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Old 06-11-2022, 06:34 PM   #1
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Driveshaft disconnects

Hello ó long time lurkerÖ. First time poster.

We are moving from a TT to Class A and plan to flat tow our 2016 Nissan NV3500. Until we get the Remco/Superior Driveline disconnect installed, I will be disconnecting the driveshaft manually.

I did a test run on the disconnect/reconnect process today. I marked the driveshaft so I can match the alignment when reinstalled. Taking the bolts off was a bit tricky as thereís not a lot of space under there. Managed to get the shaft off and strapped up on the frame to keep it out of the way. Put it back on and made sure I could still drive DW did not kill me.

Couple questions to folks who travel this way.

1) How do you secure the driveshaft while towing? I was thinking about either a chain or axle straps. What are you doing?

2) My extension bar is about 4 in long - enough to wiggle around the bolts and get them off, but it feels like there might be a better option. How are you taking off the bolts? Impact wrench?

3) When you reinstall the bolts, are you using a torque wrench? If so, is there a standard lb.ft. for those bolts?

Any other tips or lessons learned would be super appreciated. Iíve got 1K miles to cover in the next 3 weeks and this is first time towing this way.

Thanks in advance!

Jon
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Old 06-11-2022, 08:29 PM   #2
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Remco is now Superior Driveline: https://www.remcodsc.com/


You are right, keeping the driveshaft "in-time" is vital. Next in importance is keeping the U-joint cap needle bearings in-place and free from dirt/dust. Personally I would use a nylon rachet strap to hold the shaft to the frame.
You'll need to carry a grease gun to relube the U-joints each time they are reassembled,if they even have zerk fittings, if not they must be manually re-greased at reassembly.
BTW, torque is 14 lb/ft for the cap bolts.


Have you considered renting a tow dolly from a rent-all store instead of daily removing/reinstalling the driveshaft? These are not designed for frequent removal/re-installation.
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Old 06-12-2022, 07:52 AM   #3
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Ray, thanks for the response. I looked at tow dolly but as the car is RWD seems I’d have the same problem. Or can you tow on a dolly in reverse?

As for the u joints and needle bearings, I’m not fully removing the driveshaft— only disconnecting the four bolts at the rear differential. The rest stays intact.

Good call on the ratchet straps. I can get those tight against the frame.
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Old 06-12-2022, 09:58 AM   #4
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I canít see you doing the rear bolt removal very many times. Although an easy job, that is a true pain to do and has been mentioned, protecting the needle bearings is utmost so you donít lose a needle. Will you secure the caps to the joint or remove them? Good luck. Maybe a trailer would work best.
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Old 06-14-2022, 01:39 PM   #5
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A 2016 Nissan NV3500 is a huge vehicle. Flat towing is definitely the way to go. Don't forget to tape the caps into place and then tape a bag over the end of the driveshaft to keep everything from getting lost.
Use a proper tow bar/base plates, brake setup and make sure steering wheel is not locked.
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Old 06-14-2022, 06:06 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone... I got the Roadmaster Sterling (8k) bar and plates and RViBrake. Keys will stay in ignition to keep the steering unlocked.

Which caps need to be taped? I planned to bag the entry to rear differential to keep that clean.

To be clear on my plan — the driveshaft is not being fully removed. Only disconnected from the rear diff. The front part of shaft with remain inside the transmission.

This is definitely a short term fix until the Superior Driveline DSC can be installed. We looked at trailers , but indeed the NV is heavy (6700#) requiring a 20ft 10k trailer. Those are in short supply seems from all the dealers I called.
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Old 06-14-2022, 06:42 PM   #7
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While others are talking about loose caps, and clamps or straps to hold the caps, most do not realize that is a type of installation used in a bygone era for the most part. My '67 Falcon and my '70 Mustang both use U bolts to retain the two caps onto the differential yoke, but anything in the past 30 years is made as the OP describes, with the aft yoke being a flat flange bolted to a flange on the differential.



I realize that there are exceptions, from my searches, it seems that Jeep products in some cases use straps and bolts to hold the cups in a yoke, but that type of design is largely not used nowdays.

My biggest concern with what the OP is doing is making sure the drive shaft stays in the transmission (but not so jammed into it as to damage the seal) and that blue locktite be used on the bolts upon reinstallation each time. They will work loose if you don't, been there, done that.

Charles
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Old 06-14-2022, 09:10 PM   #8
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Driveshaft disconnects

I have used a couple rubber bungee cords and a small ratchet strap and attach them so they are pulling driveshaft forward as much as up. (My driveline has the slip yolk not the transmission). Plenty of room under our 4wd excursion to do this. I use redundant security just because.

No caps to secure. No U-bolts as itís just a flange that attaches to the pinion. Just put the bolts in a safe location and clean and lube the threads every time. You are correct to mark the original location.

Donít forget to set the parking brake before climbing under there. Also chock the wheels (canít be too safe). Put trans in neutral to release driveline pressure.

I use a wobble impact socket and 3/8Ē drive electric impact, but thereís plenty of room under mine. Initially I had to break them loose with a combination wrench and a hammer. You can make sure theyíre tight the same way. Use a torque wrench if youíre unsure of how tight to make them.

Before towing, Donít forget to release the parking brake. Put trans in park. Start it and put the a/c on recirculate then shut it off. This keeps from stinking up the inside of the toad. Of course do whatís necessary to unlock the steering wheel.

AlsoÖ. I carry an old padded tumbling mat in the back of the excursion to lay on.

Edit: You WILL get tired of doing this pretty quick lol.
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Old 06-14-2022, 09:38 PM   #9
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I'm not going to go into the embarrassing situations that might cause me to give this advice, but you might want to hang a red tag or ribbon or . . . something noticeable . . .on your shift selector during all times when your driveshaft is disconnected and hung on the frame.
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Old 06-14-2022, 09:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby F View Post
I'm not going to go into the embarrassing situations that might cause me to give this advice, but you might want to hang a red tag or ribbon or . . . something noticeable . . .on your shift selector during all times when your driveshaft is disconnected and hung on the frame.

Definitely good advice. My wife has a red hair clip that I put on the steering wheel to remind me of things sometimes.
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Old 06-15-2022, 08:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesinGA View Post


While others are talking about loose caps, and clamps or straps to hold the caps, most do not realize that is a type of installation used in a bygone era for the most part.
Yep, you are correct. I totally missed that.
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Old 06-15-2022, 09:51 AM   #12
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Weather it's the flange style or U bolts there is no need to make sure it goes back on in the same orientation unless it makes you feel batter. When they build d/s's and balance them they don't do it in the vehicle. If you took the flange off or slip yoke if it had one then yes mark it because it would have been balanced that way.
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Old 06-15-2022, 10:45 AM   #13
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If you are going to be popping the u-joint on and off all the time. It's just a mater of time before you drop a cap, lose a part, etc... I think I would carry a spare u-joint and have the tools to change it.

Also, what are your planes for the list caps and parts when disconnected?
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Old 06-15-2022, 11:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtJoyce View Post
If you are going to be popping the u-joint on and off all the time. It's just a mater of time before you drop a cap, lose a part, etc... I think I would carry a spare u-joint and have the tools to change it.

Also, what are your planes for the list caps and parts when disconnected?
See picture above.
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