How to Remove a Drive Shaft for Towing

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There are a few different ways that you can tow a rear-wheel drive vehicle behind a truck or trailer. Two of those methods involve the rear wheels staying on the ground. However, the wheels will spin the transmission as well and could damage it. To fix the problem, you have to remove the connection between the transmission and the rear axle--the drive shaft. In this case, the project vehicle is a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado standard cab, but the process is similar for other rear-wheel drive vehicles as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Open-end wrench set
  • 24-inch pry bar
  • Drain pan
  • Transmission plug
  • Locate the drive shaft, which is the long tube running at an angle from the back of the transmission at the front to the rear axle. Locate the straps holding the drive shaft to the rear axle. Unbolt the straps from the axle using an open-end wrench.

  • Pry the end of the drive shaft out of the rear axle yoke using a 24-inch breaker bar. Then set a drain pan underneath the other end of the drive shaft, at the transmission.

  • Pull the drive shaft straight out of the transmission. Then quickly put the transmission plug into the tail shaft of the transmission--where the drive shaft was previously--so no transmission fluid comes out of the rear end.

  • Move the drive shaft out of the bottom of the truck and set it in a safe place, such as the bed.

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