Date registered: Mar 2005
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I did this repair over the weekend and have several comments.
In general, all of the advice is very good, especially the suggestion to use liberal amounts of "liquid wrench". Soak the UV joint just behind the support bearing and of course those 2 16mm SOB's which hold the bearing in place. A little heat from a propane torch is also a good idea. I applied it from the bottom through the holes in the frame cross member, that plus the liquid wrench should do it. Mine had only been there for 18 months but it was still hard to remove.
The suggestion to dispense with removing the whole driveshaft is a good one. The 4 bolts on the rear axle differential are terrible and I sheared one off. They are supposed to be torqued at only 50nM, so I do not understand what was the problem. I will get this drilled out and replaced. I was too scared to continue with the other three.
Don't hesitate, get the Gearwrench 16mm tool, flexible head was not necessary, Sears has it for less than $20.
Removing the clamp nuts is a royal pain, even with a vise, forget it. Take the shaft with the bearing to the local garage and it is off in 5 seconds with a air ratchet gun. No vise was needed. Put the bearing and UV joint end on with a tap from a rubber hammer so you can get the washer and clamp nut on. Then the rachet the nut on to drive the everything into place. I torqued the nuts to 150nM with a small vise, no problem.
Get a 2 arm puller to remove the UV joint end, piece of cake, then the bearing, no problem. You are aware of all the comments for marking the alignment, include both parts of the UV joint mentioned above.
Mark the position of the bearing mounting bracket on the frame cross member. There is a lot of play and you must get the bearing lined up right. Grease or Antiseize those bolts for the next time.