Well, as promised, today my youngest son and I did the front driveshaft lube on my truck. As I stated in the other thread, I decided to remove and lube, then replace the driveshaft to make sure it got done right. It is not necessary to R+R the part to lube it, but if you want to do it this way, here are the instructions and a few pictures I took.
- 4" T-40 Torx bit (3/8" drive) - front end of front driveshaft
- 13mm socket (3/8" drive) - transfer case skid plate bolts
- 5/8" wrench - front driveshaft transfer case flange bolts
- Jack to lift one front tire
- A couple 2x8s or 2x10s to drive front tires up on to raise the front of the truck for more working room
- Trouble light
- Bungee cord/tarp strap (short)
- Pry bar
- Anti-seize compound or grease
- Wheel chocks
- Chalk/paint/crayon to mark driveshaft ends
First steps are to chock the wheels and then mark the driveshaft at both ends where it meets the flanges on the pinion of the front axle, and on the transfer case. You can see the white paint mark I made here. I actually took this pic during the reassembly process, that's why there are bolts loose and missing.
These are the bolts at the front end that require the T-40 torx tool to remove.
Next, you want to remove the transfer case skid plate. There are four 13mm bolts holding it on. The cross members the skid plate attaches to are threaded, so there are no nuts on the back side.
Here's my helper loosening the bolts on the skid plate:
Next, you will want to remove the bolts holding the rear of the driveshaft on to the transfer case flange. They are 5/8" and pretty tight. I loosened them with a single combination wrench, and the box end with it's slight angle worked to get enough clearance from the cross member. I could get 3 out of the 4 loose without jacking up the front tire. Next, I had my helper jack up the front tire and spin it to bring fastener #4 into sight, then I removed it. The transfer case flange has a lip on it, so the shaft won't immediately fall when the last (4th) bolt is removed. It took some persuading with a hammer to loosen the rust and wiggle the shaft free of the transfer case end.
I added some grease to the flange area before reassembly to prevent it from rusting on so I could remove it next time. Anti-seize would work here too.
Now the driveshaft will be able to be pushed up toward the body to allow clearance at the front to get the 4" T-40 torx in at the front end of the shaft to loosen those bolts.
Get the T-40 on the fastener as straight as possible to avoid damaging the fastener head if it slips out. These fasteners were pretty tight, but they came out easy enough. By pushing the shaft up toward the body and supporting it with something, it will give you the necessary clearance to get the front T-40 fasteners and get the tool on there straight.
Before you remove the last bolt on the front end, you'll want to use that bungee or tarp strap to "catch" the driveshaft so it doesn't fall on you or your head when it's free. It's heavier than you might think, and hard to handle when laying on your back. The cross member will catch the transfer case end when it falls, but rig a bungee at the front like this to catch the front end:
Next, you can slide the driveshaft out front under the truck, and take it to a bench top where you can manipulate the joint to gain better access to the grease fitting. I had greased it before I took the pictures, but the grease goes in where you can see some residual grease here:
The excess grease will come out in between the joints when it's full.
Then, just reverse the procedure to re-install it, making sure you line up the marks you made at the start. Put the front axle end on first, but make sure the rear of the shaft is above the cross member first, you'll never get it in there unless it is above the cross member before you tighten the front (pinion) end fasteners.
The back bolts (transfer case end) had blue locktight on them, the front (pinion) end had nothing.
2010 Cougar 322QBS 5er
2007 Dodge 3500 SRW Megacab, 4x4, 5.9L Cummins, 3.73, 48RE auto HYPERTECH MAX ENERGY or DIABLO PREDATOR tuning MBRP 4" Turbo back Scangauge2 for Boost, Coolant temp, Rail press & Trans Temp
Torklift Stable Loads
Use to do it that way, took drive shaft off last time, went to a drive line shop and had them change out that Cardian joint. Now have a regular grease zerek. Should get under the truck and post a picture of it. So much easier to grease now.
2005 Dodge 3500 CTD QC, 2007 Forest River Cherokee 27RL
CR and Motor Trend both report: My wife says I'm the only one and the best she's ever had.
Interesting but I've never seen anybody remove it to lube the fitting. Why not just use a needle to grease it on the truck?
BTW, are you on the Turbo Diesel Register? We eat this stuff up over there.
I have tried a dozen times to grease it using a 6" grease needle, but I was never sure if I got any in there doing it that way. It' so hard to see the fitting/hole, then, inevitably, a little grease "leaks" out around the needle when you're trying to pump it in the fitting, which obscures the hole, which causes you to have to put a rag over the end of a screwdriver and poke it in there to clean the grease away to see the fitting again, and so on, and so on. I have decided to just remove it once a year and lube it on a bench top, that way I know it's full and done right.
I used to be on the TDR, but my subscription has lapsed and I haven't renewed.
I remember back when the truck was new and at the dealer for the 1st service.
I ask the SW about that and she said something to the effect that it would never need lubing Even the single rear drive shaft replacement companies use the Cardian joint and I heard the same line from them Having said that, I don't hear of many, well any, that failed.
At any rate that bean counter should have been fired. That design ranks right up there with the cab off repair.
What were they thinking