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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am replacing my front drive shaft due to the torn CV boot that grenaded the joint.

I got the old shaft out, and when I went to fit the new one I've found it's not fitting in. It's a double U-joint model, with a slip shaft. The shaft is completely compressed and it still seems like I need another 1/4" to get it in.

If I mount the front yoke first, I can't get the back in, if I slide the back in, the front won't go in because of the lip that fits into the front yoke.

Is it possible I have the wrong part, or am I missing something?

The old shaft will compress down to almost 1/2" less than the new shaft at full compression, which worries me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I dug up a post on dodgedakotas.com where a guy was having the same experience as me, where the replacement shaft was 1/2" too long.

At one point before I ordered this shaft from Advance, I had called a Dodge dealer to get a price on an OEM shaft, and the guys said he needed the VIN and that the part was VIN specific. I'm thinking now that all Dakotas may not have the same parts in them.

If anybody as any input please share, because I really don't see a way I'm getting this shaft on. I'll have to try and find a place that builds them is my best bet, since I'm NOT putting another OEM shaft back on.

By the way, does anybody know what that blue stuff is that they use on the front bolts? It made it hard as hell to get them out.
 

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The blue stuff is loctite threadlocker.
 

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mine was like that too, and i got it on there eventually. i don't remember what i did but it fit. just keep playing with it. iirc you need to put the front on first since it has the lip and maybe had to bump in the rear flange with a dead blow hammer or something. i would have to do it again.
 

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The tenth one
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Take it out and compare the length of the original one. Make sure the slip joint is fully compressed too.

If that doesn't work, take it back and buy mine and save some coin! I know mine fits, just sayin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
SolidState, I'm just not seeing this one fitting for me.

I did a bunch of measurements:
New Shaft: 24 1/4" fully compressed
Old Shaft: 23 3/4 fully compressed, about 24 1/4" uncompressed
Distance between t-case flange and diff flange: 24"

The old shaft has the 1/2" of play that is needed to get it in there and mount it. The new shaft is actually longer overall than the available space between the flanges, and last I checked you can't put 24 1/4 pounds of s**t in a 24 pound bag, without some trouble down the road.

Dennis, if you want to measure the overall length of the shaft you have, let me know what you come up with.

If anybody else feels like grabbing a tape measure and getting me the distance between their two flanges it might be interesting to see if others have 24 1/4" instead of 24".

Tomorrow I guess I'm calling the dealer to see what they can come up with. If that doesn't pan out I'll see if I can find somebody to make me one or just cut the new one down.

Honestly, I'd love to know why a slip shaft with 2+ inches of adjustment must be made to fit precisely while fully compressed. Why not just make this sucker 23 1/4 and leave some margin for error?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I called the Dodge dealer today. They matched the part number off of my original shaft and said it was $412. Also, it's on backorder until 2/23 :(.

I called a local fabrication place but I need to take the original shaft into them before they can quote any specifics.

What a PITA.
 

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The tenth one
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What are you measuring, from where to where?

Mine is advertised at 26 1/4 from face to face and it fits fine.
 

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What about running down to NAPA or some other parts place and measuring one there. It could be just the shaft you got is wrong.

Otherwise, try a boneyard. It might last you a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What about running down to NAPA or some other parts place and measuring one there. It could be just the shaft you got is wrong.

Otherwise, try a boneyard. It might last you a bit.
Napa lists the length of the shaft as 24 1/4" right on their website. It's clearly the same one I have right now. No help there.

I took the shaft to a driveline shop and they are cutting it down and rebalancing it for me. I'm tired of messing around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
you must just have an oddball truck, not sure cause that is the size they are supposed to be.

where in PA are you from?
My understanding is that there was more than one shaft configuration used during 2001. Hence the reason why the dealer needed my VIN# or actual part number. The first time i called he told me there were multiple shafts listed for my vehicle configuration.

My 2001 was an early build, one of the first 2001s to roll off since I special ordered it.
 

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MUDDIGGER
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My understanding is that there was more than one shaft configuration used during 2001. Hence the reason why the dealer needed my VIN# or actual part number. The first time i called he told me there were multiple shafts listed for my vehicle configuration.

My 2001 was an early build, one of the first 2001s to roll off since I special ordered it.
i dont trust the dealers VIN thing....every time i call the dodge dealer to get a part they ALWAYS ask for a vin, just makes it easier for them to find the parts and/or thats just the way they are set up to get the parts
 

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just makes it easier for them to find the parts
Quoted for the truth.

There is nothing special about your drive shaft and truck. Do you think Chrysler would put the engine configuration different just for you?

I have talked with some very knowledgeable drive shaft shops here and they all say they are the same size. The 2nd gen durango's have a shorter shaft, I think. Might be longer I can't recall off hand.

You bought an aftermarket shaft that was made wrong, end of story.

How many miles on the original?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't know what to tell you guys. I TRIED to get this thing in multiple times, every which way.

The way the old one goes in and out is to put the x-fer case side in first, because the flange there is a "cup" with a 1/2 ridge all the way around. When I put the new shaft into the x-fer case side, it WILL NOT compress enough to get into the front flange. The lip there hits and prevents if from getting anywhere near on. If the new shaft was the same size as the old shaft (1/2 inch shorter) it would be on already.

I would agree with you guys that I must be crazy, except that I've found one other post on the web about a guy with a 2001 going through the same exact thing. His mechanic tried TWO rebuilt shafts and they were both 1/2 too long.

Napa, Autozone, etc, all say the length of the Cardone shaft is 24 1/4, that's what mine measures. That is simply too long. Even if I got it in there I'd never get it back off again if I needed to.
 

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Look up the part for a 2000 Dakota, 23 1/2". You just hit it on the head.

There was a production change. I got asked when I was looking at CV joints. It happened in September 2000 or so. I know it doesn't affect my March built 2000.

I wonder what they changed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Look up the part for a 2000 Dakota, 23 1/2". You just hit it on the head.

There was a production change. I got asked when I was looking at CV joints. It happened in September 2000 or so. I know it doesn't affect my March built 2000.

I wonder what they changed?
The shaft for a 2000 Dakota comes up as a 65-9513 instead of a 65-9514. However, instead of 24 1/4" long it says it is 26 1/4".

How did you come up with 23 1/2"? Or are they measuring them differently (one extended, one compressed)?
 

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Look at the other shaft on Rockauto, the Auto Unlimited:

P/N 52099204AB 23.5" c-c length.

What part number did Dodge give you?

I don't see where you said auto or manual trans, engine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Look at the other shaft on Rockauto, the Auto Unlimited:

P/N 52099204AB 23.5" c-c length.

What part number did Dodge give you?

I don't see where you said auto or manual trans, engine?
Yeah, I see that one now. The P/N is pretty close to what I need, I have it written down at home.

Mine is a 4.7L manual trans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The part number off the old shaft is P52105981AC, which is supposedly replaced by 65-9514. The shaft that is 23.5" is for the automatic trans, the manual trans in 2000 required a longer 26" shaft.

I'm starting to think that the reman shaft I have very well may not be made correctly, since it does appear that there is only 1 shaft for my truck.

I found this page by searching with the 52105981AC part number:

http://www.ccidriveline.com/dodge/dakota-4x4-front-drive-shaft.html

They confirm my 24" Flange-to-flange measurement, and look like they are fabricating a perfect replacement for the OEM shaft, with a double cardan CV joint instead of the ball-and-cage style CV joint. I'm going to call these guys tomorrow and see what the compressed size of their shaft is.
 
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