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Tom Wood Front Drive Shaft

OK....now that you know a bit about the new drive shaft, it's time to get it installed. 

I cheated this time.  I used a hydraluic lift to bring Lady up to working height.  Hey, I had an excuse.  It's been over 110 degrees out here for the past couple of weeks and now the humidity (summer monsoon season) has started.  If I didn't have to lay on my back in the middle of my driveway to work on this, I wasn't going to.  Troy (Toys by Troy) was nice enough to provide me with some lift space for a bit while I worked on this project.  Many thanks! 

I should mention that if you have the stock transfer case skid, you do not need to remove it in order to disconnect the drive shaft at the transfer case.  I have another write-up that details removing the drive shaft in this manner.  I was also due to change the transfer case fluid.  Draining the fluid can get a little messy with the skid in place so I thought I would take advantage of the situation and do a fluid change at the same time. 


With a ratchet in hand, remove the four nuts that secure the tranny mount to the skid plate.  They can be reached through the access holes in the skid.  Your belly plate may look a bit different than this one, but you'll still most likely have four nuts to remove to separate the mount from the skid.


With the tranny mount nuts removed, I slipped a screw jack under the output shaft of the transfer case.  (and pretend I didn't leave the ratchet hanging on that last nut)  I put just a bit of tension on the jack which causes the tranny and t-case to lift a small amount off of the skid plate....a small amount, like an 1/8" or there about.  You don't need more than that.  If you are doing this in the driveway, you can use a bottle jack or a floor jack to support the drive train.

I ran in to one snag as I was removing the 18 counter sunk bolts that hold the removable section of the skid plate in place.....four of the allen head bolts stripped out....or I should say that the head stripped out and the bit just spun around in it.


Nate was working in the shop and when he noticed that something was wrong, he came over to offer a hand.  He explained to me that he had pretty good success using the plasma cutter to remove the center of the bolt.  After the bolt was burned through, a drift punch or something similar could be used to knock out the burned out shell.  What the heck, I had four bolts that simply were not coming out. 

We hooked up the plasma cutter and Nate burned the first one.  He didn't go clear through to the end of the bolt.  After about half the bolt was burned out, a hammer and cold chisel was used on the bolt head to turn it.  It broke lose with surprising ease, in my opinion.  We both agreed that the intense heat also helped break the corrosion holding the bolt in place.  The remaining three bolts were burned and successfully removed.  I chased the threads of all of the holes with a new bolt to ensure no threads had been damaged.  No reason to unknowingly set myself up for another round like this when it comes time to remove the bolts again.


With the drive train supported and the skid plate removed, I removed the 4 bolts that hold the two u-joint straps at the D30's yoke.   You may want leave the straps loosely attached or support the end of the shaft if you are on a lift.  Having it fall out of the yoke while you work on the other end is not a good thing to have happen.


The two arrows in the above pic point to two of the four bolts that you need to remove at the output yoke of the t-case.  With the front wheels off the ground, you can remove two of the bolts and then rotate the drive shaft to expose gain access to the remaining two bolts. 

With all four t-case yoke bolts removed, I carefully pulled the drive shaft off of the t-case yoke axle yokes.  I cleaned up the surfaces on the yokes before installing the new drive shaft. 

For those that use the torque specs during these tasks, the front u-joint straps are tightened to 14 ft. lbs.  The four bolts at the t-case yoke are torqued to 20 ft. lbs.

With the drive shaft in position, I did a drain on the t-case fluid followed by a refill.  With out the skid in the way, it was a quick and easy job. 

With no more maintenance to do, the skid plate was put back in place.  If you are doing this in the driveway by yourself, a floor jack will make that task very simple while you thread the bolts into the holes.  As for me, I broke out the container of anti-seize and coated the threads on the bolts going back into the skid plate.  I really didn't want a repeat performance with the plasma cutter again. 

That's it.....certainly a job that most anyone can do in the comfort of their buddy's shop or at the worse, on their back in the driveway.  (hey, I did both of my first short arm lifts on my back in the driveway) 

I look forward to many years of service from Mr. Wood's drive shaft.  You can't go wrong getting your next one from Tom. 




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