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Remove drive shaft axle up axle down

mhnbonne

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I just got my engine back from the rebuilders.
After bolting the engine to the transmission I discovered that the engine is about 3/4" too far forward. The motor mount bolt holes do not line up with the frame motor mount holes, which are already way oversized. And, to make matters worse, the front bolt for the left exhaust flange is completely covered and over the frame.
Loosening the transmission rear mount bolt reveals that it can go back a full half inch. However, it won't budge.
My idea is to disconnect the drive shaft, lift the engine off the mounts a bit, and pry it back, bolt up the engine and put the drive shaft back.
Two questions:
1. Will this work?
2. If yes, then:
I remember replacing the drive shaft years ago and remember that I could not remove the shaft unless the rear axle is hanging all the way down or the axle had to be all the way up, all the cars weight on the axle.
I can't remember which way the axle needs to be.
Thanks for your help
 

melsg5

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Oldest reference book I have is 1970. The drive shaft is disconnected from the differential pinion and the the rear of the shaft is lowered and pulled back removing the transmission yoke still attached to the front of the shaft. There is no mention of the axle being in any position other than hanging down.
 

mhnbonne

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Thats a big "ooops"
1965 Bonneville, 389 with automatic on the column.
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mhnbonne

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With the axle having down, wheels off the ground, there is absolutely no way to remove the shaft, it is pushed tight into the transmission al the way.
With all of the weight of the car on the springs there is no more than 1/2" of movement that you have towards the transmission. Even so, you have to "wriggle" the U-joint out by having it rotated in the exact position.
This is rediculous.
I am seriously thinking of having about 3/4" of length removed from the shafts length.
Right now, the engine is so far forward that I can not get a socket on the left front exhaust flange front bolt.
Any particular problem with this idea???
 

melsg5

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Do you have the driveshaft disconnected from the differential yoke?
To the best of my knowledge the Catalina and the Bonneville are both based on the same drivetrain.
In the video below the driveshaft is disconnected from the differential yoke and then he uses a prybar to move the shaft forward.
It then drops right out with the transmission yoke attached.
Fast forward to about 2:30 minutes and watch.
 

mhnbonne

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I finally decided to go to a drive shaft service shop and ask to have my drive shaft shortened. I previously called a shop and they said that this can be done and for about $145.00
I brought the drive shaft to the shop and talked to the owner.
He is a very smart person.
He said that "Something is wrong"
After some discussion we determined that in having my transmission rebuilt by Aamco about 30 years ago, they changed the back shaft to a design that requires a counter bored yoke. My current yoke is not counter bored. I did not notice and I did not know that the yoke is supposed to go all the way into the transmission and butt up against the seal. Currently, mine sticks out about an inch, the amount that the engine is being pushed forward.
He gave me a sample yoke that is counter bored to take home. I took it and found out that THIS yoke goes ALL the way into the transmission. This yoke travels about an inch more into the transmission than my current yoke.
I know that the counter bored shaft will give an extra 1" to work with when replacing the shaft, all I need is 3/4", I won't need a pry bar. I think that the guy in the video has my same problem.
They are working on my shaft at this writing, I am 99.999% sure that this is the answer to my problem.
I will reply back after I install my "New" drive shaft. (they are replacing the tube and U-joints)

And, yes , the Bonneville, Catalina, Grand Prix and Starchief are designed the same except that the Bonneville and Starchief have a longer drive shaft than Catalina.
 

melsg5

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Thanks for the update, hope it solves your problem.
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