1988 Grand Marquis: Driveshaft Fell out

Today, our 1988 Mercury Grand Marquis' driveshaft--the part that goes from the engine to the rear wheels to drive them--fell out. How complicated is
such a repair usually? Is it the death of the car commonly?
LRH
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On Sat, 15 Jan 2005 17:21:07 -0700, "Larry R Harrison Jr"

The U-Joint has likely been complaining loudly for some time. The repair is usually pretty simple and relatively painless. I've done them on the side of the road more than once.
Likely best to get a used shaft in this case, as yours is likely bent at least a little bit. Have a pair of new joints installed.
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Yeah, I was stupid--it has been having timing issues lately, and it stalls often. It's really very very irritating. I became angry, FLOORED the accelerator and popped it into Drive with the engine revving. Serves me right.
One thing, though--for some reason, the rear-left hubcap flew off of there, and I don't recall seeing a hub on the wheel. Maybe I broke the driveshaft on the back wheel as well?
LRH
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Ha Ha Ha, My father in law worked on cars the same way. His favorite tool was a hammer. Its hard to tell what all damage you have caused without checking the rearend. Check all the flanges and the trueness of the driveshaft. You can damage alot of parts pulling something like this.
GOD BLESS THE USA
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I guessed correctly. It appears you do not have enough knowledge to know what to look for as well as the patience to act responsibly. If you did find something wrong you most certainly do not know how to fix it. My advise to buy a newer vehicle and this time take care of it and treat it with the respect it needs. That would involve taking the car to the shop on a regular basis for safety checks, fluid changes and the like.
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You should have felt the U joint vibrating for quite a while. The drive shaft is easily repaired. The hidden damage? Usually the transmission tail shaft bushing is beat to death so now the slip yolk has too much lateral play. Because of that the out put shaft seal will leak. It also beats the living snot out of the differential pinion bearings. The other thing that comes to mind is that if the U joint failed, that is a tip of the ice burg type of situation in that the rest of the car has been neglected as well.
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