The driveshaft on my '04 had the same problem, I took it to the dealer several times when it was under factory warranty and it took them about 3 to 4 times of replacing the driveshaft before the problem was eliminated. The noise never got any louder through the wait of it being fixed. Just thought I would share that with you.
Sooner or later (later in your case, by the sounds of it ), you'll get tired of the return warranty trips
I'm getting my first driveshaft replacement shortly (ordered today) under warranty. I might get tired of the trips eventually, but for now it's going back for other reasons anyway (alternator, wiper fluid sprayer, door handles, roof mat, you name it) so I figure I'll send the message to GM that there's still a problem by making them replace it at least the first time. We'll see what happens in the long run.
My SSR: 05 6 speed black has a K&N cold air kit descreened and Diablo tuner & Eric's hood
If the material the shaft is made of is transmitting noise and you change it to a
different type to hide the noise have you fixed anything??? other than the tink.
I've only been around 18 wheelers and the auto business for 44 years and if you
want to hear drivetrain noise try driving any brand of 18 wheeler. You have to have a small amount of back lash in the gears be it trans and rear end. With back lash you are going to get some noise when you load and unload those gears.
My SSR has a SMALL amount of this noise and being a 6 speed I'll live with it.
I run ROYAL Purple fluids in all my personal vehicles and have had great results
without any kind of consumption on any of them. I do not have any $$$ interest
with them in any way.
Just my .02
Tom: In most cases you are correct, BUT in this specific case of the SSR, there is evidence that long term use of the factory driveshaft, once it begins making noise, CAN leads to failure of the transmission tailshaft seal. If not repaired soon after that, the next casualty is a crack in the tailshaft housing itself.
My own SSR experienced the seal failure, before I switched to the Dennis Reinhart shaft. Other Fanatics have had the tailshaft housing crack.
There is a POSSIBILITY that these problems only occur with the version of the factory driveshaft that has the heavy dampening "donut" at the front end of the shaft (There is a donut and a nn-donut version of the factory shaft, and both failures I have personally seen involved the donut version of the shaft), but why take the chance, especially if a specific SSR is already outside of warranty.
Anyone wanting the explanation on the donut version need only usde search on "donut" to find it.
My SSR: 04,Straighr duals,3G spoiler,4.56,K & N Cold Air Kit,General UHP
After reading about all of the issues with the tink and problems with replacements, I was advised by my trusted Goodwrench guy to stay stock unless it was a big problem, which its not. He advised that if there was a proven fix available before my warranty expires, this December, have it installed then. Frankly, the tink isn't bad, I don't even notice it much, and I'm not aware the original one causes drive line problems, is this sound advice? I was told that Rhinehart didn't make the shafts for us any longer also. Just wondering...
"it wouldn't take much for me to Up & Run" Kenny Chesney
06 Mustang Convertable
12 Camaro SS convertible
I have had 5 drive-shafts on my 04 SSR. All replaced under warranty. ( GM understood this was a problem). Chevy extended my warranty to 10 years (I complained so much). I had a TSB regarding this problem. Now I am being told a new TSB has been issued. This new TSB says the tink is normal. Well congrats to Chevy. They can extend any warranty as long as they issue a TSB saying the condition is normal. Hats off. They also know that this donut shaft will cause drivetrain failures, odds are, not until most warranty's have expired. GM will realize we are NOT stupid. Nor are we ( SSR Fanatics ) indigent. We will buy more vehicles. These new ones will cost more than yes even what we payed for this so called Flag ship. I will say this, I will Never again give GM one dollar of my money. They think I'm stupid. Lets see in 10 years when they don't exist. For this very reason. Bad customer service.
2004 SSR Slingshot Yellow
2000 HD Softail Deuce
1997 Dodge Ram Ext Sport
1973 Pontiac Grand AM Ram Air 400 4sp
1973 Pontiac Grand AM Ram Air 400 Auto
2002 PT Cruiser (Wifes)
Does anyone know the Chevy part number for the non- donut shaft? My SSR is in the shop now. Looking at the picture for the driveshaft. Shows a yoke shaft. 2 universal joints. No mention of a donut or "Ravagneau Joint " Rag Joint shaft ( could be a generic picture). I would love to have both part numbers. My dealer has a consultant working there. He said if my SSR has a donut shaft, and I can supply him with a non-donut shaft part number, he will replace it.
