No room to move driveshaft to remove it

I am trying to remove my driveshaft in a 1970 GTO. There is no room to move it more into the trans to get it away from the rear end so it will drop. No center support, and the bolts are removed at the rear end.

It looks like the shaft is too long but that is for another topic. I just need it out. It looks like it is all the way into the transmission. Is there any tricks on jacking it up a certain way to create a inch or two of play so I can get it dropped. Right now it is on all four.


It’s hard to tell if that’s the tranny end, or the differential end. There should be an inch or two of end play that can be inserted into the tranny. You may have to pry the rear yoke apart for it to move enough.


That’s the tranny end there is no play. I pryed and will not budge. there is only 5/16-3/8" that it could move when looking at it in the picture but it probably is bottomed out already (as the splines probably don’t do to the very end)

Can’t pull the cross from the U-joint? That requires a lot less axial driveshaft travel than pulling it off the tailshaft and it should free the driveshaft.

At some point someone must have replaced the drive shaft, the rear end or the tranny, and parts got mixed up. Or they made do installing the entire drive train as one unit.

If you are sure that this is the case, you can have a machine shop cut two inches out of the shaft and rebalance the shaft. But be sure that everything was put together right, or you’ll end up finding the fault later and then have too short a shaft.

I wonder if replacing the leaf springs and flipping them front to back could have been done. I don’t know if the centering pin is exactly between the spring eyes…or slightly off center(eye to eye). The loose end (unstrapped end) of the springs are always to the rear.


With “Pull” do you mean remove it or tilt it? I tried prying from there and tilting it from there with no luck. Can’t remove it as I am pretty sure it is pressed in like my other car was.

You say that the weight is on the wheels? Won’t it lengthen the distance from the tranny to the rear end significantly if you raise the back of the car and let the axle drop down? If you need still more drop, unbolt the shocks and the axle should drop still more. Just watch those brake hoses.

I meant remove it, disassemble it. Perhaps one of the links attached could help. There MUST be retainers. There has to be a way to replace the U-joints. Perhaps if you could even cut one of the U-joints out and replace it with a new one…

Careful with disconnecting the shocks - it has coil springs, right? They could let go.

Maybe at some point the car got shortened a little, as in collision damage, so it’s not quite as long as it once was…Put a big pry-bar in behind the rear U-joint and pry it forward. Things (motor mounts and springs) should flex enough to allow the shaft to drop out…

I believe we have a picture of the Transmission and shaft… What we really need to see is the Rear Diff… Jack the car up in the back using the Rear Diff…THEN use Jack stands on the rear frame rails so that when you remove the Jack…the Diff will sag down many inches…it is at that time when a photo would be most helpful. I would like to see a pic of Both ends after the diff is “sagging” down. Like others mentioned…if the rear doesnt “Sag” enough…undo the shocks to get some more Sag out of the rear end…you should definitely be able to get it out

. At that point it should be a simple matter of removing the U-Joint caps at the Diff…and wiggling that shaft right out of there. Unless there was work done to this vehicle that involved a custom drive shaft, everything should be a Straight Forward Shaft removal process with no “Whammies”. If the vehicle and Drive Shaft is STOCK…and you have the rear end up in the air…with Jack Stands on the rear FRAME Rails…Ya just pop that baby out of there. The picture you supplied just shows us the trans and shaft…which is absolutely zero help.


you have undone the U joint or joints, right?

Can you confirm:

  1. The rear axle is allowed to sag .

  2. That the retainer bolts on the rear U-joints are removed.

  3. That you took a prybar behind the rear U-joint and tried to pry/move the driveshaft forward toward the transmission. The prying distance only needs to be very small (1/4 inch or so) in order to be able to remove the driveshaft.

If it’s on the wheels you really need to jack it up and allow the axle to drop.

If you do this and the shaft is still tight in the tailhousing then I would suspect the driveshaft is incorrect or possibly the transmission.
This is very ancient history but I vaguely recall several different tailhousings on various versions of the TH350, 375, and 400 transmissions.

I think the OP has some homework to do… Our advice should have that shaft outta there in a Jiffy. If not…someone played a trick on the guy and installed the trans and shaft all at one time…or the rear diff and the shaft all at once…and with frightening accuracy at that…LOL… Naw…this shaft should already be out of this vehicle if the OP is paying attention. They are probably in the garage with the Drive Shaft in hand doing a Victory Dance


Yeah! Support the car by its sub frame and let the axle swing down. That load of Moonshine resting on worn rear springs is causing the problem. Thunder Road is waiting for you.

@1970GTO, please don’t take this wrong. We have no idea about your abilities or experience.

You do know that the spline on the front of the drive shaft will not slide farther into or out of the tranny tail until you break that rear U-joint yoke free.

This link may help you, but wear safety glasses and get a REAL hammer!!!


Here is a good video for replacing the u-joint itself.

And this guy didn’t borrow his 6 year old brothers hammer.


Just so everyone knows it is jacked up by the frame and tires are completely off the ground. I am no expert but I would say I am more than advanced working on cars. I have removed drive shafts before pretty much on a biweekly basis for a while on my 1964 Impala when I would break the center support and or u-joint. Jacking it up made no difference in making any more room nor did it make a difference in prying the u-joint free as there is no room for it to move.

OK, I had to ask. I don’t know what more anyone could offer for you. Just about all the bases have been covered.
But let us know how you make out. Maybe you’ll come back and we will learn something from you.

But watch the first video. it may show you something you were unaware of.

I actually liked watching the second video, you can never learn enough.
And there is a pretty cute babe carrying away the finished product. My parts house never sends a cutie for deliveries, but then I’d get nothing done!!!