Replaced my rear DS with new OEM... Should I consider the front as well?

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The joints on my rear DS were pretty sloppy so my shop suggested I rebuild it. For nearly the same cost I just bought a new one and swapped it out. The car drives much smoother now, and the clunk from reverse to drive is back to a relatively "normal" sounding clunk.

My quest is if I should proactively replace the front drive shaft as well. The shop didn't say it needed to be done, but both the front and rear were original to the car with 170k miles on them. Their point was that the front does not take nearly the beating that the rear does.

Any thoughts on this?
 
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For one thing, there shouldn't be a "normal" clunk in an 80; they're not 100s. Come over to my house and you can see what it should be like.

Second, I love the "front end doesn't wear as much as the rear" comments from repair shops. The 80 is full time 4wd; the front and rear move together, at least on pavement when you're driving straight ahead, which is most of the time for most people. This is better than the "locking hubs are necessary for long front axle life" argument. Everyone and their brother stuck these things on every 4wd in the 70s and 80s. The 80 series didn't have them and don't have any higher incidence of axle failure without them.

If you can replace the U-joint bearings properly (meaning, they press in and don't fall out) and your driveshaft isn't bent, it's fine.

BTW, what's the name of the shop?
 
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For one thing, there shouldn't be a "normal" clunk in an 80; they're not 100s. Come over to my house and you can see what it should be like.

Second, I love the "front end doesn't wear as much as the rear" comments from repair shops. The 80 is full time 4wd; the front and rear move together, at least on pavement when you're driving straight ahead, which is most of the time for most people. This is better than the "locking hubs are necessary for long front axle life" argument. Everyone and their brother stuck these things on every 4wd in the 70s and 80s. The 80 series didn't have them and don't have any higher incidence of axle failure without them.

If you can replace the U-joint bearings properly (meaning, they press in and don't fall out) and your driveshaft isn't bent, it's fine.

BTW, what's the name of the shop?
Would love to see a baseline 80... I'm rather new to these so I'm not sure what is "normal" for these trucks.

The shop was Ft Mill. To be fair, they did look at the front driveshaft and said it looked fine OK. They showed me the play in the rear and that's why they recommended it be replaced right away. The cost of a rebuild was only about $100 less than a new one so I just went with new.
 
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Godwin

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With buying a new driveshaft the good thing is that you have OEM u-joints instead of whatever brand the shop would choose install. Non-OEM u-joints may fit but never deliver the mileage the mileage of OEM.
 
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I pulled my driveshafts to replace the u joints found out the rear had a 3/4 of and inch wobble to it. The drive shaft shop said they could not get the metric tube but could build a new one for about 350.but had a 15 to 20 day wait. called the local deal was given a price of 579 plus tax, went online found a factory one for 359 but with 255. in shipping, Checked with Lakeland Toyota price was 379 and 140 shipping it should be here on Monday.I had the front shaft U joints replaced and had them check the balance so it should be fine. Also the front shaft had little arrows for alignment on it so it has either been rebuild or replaced before.If your front shaft has had the u joints replaced and there is not a lot of play in the slip joint I would run it for now. Unless you have unlimited funds.
 
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I pulled my driveshafts to replace the u joints found out the rear had a 3/4 of and inch wobble to it. The drive shaft shop said they could not get the metric tube but could build a new one for about 350.but had a 15 to 20 day wait. called the local deal was given a price of 579 plus tax, went online found a factory one for 359 but with 255. in shipping, Checked with Lakeland Toyota price was 379 and 140 shipping it should be here on Monday.I had the front shaft U joints replaced and had them check the balance so it should be fine. Also the front shaft had little arrows for alignment on it so it has either been rebuild or replaced before.If your front shaft has had the u joints replaced and there is not a lot of play in the slip joint I would run it for now. Unless you have unlimited funds.
Whoa, that's some expensive shipping!! You should be able to get free shipping from Toyota using the code FREESHIP on purchases over $75 and under $200 in shipping fees. I've used that at various online Toyota dealers about 4-5 times so far and that included shipping a bumper... FYI, I paid $366 with free shipping for my DS.



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Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
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Charlotte
With buying a new driveshaft the good thing is that you have OEM u-joints instead of whatever brand the shop would choose install. Non-OEM u-joints may fit but never deliver the mileage the mileage of OEM.
That was my thought exactly...

That being said, I'm now thinking about just buying the Toyota U-joints for about $55 each and giving them to the driveshaft rebuilder to use instead of the $44 they charge for generic Spicer joints.

All of this really boils down to if it makes sense for me to proactively replace the front drive shaft. The rear was obviously bad... Does that generally mean the front isn't too far behind?
 
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Mar 15, 2021
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sacramento
The joints on my rear DS were pretty sloppy so my shop suggested I rebuild it. For nearly the same cost I just bought a new one and swapped it out. The car drives much smoother now, and the clunk from reverse to drive is back to a relatively "normal" sounding clunk.

My quest is if I should proactively replace the front drive shaft as well. The shop didn't say it needed to be done, but both the front and rear were original to the car with 170k miles on them. Their point was that the front does not take nearly the beating that the rear does.

Any thoughts on this?
I inadvertently ordered an extra pair of front OEM U joints. Let you have 'em for what I paid plus shipping from CA.
PM me if interested. New in the box.

Happy trails.
 
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Sydney, Australia
I bought new front and rear prop shafts for my 80, but in my case it made sense because I'm planning to keep the rig for another 20 years if I can, and I figured getting new OEM's now while they're still available will pay for itself down the road. Now I have a spare used front and rear prop shaft I can take my time rebuilding when I want, and I won't have to worry about failures in this area taking me out of action.

It really depends if you're planning to keep your 80 that long if it makes sense for you. If you are, building up a "parts shelf" over time is a kind of defensive measure against future problems when parts will be harder to get and more expensive. If that's not where you see yourself, save the money and just fix what needs fixing. If your current prop shaft is fine, drive it until it's not.
 

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