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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
Driving home last night I decided it would be a good choice to turn my traction control off and launch my car. I recently upgraded to 20" wheels about 2 weeks ago...I rev'd to about 2500rpm and let my (JWT aftermarket) clutch out and floored it...I got moving to about 15mph and then all **** broke loose...

I lost all power to the wheel and it was a ****-storm of flying pieces off my car and bouning off my chassis.

I am 99% sure I broke the drive shaft...The engine seems to be fine - I can start, rev, turn off just fine. I don't suspect anything wrong with the transmission/clutch as I can shift into all 7 gears, release the clutch and seems to be find. I did find/see some drive shaft shrapnel at the scene of the accident and on the car. I think the U joints held, because the drive shaft is still attached...

My questions are...

1. Has this happened to anyone else??
2. Has anyone replaced the drive shaft - whether to upgrade, increase capacity, decrease weight, repair, replace?? If you did replace it, would you recommend having a (trusted) shop do it or is it something that can be done without too much trouble (I have done some repairs/mods to the car myself but I don't want to get in over my head here).
3. What roadbumps might I encounter that would get me all fuckered up??
4. What shaft would you use as a replacement?? Stock new, stock used, OEM replacement, Aftermarket? (NOTE: I have the procharger SC kit and I make approximately 375whp)

Thanks for the help here...
 

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Wow, this is a new one. I've never heard of this happening. Cars making a lot more horsepower than yours do just fine with the OEM driveshaft. There must have been a defect in yours or it got damaged at some point. Was the car hit hard in the front at some point?

I would replace it with an OEM driveshaft for a two reasons. The first being that the OEM driveshafts are carbon fiber which makes them very strong and light. The second, and possibly more important, is that to my knowledge, no one makes an aftermarket driveshaft likely due to the first reason.

If you can find a new or used shaft, it should be a pretty simple bolt-on procedure to replace it.

Let's see some pics! I'm really curious about this!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input - quite possibly a few weeks ago I did run over a parking curb-stop. It chewed up my exhaust and really did a number on the GT Spec H brace on the under side of my car. I didnt think about that, maybe it created a weak spot that was going to break at some point.

I'll price-out a few options for the forum.

Def get some pictures up, all I have now are scraps.

Thanks,
james
 

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initial inspection

I finally had a chance to get under the car. Below is the initial damage. I should know more once I get the braces/exhaust off. The shaft broke in two places. Probably only one and then severed again after dangling around...
 

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off topic but how is your car running with the supercharger? at 375hp im looking to do the same thing but trying to get some answers answered before i actually do the work
 

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Wow! That's incredible. I would assume that you must of damaged it for it to fail like that but it's so well protected up there.
 

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WOW. Considering the standard unit is a carbonfiber alloy tube, WOW. I have seen these things survive amazing amounts of stress. You might want to look to the USA, talk to the driveshaft shop about their alloy ones, strong aussie dollar atm and its will be 1/4 of the price of a standard one. Once again, WOW.
 

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That's really surprising, especially since you were moving when everything came apart. Had you been launching hard before this happened? Is there still grease on the joints at either end?

It doesn't really look like impact damage, as you'd have to destroy the exhaust to get to it, and probably some of the undercarriage.

~Pat
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was up under the car again last night and got the the front half off. Without overanalysing it, I think I found a weak/weakest spot when it severed apart. I inspected the driveshaft and found a few other spots that have dings/dents - so really, it was just a matter of time.

I'll def give Drive Shaft Shop a call...

I've "launched" the car plenty of times, I've raced (sanctioned & unsanctioned) enough that it doesnt surprise me that it has broken ... I think this is the first time I have really hit it hard with the larger wheels/new tires, I think that was the "x factor" in all of this...
 

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I've "launched" the car plenty of times, I've raced (sanctioned & unsanctioned) enough that it doesnt surprise me that it has broken ... I think this is the first time I have really hit it hard with the larger wheels/new tires, I think that was the "x factor" in all of this...
It still surprises me. I've never heard of this happening. There are plenty of cars out there making 700-1000 HP and these shafts hold up fine for them. It was either damaged or flawed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Full removal

Had a little time this weekend to get under the car and make all the necessary removals so that I could slip the new drive shaft once I get it.

I decided to find a used shaft from a local salvage yard rather than purchasing a new stock one and an aftermarket shaft (based on cost savings, lead time and I may have the final drive replaced/modified in the future - where I could switch out the drive shaft)

The removal went pretty good and was fairly easy. It was pivotal to remove the stock chassis brace in order to remove the exhaust in order to remove the shaft. You could replace the shaft as long as the exhaust was removed without remove the chassis brace but it made it alot easier with the chassis brace taken off.

The next hardest thing was to remove the torque bolts fixing the shaft to the rear diff. You def need a +/-2' breaker-bar and along with alot of effort to cut-loose the bolts. Additionally, if your car is on jack stands, you'll need to make sure you have plenty of clearance for the breaker-bar.

The stock drive shaft weighs ~18lbs
Just the carbon fiber tube is 12oz per foot

Attached are a few photos from the removal -
 

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Holy Sh!t!!! You broke the driveshaft! LOL Don't mean to laugh at your downfall but I'm surprised that this happened! Every failure is due to it being the weakest link. I've seen a lot but basically your clutch, half-shafts, hubs and tires vs street were stronger than the driveshaft! Glad to hear you found a replacement.
 

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Holy Sh!t!!! You broke the driveshaft! LOL Don't mean to laugh at your downfall but I'm surprised that this happened! Every failure is due to it being the weakest link. I've seen a lot but basically your clutch, half-shafts, hubs and tires vs street were stronger than the driveshaft! Glad to hear you found a replacement.

no offense taken...I laugh too...but how badass is it that the 350z shaft is a carbon fiber composite...one of my "car buds" was over this weekend and he absolutely couldnt believe that nissan put a straight carbon fiber tube shaft in the car.

