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Chevy S10 - GMC S15 and Sonoma Accident Damage Questions

mastergunsmasterguns Member Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in GMC
Hi all, this is my first post on these forums and I'm hoping you can help me. I was rear ended about two months ago in my '03 GMC SONOMA ZRX EXT CAB. Fortunately, I only needed a new bumper to repair the body damage done, but my drive shaft is now screwed up. Before the wreck, there was nothing wrong with my vehicle. Afterwards, I noticed a sort of clicking sound coming from the rear that would get faster as I accelerated. The sound steadily worsened to moderately violent shaking of the bed. The body shop guy says the U-joints are worn out. I took it to a mechanic and he suggested a fully-rebuilt drive shaft. A lot of people seem to agree that worn out U-joints and drive shafts are common on ext cab trucks like mine. My question is; Is it at all possible, and if so how, that the U-joints or the drive shaft was damaged when I was rear ended? In case it's relevant my odo is 58000 miles.


  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    My guess its possible all the above are correct. However, I have a two pice drive shaft on my 92 S-10 with around 170k miles on it and its still going strong. I hope it last forever because a new drive shaft cost an arm and a leg.

    You might check out your drive shaft center bearing. If its worn out or somehow came loose, it will case your drive shaft to fill like a UH-1H Huey about to lift off.
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
    The shock from the impact can easily cause this kind of driveline damage... the vehicle wabts to quickly move forward from the impact, but if your foot was on the brake at the time, that energy has to go somewhere.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • mastergunsmasterguns Member Posts: 4
    hoodlatch wrote: "If its worn out or somehow came loose, it will case your drive shaft to fill like a UH-1H Huey about to lift off."

    -Trust me, it already does. I drove my truck fine after the wreck and the noise and shaking steadily got worse over the past two months to the point I can't even drive it now.

    kcram wrote: "The shock from the impact can easily cause this kind of driveline damage... the vehicle wabts to quickly move forward from the impact, but if your foot was on the brake at the time, that energy has to go somewhere."

    -My foot was indeed on the brake. I was on the interstate stuck in traffic when someone not paying attention ran into the guy behind me and pushed his Suburban into my truck. My truck ran great before this. I even drove two hours before the accident with no sight or sound of a drivetrain problem. After the wreck, the symptoms started to occur and get worse, but all the mechanics and the claim adjuster assigned to my case say my problems are due to normal wear and tear and not due to the collision. I don't doubt the mechanics' ability to do their jobs, but I feel like something fishy is going on.

    Please, if you would, can you tell me in as much detail as you care to write, how the impact could have easily caused this kind of driveline damage and what I should look for so I can show the claim adjuster that I know better and he needs to pay for me a driveshaft repair. You don't know how much you'd be helping me out!
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    :) You might contact the experts at this web site:http://www.troublecodes.net/. They ask a small fee for their expertise but I have the impression they are subject matter experts, unlike a shade tree mechanic as yours truly.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    U-joints are no big deal, surely not a rebuilt drive shaft. Not too long ago for $7-$8 you could buy a u-joint. All you need to install is a large vice. Seems like everything now is plug and play, nobody want to repair anything any more. All drive shafts have slip joints so during normal suspension movement the shaft slides on the splines.
    My 99 Sonoma was rear ended on the Interstate when traffic got backed up about 5 years ago, new bumper and nothing else.
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
    You got nailed by a Suburban... that explains a lot. It's all basic physics, same basic concept as whiplash. If you're hit hard enough from behind while your vehicle is stopped, your body is jerked forward from the transferred momentum, then snapped back because the vehicle isn't moving. Same thing happens to the U-joints and driveshaft. The harder you're hit, the more energy is transferred from the collision to those parts.

    It's always "buyer-beware" after an accident when things seem minor at first. You see some minor cosmetic damage and figure nothing else happened. Then later on, you get the shimmy-and-shake that says something underneath didn't survive, and it's very difficult to justify for the adjuster. I'd recommend getting an estimate from a specialty shop that deals in drivetrain (shafts, axles, U-joints) with an expert opinion as to what caused the damage.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    Did you ever find a solution to your situation?
  • mastergunsmasterguns Member Posts: 4
    Well, apparently, a U-joint was knocked loose in the collision. One of the mechanics at the shop offered to tighten it back on his own time for about $150. My truck runs great now with the same drive shaft it had before which is fine by me. Thanks for asking!
  • darkpunk33darkpunk33 Member Posts: 1

    I was also hit from behind and i'm getting this weird noise as well also gets louder as the speed increases. However did you happen to notice if you got this noise in Reverse? Mine doesnt make the noise in Reverse which pushed me away from the drive-shaft? Anyways this noise is reallly annoying!! Anyways any input would be GREAT!! Thanks

  • mastergunsmasterguns Member Posts: 4
    I don't recall any noise when backing up. Of course it was a while back and never spend much time in reverse. My advice is get it checked out by two or three places. If they say you need a new drive shaft cuz your U-joints are bad and you don't have the money for it, find somebody to just tighten the joints for you.
  • philscbxphilscbx Member Posts: 33
    gonogo is right. This is how we did for 30 years.

    Getting hit, the shaft will take up the slack at the tranny, but only if so much movement occurred to move the axle.

    So this isn't making much sense unless the frame buckled between the axle and tranny to shorten the distance for the drive shaft to bottom out at the tranny and over load the U-Joint at the axle.

    The only other possibility is the impact and over load with the tires forced the drive shaft to rotate rearranged the rust in the U-Joint bearing cups.

    You would have to remove U-Joint bearing caps to inspect for the real problem.
    1], U-Joints just don't come loose. They have 2 very strong U-Bolts holding them to the yoke of the rear end.
    2] Quick inspection with veh on lift will show if there is any movement.
    This movement if any will normally be at the bearing cups from worn out needle bearings.

    60,000 miles on original U-Joints and never serviced prior is probably about right for replacement with a joint and service grease fitting.

    Now for vibration of drive shaft, it's not impossible it was bent when loaded onto truck for transport. So check for towing damage. I know in this case it was not towed. Just reporting what happens.

    I've seen U-Joints installed wrong as well.
    If they are not seated in yoke correctly and tightened and your accident corrected the seated joint to yoke fit, then yes, Joint U Bolts would be loose.
    Otherwise I'd say B/S they were loose at bolts from being hit from behind.
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