W e have been installing a number of incredible products on our 77 Jeep CJ-5 build up vehicle, and have been wondering when we would finally run out of wheel base! Well, we have, the T-18 conversion that was recently completed along with the shackle reversal up front and the addition of a 2.5″ lift have left us with some unique driveline problems. The rear drive shaft is only 17″ inches long, and at an angle of close to 25 degrees, while the front is now 33″, and requires a long slip yoke. Our first attempt at having the original drive shafts shortened for the rear and lengthened for the front provided us with some amazing driveline vibration and the opportunity to break the front transfer case output yoke clean off if we took the Jeep off road.
It was time to call in the experts. I made a call to Tom Wood at Six States Distributors on the advice of Chris Overacker at Mountain Off-Road Enterprises and Joel Snider at Stage West Four Wheel Drive Centers. Six States distributors is not just another shop that builds drive shafts, they pride themselves on creating solutions to even the most complex driveline problems. Tom asked me all of the relevant questions needed to solve our problem, such as length between yokes, angle of the driveshaft, pinion angle, type and height of suspension lift, and type of driveshaft attachment. Building a driveshaft from a phone call requires you the consumer to provide exact answers to these questions, so double check all of your measurements before you call. Besides completely curing all of our problems, Tom took the time to explain why he was building the driveshafts a certain way, and what it would take to correct the problem. From a consumer standpoint it is refreshing to have someone explain everything that they are doing and what you are paying for.
The driveshafts Tom built for our project vehicle are a perfect fit. The length, attachment, and slip yokes are exact in every dimension. They are also works of art. Tom took the time to have the 4130 chromoly shafts fully polished and clear coated!
The front drive shaft is a long slip yoke type with 8″ of slip yoke to accommodate the shackle reversal and long travel springs. The rear is a constant velocity joint drive shaft and as long a slip yoke as could be used in the confined space.
After a week of intense abuse in Moab, Utah, I can say that the drive shafts are definitely not going to give us any problems. The vibration is completely gone in the rear of the Jeep, and the front shaft has plenty of travel left at full suspension flex. If you are looking for the definitive answer to your driveshaft problems, give Tom Wood a call, he will be glad to handle all of your driveshaft needs.
- NOTE: Since the writing of this article, Tom Woods has started his own business of making drive shafts and his web site can be seen at www.4xshaft.com. Six States distributors is still making high quality driveshafts though.
|Six States Distributors|
1112 West 33rd South
Ogden, Utah 84401
Web Site: www.sixstates.com
|Ease of Install||How hard can putting a couple of driveshafts be?|
|Ease of Use||N/A||N/A|
|Performance||Our drive shaft vibrations are completely gone.|
|Durability||Whew! I can all but promise you that these are pretty much good for life. Much more durable than stock!|
|Appearance||We really liked the clearcoat finish but have noticed now that they have scratched that the rust really shows thorugh. This would happen even on painted driveshafts, but the clear coat really shows it more. We suggest just getting the painted ones unless you plan on showing your rig.|
|Driveability||Same as performance…|
|Price in comparison to related products||A bit steeper in price as compared to local shops, but well worth the extra money.|
|Was it worth it?||We think so.|
|Tools Required||1/2″ wrench|
|Editors Notes||These driveshafts are really works of art. If you can get past the slightly higher price and the clear coat finish with it’s ability to show rust when the finish is scratched off, then these are definately the shafts for you. Absolutely no worries when we go wheelin’ any more…JC|