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  1. #1
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    Default driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Over the last few weeks, I've been hearing a noise from my transmission and/or driveshaft when my '67 is in forward motion. I had the entire drive shaft pulled and rebuilt about 10k miles ago: all 5 u-joints and the carrier bearing were replaced. I recently put the car up on jack stands and checked the drive line for any slack, and there doesn't seem to be any play. I lubed the front & back u-joints anyway, and took it down. The rear end gear oil was changed 5k miles ago, and the gears inside were inspected, with no wear observed. The transmission mount is new. The pan filter & gasket has less than 15k miles on it. Some of my pan bolts were loose, and some fluid had seeped, but I tightened up all of the bolts and checked the fluid level...it was about 1/2 a pint low. I topped it off, and there are no issues with shifting through all gears.

    The noise is definitely tied to the rotation of the drive shaft, and increases with forward speed. Could it be the speedometer cable? That's one thing which has not yet been changed or inspected.
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  2. #2
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Quote Originally Posted by lemmy-67 View Post
    Over the last few weeks, I've been hearing a noise from my transmission and/or driveshaft when my '67 is in forward motion. I had the entire drive shaft pulled and rebuilt about 10k miles ago: all 5 u-joints and the carrier bearing were replaced. I recently put the car up on jack stands and checked the drive line for any slack, and there doesn't seem to be any play. I lubed the front & back u-joints anyway, and took it down. The rear end gear oil was changed 5k miles ago, and the gears inside were inspected, with no wear observed. The transmission mount is new. The pan filter & gasket has less than 15k miles on it. Some of my pan bolts were loose, and some fluid had seeped, but I tightened up all of the bolts and checked the fluid level...it was about 1/2 a pint low. I topped it off, and there are no issues with shifting through all gears.

    The noise is definitely tied to the rotation of the drive shaft, and increases with forward speed. Could it be the speedometer cable? That's one thing which has not yet been changed or inspected.
    LOL. Well you kind of have to describe the type of noise you are hearing. We can all guess and miss lead you - metallic, scratchy, a thump that gets faster etc.... lets get that our vocab in gear and will see what we can come up with.


    Jim
    JD

  3. #3
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Is it not so loud ticking? Like when you put stiff plastic foil in bicycle wheel?
    I had something like this happened to me after i changed some things in my driveshaft. It turned out to be support bearing problem. When you buy new one it's not like the OEM was. New bearings are thinner and they dont really fit into support, you need to make some kind of spacers to hold bearing in support and to let the center nut seat tight on bearing. Mine nut went loose and bearing started to rotate on a driveshaft not with it. For some time i thought that gearbox went down, well i even chased broken static collector in front wheel.
    I should have some pics somewhere, i'll try to post them.
    Kacper


  4. #4
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Quote Originally Posted by monzaz View Post
    LOL. Well you kind of have to describe the type of noise you are hearing. We can all guess and miss lead you - metallic, scratchy, a thump that gets faster etc.... lets get that our vocab in gear and will see what we can come up with.


    Jim
    JD
    Agreed: it's a little bit difficult to describe the noise. It is like a light scraping sound which seems to follow the revolutions of the driveshaft when the car is in forward gear. At first, I thought it was one of my front wheel bearings, but I've checked both of them: no excess play on the retaining nut and no filings in the grease. The front discs are only 2 years old, and less than 5K miles on them. I thought it was my water pump or fan clutch, but I've changed both of them out & the noise still persists.

    A few years back, I would feel a slight vibration in my driveline at around 70 MPH, but it went away when I increased speed. Also, I would occasionally hear a clunk when dropping it into gear, but this was very seldom: say 1 time out of 12.

