Abstract Typical industrial vibration problem solving includes utilization of linear vibration measurement and analysis techniques. These techniques have appeared to be sufficient with most vibration problem solving requirements. This is partially due to the lack of proper identification of the nonlinear dynamic response in measured data of actual engineering systems. Therefore, as an example, a vehicle driveshaft exhibits a nonlinear super harmonic jump due to universal joint excitations. This phenomenon is partially responsible for objectionable audible noise in the vehicle. Previously documented measurements or analytical predictions of vehicle driveshaft systems do not indicate nonlinear jump as a typical vibration mode. Physical measurements of the phenomena will be provided with subsequent analysis. Second, the secondary moment exciting the driveshaft system is derived with subsequent analysis showing the harmonic and super harmonic excitations. Third, a derivation of a model incorporating the linear and nonlinear modeling of a large degree of freedom system is introduced. Finally, simulations with the derived model with the universal joint excitations will be presented showing the correlation to physical test results. Therefore, a typical automotive driveshaft system is capable of producing nonlinear response, and thus the assumption of linearity is not sufficient for design validation or problem resolution in this case.