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Cardan Shaft Jimi fix - with pics

Old 10-05-2016, 05:28 PM
  #1  
AGARubberDuck
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Default Cardan Shaft Jimi fix - with pics

I had my driveshaft try and come through the center console the other day. I’ve been here long enough to know the cardan shaft is a very common issue, typically showing up on average after 60k-80k miles. I happened to have had more than 90k miles since purchase, and no idea when it was done before that.
I remembered reading at one point about a fix that seemed fairly easy and super cheap. The dealer quoted me $2200 for replacing the entire driveshaft, a Porsche indy quoted $1200 to replace the bearing and rebalance the shaft, and a replacement driveshaft from someone like ECS or Colorado Driveshaft is in the $500-1200 range but will take a while to come in. I decided to search but all I could recall was the name Jimmy.

Well, it isn’t Jimmy, it is Jimi. Dilberto started the original thread and his mechanic’s name is Jimi, but I spent way too much time trying to find the info so I’m putting the info in a new thread, properly labeled and containing helpful search terms. Mad Props to Dilberto and Jimi. Here’s the original thread:
https://rennlist.com/forums/porsche-...dan-shaft.html

Tools needed:
16mm and 13mm socket, wrench and an extension helps.
Several razor blades. – I went through 3
About 1’ of 5/8” coolant hose, cut into eight 1”-1.5” pieces. (I obtained mine from NAPA, nothing special)
12 zip ties – I used 12” medium duty black ties, but cut off quite a bit.
About 45min – 1hr of your time.

I started by raising the CTT to Spec. Terrain level. This gave me more than plenty of room to work without jacks/ramps/etc. Coming from the passenger side gives a little more room as less stuff is hanging underneath on that side. I guess if you’re on steel springs, jack it up by your favorite method but use stands!

Remove 2x 13mm bolts that hold the carrier to the bracket, and 6x 16mm bolts that hold the bracket.



You’ll see my bushing is completely separated. It went from no symptoms to “STOP DRIVING!!” in the course of 1 day.



Using a naked razor blade I was able to cut off the rubber from the bearing fairly easy. I started a cut, then gently pulling on the rubber while holding the blade to the bearing cut it very smooth. If your bearing doesn’t spin freely, it is time for a replacement, not this fix.



Removing the rubber from the carrier is a bit more difficult, but with a sharp blade not too bad. I placed the blade as shown and just spun the carrier around the shaft while holding the blade in place. The more of the ridge you remove, the easier time you’ll have pushing the hose pieces in place.



Pre-make most of the new bushing by somewhat loosely attaching each together with a zip tie, save for the last one.



Place the newly assembled ring of tubes around the shaft and use another zip tie to complete the ring, remove slack in the ties and trim them, then slide the carrier over the tubes. Again, this is more easy/difficult depending on how much of the rubber lip you were able to remove. Once in place, use the remaining 4 zip ties to affix the ring of tubes to the carrier.



Push the entire assembly back over the bearing. It will take a bit of doing to get the tubes to jump over the gap and onto the bearing, but I found that brute force mixed with *trying* to finesse it into place worked best.
And this is where I ended up. I wanted to make sure I didn’t have the rubber tubes hanging off this side of the bearing, as the drive shaft would be rubbing. The back side isn’t as flush and has more wiggle room.



Reattach the bracket and you should be good to go.

Using this process and materials, there is no more hammering in the center console, no vibrations, and no unusual noises. I’m not entirely sure I feel the need to replace it ‘properly’ at this point. If it fails again, I’ll do this procedure again/on the side of the road if necessary! (It’s that easy)
Again, thanks to Dilberto and Jimi for providing the original info on this fix
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:15 PM
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mtnrat
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Great write up. I have the bits in my kit for when it goes.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:53 PM
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Thank you for consolidating the information from that huge thread into this nugget of goodness.
Seeing all the other reports of cardan shaft bushings fail made me a little paranoid. A while back I collected all the supplies from my garage and stuffed them in the rear cubby next to a quart of oil before taking a long road trip through the middle of nowhere. I am hoping when (not if) I perform this it will be on my terms and not the bushing's! I may just have a few beers and knock it out when the weather is nice.

How many miles did you go between 'everything is fine' to 'Houston, we have a drive shaft problem' that day?

I guess while I am in the heightened mood of addressing potential randomly-leave-you-stranded design weaknesses, I should go ahead and order some metal coolant and vacuum tees with new hoses...
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:36 AM
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Dilberto
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Does anybody have the current count of successful Jimi fixes?
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:16 AM
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@Dilberto, there is no telling how many people did this fix since it was publicly posted. More importantly how many took it in the leather cheerio from P-car dealers on this... sometimes more than once. If you and/or Jimi ever come to Tn, I will buy you one.
I am fully convinced this is a long-term fix. It saddens me that the collective Cayenne owners group has paid countless people, countless dollars to replace the entire drive shaft assembly due to an inferior little band of rubber to center a bearing that will fail soon again...

of all of my favorite car fixit hacks I would rank this baby as a top 2!!
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:00 PM
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docwyte
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Colorado Driveshafts charges $350 for a completely rebuilt shaft.

