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Martinv
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I installed a Left front drive shaft on my 1992 dodge grand caravan.

On inspecting it after about 1000 miles there is major wear on the inner boot due to 2 ribs rubbing together. The shaft looks longer that the original but was hard to determine since the inner joint came apart on while removing the original.


I suspect either:

1. I got the wrong part from NAPA.
2. I installed it wrong? (don't see how as there are no gaps and everything fit togeter well.

3. Am I supposed to slide the end of the boot down the shaft to stretch it out. This would prevent the 2 ribs from rubbing I assume.


I did see a note on the NAPA website about the driveshaft being slightly longer to compensate for old engine mouts. (I still have the old mounts)

However the part # on my invoice doens't even show up on the NAPA site. So I can't verify I have the correct part. I will have to go the the NAPA store and try.



The yellow circle shows where the wear is occuring from the rib (by my fingers touching the circled rib)
The red arrow shows the tiny hole where the grease is beginning to leak out.




This is the new and old drive shaft side by side.
 

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there was a thread a week or so ago where a chap said that the replacement shaft was too long

he took it back to the parts shop and lo & behold it turned out he was given the shaft - i.e., the wrong one

To the best of my knowledge, a longer replacement shaft to replace one in a a vehicle with worn motor mounts does not exist

go back to the part store and be sure that you have the correct part

the pictures indicate to me that you got shafted with the wrong part
 

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Martinv
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Turned out it was the wrong part. The receipt had the correct part number but the part I received was not correct. I had Napa open another box to compare with the first one they sold me and it was obvious I had the wrong part.

The correct shaft was about an inch shorter that the first (wrong) shaft I installed.

The sold me the correct shaft and gave me my money back for the first shaft after I brought it back. So the good news is I only had to pay for 1 shaft and I now have twice the experience at changing a left front drive shaft.
 

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I am glad to see that you were able to exchange the part without any further $ coming out of you pocket

It is always a good idea to compare a new part, if at all possible, with the one that comes off the vehicle to ascertain that the correct replacement has been obtained

it can save much aggravation

happy motoring
 

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Martinv
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is always a good idea to compare a new part, if at all possible, with the one that comes off the vehicle to ascertain that the correct replacement has been obtained
Yes, probably a good idea to have them pull out 2 boxes to esure the right part is in the box. Then buy the part and take it to another auto part store and have them look it up and confirm its correct. Parinoid maybe but if it's a time consuming job probably worth it.


The hard part is new parts often look different than the original. In this case I couldn't accurately measure the the old shaft as the internal joint separated. In the pic below is the correct replacement shaft and the incorrect shaft below it. Only about 1 inch difference. Also, the inner joint is made to compress or expand to take up slack which makes it even harder to measure. Especially whith the 0 experience I had in drive shafts.




I'm still glad I did the job myself. Now I know how to do it. and repacing it the 2nd time it took about half the time to do.
 

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in my experience with front wheel drive vehicles, I find that the prudent thing to do is to check the boots at every oil change

If I find a torn boot, I pull out the shaft and replace the boot

some folks think that replacing the shaft with a re-man unit is a better way to go ; but changing the boot is relatively easy, cheaper than a re-man shaft and one does not have to worry about getting the wrong shaft from the parts counter
 
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