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Driveshaft coupling removal DIY, AIR TOOL version

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    Posted: February-18-2012 at 3:07pm
So, this is the 2nd time I've removed my driveshaft from its press-fit coupling. The first time I did it, I used this same general method, however, used only hand tools. It took all day- glacial speed- and left me with blistered hands and a lot of frustration. I vowed to NEVER do it again. "Sawzall next time- I'm just cutting it in half and buying a new one if I EVER have to do this again".

If this is the first post you've seen on removing a press-fit coupling from an inboard driveshaft, the basic concept is to use longer bolts or threaded rod with nuts in order to press the coupling halves together while keeping a spacer of some sort between the halves in order to press out the shaft from the coupling. This is the turbo version.

I was ready to order a new driveshaft, knowing I'd saw this one, when I started chatting about it with Timmy (TRBenj). I get the feeling Tim's a bit more frugal than I am- he fixes stuff generally only when it's broken and always has some clever shortcut or crazy cost-saving measure to get things done (well, most of the time). He casually threw out that an impact gun would probably speed the job up of removing the driveshaft coupling. That hit me like a wrecking ball- Impact Gun + "Socket" Press-out method- a match made in heaven!

Couple things to consider using the impact method: I would need clear access to the head of the bolt at all times- that throws out using long bolts with nuts on each side or threaded rod. Also, as with the hand method, there is not much clearance between the trans output flange and the trans, so as the shaft got pressed out, slack in the bolts would have to be taken up on the head side with washers.

Another gotcha is that, at least in my case, my thick-walled impact sockets did not have the clearance to get around the head of the bolts due to interference with the side of the coupling. Had to use my standard chrome/vlad hand socket with the impact. Didn't seem to hurt the socket one bit.

Went to Ace this morning and got (4) 3/8 Grade 5 2" bolts and (4) of the same thing in a 3" length. Also got an entire box of 3/8" washers (If I was Tim, I'd probably have returned the box after this job, but I tore the box opening it- damn). I had used a lower grade of bolt the first time I did this, and stripped 2 of them. Grade 5 seemed to handle this just fine.

My little compact 1/2" impact from Harbor Freight was perfect for this job. It's not overly powerful, and even has a low setting to make it even more benign. It's light, and really small. Perfect for this application, where I did not want to overdo it with the torque.

With the impact method, this job took 30 minutes. Absolute walk in the park. 1 second with the impact, rotate, 1 second, rotate, add washers as necessary. Repeat over and over. So, so awesome.



Closeup showing washers taking up the slack


Box of washers and longer bolts


Compact impact gun, flawless


Washers taking up more slack


Longer bolts in place, and yes those are stacked sockets inside.


Somewhat unrelated but neat- you can see where the double-lip seal has burnished its own little sealing surface (bottom 2 lines) on the shaft. Probably a bit wider due to hull flex- neat!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote crobi2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-18-2012 at 3:22pm
Cool post. When I just recently did my cutless bearing, I thought about using pneumatic several times during the hours it took me to get the coupling off. Fortunately with the v-drive in the way there is really no room for an impact hammer tool and so I didn't have to risk warping my flange out of the v-drive by getting to over-zealous with the wrench. (I also used a hand saw to split the cutless bearing). We'll see if I use the sawsall next time.

By the way, I used an A.R.E. double tapered shaft when I put it back together. I didn't want to mess around with a 500 deg F. coupling under the v-drive. You guys with direct drives have sooo much more room to work.
C-Rob

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote crobi2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-18-2012 at 3:25pm
Oh, yeah, also, the v-drive coupling is 3 1/2 inches. I couldn't even get a thin walled socket on the bolt heads. Used open end wrenches all the way.

30 minute walk in the park! I'm so jealous!

