Ask the mechanic : Can I repair my rear propeller shaft locally?

Thursday April 25 2019


By Paul Kaganzi

Hello Paul, I drive a Toyota Hilux Vigo pickup. Lately it has developed a noise from the rear propeller shaft which becomes louder the faster as I drive. I have visited a Toyota dealership and have been told to replace the propeller shaft. I need to know what is causing this noise and if it is repairable locally? Deo

Hello Deo, when there is an imbalance on the propeller shaft, it can cause vibration or noise the way it is with tyres. Ordinarily a propeller shaft turns faster than the tyres, when imbalanced, the propeller shaft vibration or noise increases with speed, and is followed by a booming noise.

It is not easy to adjust a propeller shaft imbalance in ordinary workshops because you need a vibration meter which is usually in specialist workshops which can balance the propeller shaft with weights. However, you can inspect the drive system or propeller shaft assembly and rule out the other causes of vibration. You will need a keen and experienced mechanic to examine and rule out the common causes of propeller shaft imbalance: Run-out of the propeller shaft: Run-out is an offset of the rotational centre, which leads to unbalanced rotation of the propeller shaft and causes vibration.
Run-out of the differential companion flange and propeller shaft centre flange will cause an alteration of the rotational centre of the propeller shaft which leads to a vibration.

Offset centering of propeller shaft and differential companion flange: if the propeller shaft and differential companion flange are not fitted together properly, centering is altered and the propeller shaft balance is lost. This will lead to vibration and noise.
Mileage wear of universal joints should be ruled out as excessive play will cause an imbalance.
Wear or damage of propeller shaft splines should be ruled out as they can result in severe transverse play.