How to Remove a Rear Drive Shaft

by Christian Killian

The procedure for removing a rear drive shaft from your rear wheel drive vehicle varies slightly from car to car, but uses common steps for most vehicles. The rear drive shaft runs from the rear of the transmission or transfer case of your vehicle to the rear differential. Its job is to transfer the power from the engine and transmission to the rear axles and wheels. Without it, the vehicle could not move.

Step 1

Park the vehicle on solid, flat ground so the vehicle does not move around while you are working. Raise the rear of the car or truck with a jack, then support the vehicle on a set of jack stands under either the frame or axle housing.

Step 2

Locate the retaining bolts on the rear of the drive shaft where it connects to the axle housing. The shaft will connect to the pinion yoke (the yoke on the rear differential) with either two straps and four bolts or a flat flange with four bolts. In either case, remove the retaining bolts from the pinion yoke with a wrench. Pull the drive shaft away from the rear differential slightly and lower the rear to the ground for now.

Step 3

Move to the front of the drive shaft. The front of the shaft may be mounted on a flange or may slide into the rear of the transmission with a slip yoke. If your shaft has the slip style yoke, just slide it out. If it is bolted on, remove the retaining bolts with a wrench.

Step 4

Pull the front of the drive shaft away from the transmission of transfer case, then remove the drive shaft from under the vehicle.

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