Set Up Your New Driveshaft Center Bearing in Six Easy Steps
Troubled by a constant grinding noise when turning your vehicle? Check the driveshaft. The center bearing might be warped, causing the whines and grinds when you accelerate. A midway support to the driveshaft from the transmission to the rear axle differential, the center bearing (sometimes referred to as the carrier bearing), is one DIYer-friendly part. A broken or failing driveshaft center bearing can be fixed in a matter of minutes, even without the use of complicated tools and procedures. Read on for a simple and guided driveshaft center bearing installation.
Required skill level: Novice
Tools and materials you'll need:
Preparing for the project
Although this DIY project is tagged as easy, it is still recommended to follow safety precautions. Wear personal protection equipment and try to work in daylight as much as possible. In case the work is inadvertently scheduled at night, always remember to have a working light at hand.
Getting to the driveshaft
With the jack, raise the car at a height enough for you to get under it. Don't forget to allot some space for your tools and your working area. Place the jack stands under the axle or frame to support the vehicle.
Marking the spot
Use the chalk (or other markers you wish to use) to mark the exact positioning of the center bearing. Since the connection of the driveshaft to the transmission is a single-fit splined shaft, the index mark will be especially helpful in installing a new center bearing. Map out the exact positioning of the universal joint and plates also.
Pulling out the driveshaft
Some cars have their bearing blocks bolted by nuts that are fastened to the frame; others have blocks bolted directly to the frame. To remove these, use appropriately sized wrenches. Unscrew the bolts that attach the universal joint bearing to the yoke, which comes out of the rear axle differential. Clothe the caps of this bearing with a considerable amount of duct tape to prevent them from falling off. Extract the driveshaft backward. In the process, the splined shaft will also be pulled out from the back of the transmission. Take out the driveshaft so you can work on it at a more comfortable space.
Getting rid of the defective center bearing
The plates that join the front and rear parts of the driveshaft have bolts. Remove these and set aside the rear portion while securing the front compartment in a vise. This front connecting plate of the shaft contains the center bearing. To access it, remove the bolts that hold the plate in place. With a hammer, bang the old driveshaft center bearing. The brass-ended punch can keep the shaft from scratches, in case you need to blow the bearing off at the direction of the collar that comes in contact with the shaft. With an air hammer, though, expect the bearing to come right off after a single blow.
Putting on the new bearing
A slight application of grease should make the new bearing slide into place more easily. Push the center bearing to the shaft and then hammer it in place. Again, use the brass-ended punch to prevent scratches and nicking if hard hammer blows are required. Bolt the driveshaft parts into their original positions, following the markings made earlier. Remember to tighten the driveshaft yokes first, before proceeding with the bolts to the bearing. This will prevent stress at the back yoke bolts. Reverse the removal procedure for the rest of the installation.