    At cruising speed, the scraping turns into a low moan when I am on/off the accelerator. If I jockey the accelerator pedal to match speed, I can get it to go away. This seems to indicate a worn U-joint, but I didn't observe any play when I turned the driveshaft by hand. Looks like I may just need to drop it and send it off to be checked and balanced.
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  5. #5
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Well, I've had the car taken to a local tranny shop, and the noise isn't coming from the ST400. The mechanic found no metal in the pan at all, and other than a tail-shaft seal that was leaking, everything was fine. They did a general inspection and filter change, and checked the driveline...none of the u-joints seemed worn. My tranny mount was smoked, though...I did notice the rubber was cracked when I was last under the car.

    I've ordered the new mount, and I'll put it in myself next time I put the car up on stands. I'll probably drop the driveshaft again to take a look for myself at all of the joints...2 of them(the dished ones) have no grease fittings. Maybe the carrier bearing is smoked again...even though this one only has about 10k miles on it.
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  6. #6
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Okay, I've changed out the tranny mount...the old one was rotted to hell. The shim across the top was the only thing holding the rubber together. Noise is still there. I'm thinking it HAS to be something in the driveshaft. I'll put it back up with the rear wheels off the ground and drop the driveshaft next time.
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  7. #7
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Len I know a really good rear end and tranny guy in San Jose who does quality work at a very low cost. I'll send you a pm with his info and he could probably take a look at it for very cheap and figure out the problem. He also build motors and he did a great job on my BBB and several of my friends Buick, Olds and Chevy motors.

    Thanks Joe
    Joe Medrano

    1970 Buick GS

    1972 Buick GS Tribute

    1972 Buick GS

    1949 Chevy 3100 5 window
    I'm putting a Buick in it!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Thanks, Joe...I'll look him up.

    The vibration sounds like it's coming from the front of the vehicle, and I can feel it in the steering wheel. That tells me it's either near the frame where the steering box is bolted, or it's something in the front end, itself. The mechanic at the tranny shop said it may be in the rear end or rear axles, but I hear no noise coming from the back of the car...except for my exhaust.

    Maybe one of my tailpipes is rubbing on a tire??? I did need to tighten up my passenger side muffler clamp a few months ago...
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  9. #9
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Okay: I found part of the noise: drivers-side tailpipe was rubbing on the frame. It was located at the 90-degree bend after the rear axle, and the pipe was touching the flange near the axle which connects the track rod. All of the hanger hardware from the driver's side muffler was loose as well. I tightened up everything, and re-did the rear hanger, and now there's a good 1/2" between the pipe and the frame.

    Problem is, I still have drivetrain noise...in both forward and reverse. A light scraping sound which increases with speed. I just dropped the driveshaft. I'm damned if I can see anything wrong with it. All 5 joints seem to be tight, and the carrier bearing looks fine. I'm going to take it in to be inspected and balanced. Just need to find a shop capable of doing the job.
    Last edited by lemmy-67; 06-09-2013 at 09:18 PM.
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  10. #10
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Well, the shop has checked out my driveshaft, and they say it's a goner. Splines, rear CV joint, carrier...all are beyond repair. They can fabricate me a new shaft, but it'll be costly. Time to find the checkbook...
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  11. #11
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Got the brand-new fabricated shaft from the shop on Monday. Put it in. Lowered the car off the stands & took it for a test drive this morning.

    No good.

    CV joint number 1 was bigger than the original one, about 1/8" larger diameter. Looked like it would clear from top-to-bottom, but side-to-side is another story. Once I got going in forward gear, it began hitting the frame. Not a pleasant sensation to drive the car when it's doing that.

    Dropped it again, and brought it back. They say they can change this CV joint out with a smaller diameter one. I'll be able to pick it up on Monday.
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  12. #12
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Quote Originally Posted by lemmy-67 View Post
    Got the brand-new fabricated shaft from the shop on Monday. Put it in. Lowered the car off the stands & took it for a test drive this morning.

    No good.

    CV joint number 1 was bigger than the original one, about 1/8" larger diameter. Looked like it would clear from top-to-bottom, but side-to-side is another story. Once I got going in forward gear, it began hitting the frame. Not a pleasant sensation to drive the car when it's doing that.

