A driveshaft is a cylindrical metal tube that in rear wheel drive vehicles transfers power from the engine and transmission to the rear axle. The driveshaft has a universal joint mounted at each end of it to compensate for the up and down movement of the rear axle when negotiating bumps. Some vehicles have a two-piece driveshaft that is supported where both halves come together by a centre carrier bearing that is mounted to the vehicle undercarriage. The first step to replacing your driveshaft centre bearing is to remove the old one first.
Place wheel chocks under the front wheels of your vehicle. Raise the rear of the vehicle with a hydraulic floor jack and slide a jack stand under each side of the rear axle. Lower the floor jack.
Crawl under the car. Remove the nuts from the two “U” clamps that secure the rear of the driveshaft to the rear axle yoke with a socket and ratchet. Support the rear of the driveshaft with one hand while sliding to two “U” clamps away from the driveshaft with the other hand. Lower the rear of the driveshaft to the ground.
Loosen the two bolts, then attach the driveshaft centre bearing to the underside of the vehicle with a socket and ratchet. Support the bracket that houses the centre bearing with one hand while removing the two bracket bolts. Lower the centre section of the driveshaft to the ground.
Slide the driveshaft to the rear of the vehicle until it clears the tail shaft of the transmission. Lower the front portion of the driveshaft to the ground. Stuff a rag into the opening at the tail section of the transmission or fluid will leak onto the ground.
Slide the driveshaft assembly from under the vehicle and place it on a work bench or other work area. Mark a line across the two halves of the driveshaft with a piece of chalk; this way, they can be reassembled in the same position.
Separate the two halves of the driveshaft turning the large retaining nut on the larger part of the driveshaft with a large adjustable spanner turned in a counterclockwise direction. Pull the two halves of the driveshaft apart. Slide the centre bearing off of the shorter length of driveshaft.
- Reassemble your driveshaft in the reverse order of the above steps.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images