Nissan Z - ZX 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Axle Driveshaft

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See Figure 1



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Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of rear axle driveshaft with either double offset Birfield or tripod-tripod type shaft assembly

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Cardan Type (1970-83 Models)

See Figures 2 and 3

  1. Block the front wheels. Raise and support the rear of the vehicle on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the U-joint yoke flange bolts at the wheel-side.
  4.  
  5. At the differential, remove the axle shaft side flange nuts (R200) or the center bolt (R180).
  6.  
  7. Remove the axle shaft.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the yoke flange bolts-R200 type



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Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the yoke flange center bolt-R180 type

  1. To install, reverse the removal procedures. Tighten the wheel-side flange bolts and differential-to-side flange nuts to 36-43 ft. lbs. (50-60 Nm), and the side yoke-to-differential bolt to 17-23 ft. lbs. (24-32 Nm) for 1970-77 models or 23-31 ft. lbs. (32-43 Nm) 1978-83 models.
  2.  

Tripod Type (1982-88 Non-Turbo Models)
  1. Block the front wheels. Raise and support the vehicle on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the driveshaft on the wheel-side by removing the flange bolts.
  4.  
  5. Using a medium prytool between the axle shaft and differential, work the axle shaft out from the differential carrier.
  6.  
  7. To install, reverse the removal procedures. Tighten the companion flange bolts to 20-27 ft. lbs. (1982-83) or 29-36 ft. lbs. (1984-88 models).
  8.  


WARNING
When installing the axle shaft, be careful not to damage the oil seal at either end of the axle shaft.

Double Offset-Birfield Type (1984-88 Turbo Models)

See Figures 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9

  1. Block the front wheels. Raise and support the vehicle on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the driveshaft on the wheel-side by removing the flange nuts/bolts.
  4.  
  5. Using a medium prytool between the axle shaft and differential, work the axle shaft out from the differential carrier.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: Example of Double Offset-Birfield type driveshaft



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Fig. Fig. 5: Birfield type driveshaft install on a 1987 300 ZX



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the flange bolts



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Fig. Fig. 7: Carefully separate the driveshaft from the differential



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Fig. Fig. 8: Lower the driveshaft



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Fig. Fig. 9: Remove the driveshaft from the differential

  1. To install, reverse the removal procedures. Tighten the companion flange nuts/bolts to 43-51 ft. lbs. (59-69 Nm).
  2.  


WARNING
When installing the axle shaft, be careful not to damage the oil seal at either end of the axle shaft.

INSPECTION



Cardan Type (1970-83 Models)

See Figure 10

  1. With the shaft installed on the vehicle, visually check the parts for signs of wear or damage. If defects are found remove the shaft assembly from the vehicle for closer inspection.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 10: Measure the free-play in the axle shaft

  1. With the shaft removed, extend and compress the axle shaft (full stroke). Check the action for smoothness.
  2.  
  3. Using a dial indicator, fully compress the shaft and check the play of the axle shaft. If the play exceeds 0.004 in. (0.1mm) for 1970-78 models or 0.008 in. (0.2mm) for 1979-83 models, the shaft must be replaced.
  4.  

The sleeve yoke, balls, spacers and outer shaft are not available as service parts.

  1. Check the U-joints for smoothness. If the movement is notchy or loose, overhaul the U-joints.
  2.  
  3. Check the U-joint axial play, if it exceeds 0.008 in. (0.02mm), overhaul the U-joints.
  4.  

Tripod Type (1982-88 Non-Turbo Models)
  1. Thoroughly clean the parts, except the rubber boots in a cleaning solvent and dry with compressed air.
  2.  
  3. Check the parts for cracks, scratches or other damage. If necessary, replace the shaft as an assembly.
  4.  
  5. Always use new boots, boot bands and O-rings once they have been removed.
  6.  

Double Offset-Birfield Type (1984-88 Turbo Models)
  1. Check the driveshaft for a twists or cracks; if necessary, replace it.
  2.  
  3. Check the joint (wheel-side) assembly for burns, wear or excessive play; if necessary, replace it.
  4.  
  5. Check the slide joint (wheel-side) housing for cracks, wear or deformation; (if necessary) replace it.
  6.  
  7. Check the joint (differential-side) assembly for deformation or damage; if necessary (replace it).
  8.  
  9. Check the boot for fatigue, cracks or wear; (if necessary) replace it.
  10.  

OVERHAUL



Cardan Type (1970-83 Models)

See Figures 10 and 11

  1. Matchmark the parts of the U-joint journals and the sliding yoke (outer shaft-to-sleeve yoke).
  2.  

The axle shaft is balanced as a unit and must be rebuilt as originally assembled.