    Dropped it again, and brought it back. They say they can change this CV joint out with a smaller diameter one. I'll be able to pick it up on Monday.
    Could you have gone back with a standard 1 piece shaft with a slip yoke? I don't understand all the extra complexity of your shaft.

    Excuse my lack expertise on full size cars.
    Cason P.
    71 Skylark 350-4V
    Hooker Headers
    Ken G. 1973 Q-Jet
    D5 GN Converter/200R4
    3.42 Posi Rear
    In Development:
    Either this Car kills me, or I kill the car first!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Quote Originally Posted by 71skylark3504v View Post
    Could you have gone back with a standard 1 piece shaft with a slip yoke? I don't understand all the extra complexity of your shaft.

    Excuse my lack expertise on full size cars.
    The '67 Riv still had an x-frame, as far as I'm aware. The driveshaft runs through the center of the X, which is plated on the bottom and top of the frame rails. If you tried running a one piece shaft straight from the trans to the rear end, the bottom of the X would interfere. Hence the need for the center double cardan, and slip yoke setup.

    I find it hard to believe your whole driveshaft was junk. Even if it was, each component is rebuildable or replaceable. I don't know what you paid for your custom shaft, but I paid about $400 to have my driveshaft shortened, totally rebuilt and rebalanced, including a new trans yoke, u-joints, double cardan joint, and rubber bushing for the slip yoke.
    Andy

    1962 Buick Invicta, 407 Nailhead,
    ST400 manual VB trans, 3.23 Posi

  14. #14
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    The shop told me the ball joints and carrier splines were worn badly, and showed me the kinks where the shaft was binding and not turning smoothly. The u-joints were okay, but it was the ball joints & seal junctions which were in bad shape on both CVs.
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  15. #15
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Well, two tries now with the shaft that the shop fabricated me, and two failures. Car rides & sounds horrible.

    The tech at the shop explained that he built the back half with the first CV joint about 8 inches further toward the rear than the original shaft...a detail he did not reveal to me until just now. Both times I've had the new shaft in, the car rides like a sherman tank: horrible noise & vibration at even 5-10 mph. Moving the number 1 CV that far back must put both CVs at an angle which is too extreme, and the shaft is binding when in motion. He's going to rebuild it with the first CV right at the carrier splines, like before, and then the back half won't be kinked at such an extreme angle, and the rotation won't be so nasty.

    At least I'm getting a lot of exercise jacking the car up & down, ripping this shaft out and schlepping it across town. Hope my van doesn't give out...it's my only vehicle I have still in operation at the moment.
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  16. Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Sounds to me like the center mount where the middle of the drive shaft joints. Something worn out in there or dry would cause the scraping and vibrating feeling, the 'moaning' sounds you describe. Sounds exactly like a dry bearing or there's some kind of interference or misalignment with the drive shaft in that area.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Farmer View Post
    Sounds to me like the center mount where the middle of the drive shaft joints. Something worn out in there or dry would cause the scraping and vibrating feeling, the 'moaning' sounds you describe. Sounds exactly like a dry bearing or there's some kind of interference or misalignment with the drive shaft in that area.
    No...it's not the carrier bearing or the splines. Those are both brand-new. It's the fact that this shaft can't turn at the angles in which it's sitting when installed in the vehicle. The Buick engineers set the dimensions and components of the shaft where they were for a reason. The shop out here in California tried to employ a different approach, and they have failed miserably. The CV joints simply cannot operate as intended with these dimensions. The tech's going to tear it apart, and rebuild it the right way.

    Even when turning the shaft by hand to tighten up the bolt holes on the pinion flange, I can feel it binding and resisting motion when the tranny is in neutral. The original shaft never exhibited this behavior.

    The experience goes well beyond a moaning sound. It's more like driving on railroad ties, or over a tire cleaner from a landfill. Very, very bad.
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  18. Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    I see. I sympathize with your dilemma. Hopefully it will all be corrected soon and you can go back to enjoying your Buick.

