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james1114 11-10-2013 11:00 AM

Rust on Driveshaft

Newbie question, I don't know a lot about trucks, so I figured I'd try to learn by looking underneath and working my way up :). I was looking under the truck and noticed some parts look rusted. I just got this 3 weeks ago.

I noticed it the most on driveshaft. Looks like water hits it and then rusts. But, it almost looks more like a patina finish. It's bright orange in color. Is this normal? A lot of humidity in FL....

Also, noticed a couple spots on axle where paint flaked off and it looks like surface rust (orange in color). Again, I'm trying to learn...forgive my ignorance.

On a positive note, I now know I have 3.21 axle thanks to this forum! :)...learning.

hydrex 11-10-2013 12:19 PM

You are lucky to live in Florida, not Maine! We get road salt, brine spray, calcium chloride and anything else the state can put on the roads to eat your car. I just ordered an electronic rust prevention system from " Counter Act" in Vermont for my 2 2005 Dodges. Works a bit like a (Mercathode) system on a boat. Doubt if you need it unless you drive on the beach., but their phone# is 1=877-974-4700 . Never heard of a driveshaft or axle failing due to rust, but ask any Toyota owner in Maine how their truck's frame is doing.

Thunderhorse 11-10-2013 12:46 PM

You must have a 4x4, the 4x2s have larger diameter aluminum driveshafts. Its just surface rust, nothing to worry about. Some people paint theirs just because they don't care for the look, but I think most (including myself) just leave it. My truck has the same thing you're talking about, and my dad's 4x2 driveshaft is as clean and silvery as the day he bought it 4 years ago.

james1114 11-10-2013 01:51 PM


I have a 4x2. Part of the shaft is totally clean (end closer to engine), and the other part (closer to bed) looks like it may be aluminum; however, that's the end that has the rust on it.

Thunderhorse 11-10-2013 02:00 PM

Are you talking about the part where the shaft connects to the input pinion?

james1114 11-10-2013 02:18 PM

It's the shaft that connects to the rear axle. It has ridges in it (not smooth). The smoother, non rusted end, connects closer to engine.

skytop 11-10-2013 03:53 PM

How about the rust forming on the rear axle. Don't forget that! Your axle might just break in half.... Remember, rust doesn't sleep.

Ramzaq 11-10-2013 04:50 PM


Originally Posted by skytop (Post 1242417)
How about the rust forming on the rear axle. Don't forget that! Your axle might just break in half.... Remember, rust doesn't sleep.

In about 100 years, if even then.

james1114 11-10-2013 09:38 PM


Thanks for the insight and laugh. It doesn't seem to be damaging anything. Just hard not to notice it.

GTyankee 11-10-2013 10:33 PM

the drive shaft may be aluminum, but the universal joints on each end are steel
a quick use of a wire brush & then use some POR 15 on them should stop the rust

the rear differential housing is a different matter
first of all, they don't get a full paint spraying at the factory, just like the underside of your Rams body, it is more of a fog spray

Then it is put on a cradle & travels on a moving track though the length of the assembly line, during that travel, the frame is mounted on it, then springs, brakes, steering, engine & transmission, etc. Then the body is dropped onto it & everything goes inside the body, then the doors go onto it. All of this time, the rear housing is still on the cradle & just before the end of the assembly line, the wheels & tires are installed & the vehicle rolls off of the track & out of the door. No one does anything about the marks that were caused by the cradle.

watch this video & you will see what i mean, it doesn't show the whole process & it is filmed sort of sporadically

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