I picked up the replacement this afternoon, hope to have the car back on asphalt tonight - The replacement looked really good, no scars or abuse marks. It was $188 out the door from a local salvage yard...speaking of, the techs at the salvage yard couldnt believe I tore a drive shaft nor could they believe it was a carbon fiber tube...
 

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Well I knew the OEM driveshaft was CF. Why I LOL'ed when I read DriveShaftShop offered one in the aftermarket form. I guess for someone like you but I've never heard of one breaking. Half shafts, sure but the drive shaft! LOL!!! Glad to see you're back on the road. Just in time for the lovely Colorado winter! (puke!) Lived in Colorado Spring from '04-'08.
 

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back on the road

Got everything buttoned up last night...took her out to check the work and I think everything is good to go - didnt hear/feel any vibrations, drove like it always does. I also had a chance to weld my resonator (it came partially disconnected), replaced my aftermarket a:f O2 sensor and replaced my oil pressure sending unit sensor. Overall it was a good week for a major and a few minor repairs.


Well I knew the OEM driveshaft was CF. Why I LOL'ed when I read DriveShaftShop offered one in the aftermarket form. I guess for someone like you but I've never heard of one breaking. Half shafts, sure but the drive shaft! LOL!!! Glad to see you're back on the road. Just in time for the lovely Colorado winter! (puke!) Lived in Colorado Spring from '04-'08.
Colorado Springs huh?? I lived there the summer of 2004 then from 2005 through 2007...Not the worst place to live, but happy to see it in the rearview. The winters are hit or miss...I'm feeling the "hit" this year...
 

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:jawdrop: I'd be nervous as **** to drive a car after shredding a driveshaft. With that being said, I replaced my 2-piece shaft on the 300ZX with a CF 1-piece and loved it. Be careful, Mr. Titan. :lol: That's one tough car.
 

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Sorry to dredge up an old thread/bad memory but i have a driveshaft r&r question.


I had to rebuild my differential. I swapped in an open one so I could keep my car while it was out. I now have a vibration seemingly coming from where the driveshaft attaches to the transmission. It happens above 3500. I am going to r&r the differential and am wondering if there is a specific orientation needed when reattaching the driveshaft to the differential.
 

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Sorry to dredge up an old thread/bad memory but i have a driveshaft r&r question.


I had to rebuild my differential. I swapped in an open one so I could keep my car while it was out. I now have a vibration seemingly coming from where the driveshaft attaches to the transmission. It happens above 3500. I am going to r&r the differential and am wondering if there is a specific orientation needed when reattaching the driveshaft to the differential.
ahhhh…good times…

I am not 100% sure, but the vibrations might be related to the deterioration of the drive shaft. I believe my drive shaft broke because a rock or road debris was thrown up there and nicked away at the carbon fiber and created a weak point. I don't fully believe in this but it could happen.

I would think it's something to do with your connection on your differential. When I took my broken shaft off I did not mark it, I wish I would have though. But, when you put it back on, you essentially have two choices to bolt it back in. So, from a 10,000 ft perspective you have a 50% chance of getting it right…but, you can hedge your bets and look closely at the axle end of the shaft and the connection to the differential and take your best guess.

Did you apply any grease or lube to your spline connection to the drive shaft?
 

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The driveshaft did not come out of the transmission. We just disconnected it from the differential, and swapped it out.

I plan to do the same in reverse with quaife that thank god was not damaged, "just" the 500,00 ring and pinion and 282.xx in rebuild parts.

Thanks
 

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Nine years later post but maybe a help to other shafted 350z's. I'm at about 296,000 miles and changed out my clutch to an ACT level 2 clutch with lighter flywheel kit from Stillen and in the process found the universal joint was worn and no longer swiveled freely but had a significant notch in the movement. Shopping around and researching found most driveshaft & replacement part places don't have any idea that the 350Z comes with CF driveshaft (Infiniti uses Aluminum driveshaft as the wheelbase is longer & car a bit heavier).

One article advised that the replacements could be built from aluminum, steel or carbon fiber. Both Aluminum and Steel are rated up to 1000 hp and Carbon Fiber is rated up to 750 Hp. The trade offs are weight and cost. CF is the highest cost and steel the lowest. To understand why steel wasn't the best choice the history from Nissan chose for safety the CF designed to shred on head on accidents as a safety factor where the steel would pierce the tunnel putting the driver at risk. So they proceeded with higher cost and better safety.
I have tried two from E-Bay of which both had the same wear and notching on movement of the swivel with the u joint. So no benefit there. I did observe a picture of the machine pressed installation near the bearing cap of the u joint and it is pressed into the steel above the cap pretty good in 6 points. I suspect another machine could grind that and then replace the u joint and machine press the cap back in place but I don't have any further details on how that effects the integrity of u joint or who would have those machines.
Central California does not appear to have this available and Drive hsaft and drive train shops recommended don't seem to be familiar or able to provide this service.
Finding and buying a new driveshaft looks like it hits above the $1,000 mark where I struggle between fixing my favorite car vs replacing it at $3500 - $7500 dollars for a lower mileage and possibly newer Z with a few more options than my blue Enthusiast with orange interior, 6 speed with other minor upgrades from Stillen on the pulleys, stainless brake lines and drilled and grooved rotors & semi metallic pads, master cylinder brace, Meagan Coilovers, 18" Nissan wheels.
Parts pending install are Hoses, Belts, Grounding cables, right door exterior handle, plenum spacer and oil pan spacer and probably timing chain kit if I stay with my high mileage great to drive car.
 
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