How to Remove a Drive Shaft From Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Remove the Vehicles drive shaft to perform required maintenance like changing U-joints in the drive shaft yokes. The drive shaft uses a slip yoke on the transfer case end and a flat flange mount on the rear Vehicles the axle housing. The Vehicles rear drive shaft has a center-mounted carrier bearing that supports the center of the drive shaft, helping to reduce vibration over the length of the shaft. The carrier bearing and bracket will need removal in order Vehicles the drive shaft to come out of the Vehicles.

Under The Hood:

 How to Remove a Drive Shaft From a 90 Dodge Dakota

Park the truck on a level surface.

Disengage the parking brake.

Shift the transmission into neutral.

Position a wheel chock in front of both front tires to prevent the truck from rolling forward when the back of the truck is raised.

Raise the back of the truck with a jack, then lower the truck onto jack stands positioned underneath the truck's frame. (Raising only the rear of the truck will prevent the transmission fluid from leaking out of the back of the transmission when the drive shaft is removed.)

Remove the two U-shaped bolts from the back of the drive shaft (the portion of the drive shaft that connects to the differential). Both tips of each U-shaped bolt feature a single nut. Remove the nuts from both bolts with a wrench, then pull the bolts out of the drive shaft.

Wrap the U-joint's four bearing caps with masking tape. The U-joint looks like a "+" sign. At each corner of the U-joint is a bearing cap. Wrapping the caps with tape will prevent them from falling off and releasing the small bearings when the drive shaft is removed.

Push the drive shaft's yoke (the end of the drive shaft that enters the back of the transmission) toward the transmission until the drive shaft clears the differential.

Pull the yoke out of the transmission.

Items you will need

  • 2 wheel chocks

  • Jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • Wrench

  • Masking tape

 How to Remove a Drive Shaft for Towing

Locate the drive shaft, which is the long tube running at an angle from the back of the transmission at the front to the rear axle. Locate the straps holding the drive shaft to the rear axle. Unbolt the straps from the axle using an open-end wrench.

Pry the end of the drive shaft out of the rear axle yoke using a 24-inch breaker bar. Then set a drain pan underneath the other end of the drive shaft, at the transmission.

Pull the drive shaft straight out of the transmission. Then quickly put the transmission plug into the tail shaft of the transmission--where the drive shaft was previously--so no transmission fluid comes out of the rear end.

Move the drive shaft out of the bottom of the truck and set it in a safe place, such as the bed.

Items you will need

  • Open-end wrench set

  • 24-inch pry bar

  • Drain pan

  • Transmission plug

 How to Remove the Drive Shaft From a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500

Raise the rear of the truck with the floor jack and support it on jack stands under the frame. Put the truck in neutral.

Remove the bolts in the universal retaining caps on the pinion yoke. Use the common screwdriver to hold the universal from moving, while removing the bolts using a wrench. Place the screwdriver through the universal to hold it in place.

Remove the caps over the universal joint bearings. Use the screwdriver to pry the universal joint out of the semicircle recesses in the pinion yoke. Lower the rear of the driveshaft enough to grab it firmly and pull it out of the transmission.

Put the caps back on the u-joint and wrap some masking tape around the universal bearings so the caps do not fall off and release all the bearings.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Set of 11-point wrenches

  • Common screwdriver

  • Drain pan

 How to Remove the Drive Shaft on a Chevy C-10

Jack the vehicle up so that you have enough room to crawl under the vehicle safely. Set the frame on jack stands. Before crawling under the vehicle, always be sure that the truck is solidly on the stands for safety reasons.

Using a 10mm wrench or appropriately-sized wrench, remove the four bolts that hold the axle yoke into place on the axle. These bolts hold straps that go over the axle bearings.

Remove the straps and push the drive shaft into the transmission so you have enough room to get the drive line out of the axle housing.

Use the duct tape to wrap around the drive shaft end to keep the bearing caps in place. If those caps come loose, there are a lot of needle bearings inside which aren't fun to replace, so be careful.

Place a drain pan underneath the transmission and pull out the drive line. The drive line is now free from the truck, but transmission fluid will begin leaking into the pan. To stop or slow the fluid from draining, use the duct tape to tape a shop rag onto the end of the transmission.

Items you will need

  • Metric and standard wrench set At least 4 jack stands Jack Drain pan Shop rags Duct tape

 How to Remove a Drive Shaft in a 4Runner

Raise the rear of your 4Runner off the ground using a jack. Position a set of jack stands under the frame rails and lower the jack until your 4Runner is resting securely on the stands.

Locate the rear yoke on the drive shaft and remove the four bolts that secure the yoke to the flange on the rear axle housing, using a wrench. Put the bolts aside in a safe place for use during reassembly.

Move forward on the drive shaft until you locate the center bearing and bracket, about halfway up the shaft. Remove the tow mounting bolts that hold the bracket on the frame with a wrench and socket and ratchet. Save the bolts so you can use them when you put the shaft back into the truck.

Place an oil drip pan under the rear of the transfer case to prevent oil dripping on the ground when you remove the drive shaft from the slip yoke. Pull the drive shaft straight back and remove it from the rear of the transfer case.

Remove the drive shaft from under the back of your Toyota 4Runner.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wrench set

  • Socket set

  • Ratchet

  • Oil drain pan

About the Author

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