2006 Van - has vibration in steering wheel - Drive line?

mcamp

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I have a vibration in the steering wheel. Wheel bearing recently changed. No play detected when shaking the wheel. CV axles don't appear bad - no torn boots and no clacking noises. Took it to the tire store and they balanced my studded winter tires, definitely felt better after that. Took it to an ASE certified mechanic to look at the suspension. Said my axles were fine front and back as well as the tie rods. They indicated it is one of the bearings in the drive line, but since the drive line (shaft) is a sealed unit and only sold as an assy, the mechanic contacted a driveline specialty shop but quote there was over 600.00 just for the part.

Question: Do you think it's worth to remove the driveline - go 2wd for awhile - and try to dissemble it myself? or is there any other potential culprit that could cause a vibration? Powersteering rack?

Attached is a view of driveshaft closest to the motor - Does that look normal? I can poke my finger in there - should that be sealed?

Vehicle has 173K miles

Thanks
 

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Some shops still balance tires on the vehicle. This balances every thing connected to the tire. It couldn't hurt. Then when you have to remove the tire you mark it and the rotor so you put it back on the same way.
 
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