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Rx300 Drive Shaft Issues


thmsabear
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I have minor driveline vibration and a faint whine. Thought maybe it was a u-joint and also a wheel bearing making noise. Had a reputable shop look it over. Diagnosis was: "Probable rear driveshaft u-joint and center support bearing. Recommend driveshaft replacement, u-joints not serviceable. We don't recommend replacing center support bearing without dropping driveshaft and inspecting u-joints. Rear center support bearing whines."

New driveshaft= $1200 plus labor (oem)

Remanufactured driveshaft= $700 plus labor (wholesale import autoparts and buyautoparts)

Salvaged center section only= $175 plus labor

My question is, Are the ads on the internet for u-joints for my vehicle bogus or does the shop just want to sell a whole driveline? My first thought was to find a salvaged center driveshaft piece with good bearings and pop in the new u-joints if it can be done. However, I don't want to be cheap and end up regretting it. But at the same time she has 157,000 miles and there are other things to fix in the not so distant future. Any suggestions or ideas?

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I personally would suspect the Drive line support bearings...They will create vibration. And they are fairly cheap. But I would call a driveline specialty business, you might find the prices much cheaper.

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Thank you. I will check into replacing the support bearings only versus whole driveline. Anyone have knowledge as to the legitimacy of the "new" u-joint products that claim to be compatible with the supposed non-replaceable ones on this driveline? I would not be happy to find I must replace the driveshaft because of bad u-joints after putting new support bearings on.

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In order to change support bearings I believe you have to drop drive shaft, that is when it can be checked easily. Don't know anything about serviceable u joints, but that is how they used to be made on cars. (long time ago) Good luck, I know that when I sold my RX300 there was a vibration that I fought, and was about to do the support bearings. The new Owner replaced the two support bearings and all vibration went away.

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Anyone else reading this.. if you have any knowledge about the u joints that are for sale on the internet that claim to be compatible with the staked in ones on the RX driveshaft (they're welded, I think) PLEASE post. I'm looking to having noisy center driveshaft support bearings replaced next week and maybe one or more of the u joints if there is a need to. I have heard from some sources that you can, and others that you cannot, replace the u joints on a RX300.

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  • 1 month later...

Thmsabear, yes the universal u-joints do work. I replaced both on our 2002 RX300 about 1 1/2 years ago. Stopped the vibration. We have put about 15K miles on them since the repair. I purchased the u-joints from a company out of Rockford, IL.

In our case, the vibration started after the timing belt and water pump was changed. The engine had to be raised to reach some of the bolts. This caused the problem with the u-joint.

Don't waste your money on a new driveshaft. Lexus will tell you that you can't replace the u-joints, that they are staked-in. "Not True"

Go to: rockforddriveline.com There is a You Tube video about staked in u-joints. Do a search for: "Staked-in u-joint replacement" posted by bootsnthejeep.

Hope this helps,

Bill

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  • 1 year later...

Thanks for the information. My 2003 RX300 has the same vibration that disappears at higher speeds of 45+.

Independent service guy says U-Joints are loose, he can't just replace the drive line Ujoint support bearings.

So I need to buy a new 3 piece drive shaft for $2173 installed. Seeing that bootnthejeep video you suggested shows it can be done!

Now how do I find the service tech in western Chicago suburbs who will do it?

I found a drive shaft company that will order a rebuilt and my service guy will install.

Saved a grand.

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