  1. Remove the snaprings from the U-joints and disassemble them as outlined in the U-joint Overhaul procedure in this section.
  2.  
  3. Cut the boot band and remove the boot from the sleeve yoke.
  4.  
  5. Remove the snaprings from the sleeve yoke at the boot end.
  6.  
  7. Remove the outer shaft carefully; DO NOT lose the balls or spacers.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 11: Exploded view of Cardan type driveshaft

It is not necessary to remove the snaprings or the sleeve yoke plug at the differential end of the sleeve yoke, because the parts are not available for service. If any damage is present, the entire axle shaft MUST BE replaced.

  1. Clean the spacers, balls, sleeve yoke and outer shaft grooves in solvent. Check the parts for wear, brinelling, distortion, cracks, straightness or etc. If there is any question as to the integrity of the part, replace the axle shaft.
  2.  
  3. Check the snapring, grease seal and dust seal for wear or damage. These parts are available for service and should be replaced as necessary.
  4.  
  5. Apply a fairly generous amount of grease to the yoke and shaft grooves. Install the balls and spacers onto the shaft. The grease will retain them. Be sure they are in the correct sequence.
  6.  
  7. Before assembling the shaft to the sleeve yoke, apply a large glob of grease to the inner end of the sleeve yoke and on the end of the shaft.
  8.  
  9. Align the parts according to the matchmarks. Slide the shaft into the sleeve yoke, making sure none of the balls or spacers are displaced.
  10.  
  11. Compress the shaft and check the play again. Refer to the inspection procedure; replace the shaft (if necessary).
  12.  
  13. Install the boot onto the sleeve yoke and secure with a new boot band.
  14.  
  15. Clean, repack and assemble the U-joints. Select snaprings which will yield 0.0008 in. (0.02mm) of axial play.
  16.  

When installing the snaprings, be sure to use ones of equal thickness on opposite sides of the journals, to retain driveline balance and to keep the stresses evenly distributed.

  1. To install the axle shaft, reverse the removal procedures.
  2.  

Tripod Type (1982-88 Non-Turbo Models)

See Figure 12



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Fig. Fig. 12: Exploded view of Tripod type driveshaft

WHEEL-SIDE

See Figures 13 and 14

  1. Place something soft over the jaws of a bench vise and place the driveshaft securely in a vise.
  2.  
  3. Remove the plug, the plug seal, the spring and the spring cap.
  4.  
  5. Remove the boot bands (DO NOT reuse).
  6.  
  7. Remove the spider assembly.
  8.  
  9. Remove the slide joint boot.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 13: Place the driveshaft assembly in a vise and remove the boot bands



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Fig. Fig. 14: Correct installation of the boot bands

  1. To assemble, perform the following procedures:
    1. Insert the boot bands, slide joint boot and slide joint housing to the driveshaft.
    2.  
    3. Insert the spider/axle shaft assembly.
    4.  
    5. Install the large diameter boot band.
    6.  
    7. Pack with at least 6 oz. of grease.
    8.  
    9. Install the spring cap, the spring and the plug seal.
    10.  
    11. Using dummy bolts, secure the plugs and lock the plug by bending it.
    12.  
    13. Set the boot so that it does not swell or deform when its length is 4 in. (103.5mm).
    14.  

  2.  

DIFFERENTIAL CARRIER-SIDE

See Figures 15, 16 and 17

  1. Without damaging it, place the driveshaft securely in a vise.
  2.  
  3. Using a hacksaw, cut off the hold joint boot assembly and remove the housing sub-assembly.
  4.  

To prevent the spider assembly from being scratched, make sure that the driveshaft is pushed into the housing sub-assembly while cutting off the hold joint boot assembly.

  1. Remove the boot band.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 15: Use a hacksaw to carefully cut-off the hold joint boot assembly



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Fig. Fig. 16: Apply sealant to these areas ...



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Fig. Fig. 17: ... then using a piece of stock against the lip to prevent damage, bend the edge over with a hammer and light taps

DO NOT reuse the boot band once it has been removed.

  1. Remove the spider assembly.
  2.  
  3. Using a hacksaw, cut off the remaining portion of the hold joint boot assembly and remove it from the housing sub-assembly.
  4.  

Be careful not to scratch the housing ring or sub-assembly. The housing ring is selected to suit the outside diameter of the housing sub-assembly. DO NOT change the original combination when replacing parts.

  1. Remove the housing cover (DO NOT reuse once it has been removed).
  2.  
  3. Remove the O-ring (DO NOT reuse once it has been removed).
  4.  
  5. Remove the housing ring and pull out the hold joint boot.
  6.  
  7. To assemble the differential carrier-side, perform the following:
    1. Attach the housing ring, the O-ring, the housing sub-assembly and the housing cover to a new hold joint boot assembly, then place the assembled unit flange in a vise. Apply a coat of grease to the O-ring.
    2.  

