The driveshaft transfers power from the engine and transmission to the differential and rear axles and then to the rear wheels to drive the car. All of the models covered in this guide utilize a conventional driveshaft. Except on the 610 wagon, the 810/Maxima, the 1977-79 200SX with manual transmission only and all 1980-81 200SX models, the driveshaft assembly has two universal joints-one at each end- and a slip yoke at the front of the assembly which fits into the back of the transmission. The 610, 810/Maxima, and 200SX incorporate an additional universal joint at the center of the driveshaft with a support bearing.REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
These driveshafts are the one piece type with a U-joint and flange at the rear, and a U-joint and a splined sleeve yoke which fits into the rear of the transmission, at the front. The U-joints must be disassembled for lubrication at 24,000 mile intervals. The splines are lubricated by transmission oil.
- Release the handbrake and loosen the muffler (510 model) and rotate it out of the way.
- On the 510 model, remove the handbrake rear cable adjusting nut and disconnect the left-handbrake cable from the adjuster. Unbolt the rear flange.
- Pull the driveshaft down and back and plug the transmission extension housing.
- Reverse the procedure to install, oiling the splines. Flange bolt torque is 15-24 ft. lbs.
These models use a driveshaft with three U-joints and a center support bearing. The driveshaft is balanced as an assembly.
- Mark the relationship of the driveshaft flange to the differential flange.
- Unbolt the center bearing bracket.
- Unbolt the driveshaft back under the rear axle. Plug the rear of the transmission to prevent oil or fluid loss.
- On installation, align the marks made in Step 1. Tighten the flange bolts to 15-24 ft. lbs.
- Mark the relationship of all components for reassembly.
- Remove the snaprings. On early units, the snaprings are seated in the yokes. On later units, the snaprings seat in the needle bearing races.
- Tap the yoke with brass or rubber mallet to release one bearing cap. Be careful not to lose the needle rollers.
- Remove the other bearing caps. Remove the U-joint spiders from the yokes.
- Spline backlash should not exceed 0.5mm.
- Driveshaft runout should not exceed 0.4mm.
- On later model with snaprings seated in the needle bearing races, different thicknesses of snaprings are available for U-joint adjustment. Play should not exceed 0.02mm.
- U-joint spiders must be replaced if the bearing journals are worn more than 0.15mm from their original diameter.
- Place the needle rollers in the races and hold them in place with grease.
- Put the spider into place in its yokes.
- Replace all seals.
- Tap the races into position and secure them with snaprings.
The center bearing is a sealed unit which must be replaced as an assembly if defective.
- Remove the driveshaft.
- Paint a matchmark across where the flanges behind the center yoke are joined. This is for assembly purposes. If you don't paint or somehow mark the relationship between the two shafts, they may be out of balance when you put them back together.
- Remove the bolts and separate the shafts. Make a matchmark on the front driveshaft half which lines up with the mark you made on the flange half.
- You must devise a way to hold the driveshaft while unbolting the companion flange from the front driveshaft. Do not place the front driveshaft tube in a vise, because the chances are it will get crushed. The best way is to grip the flange somehow while loosening the nut. It is going to require some strength to remove.
- Press the companion flange off the front driveshaft and press the center bearing from its mount.
- The new bearing is already lubricated. Install it into the mount, making sure that the seals and so on are facing the same way as when removed. Also make sure the F mark is facing the front of the car.
- Slide the companion flange on to the front driveshaft, aligning the marks made during removal. Install the washer and locknut. If the washer and locknut are separate pieces, tighten them to 145-175 ft. lbs. If they were a unit, tighten to 180-217 ft. lbs. Check that the bearing rotates freely around the driveshaft. Stake the nut (always use a new nut).
- Connect the companion flange to the other half of the driveshaft, aligning the marks made during removal. Tighten the bolts securely.
- Install the driveshaft.