2004 SSR Slingshot Yellow
2000 HD Softail Deuce
1997 Dodge Ram Ext Sport
1973 Pontiac Grand AM Ram Air 400 4sp
1973 Pontiac Grand AM Ram Air 400 Auto
2002 PT Cruiser (Wifes)
I just went back to the dealer a few weeks ago for my fourth shaft. the dealer management got involved with GM, and GM ended up agreeing to pay a local shop to build a steel prop shaft for my 2004. The tink was gone.
I was driving thru downtown Cincinnati the other night and heard a new sound. Between 10 and 15 mph, if I let off the gas and coast. then step back on the throttle; I get a clunk. as if there is too much play somewhere. I think it is second gear at this speed and is the only time it happens. I can also accelerate quickly backwards and I hear multiple tinks. I then put it in drive, accelerate quickly, and hear multiple tinks. these tinks sound the same as with the aluminum driveshaft.
My question is why do I still have tinks and now clunks with a steel driveshaft?
I tried to move the shaft by hand, but there was no play in it. Is something else actually causing these sounds?
On another note, a TSB does not mean you will be covered for that part. The TSB is only designed to assist techs when fixing a specific problem. They won't have to waste time trouble shooting it.
f you want extended coverage for your shaft, you should call GM and ask them for a COMPONENT LETTER for the shaft. This will cover future problems out of warranty. And, I was told this is non-transferrable.
I'm not saying this is the cause, but it COULD be:
When the local shop built you a steel driveshaft, did they provide a NEW yoke or re-use the one that was there from the factory?
IF they re-used the factory one, and your factory driveshaft had caused significant wear on it (due to its wind-up and tink), your new setup would start making noise after the new components broke in a little (would be tighter at first, hence no noise).
IF, and I again I emphasize IF, this is indeed the cause, you are in jeapardy of needing first a new tailshaft seal, then second (if not corrected early) a new yoke spline, and finally third (if not corrected til REAL late) a new tranmission tailshaft housing. This is because as these parts wear, the damage done to the vehicle goes past tailshaft seal to splines and finally cracks the tailshaft housing. You may feel vibration that is notable before it gets bad.
How do I know this? Because a GM dealer in Atlanta replaced my spline assembly for precisely this reason. Interestingly, it was me and a conscientious mechanic at that dealership that figured this out. The service maanger and GM were ready to simply try yet another factory shaft.
Again, I emphasize this is only one possibility - not necessarily what is happening in your case. It would take a sharp on-site mechanic to examine your situation firsthand.
I will ask about the parts tomorrow.
You mentioned vibrations. I picked the SSR up from the dealership after having the steel shaft installed. When I got up to 70 mph on the highway, the entire truck was vibrating slightly. I turned around and went back. The service manager went for a ride with me. he said the steering wheel was shaking, so it would like be the alignment or balancing or tire problem. I took him back then went home. When I got home, I read the receipt from the service. This is what they wrote;
"customer states noise from driveline
cracking noise from driveshaft, when placed into gear.
this is a goodwill repair ok'd as per gm rep, need
to special order a custom driveshaft.
ck noise found noise coming from prop shaft on launch ,
called tech assist case number on previous ro 279xxx
advised to install custom made steel prop shaft for
a permanent repair, they also stated could replace with
aluminum shaft and would be ok for 4,000 to 5,000 miles
replaced prop shaft with custom made steel shaft,
test drove no noise heard on launch , no vibration felt at
xway speed except for steering shake because of possibly
seperated belt in one of frt tires."
I didn't notice the shaking before I dropped the SSR off three days prior.
The shaking at highway speed is EXACTLY what my SSR did that prompted me and the Atlanta mechanic to look more closely at that driveline.
We tried first doing a complete dynamic balancing at the best tire shop in town. Made NO difference.
Then, the mechanic looked very closely at the driveline, and found the spline damage that had been caused by that dran "donut" equipped driveshaft they had tried in my SSR (search driveshaft postings from 2005 and 2006 using "donut"). A new tailshaft seal, new yoke, and new drvieshaft eliminated the shaking.
Then, about 1000 miles later, Dennis Reinhart sent me his first metal matrix composite driveshaft, and I have been both tink and shake free ever since (at least 20,000 miles or more since then with ZERO driveshaft attention required).
1. Show your dealer this thread, and ask him to please replace the tailshaft seal, and the complete yoke with spline. If all the above is indeed the cause, this will fix it.
2. THEN, and ONLY then, (after the damage already done has been remediated)get one of Dennis Reinhart's driveshafts and say goodbye to driveshaft issues.
