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2003 Chevy SSR
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I searched, but did not find info on how to disconnect the driveshaft, so here's what I learned.

The only place to disconnect it is at the differential.

I jacked up one side of the truck, settled it on two jack stands, then put the jack under the driveshaft so it wouldn't attempt murder when it came loose. Ilsa's a sweet girl, but she can get feisty sometimes.

At the universal joint that connects to the differential, there are four bolts with small connectors between each pair. Yep, this is where it all happens.

Using 7/16" socket and box-end wrenches, I loosened them. From now on, I was careful to support the shaft since it could (but probably wouldn't) come down when the bolts were off.

After taking all four bolts off, the shaft remained firmly in place. It needed to be moved toward the front of the truck in order to be loosened. The driveshaft connection at the tranny is free, and there is room for the shaft to go forward a bit, but it probably won't come loose without some persuasion.

I used a small crowbar, but any type of wrecking bar or even a big screwdriver would probably work. This is where you really need to be ready for a heavy piece of metal to try to come home to Mother Earth.

It didn't take much persuasion to pry the shaft back towards the tranny. Even though I had a jack under it, it still came down far enough and quickly enough to cause considerable consternation and a few expletives from me. It probably wasn't an enjoyable experience for Ilsa either, but she took it like a trooper.

Since she had to be moved to a tranny shop, I used a couple loops of wire to secure the shaft to a brace right above it, and gathered up the bolts and small connecting pieces into a plastic bag.

Very important - there are some loose metal caps that are now exposed at the connection. It would be a bad thing - maybe a very bad thing if these came off and all the little loose things inside escaped their confines. I used masking tape to go around the end of the shaft a few times to ensure their continued captivity.
 

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Tech Support/Research
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Driveshaft Removal

A couple of other points to include when removing a driveshaft:

Safety- if you remove the driveshaft with the truck on a drive-on lift with ramps, be sure to set the parking brake and chock the wheels before removal. Otherwise, the truck will be free to roll because there will be no other connection to the transmission to prevent motion (e.g., "Park" position on an automatic is no longer functional).

Indexing- It's specified in the service manual (Section 4, Propeller Shaft Replacement) that the driveshaft be indexed to the differential and trans using matchmarks so it will be installed in the same relative position and maintain balance.
 

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I searched, but did not find info on how to disconnect the driveshaft, so here's what I learned.

The only place to disconnect it is at the differential.

I jacked up one side of the truck, settled it on two jack stands, then put the jack under the driveshaft so it wouldn't attempt murder when it came loose. Ilsa's a sweet girl, but she can get feisty sometimes.

At the universal joint that connects to the differential, there are four bolts with small connectors between each pair. Yep, this is where it all happens.

Using 7/16" socket and box-end wrenches, I loosened them. From now on, I was careful to support the shaft since it could (but probably wouldn't) come down when the bolts were off.

After taking all four bolts off, the shaft remained firmly in place. It needed to be moved toward the front of the truck in order to be loosened. The driveshaft connection at the tranny is free, and there is room for the shaft to go forward a bit, but it probably won't come loose without some persuasion.

I used a small crowbar, but any type of wrecking bar or even a big screwdriver would probably work. This is where you really need to be ready for a heavy piece of metal to try to come home to Mother Earth.

It didn't take much persuasion to pry the shaft back towards the tranny. Even though I had a jack under it, it still came down far enough and quickly enough to cause considerable consternation and a few expletives from me. It probably wasn't an enjoyable experience for Ilsa either, but she took it like a trooper.

Since she had to be moved to a tranny shop, I used a couple loops of wire to secure the shaft to a brace right above it, and gathered up the bolts and small connecting pieces into a plastic bag.

Very important - there are some loose metal caps that are now exposed at the connection. It would be a bad thing - maybe a very bad thing if these came off and all the little loose things inside escaped their confines. I used masking tape to go around the end of the shaft a few times to ensure their continued captivity.
:|

Not sure why you had to go and remove the drive shaft since the truck was headed for a "tranny shop"........But, your write up suggests you are talking about the U joint that connects the back end of the drive shaft to the differential. Once you removed the U bolts, and unhooked it all, then correctly, ya gotta slide the shaft forward to free up the back end and then set the back end down and slide the whole shaft free from the transmission.

The shaft is not all that heavy, seems you should have been able to ease it onto the garage floor once you cleared the transmission tail shaft.

I would use duct tape or some manner beyond (masking tape) to secure the caps from the U joint.

Not at all sure why you are securing the shaft to a brace with a couple of loops of

wire:surprise: Are ya saying it is just gonna hang under the truck via a brace and loops of wire while the truck gets towed to tranny shop??? It that is the case, it could be pending disaster waiting to happen. Why not wrap the shaft in old towels and carry it in the bed of the truck. :smile2:
 

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One of the SoCal Nuts
2006 Pacific Blue times 23198 & 21474
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The loose thingies in the little caps are the needles for the roller bearings and they make the drive shaft flex at the differential so it does not lock up. You do not want to lose any of them or get any dirt in there.
 

