[Solved] Reinstalling Driveshaft
I got my Ranger's driveshaft back from the driveline shop today. The rear end was out of balance by 3 oz. The front end was out of balance by 2 oz, slightly offset from the rear, interestingly. They replaced the U-Joints as well. I noticed they cleaned the brackets for the flanges and took off the marks that I made to keep the shaft in the same orientation as it was when I took it off. Will that be an issue, or will it be fine since we know for sure it is balanced correctly? When you bolt in a driveshaft, do you do it the same way you tighten lugnuts on a wheel, and finger tighten them all, then tighten to spec in a criss-cross pattern, or does it not really matter?
If they rebalanced the shaft, then your marks are no longer relevant.
I put the driveshaft in today, and wow, there is a big difference. I'm really surprised how much smoother the ride is. The driveshaft vibration was subtle and I thought it was because it's an old, worn truck. That weird wagging sensation when I accelerate from a stop is gone, as is the hard thud when I go to accelerate when already moving. It was worth the $148.
The intermittent thud on the 2-1 downshift is still there, I can hear it, but I can't feel it in the seat like before. I'm assuming at this point it's something inside the transmission that the shop did wrong. I'll probably live with it.