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Rocky

94 Big Bear Drive shaft falls out of u joints

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I just picked up a Big Bear 350 4x4, I was told it was a 1994 model. It runs and drives, but needs a bunch of work (I picked it up for a winter project). Anyhow, the front drive shaft is so loose that it falls right out of the splined u joint. The splines aren't worn out, I'll try to get a picture later on but it seems like the drive shaft is too short. It doesn't look broken or extremely worn, but when the pushed all the way into the rear u joint (by the engine) the front of the shaft is not even making connection with the front U joint and the shaft falls out of the front U joint. I can't figure out why it would be like that, the U joints don't look broken or worn (the splines look OK). The spring is still on the shaft up by the front U joint, but it's like the spring is pushing the shaft right out of the joint. Is there supposed to be something keeping the shaft from sliding too far into the rear joint?

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