Mazda 323/626/929/GLC/MX-6/RX-7 1978-1989

Driveshaft and U-Joints

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Rear Wheel Drive GLC

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Raise the rear end of the car and support it using jackstands.
  2.  


CAUTION
Be sure that the car is securely supported. Remember, you will be working underneath it.

  1. Matchmark the flanges on the driveshaft and pinion so that they may be installed in their original position.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Matchmark the driveshaft flanges before removing the driveshaft



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: If so equipped, be sure to also matchmark the balance washers

  1. Remove the four bolts which secure the driveshaft to the pinion flange.
  2.  
  3. Lower the back end of the driveshaft and slide the front end out of the transmission.
  4.  
  5. Plug up the hole in the transmission to prevent it from leaking.
  6.  

Use an old U-joint yoke or, if none is available, place a plastic bag secured with rubber bands over the hole.

  1. To install, slide the front end of the driveshaft into the transmission and raise the rear end of the shaft onto the pinion flange making sure that the matchmarks are aligned properly. Install the flange bolts and torque to 25-27 ft. lbs. (34-37 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Lower the vehicle.
  4.  

1979-82 626

See Figures 1 and 2

The driveshaft used on 626 models is removed in a manner similar to that outlined for GLC models. The only difference in the removal procedure is that the center bearing must be unbolted prior to driveshaft removal. Remove the driveshaft and the center bearing as a single unit.

Do not remove the oil seals and the center bearing from the support unless they are defective.

Installation is performed in the reverse order of removal. Tighten the center bearing support bolts to 27-38 ft. lbs. (37-51 Nm) for the 626 and the driveshaft-to-pinion flange bolts to 25-27 ft. lbs. (34-37 Nm).

929

See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

  1. Raise the rear end of the car and support it using jackstands.
  2.  


CAUTION
Be sure that the car is securely supported. Remember, you will be working underneath it.

  1. Matchmark the flanges on the driveshaft and pinion so that they may be installed in their original position.
  2.  
  3. Remove the four bolts which secure the driveshaft to the pinion flange.
  4.  
  5. Remove the bolts, washers, bushings and spacers that secure the center bearing support bracket.
  6.  
  7. Lower the back end of the driveshaft and slide the front end out of the transmission.
  8.  

Transmission fluid may flow out of the rear of the transmission when the yoke is removed, so either use the turning holder (tool number 49 S120 440) or a used driveshaft yoke to plug the transmission.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Exploded view of driveshaft assembly-929

To install:
  1. Slide the front end of the driveshaft into the transmission and raise the rear end of the shaft onto the pinion flange, making sure that the matchmarks are aligned properly.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Driveshaft alignment-929

  1. Torque the flange bolts to 36-43 ft. lbs. (49-58 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Using the exploded view as a guide, assemble the washers, bushings and spacers onto the support bracket bolts, then install the bracket onto center bearing. Torque the bracket bolts to 27-38 ft. lbs. (37-51 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Check the front and rear driveshafts for proper alignment (see illustration) after the center bearing support is in place and torqued down. If the shafts are not aligned as shown, adjust the height of the center bearing support bracket with shims and bolts which may be purchased at your local Mazda dealer.
  6.  

RX-7

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Raise the rear of the car and support it on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Matchmark the position of the rear driveshaft, pinion yokes and balance washers so that the driveshaft will be installed in the same position and to avoid the possibility of vibration problems.
  4.  
  5. Remove the four attaching bolts at the rear of the driveshaft, and remove the driveshaft toward the rear of the vehicle, sliding it out of the back of the transmission.
  6.  

Transmission fluid may flow out of the rear of the transmission when the yoke is removed, so insert use the turning holder (tool number 49-0259-440) into the rear of the housing or a used driveshaft yoke to lug the transmission.

  1. Install the driveshaft in the reverse order of removal. Be careful not to damage the rear transmission seal when installing the driveshaft on the splined shaft in the transmission. Make sure you align the matchmarks made earlier on the driveshaft yokes and balance washers. The yokes on the driveshaft and the rear axle must be aligned as they were when removed or the driveshaft may be out of balance and cause vibration. Tighten the bolts to 25-27 ft. lbs. (34-37 Nm) on 1979-85 models and 36-43 ft. lbs. (49-58 Nm) on 1986-89 models.
  2.  

If a new driveshaft was installed and the vehicle is experiencing vibration problems, the driveshaft may have to be balanced. Balancing is performed by placing weights on the flange bolts at different locations on the flange. The balance weights are available in 0.12 oz. (3.4 g) and 0.20 oz. (5.7 g) sizes from your local Mazda dealer.

U-JOINT OVERHAUL



See Figures 5 and 6

Perform this procedure with the driveshaft removed from the car.

  1. Matchmark both the yoke and the driveshaft so that they can be returned to their original balancing position during assembly.
  2.  
  3. Remove the bearing snaprings from the yoke.
  4.  
  5. Use a hammer and a brass drift to drive in one of the bearing cups. Remove the cup which is protruding from the other side of the yoke.
  6.  
  7. Remove the other bearing cups by pressing them from the spider. On the GLC and 626, bearings may be removed by tapping on the base of the yoke with a hammer.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Removing the U-joint spider. Note the protruded position of the bearing cup.

  1. Withdraw the spider from the yoke.
  2.  
  3. Examine the spider journals for rusting or wear. Check the bearing for smoothness or pitting.
  4.  
  5. Measure the spider diameter. On the 626 the minimum diameter is 0.58 in. (14.7mm), and on the GLC it is 0.50 in. (12.7mm). If diameter is too small, replace the spider. Mazda does not provide spider diameter for the RX-7 and 929.
  6.  

The spider and bearing are replaced as a complete assembly only.

  1. Check the seals and rollers for wear or damage.
  2.  

To assemble:
  1. Pack the bearing cups with grease.
  2.  
  3. Fit the rollers into the cups and install the dust seals.
  4.  
  5. Place the spider in the yoke and them fit one of the bearing cups into its bore in the yoke.
  6.  
  7. Press the bearing cup home, while guiding the spider into it, so that a snapring can be installed.
  8.  
  9. Press-fit the other bearings into the yoke.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Installing a bearing snapring

  1. Select a snapring to obtain minimum end-play of the spider. Use snaprings of the same thickness on both sides to center the spider.
  2.  

When assembled, the U-joint should have a slight drag but should not bind. If it does bind, use different thickness snaprings. Selective fit snaprings are available in sizes ranging from 0.05 in. (1.2mm) to 0.06 in. (1.4mm).

  1. Install the spider/yoke assembly and bearings into the driveshaft in the same manner as the spider was assembled to the yoke.
  2.  
  3. Test the operation of the U-joint assembly. The spider should move freely with no binding.
  4.  

 
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