    Best wishes.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Third time was NOT the charm. The latest shaft the shop built me is still binding once installed. Didn't even take it off the stands this time. I just started the engine, put it in gear, and let the rear wheels turn a bit to hear the sound of the shaft in motion. Rumbling, clunking and clanking. Same old story. That last CV joint just can't handle the angle once the yoke is bolted up.

    Back to the shop it goes for the 4th time.
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  20. #20
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Quote Originally Posted by lemmy-67 View Post
    Third time was NOT the charm. The latest shaft the shop built me is still binding once installed. Didn't even take it off the stands this time. I just started the engine, put it in gear, and let the rear wheels turn a bit to hear the sound of the shaft in motion. Rumbling, clunking and clanking. Same old story. That last CV joint just can't handle the angle once the yoke is bolted up.

    Back to the shop it goes for the 4th time.
    I feel your pain. This is exactly why I HATE having to have someone else work on my vehicle.
    Cason P.
    71 Skylark 350-4V
    Hooker Headers
    Ken G. 1973 Q-Jet
    D5 GN Converter/200R4
    3.42 Posi Rear
    In Development:
    Either this Car kills me, or I kill the car first!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    The shop manager said it's the excess metal on the last CV joint which is making contact when installed. He took the back part of the shaft, disassembled the yoke, and milled down the surfaces on the protruding edges so that it can now bend a few more degrees without binding.

    Gonna put it back in tonight...keeping fingers crossed...
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  22. #22
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    Homebase - New Zealand, constant visitor to Southern Oregon
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    As much as workshops out there claim to be 'the experts' they don't know s*&t when it comes to Buicks.

    My example may give you some comfort in your tribulations. I wanted the Dynaflow on my '63 Wildcat 401 replaced with a '66 ST400 and took it to the local 'experts'.
    Ye gods .... I gave them ALL the bits, including the crank spigot from Russ, a '64 crossmember. ST400 yolk. Everything!

    1: They fitted the crank spigot then had to remove it again because 'there was a ridge that needed grinding off' ... sigh, I told them that when I dropped the car off.

    2: They cut the driveshaft too short and had to remake it, adding days to an already tight timeframe (I was leaving the US to go home)

    3: All fitted but now there's a terrible vibration. I question them about the flex plate - "we lined it up with the dowel pin" - how I held my temper I don't know becasue there is NO f***ing dowel pin, they were out and out lying at this point. I made them pull the cover plate and sure enough, the flex plate was about 120 degrees out of synch. with the crank. More delays while they undid everything and rotated the flex plate.

    Now there was another problem - I'll never know if they made it up because they were pissed with me or what - the car wouldn't start out in 1st gear. Days lost as they put it aside and finally claimed a 'ball' was missing from the trans. That wasn't all that went wrong tho - the inbuilt trans cooler in my rebuilt radiator sprang a leak. No parts available so we had to go with an external cooler.
    It seems when things go wrong, they go COMPLETELY FUBAR.

    Good luck and if all else fails, get someone on this forum who knows what they're doing to supply you a good shaft.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    I've got it bolted back in now, less the torquing on the pinion flange bolts. Too late at night here to fire up the impact gun, don't wanna piss off the neighbors.

    Good news is, the yoke is flush with the pinion flange, and I can turn the shaft by hand much easier. No real binding that I can tell. I'll zap those bolts to torque with the air tools first thing tomorrow morning, then see how it goes.
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  24. #24
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Bad sign: zapped 2 bolts down and now the shaft is binding again. Haven't taken it off the stands yet, just gotta zap the other 2 bolts and see what happens, but not looking promising at this point.
    Len

    1967 Riviera
    ROA 5703

  25. #25
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    Default Re: driveshaft/ST400 noise?

    Where do you have your jack stands positioned, under the rear axle? Or is the axle at full droop? Obviously the later could cause some issues, just thought I'd mention it.
    Andy

    1962 Buick Invicta, 407 Nailhead,
    ST400 manual VB trans, 3.23 Posi

 

 
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