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hey folks,
After hours of searching the web and various forums I have been unable to find an answer to my question. 97 F250 4x4 ext cab long bed. A couple months ago developed fairly suddenly a definite rumble/vibration between 40-50. No clunk but I figured a u-joint or carrier bearing was going bad. Today I inspected the driveshaft and the only issue I find is flex in the slip joint. I pulled the rear section out (well, had to hammer it out, whatever fomoco used to lubricate it at the factory had long since turned to some sort of semi-solid gunk that was very nearly an adhesive) and find no broken parts but the blue coating is almost completely broken down, it's bare metal except on the end. So my question is: in "good" condition, would this coating keep the slip joint from flexing and hold the 2 ends perfectly parallel, or is it normal that this yoke has a little bit of lateral play if you try to move the shaft? If the coating is indeed essential, is the only option to replace the entire driveshaft?

thanks in advance for any ideas/suggestions.
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