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Just doing some research...any good performance driveshafts for a 1995 FWB?

1209 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Old Fleetwood
Well now that I have the FTS I want to do a couple little things to it that my dad never got around to doing. One thing I'd like to do is to get a performance driveshaft for the car. Now with doing all of 10 seconds of looking on google I found one from Lingenfelter for the Impala SS so my questions are as follows

1. Did they change the driveshafts at all between the SS and the Fleetwoods?
2. Has anybody else done this and if so do you think it is worth it?
3. What other companies are out there that make nice driveshafts? Because the Lingenfelter one was priced at $500.

Thanks for any and all help guys
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The DS for the FW is longer than the B body (Caprice/Impala). This means that it runs into a problem with critical speed at a lower speed than the shorter-wheelbase B body. Since the shaft is so long and skinny, the critical speed will easily be reached by a stock car with the speed limiter programmed out. I would suggest an aluminum shaft from Denny's, and get it 3.5 inches (4 if you can get it to fit - and some have on B bodies). The larger diameter with effectively increase the critical speed of the shaft, allowing you to sustain high speed with no concerns. Also, Denny balances shafts at 8000 rpm (double what most others do) so it will be smooth as silk at all speeds. You can also go with metal matrix or carbon fiber, and specify larger U joints if you think you need them. Call Denny's - they will help with all the selections.
....why do you want to change the driveshaft? Is there anything wrong with the current one? If not, there are so many go fast bolt ons that you can get for the cost of a "performance driveshaft."
It's cheap and a very good idea to retube your driveshaft if you install gears or drive the vehicle hard. The stock unit is designed for comparatively low power levels at low rotational velocities. The tolerances on the factory balance are wide, which is evident in the manner of which they maunfactured it (such a goofy thing...)

Aluminum driveshaft isn't needed most of the time but is very neat.

I had my factory driveshaft retubed before I stepped up to the LS1 swap, gears, T56, and sticky tires in my '81 Trans Am. Since then I had a 4130 Chrome-Moly alloy steel driveshaft custom made. I didn't spend half of $500 on either of those shafts... I'll definitely be having a Chrome-Moly driveshaft custom made for my Fleetwood. Will cost more than the T/A since it is a longer shaft, but it's worth it if you're laying down some serious impulse torque on a launch.
I can see that as a good idea if you are pushing over 320 hp/ 380 ft/lbs torque to the rear wheels like you will be Coleman... but I doubt the FTS is pushing anymore than 265 to the rear wheels.

Unless you are having serious issues with the current driveshaft, I would save it until the FTS has a little more power.
I'm not 100% sure I want to do it but every little bit eventually adds up. I'm thinking that my first mod might be to do a MSD ignition and then after that I want to work on the stereo. I want to replace the front door speakers and get a new head unit because I have a subscription with Sirius and I don't want to have the unit suction cupped to the windshield so I want to get a satellite ready head unit. Other then that I am happy with what I got. I'm mostly trying to feel around and see as to what is even available for these Fleetwoods to begin with since I am relatively new to them. But thanks for the info guys
Yeah, sounds like you're just feeling out the possibilities, but really I wouldn't put a driveshaft change that high up on the list--there are a LOT of much more important and meaningful things that can be done before that point, and that are much more effective given the current nature of the car.

Otherwise, just basic maintenance (though seeing that car, I doubt it even needs much of that right now), and a few other odds and ends will be sublime. You just don't want to go over the top of just adding stuff for the sake of adding stuff.

As for mention of the stereo, do it. I never wanted to change mine from OEM, partly just so it'd be stock clean and partly because I was scared of all the extra wiring and such with the radio brains being in the trunk. Eventually just got the 20 ft. long Metra aftermarket harness for this car, a new Pioneer deck, and that was it...MUCH better and up to date controls that all work, and with the Metra harness, not even a blip of an issue--everything functions just as it did OEM, and there's not a bit of wiring mess with it tucked away properly. Here's a good thread we did on it on another board:;f=35;t=001496#000003
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I haven't measured it yet, but I have an aluminum Aerostar driveshaft that I was going to look at using, also full size Chevy/GMC trucks all have aluminum shafts too, so they might be a useful source. But the larger fat aluminum shaft might not fit well in our cars.

I have 3.42's and I can tell you for sure it gets darn buzzy around 78 mph, and at 132 mph, it sounds like it is shaking the car apart.....
If N0DIH finds his FWB with 3.42s "gets buzzy" at 78mph and shakes at over 100, then that's some SERIOUS imbalance!
I've only had my '95 to a little over 105, just once, and it was like oil over my Norelco'd head. Really smoooooooooth. But it's not a V4P, either.
Many years ago I had a Mercury Turnpike Cruiser with a crappy driveshaft that shook the car apart at between 67 and 74 but smoothed out over 75 (!).
It drove Strickland Mercury - and me - nuts trying to find the problem until a young kid, really into hot rods even more than me, told the big chief mechanic to stop with the tires, rims and ignition and look at the driveshaft.
Sure enough that was the problem.
I think it had lost some of the balance weights somewhere along the way and was also slightly bent.
But since I bought the car used, I ate every bill.
With the 3.08's in there now, the shaft doesn't get annoying much at all. Even at 90 it isn't near as bad as the 3.42's....

I need to get mine balanced, it probably needed still....
Pep Boys did a number on me a couple of years ago when I bought some U-joints for my Dodge van and was going to put them in but my job suddenly had me flying out of town. So I took it over to them and some jackleg hammered the joints so bad that when I drove out the van literally HOPPED up and down at 30 mph!
I drove right back in and they denied everything !!!!!!!!!
So I simply called CT DMV, showed them the bill, flew out of town that night and when I got back that Friday I guess they had shut them down for a couple of days.
My Visa Card refunded all $$ and CT Consumer Protection made PepBoys pay for the fix at another garage.
NICE! (One of the very few times the guvmint did something really great!):bouncy:
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