The output shaft on your car's engine is what links the engine to the transmission, to transfer the power to the wheels. You may never have a problem with the engine's output shaft while you own the car. However, there are times when the output shaft starts wobble, is bent because of torque, or just simply fails. When that happens, you can take it to a garage, but will save a lot of money by doing it yourself. Here are the steps to replacing the output shaft of your engine.
Step 1: Raise Front End of Car
To get at the engine output shaft, you need to raise the front end of the car off the ground. Use a floor jack and lift the car. Slide in a pair of jack stands in behind the wheels, on the pinch welds located on the frame. This will stabilize the car, so you can work under it without worry.
Step 2: Remove Passenger Side Tire
With a lug wrench, remove the lug nuts on the passenger side tire. Slide the tire off the lugs and set it aside.
Step 3: Remove Brakes and Struts
Using the socket wrench and some brake tools, take your time in removing the brake calipers and the struts. Slide the rotor off the axle and set it aside.
Step 4: Remove Ball Joint
Use a pry bar to help you remove the ball joints on the control arm.
Step 5: Remove Axle Assembly
Pry down on the control arm, so you have access to the ball joint knuckle, where it connects to the steering knuckle. Remove this steering knuckle and slide out the axle assembly.
Step 6: Remove Output Shaft
Once the axle assembly is removed, you will be able to see the output shaft. Remove the 3 bolts holding it to the engine block, and slide it out of the assembly. Make sure that a drain pan is handy, so you can catch any fluid that leaks out from the shaft.
Step 7: Install New Output Shaft
Lightly tap the new output shaft into the axle assembly, until it is seated properly. Make sure not to damage the outside face, or the O ring that is at the front. Lift up on the steering knuckle again, and slide the axle assembly into the correct position. Install the bolts, and tighten them to the right torque. Check with a repair manual or output shaft packaging to locate this number. It will vary according to the make and model of your vehicle. Reinstall the ball joint, rotor, brakes and struts. Place the tire back onto the lugs, and tighten the lug nuts.
Step 8: Lower Vehicle
Lift the vehicle with the jack a few inches. Remove the jack stands from either side of the vehicle. Lower the car to the ground. Start the engine and let it run. You should not hear any rattling under the vehicle. Take it for a test drive, and notice any pulling or any difference in power.