How to Replace the Front Drive Shaft on a Ford Ranger

by Jeffrey Caldwell
David Paul Morris/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The front drive shaft on a Ford Ranger connects the transfer case to the front axle. When your Ford Ranger is shifted into four-wheel drive, the transfer case splits the power generated by the engine between the front and rear driveshafts, which in turn sends power to the four wheels. If you notice excessive vibrations coming from underneath the vehicle while four-wheel drive is engaged, you may need to replace the front drive shaft.

Removing the Front Drive Shaft

Step 1

Raise the front of the vehicle using an automotive jack, and support it with jack stands placed under the front axle.

Step 2

Pull back on the rubber boot between the front drive shaft and the transfer case, with your hand.

Step 3

Unscrew the nuts, bolts and straps that connect the front drive shaft to the front axle yoke, using a wrench and socket.

Slide the drive shaft underneath the front axle while pulling it towards the front of the vehicle. This will separate the splined shaft from the transfer case.

Installing the Front Drive Shaft

Step 1

Coat the splined shaft with multi-purpose lubricant C1AZ-19490-B or equivalent.

Step 2

Slide the splined shaft into the transfer case.

Step 3

Set the universal joint into the front axle yoke.

Step 4

Reinstall the nuts, bolts and straps that secure the universal joint to the front axle flange. Torque the fasteners to between 10 and 15 foot-pounds.

Step 5

Slide the rubber boot onto the transfer case.

Lower the front of the vehicle.


  • If the drive shaft will be removed for an extended length of time, then plug the hole in the transfer case to prevent moisture from contaminating it.


  • Always follow the instructions listed in the owner’s manual when lifting and lowering a vehicle. Failure to do so can cause injury or death.

Items you will need

  • Automotive jack
  • Jack stands
  • Wrench set
  • Socket set
  • Ford multi-purpose lubricant C1AZ-19490-B or equivalent
  • Torque wrench

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