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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 63 impala that I've taken the engine and trans out and swapped them for a somewhat peppy 350 and a 700r4. So far I've broke two carrier bearings. Only takes me about 6 months to break one. I think the problem lies in the angel of the front u joint. Anyone have any other thoughts on this or possibly a fix would be great. Also, would it be possible to put a one piece driveshaft in without having to cut up the car?
 

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I take it that this car has the X style cross memeber frame. If so I would look for a one piece drive shaft that would be the correct length. Then support the frame and remove the rear axle. Slip in the drive shaft and reinstall the rear axle. Might have to also remove the rearbumper and/or fuel tank as well. May even have to lift the body up to get the shaft into position.

Now I am not an exspert here but I do know that you will need to check the alignment of the transmssion tailshaft to the angle of the rear axle. You may need to shim the motor up a few degree and possibly rotate the axle as well to get a better alignment of the drive line.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you really think I'd have to drop the axle down? Only problem that I had thought of was the driveshaft clearing the x-frame when the suspension extended. I can get a good one piece made for a $350 through a buddy of mine that would be 3.5 inches in diameter. My boss also says he can hook me up with a guy that would make one for around a $100 or so. He wasn't sure on the price though.

As far as the angles, that's where I don't know what to do. Never though about tryin to shim the engine, but I've raised the trans about a quarter of an inch or so already. The angles arent horrible, but I don't know what it is like when the torque get put behind it and things flex and bend. It keeps breaking on the drivers side so the torque has to have something to do with it. Might have to make a few changes and not just one. Buddy suggested solid motor and trans mounts, but I dont know.
 

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It is impossible to say with out seeing the car.

But if it is only the front U-joint that keeps breaking then it may be more of the angle off of the tranny to the carrier bearing. There should not be much flex between the tranny and carrier bearing, if there is I would check the condtion of the motor and tranny mounts. Also when you put in the 700R4 did you change the tranny mount? You may need a modified mount for this configuration you have. -- I personally hate the carrier bearing idea on personal cars, I understand on large comercial trucks, but not our daily drives.

On clearence of the shaft with the suspension at full extision that is a good question, again it would have to be checked as it is installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No it's not the u joint that is breaking, it's the housing on the carrier bearing. Motor and tranny mounts were both installed new. I used the same mount that I had under the 350 turbo I had in the car, but i cut and welded the brackets for the crossmember farther back. Got a 4 day weekend coming so i'll look at it some more.

I myself don't have anything against the 2 piece drive line other then i keep breaking it. I just dont like the frame...took forever to get a set of headers to fit it. Apparently not a high demand for high performance parts on such a car. Bought some shorty ceramics and the day I got them I accidently found some long ceramics. Wasn't all that happy.
 

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But if it is only the carrier bearing that keeps breaking then it may be more of the angle off of the tranny front U-joint to the carrier bearing.
Fixed my error. How strait is the tranny tail shaft to the carrier bearing? And were you talking about the u-joint from the tranny or the first one after the carrier bearing? I would try to center the tranny center line to be inline with the center of the carrier bearing. If you are able to check some trucks with carrier bearing you will find that most of them the tranny center line and carrier bearing center line are almost if not equal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The joint I'm talking about is the very first on the shaft up at the trans. It's not off left or right, but its like the trans needs to go up some. Not sure what the actual angle of it is. I put a shim in between the mount and tail shaft once to kinda help it, but apparently its not enough. Options appear to be another shim or somehow lower the carrier bearing. Either way might be a pain and involve body modification. Either cut, lower, and box in the area where the carrier bolts to the frame or possibly have to modify the tunnel over the tranny. Like to put a one piece drive in though anyways.
 

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Options appear to be another shim or somehow lower the carrier bearing.
My first question now will be does your carrier bearing mounting bolts go up from the bottom? If so could you put some thick wide washers as shims between the bearing and the mounting point? If so that would lower the bearing down some and may correct the angle from the tranny to it.

Would you be able to post pics of the bearing in its mount and maybe a pic of one of the broken bearings?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Umm I could try putting some pictures on here of it, but I'm not all that great with computers. I can turn it on, surf the net, and turn it off lol. As far as putting shims under in for the carrier, that doesn't seem like it would work. The bolts do go in from the bottom, but I don't think in the way that you mean. The bolts go through a plat under the car and the carrier is on the other side with a threaded flange. The bearing itself then sits above the flange. From the front of the car, it looks like an I-beam with a circle on top of it. Here's a link with a picture of the bearing... http://www.impalas.com/transmission-driveline/1958-1964-impala-carrier-bearing-with-housing-1955-1972/160314.html
 

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With that type of bearing that does rule out trying to drop it lower to get better alignment. Have you been able to find a heavier duty bearing? That outer housing looks way to thin for a more powerful engine and tranny setup that you have in your car. Might see if you can find a 1 ton truck carrier bearing in that style. If you can find one it should hold up to the torque from your setup.

Or could you make a bracket to come off of the bolts and goes around the outside of the bearing case to give it extra support? If the cracking is on the lower side of the loop just at the top if the "I" peice then it may be flexing sideways under acceleration loading, and an helper bracket may solve the whole problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah it does seem pretty weak, but here's my thinking. I would say they used that same setup on the big block cars. A 409/425hp should have broke it probably as easy as I do, let alone those special few cars who had the 427 in them. I've seen some upgraded bearings and entire driveshaft with a slip yoke in the second piece for some drag racing and stuff, but wasn't really wantin to fork out a bunch of money for it. Can't afford it. Wish I was a little more car wise then I am. Only 20 so lots of learning to go lol.
 

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Couple of things. If you want to upgrade to a beefier unit you can try Inland Empire Driveshafts. http://www.iedls.com/
I haven't checked the prices myself but have heard that the carrier bearings are strong. Supposedly used for hydraulics and airride setups. One question, do you install the carrier bearing with the rear suspension under a load or not?
I belive the proper way to install is to have the rearend supported with jackstands so that the suspension is compressed like it would be when sitting level on the ground. This may be affecting the bearing when it is installed. Also I dont think that it is a good idea to try and upgrade to a 1 piece driveshaft on these x frame cars. With suspension travel you would run the risk of the drive shaft making contact with the frame. That is why people use slip yokes on the rear shaft when the have modified suspension systems like hydraulics.
 

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They do make a stronger carrier bearing my friend had a 63 with hydros and kept breaking his he got it out of lowrider magazine.
 
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