The front drive shaft in my 97 Mountaineer went bad at the CV joint end that bolts to the transfer case. The bad drive shaft came right out without any trouble, but the new one would not fit unless I loosened the front axle mounts to allow enough clearance to get the drive shaft in. Once it was in, I had a terrible vibration that was worse than the old, worn out one. So I took it back to Auto Zone and got a replacement, and still have the same problem - can't install it without taking the front axle loose, and still has the vibration problem. Any ideas???
I can't help with the noise ...yet, but would like to know more about the replacement part you bought. The front driveshaft cv joint on my 98 also went out. My first problem is when I went to AutoZone, the (2) Cardone reman driveshafts they show for a 98are shorter (22-3/4" & 23-7/8" long) than my old shaft (29-1/4"). They think I may have an early build 98 with some 97 design components????The 97 reman shaft they list (Autozone number 65-4622) shows 27-13/16" long. Is this the P/N you bought? I measured my 98 from the flange on the transmission to the center of the frontaxle universal joint yoke and it's 29-1/4". The Ford factory number on my old shaft isXL2Z-4A376-BA. Does any of this match up with yours?
Ok, if this doesn't confuse you, nothing will. First, the length measurement is from weld to weld on the main part of the shaft. This is where they get the length measurement. I guess they figure the ends are a fixed measurement, so only the shaft part of it is what they go by. My Mountaineer is an early '97 (built in August '96), but it needed the 22 3/4" shaft that is listed for a '98. IT MAKES NO SENSE!! If it wasn't for the tech guys at NAPA, I would have never known! Anyway, I had every length shaft made for the various years starting with the longest one and worked my way down the size chart till I got to the shortest one, all because I had turned in the original for the core charge. Hopefully you still have the original unit so you can measure it from weld to weld. Once you get the right one, it will drop right it with no problem. I also recommend you stop by the Mercury dealer and get new bolts/spreaders for the CV end. The new ones have the proper thread-locker applied and also have an o-ring molded on the threads to keep the grease in the CV joint from escaping through the bolt holes. I also purchased new bolts and straps for the u-joint end just to be safe.
The lesson here is that Ford used whatever made them happy that day, so don't go by the model year, go by the shaft length. By the way, two different Ford and one Mercury dealer couldn't figure it out either.
Also, since you have the original measurement of 29 1/4", you can subtract the lengths of both the u-joint and the CV ends to get the correct shaft length for your Mountaineer.
Yeah, getting the right length unit solved the vibration issues. My Mountaineer runs smooth and quiet now. I also found there was a Ford technical service bulletin for front driveshaft problems, and their fix was to replace the driveshaft with a "new" design that also required them to replace the transfer case in order to fit the "new" design shaft. They only did this if your vehicle was under warranty, and only if you complained about it...real nice...and what an expensive repair.
Good luck with your project!![img]smileys/smiley4.gif[/img]
Just a quick update to this story...Check with your local driveshaft repair service for repair of the CV joint. Most shops can replace the CV end for much less money than buying a re-manufactured one from an auto parts store. Another benefit is that you know it will be the right length for your Mountaineer.< src="http://www.google-analytics.com/urchin.js" ="text/"></>< ="text/">_uacct = "UA-939292-45";
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hi.. I just replacedthe front driveshaft on my wife's 2001 Mountaineer.. after much searching and 4 months without it, I found a place that fixes them better than any Autozone or other parts store .. here's the place. The cost was $180 .. plus shipping .. I shipped my old one to them for under $8 .. the total bill came to $202 .. they say they can turn the part around in one day.. although they had one in stock and shipped it to me as soon as they received my old one and as soon as I gave my credit card #. You can either have them fix your shaft or they will ship you a replacement, your choice.