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Cardan Shaft Replacement help

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So I am doing this work.

Ordered a replacement shaft and flex disc.

Managed to do the following:

- Removed triple square bolts from rear of shaft

- Removed the 3 bolts holding flex disc to shaft (bolts + nuts + washers)

- Removed the 3 bolts holding flex disc to tranny (bolts + nuts + washers)

- Loosened exhaust hangers at mid point of car (total 2, one on each side of car), plus two front hangers (the ones next to the cats on each pipe), plus loosened the hangers for muffler as well (not removed but all loosened).

- Loosened the shaft off tranny and rear diff - shaft is now free and unattached

My problem:

I am having a very hard time removing the actual shaft so I can stick a replecement in there.

Can someone give me a secret of what they did to remove the actual shaft?

It seems not to be able to come out rear first (sliding back - the rear shaft too long and unless exhaust is off, I do not see that happening)

It seems not to want to come out via pushing it to the front either. After removing the disk , there seems to be space to push the shaft forward, positioning the front part adjacent to the transfer case, but even if I push down on the exhaust, I seem not to be able to get enough clearance to move the front part of it past the cross member (tranny cross member), to spit it out. I assume I will have same difficulty with putting new one in.

Any tricks, additional steps will be very apreciated. It has gotten dark (started late) and I will have to finish tomorrow.


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Allright, got it out.

Will post a DIY so that you can see how to do this without having to pull the exhaust.

To think about it, easy but still a PITA to do this. Of all things, mailman was supposed to bring the flex disc by noon, and it is still not here yet. Got pissed as this is the only thing stopping me from finishing this. Paid for overnight shipping and nada. They better refund the money.

Will update after I am done.


Edited by ciaka
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  • 8 months later...

Thanks for posting this DIY. Unfortunately, I am having a lot of trouble prying either end of the shaft loose. When I pry at the front, it's like the flex disc, shaft flange, and transfer case flange have all fused together and will not let go. When I pry at the rear, the metal cover moves just fine but nothing else does. The shaft itself moves a bit fore and aft, but my new shaft also moves relative to the metal piece that sticks into the rear differential so that doesn't help much. I don't see how I can get leverage against the part of the shaft that needs to be moved. Is there a trick?

Hope someone can write back soon. I have about an hour of daylight and then it will start getting cold, and unfortunately my Cayenne is blocking my exit for my 911 so I am stranded home until it's back on the road. All advice welcome! Thanks!

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The shaft end is convex and the diff flange is concave so it fits like a small socket joint.

I found it easier to push the shaft forward as far as possible while pulling it down from the rear differential.

A pry bar helped where I gently pulled the shaft out of the diff while pulling down.

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Can you be more specific about how you pushed the shaft forward and where you applied the pry bar? I pried as hard as I could forward on the shaft with a 32mm wrench to no avail and I tried a cold chisel to separate the shaft from the differential flange but couldn't get any movement there, either. Some people have mentioned using an air chisel, which I want to avoid if I can. Most people agree that being gentle will get the job done, so I want to be gentle if I can. I've found with Porsches that there is often a magic place or angle to apply gentle force so I really appreciate tips on finding it for this one.

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In the photo below, the point of prying is noted.

Also, loosen the rubber donut first. This may give you some fore/aft movement.

You may have to bang on the connection point shown below with a rubber mallet or dead-blow hammer to get an inital break. If you live where roads are salted, you may be dealing with some corrosion that is holding the two pieces together.

I agree, no air chisel, that seems very extreme and it may invalidate your core return credit.


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Do they salt the roads in Ohio? That's where the previous owner drove the vehicle prior to my recent acquisition.

When I pry at that point, the protective cover comes off easily but the shaft itself does not come out of the flange. A corrosion weld is a definite possibility based on what I can see on the new shaft and the freedom of movement of the shaft fore and aft while the end piece remains stuck to the flange.

I couldn't reach a hammer into the space available very well, so I used a wood block against the shaft and hammered that the best I could under the car. I also tried a chisel to gain a foothold between the shaft and the flange in the space marked, but to no avail. It does seem like there must be a magical angle or location to tap with a hammer and release it all based on others' experiences as compared to my own.
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  • 2 weeks later...

In my case, I had to give up because the rear flange would not separate even the tiniest bit from the differential even when I applied a hammer or cold chisel. It appears that the road salts in the car's previous state of residence have effectively welded these parts together. Fortunately, it seems that the vibration I had diagnosed as cardan shaft bearing issues is no longer there, so I am going to hold onto the new shaft in case it comes back someday, and then get out the air chisel to remove the old shaft.

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I got mine out by hammering on side with a chisel and a hammer then rotate the drive shaft 45 degrees and hammer it again, rotate another 45 degrees.

What is happening when you hit it only on one side it binds inside the differential.

do this a few times and it will fall.

The car was on jack stand in the back, exhaust off.

Hope this helps.

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I foolishly did not try turning it between chisel sessions. That's a very good idea, thanks! I gave up when the chisel didn't get any purchase at all on the bottom side I was able to reach (about 45-60 degrees around the shaft). It'll be December before I have another weekend free to look at it but now I know what to try next.

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Ummm... has anyone tried loosening the bolts (not removing them) and then starting the P!G and putting it in D and R a few times with the brake on (and making sure if it moves it doesn't hit anything)? That works well for getting wheels that are seized on the hub off.. the rotary motion seems to gently break the joint free, and the bolts keep it from falling apart.

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I was tempted to remove the bolts and put it in gear but thought better of it. I would worry that loosened bolts with forces applied by the rotating drive shaft would damage their threads in the differential flange.

I suspect the damage would be much less than bashing it with a sledge hammer as some people seem to be doing, or wedging a cold chisel in between the surfaces. The bashing seems particularly bad - there is an excellent chance of dinging a bearing race in the differential input shaft - and that will lead to failed bearings.

The amount of force put in the bolts - not LOOSE but loosened will not be enough to damage a steel flange.

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