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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Out West

    Default Easy way to get a driver's side drive shaft out

    I've had vibration in the front of my car for quite a while, and a bit of radial play in the driveshaft inner CV joints. I replaced the worst, on the passenger side, and it made quite a difference. I figured if one was good, two should be 2x as good, so I bought a driver's side. But after reading about how hard it is to get the original one removed, I was dreading it. Finally I gave it a stab.

    I cheat, I have a lift so I wasn't rolling around on the ground, but it was so easy I wouldn't have needed to juggle the Chevelle and a bunch of other stuff to get the XC on the rack.
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    I read about how hard you have to beat a chisel between the CV knuckle and the transmission case, and decided to try something else first. If you think about forces from forcing a wedge in there, most of the force is going radially, not axially, so that actually makes it bind, as the shaft gets pushed sideways against the side of the splined hole. I took an old screwdriver, and smoothed a rounded end on it with an angle grinder, thin enough to fit in the gap. Then I lightly twisted it with a vice-grip, and the 180K mile axle easily, easily popped out. I was so easy that I initially thought the screw driver slid out, and that was the "ping" I heard. I was ready to weld a big long lever on the screwdriver, but no need!
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    I had planned on an all day event, but it only took a couple of hours. The car is so smooth now it feels like new. Well worth the time and effort. Interestingly enough, the "new" OEM shafts from the dealer were rebuilds(!) I found some GKN shafts at FCP and was skeptical, but at half the price, I thought I would give them a try. The shafts I removed from my car still had GKN stickers on them, GKN is definitely OEM. And the new GKNs from the FCP were brand new, not rebuilds. There was one difference, the original driver's side had a damping ring doughnut in the middle of the shaft, the new one didn't. Driving the car, up to 90mph, there isn't any vibration, so the configuration difference doesn't bother me.

    I hope someone finds this useful if you need to do this axle change.
    Last edited by gibbons; 12-26-2019 at 10:10 AM.
    '04 XC70, Ice White, Taupe. Original owner (193K miles as of may20). 6 wheel bearings, broken ignition, broken turbo downtube flange, and a myriad of weird crap. Still my favorite car ever.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Finger Lakes, NY


    So elegant, I have no words. Well done.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Virginia Beach


    Tried exactly that, leveraging by rotating a big screw driver, on the XC, and the T5.

    Didnít work at all.

    Resorted to the bigger hammer method with a cold chisel.
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (258K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (208K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (92K)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    San Diego


    Yeah, it just depends on whether your axle has gotten some moisture in the splines causing some corrosion to fuse things together or not. I girded for battle with the Volvo axle removal tool (which is just a glorified pickle fork) and a sledge hammer, and all it took was a couple light taps and it was out. I was a little disappointed in the lack of challenge. LOL

    Your mileage will vary on this job.

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