Is It Possible To Rebalance A Prop Shaft?

6 July 2022
 Categories: , Blog

Whether you have a front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicle, you need some type of rotating device to transfer power to the driven wheels. Manufacturers design these shafts to put up with a lot of stress and to continue to do their work without too much attention. However, sometimes they may exhibit signs of wear or not be able to perform as they once should. If this happens, what should you do?

Varying Requirements

The size of the shaft in question will depend on the drivetrain. Rear-drive cars count on a very long and larger prop shaft that connects the back of the gearbox to the front of the axle. Front-drive cars rely on stubby prop shafts on either side of the transmission casing that covers the short distance to each front wheel.

Balancing At The Factory

When these shafts come out of the factory, they will have been balanced by engineers so that they turn smoothly and without any vibration. Remember, they sometimes have to rotate at high speed for extended periods when you drive a long way on a motorway.

Problems Arise

Occasionally, the shaft may lose its counterbalance. These balances are occasionally glued on in certain places using a heavy-duty solution, but wear-and-tear can make a difference, especially as these shafts are exposed to all the elements. Sometimes, the shaft can be damaged by large stones or other debris, but if this happens, you need to replace it altogether since it is impossible to repair this type of impact.

Balancing At Home

Nevertheless, it may be possible to rebalance a drive shaft, and some people perform this work by adding hose clamps. These are the same type of clamps that may connect rubber hoses to a radiator, and can restore business as usual. To make this kind of DIY adjustment, you will need to exercise a lot of care and use a certain amount of trial and error to find the best place to install the hose clamp. Some people use an accelerometer, but in most cases, this type of work will be beyond the average motorist.

Getting Professional Help

It's far better to take the vehicle to an experienced mechanic instead. They'll inspect the condition of the prop shaft and aim to balance it using professional tools and equipment. They'll ensure that the shaft is still straight and oval and that the thickness of the tube is still in line with the manufacturer's recommendations.

For assistance, turn to an auto repair service near you.