How to Remove the Front Drive Shaft on a 4WD Chevyby Christian Killian
Removing the front drive shaft on your Chevy truck may be necessary if you need to repair the U-joints or if it is blocking access to another component that you may be working on. The drive shaft connects to the transfer case at one end and the front pinion yoke on the other. On some early models, the drive shaft had a flange that bolted to the transfer case but in later model years, the flange became a yoke similar to the one on the axle housing.
Raise the front of your Chevy with a jack. Place a set of jack stands under the frame and lower the jack, allowing the truck to rest securely on the jack stands.
Locate the front drive shaft under the truck. The drive shaft is a long cylindrical shaft running from the axle housing to the transfer case just behind the engine.
Using a paint pen, place a mark on the drive shaft and one on the yoke to ensure you place the shaft back in the same position when reinstalling it. The drive shaft is balanced and if it installed in a different orientation, it may wobble or vibrate, damaging the shaft, U-joints, axle and transfer case. Mark both ends of the shaft.
Move to the front of the shaft where it connects to the axle housing. Remove the four retaining bolts from the pinion yoke with a wrench, then lift off the two retaining straps. Pull straight back on the drive shaft, releasing the two U-joint caps from the yoke.
Move to the transfer case end of the drive shaft. Locate the four retaining bolts, remove them with a wrench and pull the shaft off the transfer case. You may need to rotate the drive shaft to get to all the bolts. Shift the transfer case into neutral, allowing it to spin freely.
Remove the front drive shaft from under your Chevy and perform any needed repairs. Be sure to place the drive shaft in a safe place to avoid damage while out of the truck.
- "Haynes Repair Manual 1988-2000 Chevrolet and GMC Pick-Ups"; Ken Freund and John H. Haynes; 2001
Things You'll Need
- Jack stands
- Paint pen
- Wrench set
Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.