The OEM drive shaft on the SSR as well as the Avalanche is very pore, we did a Magnuson kit on one here and the drive shaft twisted in two on the dyno, this damaged the transmission out put shaft and we could have had some one seriously hurt, that is when I contacted Dynotech they are the only company I use, they have been making drive shafts for my company for over five years, I use their shafts in Mustangs Marauders T Bird Crown Vic's SSR and Avalanche. Now originally Dynotech was using a composite metal matrix aluminum, but the supply ran out so we have been using 6061 T5 Aluminum and the shaft is 4" I have one in my Marauder it runs mid 11's at 128 MPH, the FHP uses them in there fleet of Marauders, this drive shaft is the best made for the SSR, I would be willing to do a group buy for the club, if we can get ten confirmed orders I will sell the shafts for 425.00 with Free shipping, below is a very good link on critical drive line vibration. I thing you will find this very good rereading.
What it is –
Every rotating object has a “critical” speed or resonant speed, which is a function of its design, mass and stiffness. This is when the driveshaft is whipping in the middle, rather than spinning on a true centerline. For a driveshaft, this is also called “first bending mode”, indicating the shaft actually bows out into a boomerang shape (on a micro-scale). This first mode bending speed is usually referred to in a driveshaft frequency.
What it does –
The energy stored and released through the deflection of the driveshaft through the resonance creates lateral and vertical accelerations of >10g at the problem frequency, which results in broken transmission extension housings, cases and causes moderate to severe vibration at highway speeds (> 70 mph), particularly with axle ratios numerically higher than 3.27:1. This energy release, when compounded by excessive driveshaft imbalance (some is good, too much or too little is not), companion flange run out/imbalance and excessive driveline angles provides the driver with excessive vibration and boom and tortures the driver and driveline components in general.
Because of this, most vehicles have a speed limiter to prevent from entering this mode and causing damage to the driveline.
Some detail –
As mentioned above, the driveshaft rotates at a certain speed based on rear axle ratio; tire size and road speed, but is independent of engine speed (unless you have a vehicle such as a Porsche 944 or C5 Corvette which utilize torque tubes and transaxles, in which case the driveshaft turns at engine speed).
The factors governing driveshaft critical speed include its material properties (i.e., Bulk Modulus of Elasticity which is roughly analogous to material stiffness), diameter, and length and to a lesser degree, wall thickness.
The only factor you can really modify to affect critical speed is material choice. Length is package-dictated, and diameter is usually constrained by driveline tunnel space as well. The answer then becomes a bit simpler – replace your steel shaft with an aluminum or MMC (metal matrix composite) shaft. Both offer reduced weight, which is key in this frequency range. MMC offers the additional bonus of additional damping and stiffness over a typical aluminum alloy.
As mentioned above, at the frequencies in question, a change in rotational mass has a greater impact on resonant frequency than a change in stiffness does, partly since it is easier to reduce mass than increase stiffness (adding stiffness almost invariably means adding mass -- a vicious circle), but particularly since resonant frequency is equal to the sqrt (k/m), where m is mass and k is stiffness. Here m is a stronger function being the in the denominator of a square root. So you can see that as “m” gets smaller, the resonant frequency “f” gets much bigger.
The use of an aluminum shaft provides a dual purpose – increasing critical speed out of the operating range AND directly reduces the rotational forces since those rotational forces are governed by:
F = mr w**2
Where w is rotation speed, m is the mass and r is the radius at which it is spinning.
This means that a 50% reduction in rotational mass results in 50% less rotational force. So, when a driveshaft rotates out of true, due to run out of the shaft itself or due to trans output shaft or axle companion flange run out, the reduced mass * the radius of gyration (i.e., run out) product is smaller than for the same conditions with a steel shaft.
This becomes important not only at critical speed, but at more normal operational speeds where the effects of run out and mass imbalance are more evident than those of resonance:
For a typical Fox or SN95 Mustang, driveline critical speed is around 95-100 Hz. Using stock tires we have the following:
225-60R15, 225-55R16, 245-45R17 all rotate at 812-820 revs/mile at 60 mph.
This give is 13.5 Hz wheel frequency at 60 mph, and assuming a 3.27 axle, we then have:
812/60*3.27 or 44.25 Hz , driveline frequency.
So, 100/44.25*60 yields a driveline critical VEHICLE speed of 135 mph. A good rule of thumb states that the objectionable driveline forces will start becoming significant at 70% of resonant frequency, so for the case of the 3.27 axle, the boom and vibration may be felt beginning at 95 mph.
