How do I install a driveshaft? Is it difficult to do?

After a recent incident involving offroading in my car that I don’t want to share too many details about out of embarrassment, I managed to break my car’s driveshaft. I’ve done a few DIY projects before. I wanted to ask how to install a driveshaft and if this is difficult.

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Answer provided by
Matt Terzi
Answered on Jul 19, 2022
Here’s a quick step-by-step walkthrough on how to install a driveshaft:
  • Safety first! Jack the vehicle off the ground and onto jack stands, with wheel chocks in use and the parking brake engaged.
  • Be sure to wear safety goggles too!
  • Mark off the drivetrain’s alignment.
  • You’ll want to note where the driveshaft is in relation to the differential and the transmission.
  • Use a marker or liquid paper to note those positions.
  • Put a drip pan underneath your transmission or transfer case.
  • You might get a small leak from the output seal during this process.
  • Remove the old driveshaft.
  • You’ll need to disconnect the fasteners and retainers holding it to the differential pinion flange, then slide it out of the transmission.
  • Use chassis grease on the slip yoke splines.
  • Insert the new driveshaft’s yoke into the transmission
  • Make sure you align the new driveshaft properly.
  • Be careful to avoid damaging the output seal.
  • The yoke should slide over the output shaft.
  • Mount the driveshaft to the differential
  • Put the fasteners and retainers back in place.
  • Tighten the fasteners using a torque wrench.
  • Apply however many foot-pounds as the car’s manual specifies.
  • Check your transmission fluid levels and top it off as needed.
Sounds messy, right? Installing a driveshaft isn’t something we recommend doing in your favorite t-shirt. If you’d rather have a mechanic take care of this, you should expect it to cost anywhere from $300 to $2,000, parts and labor included.
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