  8.  

DO NOT place any other part of the assembled unit in a vise.

    1. Bend the edge over along the entire circumference.
    2.  


Place a board on the housing cover to prevent it from being scratched.

    1. Withdraw the housing sub-assembly.
    2.  
    3. Install a new boot band and hold the joint boot assembly onto the driveshaft.
    4.  
    5. Install the spider assembly and pack with approximately 6-7 oz. of grease.
    6.  
    7. Install the O-ring to the housing sub-assembly and coat the O-ring with grease.
    8.  
    9. Place the hold joint boot assembly so that its flange is in a vise.
    10.  
    11. Bend the edge over along the entire circumference and apply sealant.
    12.  


Place a board on the housing sub-assembly to prevent it from being scratched.

    1. Set the boot so that it does not swell or deform when its length is 2.6 in. (67.6mm).
    2.  
    3. Install the boot band.
    4.  


SPIDER ASSEMBLY

See Figures 18, 19 and 20

  1. Matchmark the shaft and the spider assembly.
  2.  
  3. Using a press, remove the spider assembly from the shaft.
  4.  

The spider assembly consists of a tripod, rollers, needle bearing and washer; it is the non-disassembling type.

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Fig. Fig. 18: Matchmark the shaft and spider assembly



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Fig. Fig. 19: Use a press to remove the spider assembly



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Fig. Fig. 20: Stake the assembly in three areas

  1. To assemble, perform the following procedures:
    1. Insert the spider assembly by placing the driveshaft in a vise and install the spider so that the marks are aligned.
    2.  

  2.  

If there is no mark, position both spider assemblies (one on the wheel-side and the other on the differential carrier-side) so that their phases are nearly 180°. Press-fit with the spider assembly serration chamfer facing shaft.

    1. Stake the serration portion evenly at three places.
    2.  


Always stake two or three teeth at a place where staked gap is more than 0.04 in (1.0 mm).

Double Offset-Birfield Type (1984-88 Models)

See Figure 21



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Fig. Fig. 21: Exploded view of Birfield type driveshaft

Axle shafts using the Double Offset and the Birfield Joints are of a non-disassembling design. If the joints are found to be defective, they must be replaced as an assembly.

DIFFERENTIAL CARRIER-SIDE

See Figures 22 and 23

  1. Place the axle shaft (center) in a soft jawed vise.
  2.  
  3. Remove the large boot band and push back on the boot.
  4.  
  5. Matchmark the axle shaft-to-joint assembly.
  6.  
  7. Using a soft hammer, tap the joint assembly away from the axle shaft.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 22: Use a soft faced hammer to remove the joint from the shaft



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Fig. Fig. 23: Use a soft faced hammer to connect the joint to the shaft

The joint assembly is held onto the axle shaft by circlip.

  1. Using solvent, clean the parts of the joint, then using compressed air, blow the parts dry.
  2.  
  3. Install a new circlip and boot onto the axle shaft.
  4.  

If installing a new boot, be careful not to damage it, when sliding it onto the axle shaft.

  1. Pack the boot with about 5 oz. of grease.
  2.  
  3. Set the joint assembly onto the axle shaft and align the matchmarks, then tap it onto the circlip using a soft hammer.
  4.  
  5. Using a new boot lock band, secure the boot into place.
  6.  
  7. Set the boot so that it does not swell or deform when its length is 3.5 in. (91mm).
  8.  

WHEEL-SIDE

See Figures 24 and 25

  1. Place the axle shaft (center) in a soft jawed vise.
  2.  
  3. Remove the boot bands and push back on the boot.
  4.  
  5. Place matchmarks on the slide joint housing and the inner race.
  6.  
  7. Using a screwdriver, pry off the snapring, then pull out the slide joint housing.
  8.  
  9. Place matchmarks on the inner race the driveshaft.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 24: Use a screwdriver to remove the snap ring from the joint



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Fig. Fig. 25: Remove the circlip to remove the joint cage

  1. Using a pair of snapring pliers, remove the snapring, then the ball cage, inner race and balls as a unit.
  2.  
  3. Using a pair of snapring pliers, remove the snapring and pull off the boot.
  4.  
  5. Using solvent, clean the parts, then using compressed air, blow the parts dry.
  6.  
  7. Install the new boot and pack it with about 5 oz. of grease.
  8.  

If installing a new boot, be careful not to damage it, when sliding it onto the axle shaft.

  1. To install, reverse the removal procedures.
  2.  

When assembling, be sure to align the matchmarks.

  1. Using new boot lock bands, secure the boot into place.
  2.  
  3. Set the boot so that it does not swell or deform when its length is 3.7 in. (94mm).
  4.  

 
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