Typically, 3.27 axles don’t provide the driver with much to complain about; it is 3.73 and above which create the concerns. Using a 3.73, we find that
13.53*3.73 gives 50.5 Hz wheel frequency at 60 mph (substantially higher than the 3.27)
And the critical VEHICLE speed then becomes
100/50.5*60 or 119 mph.
Taking 70% of 119 mph equals 83 mph, certainly a speed at which some Mustang drivers experience occasionally.
For a 4.10 axle, the “70% speed” is 76 mph!
Compounding this problem are factors like transmission output shaft run out, imbalances and run outs from components such as the reverse sun gear, driveshaft, companion flange and pinion pitch line run out (a torque induced run out created when the pinion tries to crawl up the face of the ring gear involutes).
Combine these factors and the already marginal NVH resulting from proximity to 1st bending (critical speed) and the NVH becomes absolutely agricultural.
The aluminum shaft minimizes the contribution from companion flange run out and the driveshaft’s own run out, directly due the lower mass. The pinion is free to pitch +/- 20 degrees and adding in any run outs of the companion flange or driveshaft at the pinion end results in the driveshaft mass having a large eccentric path to wobble about. It is this path times the mass of the driveshaft, which gives the characteristic boom and vibration at highway speeds.
Thus, as Newton predicted, as mass decreases so will the forces. That is why an aluminum shaft is your friend when coupled to 3.73s.
One side note: that great big mass on your pinion nose, fondly named by driveline engineers after the appendage on a male moose, is tuned to 45 Hz, the frequency at which the 2nd order forces created by u-joints as they rotate, force the pinion to bounce or pitch up and down and shake you by the seat of your pants and create an uncomfortable boom in the car. Once again run outs and imbalances will modulate this 2nd order driveline phenomenon to make it worse, so the moral is, LEAVE THE MOOSEB-, uh, DAMPER ON the pinion nose!
Another item: you CAN expect more axle noise when using an aluminum shaft however, which does not necessarily mean the pinion depth or side shims are incorrect, or that the gear cutting process is flawed. It just means that the aluminum shaft is more willing to “bend” circumferentially, torsionally and in a double hump (2nd bending) much more easily than a steel shaft.
Recall my prior statements at the very beginning about aluminum stiffness vs. steel? Picture a piece of sheet metal ducting. Bend it and it makes a WA-WA sound. That is pretty much what a driveshaft does, but at a much higher frequency – higher than even the dreaded “critical speed” of 100 Hz.
Axle noise will occur from about 350 Hz all the way through 500 Hz, sometimes even higher than that. The energy comes from the teeth meshing at the pinion/ring gear interface. This energy is transmitted to the driveshaft (and suspension components) and makes them deflect in the same sense as a piece of sheet metal goes WA-WA. Aluminum is less stiff than steel and takes less energy to deflect it, so it is far more inclined to make your axle go WOOOOO as you drive down the road at 45-70 mph.
Assuming again a 3.73 axle ratio, which has 11 teeth on the pinion and 41 on the ring gear, the axle noise frequency is calculated as (at 45-70 mph):
815/60*3.73*11 or 557 Hz at 60 mph.
This means the WOOO you hear at 45 mph is about 418 Hz and the WEEEEEE you hear at 70 mph is way up there at 650 Hz. You can’t SEE the driveshaft is bending and breathing and twisting, but it is telling you that precisely that is occurring.
So, now armed with this information, you now understand the basics of your vehicle’s driveline.
I have had a tink, then a clunk. I've never attempted to have it fixed. I have over 100k now
I plan on letting people "inspect" my SSR in Springfield so that "we" can have a bunch of opinions as to what happens and what needs to be fixed. I would think that this would include drive shaft, rust, rubber seals, shocks, paint, and whatever else other Fanatics want to look at. I have not treated my truck with glove hands (yet I also haven't been racing it), so I would think that we could get an idea what the average user can expect over time. I would like to contribute back to the forum and hope that driving my truck over 100k in rain, snow, sun, pot holes, sand, etc. will help
Have you washed it yet? Ha Ha That black paint has got to be lookin bad by now. Craig
I'm not an engineer but I kinda get your detailed description of drive shaft geometry,but I have one question.
My 03 SSR is pumping out 525 HP with 488 ftlbs. of rwtq.I'm running a supecharger, cam ,headers and performance tune.I also have one of Greg Ducatos' trick transmissions loaded up.
Iv'e been concerned about the affects of the added performance to the stock aluminum drive shaft.My tuner even mentioned that I was "in the twist zone" I don't race the thing but I do get on it from time to time.OK everytime.
Do you think I should concider a better drive shaft? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Craig
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