping end on the rear side - is that correct?) With the wheels off you could feel a similar slop with the front driveshaft and then the front wheels would actually rotate a bit. (The parking brake was on I think so the rear were not moving on the rack.)
Question: would 1/4" or a tad less be too much slop? Is this worrisome and an indication of potential trouble?
For comparison: I tried the play on a brand new TLC : there was absolutely none, solid as a rock. Tried to wiggle one with 120K, was less play than on the 57K one. Tried a 65K, again less. (You can tell I had a busy sunday.)
Other question: the truck was a certified Toyota with powertrain warranty. Would they likely fix this slop under that warranty or only if it falls apart?
Pardon the ignorance please, but I definitely don't want to buy a truck with a driveline timebomb in it...
thanks much
I don't know about the 100 but that would be fine for an 80. What your feeling is the Ring/pinion backlash in the diff. As far as the slip yoke, ours is up at the Transfer case for both front and rear.
Hi Rick
good to know, but I'm surprised this much play is OK
does it make any difference which way the slip yoke is installed?
The amount of rotation differs with the gear ratio in the diff. I actually have more rotational movement because of the 4.88s that are installed. Even though the backlash is the same the pitch of the teeth require more movement to take up that play. I can only guess that the yoke being near the transfer case would have the stronger end down where it is more likely to get hit. That's only a guess though.

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