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Custom one-piece steel driveshaft for my SGT

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Hi all,


I just wanted to give everyone in the San Jose, CA area a heads-up that I recently had a custom 3.0" diameter x .083" thick, one-piece steel driveshaft installed in my 2007 Shelby GT. It was fabricated by Steve Johnson at South Bay Driveline: http://www.sb-driveline.us/


Steve is awesome and has over 30 years of experience in the driveline business (located him through an online search). He measured the original driveshaft, fabricated the custom driveshaft within 3 hours, and arranged to have it installed at a reputable local shop (Scotty's Automotive in Campbell). All along the way, Steve clearly communicated what was happening and answered all of my questions. The entire job was completed in a little over a half a day.


What I like about this driveshaft:

  • Less expensive than a custom aluminum driveshaft ($550 vs. $1,200 at Steve's shop), yet overall stronger when compared to an equal diameter aluminum driveshaft.
  • Weight savings of approximately 16 lbs. over the factory two-piece driveshaft (22.5 lbs. vs. 38.5 lbs.).
  • Custom driveshaft uses DOM steel tubing (no seam) which is easier to balance, less apt to facture, and along with the U-joint assembly, the parts are readily available at almost any driveline shop.
  • Steel driveshafts will bend at higher rotations (spins in an ovular rotation) and give you advance warning when coming apart, unlike aluminum driveshafts which do not bend as readily and shatter / facture without warning.


The only con is that aluminum driveshafts are usually a few pounds lighter which is helpful when trying to extract every ounce of performance out of your car.


I've taken my Shelby GT out a few times since the driveshaft was installed, and I noticed that it revs a little more freely along with a slight gain in performance (most tests of S197 Mustangs with lighter driveshafts indicate approximately a 1/10 of a second reduction in quarter mile times).


I've included a few pictures below of the driveshaft as installed in the car (unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the driveshaft outside of the car). The first one is the front of the driveshaft (transmission side) and the second one is the rear of the driveshaft (differential side).






P.S. I didn't have to adjust the pinion angles after the driveshaft was installed (no additional noise / vibration / harshness from the new driveshaft).





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Thanks -- much appreciated!


I'm less inclined to install a safety loop since it's a strong, yet flexible driveshaft and I won't be subjecting the car to extremes (e.g., drag racing events). If I ever start drag racing, auto crossing, or install a power adder like a supercharger, I'll definitely make the investment in a safety loop ;^)

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