I would guess that the center spring system on this shaft had rusted up and refused to hold the shaft tightly into the transmission. If the land tranny was left engaged when in the water the shaft would have been pulled partly out and the end of it was ground down. This should have been rather noisy and a good way to have water get into the land tranny. Just one more reason to have a dipstick on the land tranny. It might have saved the tranny from water damage.
oh boy. That may explain why the previous owner had porchased a new tranny several years ago. My concern is that when i disassembled the car, one of the telescoping spline areas was still frozen (explains that wear).
altho i restored all the seals and water trans bearings, i didnt go into the land trans - hope its ok. seemed to shift ok in the test drive.
Was not properly installed into Trans. was out of line and held in only by pressure!
That end is now scrap.
best to install shafts with bellows out of way to see spines go into spider gear inside trany.
Now those spider gear will be damaged too. I always test when trany is out that shaft will slide into spider gear spline.
The whole trany has to be taken apart to get at that spline!
Gord - why would you scrap it with 90% of the splines fine? It goes in and out nicely, and there is no wear visible on the end of the spider gear (I believe the cars previous tranny caused it; theres a newer tranny in the car now)
(in the meantime, i got a comment from GI also) : "Jon, we have seen this kind of wear on a number of drive shafts before. I believe it is caused when the drive shaft's center telescoping spline (where the spring is) seizes together. This causes the drive shaft to pull out of the transmission most of the way especially when the wheels hang down, leaving very little of the splines engaged in the transmission. Without the driveshaft butted firmly into the transmission, it wears off the end of those splines. It shouldn't cause any problem to continue to use that drive shaft, provided that it remains fully engaged in the transmission."
For what it's worth, I agree with GI. I also think that boots on those shafts are a better idea than leaving them open to the water. Even if a boot might have a crack in it, it is better able to hold water resistant grease in those center splines. You can replace U-joints but if the center splines are worn out the only thing to do is send the shaft to Eddie and have it converted to constant velocity joints. The springs in those are inside the joints and less likely to ever need attention.