Swap Basics: Driveshafts

Swap Basics: Driveshafts

Driveshafts in a swap is a simple but necessary part that can come in MANY different forms. There are various styles of drive shaft joints, sizes, yokes, flanges, adapters. Below Is a quick overview of common parts

  • U joint

  • Slip Yoke
  • Fixed Yoke
  • Guibo Joint
  • Companion Flange
  • Single Piece Fixed Driveshaft
  • Steel Slip single piece driveshaft
  • Aluminum Slip driveshaft

Typical driveshaft types used in e9x swaps are as follows

  • Modified stock drive shaft: Keep the factory shaft and simply adapt the front section to match the new transmission. This can be difficult to find a shop that will modify the front section of the BMW driveshaft since they don't have a good way to balance it.
  • Single piece fixed drive shaft: This shaft will be used in transmissions with a slip yoke. Since there is slip at the transmission the shaft can be a fixed length. These are available in steel, aluminum, carbon fiber.
  • Single piece slip driveshaft: This shaft will be used in applications that have a fixed transmission yoke (tr6060, cts-v t56) Since there is no slip at the transmission there must be slip in the shaft to allow installation and movement.

Drive Line Angle

Driveline angle in a single piece driveshaft with u joints is important to keep vibration down. Shimming of the transmission up may be required on your application.

Driveshaft Source

Driveshafts can be sourced from many different suppliers. I always recommend using a local driveline shop if available. Check or ask local hotrod shops or 4x4 shops who they use. If you cannot find a local shop, custom driveshafts are available on big parts suppliers like Summit racing, Drive shaft shop, Strange Engineering, dennys drive shaft, Fabbot and many more.


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