Excellent pictures by the way.
C-Rob

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote levinmark Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-18-2012 at 8:30pm
Never had done any work like this before, but I'm sure it will be in the future some time. Is the prop on the shaft against the strut that is holding the shaft in place while impacting? How are you creating space between the coupler and tranny connection, and how does the shaft stay in one place. You said there were sockets in one of the pictures. Are they against the shaft end and tranny end, when you tighten, it pushes the shaft out? Just curious and trying to figure out how your method works in a little more detail. Love learning new things. Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-18-2012 at 8:41pm
Levin,
You put a spacer just under the shaft diameter between the shaft and the trans shaft. A deep socket can be used. Then when the space between the coupling halves is drawn up, the spacer pushes the shaft out of the coupling.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote levinmark Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-18-2012 at 9:16pm
10-4 Pete, that's what I thought was happenning, just wanted to make sure. Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M3Fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-19-2012 at 9:55am
As far as bracing the shaft against the impact's rotation- that's the beauty of the impact's hammering action- no bracing other than a spanner on the nut required.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eric lavine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-19-2012 at 12:12pm
a little neverseize on the threads goes along way also
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-19-2012 at 12:26pm
Originally posted by eric lavine eric lavine wrote:

a little neverseize on the threads goes along way also

It sure does! It goes even further when used on puller threads.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rfarkash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-20-2012 at 12:02am
Recently pulled the coupler on mine a few weeks ago, and found the best way was a steering wheel puller. Basically 2 bolts hold the puller to the flange, then you turn the center bolt to drive the shaft out. Used a big crescent wrench on the puller and a 2x4 on the floor to prevent rotation. 30 minutes was all it took.
Started it with the socket/4 bolt method, but was going way too slow.
Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-20-2012 at 7:09am
Originally posted by rfarkash rfarkash wrote:

Recently pulled the coupler on mine a few weeks ago, and found the best way was a steering wheel puller. Basically 2 bolts hold the puller to the flange, Ron

Ron,
Bad idea! You are pulling the flange at only 2 points so you chances of warping the flange are twice over using four bolts. Before you put the shaft back in, I suggest you press the coupling on the shaft, chuck the shaft up in the lathe and take a face cut on the coupling. DO NOT just chuck the coupling up in the lathe on it's OD. You must machine the face true to the bore so a expanding mandral is an alternate.

Since you have the shaft out, make sure it's straight. It should nor run out more than .003"



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M3Fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-20-2012 at 10:45am
Originally posted by 8122pbrainard 8122pbrainard wrote:

[QUOTE=rfarkash]

Since you have the shaft out, make sure it's straight. It should nor run out more than .003"



Pete, any way to do this without a lathe? I'm fairly certain I don't have a genuinely flat surface anywhere in my house to even do a "roll" test.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-20-2012 at 11:17am
Joel,
A lathe isn't needed but V blocks or a decent flat surface like a surface plate is. What are your kitchen counter tops? Stone? You could try to roll it there and use a feeler gauge. However, that will only tell you if it's straight from the strut forward. Many times if you take a prop hit, the shaft will bend aft of the strut. Measuring runout on the taper is where you really need the dial indicator.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TRBenj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-21-2012 at 8:53am
Originally posted by M3Fan M3Fan wrote:

I get the feeling Tim's a bit more frugal than I am- he fixes stuff generally only when it's broken and always has some clever shortcut or crazy cost-saving measure to get things done (well, most of the time).

That is to say, I generally dont go looking for excuses to replace perfectly good parts... I have enough projects to keep me busy as it is!

Looks like everything worked well- nicely done.

Oh, and I wouldnt return those bolts or washers... I cant imagine they were more than a few bucks- personally, I love having extra hardware like that around. Lots of uses for stuff like that!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eric lavine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-21-2012 at 8:57am
and, besides antiseize on the bolts, when using bolts as a pulling force, you always use fine thread because of thread angle, a fine thread has less slope allowing more force
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M3Fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-23-2012 at 8:42am
So here's another hot tip on this one- try to remember to put the key in the keyway BEFORE you heat and replace the coupling. That way you avoid having to do this twice. Grrrrrr.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Swatkinz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-23-2012 at 8:54am
having trouble wrapping my brain around the need for the washers
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-23-2012 at 9:06am
Originally posted by Swatkinz Swatkinz wrote:

having trouble wrapping my brain around the need for the washers

Steve,
They are there just to compensate for the bolt length as the coupling is pulled off the shaft. If the bolts are long then, as they are tightened, they will run into the trans housing.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote watrski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-23-2012 at 11:49am
Why are you using coarse thread bolts????
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HatterBee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March-23-2012 at 12:15pm
I have always used all-thread for this, but now at least I have an option to use some type of power tool. Thanks
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