How to Measure a Driveshaft

Even though we have been known for our custom jeep driveshafts, we have built and repaired drivelines for all sorts of vehicles. From hot rods and muscle cars to all-terrain vehicles, we have seen and worked on them all. It is also entirely possible to have two different drive shaft lengths for the same model vehicle because some models have different configurations. Also modifying your vehicle, like adding a lift kit, could change the length you would measure for.

For someone who has never done it before it can seem intimidating, but it is actually very easy once you know the steps. In order to ensure you have the right fit for your needs, it is important to know how to measure a driveshaft for length. As your driveline specialist we will show you the easiest way to take an accurate measurement, which reduces the risk of errors. This is one of the most common questions we get so reading this guide may save you a little time and frustration. And the only tool you will need is a measuring tape.

The process for taking an accurate measurement is generally the same regardless of the type of vehicle you have. But the end points of your measurements may be slightly different depending on how your driveshaft attaches to the rest of the vehicle. Typically you will end up measureing a driveshaft from one of three stareting points; the center of the u-joint at the transfer case, the face of the flange at the transfer case, and/or the tip of the spline coming from the transmission. You will measure the distance from that starting point to the center of the u-joint or face of the flange on the other end of the driveshaft.

How to measure a Jeep Driveshaft

If your driveline has two yokes, one at the axle and the other at the transfer case, you will take a measurement that is called “center-to-center”. That is the center of one universal joint to the center of the other. Start by measuring from the center of the U-joint at the front of the driveshaft to the center of the U-joint at the rear. This will give you the overall length of the driveshaft.

If your driveshaft has one or two flanges you will simply measure from the face of the flange to the center of the universal joint at the other end or the face of the other flange if your driveline comes with two flanges.

How to measure a Car Driveshaft

If you have to measure from the output shaft of the transmission on your car the process is still simple to measure the length of a driveshaft. If you have your transmission yoke you will put the trans yoke on the tail shaft and push the yoke all the way onto the splines so it bottoms out and fully compresses. Once you do that you just measure from the center of the u-joint on the transmission yoke to the center of the opposing u-joint, or the face of the flange, whichever your car has.

If you don’t have a transmission yoke then you would just measure from the tip of the tail shaft to the center of the universal joint or face of the flange that is located on the other end of the car drive shaft.

And that is it. If you take that measurement to your preferred driveshaft shop they will be able build you the drive shaft you need.