Missing rubber 'Boot' on Prop Shaft Unversal Joint

OddSocks

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Photo's are best to describe this problem!

This is where the short prop shaft from the gear box connects to the joint(?) which connects it to the long prop shaft which goes back to the rear diff. It looks OK to me.

View media item 12491
This is the other side of that joint. You can see the connecter from the universal joint into the other side of where the short prop shaft is. You can see lots of grease has been sprayed onto the underside of the body. You can see the remains of the rubber boot.

View media item 12490
This is a better pic of the end of the long prop shaft, the unversal joint, and what remains of the rubber boot which I guess once covered this joint up.

View media item 12489
I don't think this is the cause of the noise we are hearing when the van overheats - it is too far away from the engine and gear box. Also - the first time this happened I got under the van and got my hands on both prop shafts and they were no hotter than your average 10 minute old cup of tea! lol

I'm not sure if this is an issue which needs urgent attention? As always, advice is most welcome!

Thanks!
 

Snowbird

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That boot is there for a reason, to keep road dirt, dust and grime out of a bearing. Any dirt in a bearing will form a grinding paste with what grease is left in there and quickly destroy the bearing. Get it sorted ASAP.
 

scotjimland

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The spline, which should be free to slide in and out of the bearing is rusty .. so I reckon it's been without a rubber boot for some time... bearing is probably also shot and the cause of all the noise.. Have it replaced asap.
 

DBK

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The thing itself is a centre bearing support I think. They are quite common in a number of different vehicles. I suggest grabbing the propshaft on the other side of it from the spline and see if there is any sideways movement in it. If there is that could be the cause of the noise.

As for the overheating going up hills it would be worth having the radiator and the rest of the cooling system flushed out. In a vehicle approaching 25 years old there could be all sorts of crud and gunge blocking things up.
 

pappajohn

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Centre bearing spline support.

The spline must be allowed to slide in and out of the other shaft as the axle moves up and down.
The universal joint (spider) allows for vertical movement but the axle also moves back and forth in an arc as it moves up and down effectively shortening and lengthening the shaft.
If the shaft cannot retract it will put excessive loads on the diff and gearbox thrust bearings.

It needs a new boot asap and the shaft splines need grease.

Im surprised it passed its MOT as drive shafts and rubber boots are all now a testable item
 
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Don't know where you are, but if in Cornwall, Clay Country, I can recommend Bridge St Motors St Austell. I have been using them for nearly 7 years, Excellent service, no bulldust, a good honest garage. 01726 66233
 
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Judging by the state of the splines I would think that water (no boot) has done the bearing in

The engine overheating - I would guess - is not connected


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OddSocks

OddSocks

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Thanks everyone. I can not detect any movement front to back on either of the two prop shafts.

I think it is still working in the way Pappajohn describes, as there is the dark line of grease that looks like a "high water mark" so to speak which shows how far it as traveled. However - the rust there makes me wonder if it has traveled that far recently? I will have this whole joint re-done ASAP.

If the shaft cannot retract it will put excessive loads on the diff and gearbox thrust bearings.
So if this was happening and then the vehicle overheated..... could this cause the gear box to make that grinding sound I heard?

Im surprised it passed its MOT as drive shafts and rubber boots are all now a testable item
AND

Don't know where you are, but if in Cornwall, Clay Country, I can recommend Bridge St Motors St Austell. I have been using them for nearly 7 years, Excellent service, no bulldust, a good honest garage.
I am in Portugal! But I used the Mid Cornwall MOT Centre in Bugle. Not sure they did a great job, nor that they did everything listed on the very expensive bill!!

They passed it's MOT with this is this state.

I am also worried about what they may have put in my gear box!!! I asked for the oil to be checked/replaced as needed. The bill reads:

Gear oil 80/90 X 2 @ 7.50
Automatic Transmission Fluid X 2 @ 4.50

I drive a manual!!! They told me that this was just a data entry error at point of billing. But reading the owners manual Auto Trans Fluid IS an option for this box. Stumped!
 

pappajohn

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Judging by the state of the splines I would think that water (no boot) has done the bearing in

The engine overheating - I would guess - is not connected



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The bearing is around the outside of the shaft where the splined shaft inserts.......
Water in the splines will not affect the bearing.
 
Apr 13, 2012
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The bearing is around the outside of the shaft where the splined shaft inserts.......
Water in the splines will not affect the bearing.
I was using the rusty state of the splines to suggest that water had got in and damaged the bearing because the boot was missing - not directly via the splines


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Aug 25, 2007
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As you'r in Portugal PM JJ he 's the expert on Potugese repairs and may be able to help. Depends if he's back from his latest travels.
 
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OddSocks

OddSocks

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It is side to side movement you need to check for.
Had a look at this today. There is no movement side to side or any other direction. In fact as far as I can tell the spline is rusted solid in the housing. No movement at all. Went for a short drive today and inspected it before and after the drive. Nothing. This is bad, right?

JJ offered help earlier but got no reply as the their exact location.
JJ missed my reply - I talked to him, we are cool! It's all good, as they say back in Oz!

Should I report the MOT centre who passed this with such a serious fault?
 

DBK

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The spline isn't exactly in optimal condition but from the pictures it is serviceable and still working. A new boot and some grease should put it right.
I think the spline is not seized, there is a mark showing movement - which happens particularly when the rear axle lifts or twists. The angle of the dangle of the propshaft is such it needs to alter its length as the axle moves.
I wouldn't get into an argument over the MOT. The spline might have been rusted in the past but had a boot fitted when the MOT was done.
 

Wildman

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I would certainly never use that garage again, if you report them your MOT will be void. You would have to have the van transported back for new MOT
 
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