It saddens me that people think that this kludge fix is ok for the long term on something that is spinning around and if it fails violently has the potential to do serious damage to people driving around you or who are in your car.

Is it worth saving $350?
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by docwyte View Post
Colorado Driveshafts charges $350 for a completely rebuilt shaft.

It saddens me that people think that this kludge fix is ok for the long term on something that is spinning around and if it fails violently has the potential to do serious damage to people driving around you or who are in your car.

Is it worth saving $350?
Not sure I agree with 'kludge fix'.

It's a bearing support.

Have you seen how flimsy the original one is? It's a very thin piece of rubber. That's why it tears out.

And nothing in this fix is spinning around. It holds the outer race of the bearing and absorbs the vibrations.

I'm not sure how it could possibly "fail violently" or have any "potential to do damage".

If the whole thing falls out at once (and I highly doubt that could even happen), then the shaft will start bouncing around it the bearing support frame (the "midget under the center console with a big hammer").

That's what happens when the original fails. It's obnoxious enough that the car is virtually undrivable.

Worst case, the bearing is damaged from the impacts. Maybe, if the bearing support ring is really rusty, it fails and the shaft snaps. Potential for expensive damage, but that's about it.

It's a damned ingenious "MacGuyver" fix. It's more substantial than the original. The zip ties are a weak point, but they get damaged from UV from the sun, so being underneath aren't at risk for that. Plus the fact that there are a lot of them balances that out. I used one between each hose segment, and one tying each segment to the ring. Lots of redundancy.

Spending money on a necessary fix is one thing.

Being able to save that money (especially when you think about the fact that the stealership wants $1500 for it) with a fix that is as good if not better than the original is a different animal.

Also, it works on the all wheel drive Chrysler Pacifica.
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by docwyte View Post
Colorado Driveshafts charges $350 for a completely rebuilt shaft.

It saddens me that people think that this kludge fix is ok for the long term on something that is spinning around and if it fails violently has the potential to do serious damage to people driving around you or who are in your car.

Is it worth saving $350?
Provided:
1. The bearing is good
2. One uses stainless steel bands to hold it together
3. One ensures there is not overlap/friction between the edges of the hose pieces and shaft

Then:
I am at a complete loss to understand how this could catastrophically fail any easier than the original bushing which we have documented tears completely apart. The driveshaft remains in the loop and bangs around the same way whether this or the factory bushing were to fail. Please enlighten if you know something we don't.

You do realize that the tubes don't spin, right? They just act as a flexible support to center the bearing in the middle of the carrier.

Are you opposed to the EPS center support and mount as well?
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:18 PM
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Shawn Stanford
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Originally Posted by docwyte View Post
Is it worth saving $350?
Yes!
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:37 PM
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That's it? LOL

The way people complain about this cardan shaft I would have thought it was way more complicated than it is.
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:06 PM
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Yes. That's all there is to it.

The main complaint is that when the stupidly thin rubber bearing support tears, the stealership tells the owner that the only option is to replace the whole shaft, for $1500. One piece shafts run about a grand. The aftermarket replacement bearing supports run a few hundred (and they work well). The rebuild is $350, but you have the car down while the shaft goes out and gets rebuilt (a week maybe?).

That's the beauty of the Jimi fix. It fixes what's broken and nothing else. And does so with commonly available materials. With maybe half an hour of labor.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Wisconsin Joe View Post
Yes. That's all there is to it.

The main complaint is that when the stupidly thin rubber bearing support tears, the stealership tells the owner that the only option is to replace the whole shaft, for $1500. One piece shafts run about a grand. The aftermarket replacement bearing supports run a few hundred (and they work well). The rebuild is $350, but you have the car down while the shaft goes out and gets rebuilt (a week maybe?).

That's the beauty of the Jimi fix. It fixes what's broken and nothing else. And does so with commonly available materials. With maybe half an hour of labor.
Add to that, you can do it while leaving the driveshaft bolted in place and not screw with balancing a rebuilt shaft. It's a winner all the way around. Easily the worst part (which isn't bad) is cutting out the old bushing. IF this fails again, it can be replaced in 10 minutes, in a parking lot, with nothing more than a socket set and clipper.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by nodoors View Post
How many miles did you go between 'everything is fine' to 'Houston, we have a drive shaft problem' that day?
Not more than 50 miles. Though, I typically drive it pretty hard. I was neither transporting a full fish aquarium with an open top, nor my grandmother to church that day.
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Old 10-07-2016, 12:47 AM
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I have 50,000+ miles on my Jimi Fix #0001 and shows NO SIGNS of "failure." Those secured rubber donuts aren't gonna deteriorate anytime soon.
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Old 10-07-2016, 11:58 AM
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EPS has sold hundreds of these units with zero issues. The design allows the unit to clamp onto the bearing; unlike the Jimi fix where the bearing is friction fit (sandwiched) between rubber tubes.

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