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I have a 2001 Dakota with 4.7 V8 and 4x4. The front driveshaft blew up on me the other day. A new one is crazy expensive so I was wondering if they are rebuildable? The part that attaches to the transfer case is shot. Why did they use that silly CV joint there and not a typical U joint like at the other end? Just wondering as I think its a bad design and wondering if anyone had come up with something better. Thanks
 

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I don't know what the OEM driveshaft costs, but RockAuto has front drive shafts for $200 to $250 depending on whether you have an automatic or standard transmission. Not OEM, but your truck is probably not going to be around for another 18 years.

For $305, you can get a front driveshaft that has universal joints at both ends, with a 6-bolt adapter plate for the transfer case end.
 

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I have a 2001 Dakota with 4.7 V8 and 4x4. The front driveshaft blew up on me the other day. A new one is crazy expensive so I was wondering if they are rebuildable? The part that attaches to the transfer case is shot. Why did they use that silly CV joint there and not a typical U joint like at the other end? Just wondering as I think its a bad design and wondering if anyone had come up with something better. Thanks
Driveshafts are rebuildable, but in some cases it could be cheaper to just replace. Since driveshafts can be rebuilt, you can have that "silly CV joint" replaced with a real CV joint, but to do this will require the T-case yoke be replaced too.

As to why did Chrysler use that type or style of CV? I don't really know, but I do know that, the older Dakota 4x4s used a regular double cardan type CV joint. So we do know that for some reason (probably a cost saving measure) Chrysler chose to replace the design. Using a typical u-joint like the other end uses, isn't always ideal for the t-case end because of how u-joints change velocity when operating at an angle. -Meaning, when a u-joint is operating at an angle, for each rotation, the velocity will tend to speed up and slow down, twice per revolution. The more angle the u-joint is operating at, the more pronounced this effect becomes. This results in a vibration that can be felt in the truck. A CV joint aka constant velocity joint doesn't experience this velocity change and doesn't vibrate when operating at an angle.

Ed
 

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northdakota

Thanks Ed, that makes sense. I did find a CV joint replacement on line that I ordered for $100. I also went out to my favorite wrecker and picked up an almost new front drive shaft for $20. Now I'll have an extra.
 
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