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It probably won't hurt to change out the u joints. I sure would.
 

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I had my truck on jackstands, so could easily move the shaft to get to all four bolts on the cap. I didn't index the shaft to the differential, so hopefully won't run into any balance problems on reassembly. 50% chance of getting it the same way it came off. I was surprised at how light the shaft was when I removed it from the transmission.

The only real problem was how difficult it was to get to the drain plug to drain the transmission. Otherwise, I was going to have a mess on my hands when the transmission came up through the hood.

I'm with moscooter on transportation. It will take you 30 seconds to pull it off the splines, then put a plastic bag with zipties on hold the tranny oil till you get it to the shop.

I'm curious why you would have bothered removing the shaft at the differential if the next stop was the transmission shop.
 

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He had to remove drive shaft because transmission has internal problems and it is stuck in park. Removing drive shaft will allow truck to be rolled onto flatbed.

I do agree with others, remove drive shaft altogether. Use a baggie or something on tail shaft. Maybe check with your transmission shop and ask to borrow a plug they make for this purpose, they will get it back when truck arrives. Trans fluid will be drained to remove trans pan to repair. problem.
 

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He had to remove drive shaft because transmission has internal problems and it is stuck in park. Removing drive shaft will allow truck to be rolled onto flatbed.

I do agree with others, remove drive shaft altogether. Use a baggie or something on tail shaft. Maybe check with your transmission shop and ask to borrow a plug they make for this purpose, they will get it back when truck arrives. Trans fluid will be drained to remove trans pan to repair. problem.
:|
Borrowing a plug from the trans shop makes sense. If that is not in the cards, I think those plastic tail shaft plugs are available at most Auto Parts stores.:wink2:
 

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He had to remove drive shaft because transmission has internal problems and it is stuck in park. Removing drive shaft will allow truck to be rolled onto flatbed.

I do agree with others, remove drive shaft altogether. Use a baggie or something on tail shaft. Maybe check with your transmission shop and ask to borrow a plug they make for this purpose, they will get it back when truck arrives. Trans fluid will be drained to remove trans pan to repair. problem.
I forgot it was stuck in gear. My bad.

I'll have to check into replacing the u joint. I'm at 35000 miles, all in good weather, so that should still be in reasonable condition.
 

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04 Black, 05 Black, 05 Aqua Blur
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I used to have a couple of those wide rubber bands that I would put around U joints when I pulled drive shafts out of my race car. Dust tape works good also. I would recommend taking it out before towing because if it does come out while in transit it could be a big problem. Either from damage to the shaft if it gets dented or worse yet if on a flat bed and falling out then coming off the flat bed. Could you imagine driving down the highway and a driveshaft coming at your windshield? Could be deadly.
 

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Could you imagine driving down the highway and a driveshaft coming at your windshield

Yes, it happened to me. It is not fun. 2011 Hot Rod Power Tour. 65 mph on a hilly 2 lane substandard road marked at 55mph Speed Limit. An SSR, 3 corvettes and a Chevy Nova behind me. Lot of hills, meeting cars. At first open place I slowed to 60, motioned for cars to pass. Corvettes went around at full throttle, then the Nova passed at full throttle. Unfortunately he put all of his money under the hood and none on the driveshaft. Just as he cleared the front of my truck he whipped back in front of me and the driveshaft came out from under the bumper in 2 pieces bouncing about hood high. I had to balance the braking to keep from hitting the drive shaft pieces or having the SSR behind me rear end me. I finally just stood on the brakes as the pieces got closer and started bouncing higher. They went off to the side of the road just clearing my hood.

Jack
 

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Yes, it happened to me. It is not fun. 2011 Hot Rod Power Tour. 65 mph on a hilly 2 lane substandard road marked at 55mph Speed Limit. An SSR, 3 corvettes and a Chevy Nova behind me. Lot of hills, meeting cars. At first open place I slowed to 60, motioned for cars to pass. Corvettes went around at full throttle, then the Nova passed at full throttle. Unfortunately he put all of his money under the hood and none on the driveshaft. Just as he cleared the front of my truck he whipped back in front of me and the driveshaft came out from under the bumper in 2 pieces bouncing about hood high. I had to balance the braking to keep from hitting the drive shaft pieces or having the SSR behind me rear end me. I finally just stood on the brakes as the pieces got closer and started bouncing higher. They went off to the side of the road just clearing my hood.

Jack
:|

This is why it is wise to add a drive shaft loop to contain the shaft in case a U joint or yoke breaks. :surprise: For sure I had one on my old street rod............just in case.
 
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