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I agree, but they would probably put the flimsiest piece of sheet metal or maybe just a plastic shield under there and it would not do much, if anything. To a manufacturer, it’s all about squeezing every bit of fuel mileage out of a vehicle and keeping the costs down. I would prefer some steel (about 3/16” thick or aluminum, similar thickness) to help protect the underside. After looking at the pictures of the driveline from the OP, not sure a skid plate would have prevented that, but I could be wrong. I’ve had to straddle dead animals in the road before, and all I could is hope for the best. Hope he comes back with an update as to what has to be replaced to get the vibration gone!
The skid plates that came standard on my Ranger Lariat FX4 were steel. Same for Tacoma and Colorado, etc
 

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After looking at the pictures of the driveline from the OP, not sure a skid plate would have prevented that, but I could be wrong. I’ve had to straddle dead animals in the road before, and all I could is hope for the best. Hope he comes back with an update as to what has to be replaced to get the vibration gone!
I agree.

Separately, the $932 that Hondapartsnow wants for the complete driveline doesn’t seem that bad to me, if it includes all u-joints and bearings. It’d likely cost that or more to have one built, since it’s a multi-piece affair. Don’t know what shipping would be, though.

I’m sure something got knocked out of alignment and that’s why it’s shaking, though simply pushing the carrier bearing support back and off-axis shouldn’t do that if the u-joints are all functioning correctly. Seems like one of the yokes or attachment flanges would have to be bent slightly to get it to shake or vibrate.
 

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I agree.

Separately, the $932 that Hondapartsnow wants for the complete driveline doesn’t seem that bad to me, if it includes all u-joints and bearings. It’d likely cost that or more to have one built, since it’s a multi-piece affair. Don’t know what shipping would be, though.

I’m sure something got knocked out of alignment and that’s why it’s shaking, though simply pushing the carrier bearing support back and off-axis shouldn’t do that if the u-joints are all functioning correctly. Seems like one of the yokes or attachment flanges would have to be bent slightly to get it to shake or vibrate.
The center bearing can cause a bad vibration. When I was working at a Honda dealerships parts department we changed a couple for that reason.

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Sure, if the bearing itself is damaged.

Guess I haven’t looked closely enough to that bearing’s carrier on mine. If it’s built like it ought to be, it ought to pivot in the carrier if that carrier is simply mis-aligned. That won’t set up a vibration unless something else is bent.

If it got hit hard enough to break it badly, but somehow not bend anything else, I can see the shaft vibrating.
 

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Not sure if it’s an option, but I have seen some gen 2 RL’s advertised on Craigslist in my local junkyard. Of course with the usual collision damage it’s possible they are unusable for your purpose.
 
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