Used in double cab and extended cab models, the center bearing is responsible for holding the drive shaft in place at the joint of the cross member. Once this part breaks down, you'll encounter plenty of drive line problems. Fortunately, this part is relatively easy to replace, so long as you have the right tools and enough space at the garage. To replace this component, follow the steps below:
Tools you'll need:
- Socket wrench
- Chalk stick
- Brass-end punch
Step 1: Locate and identify the different parts of the drive shaft.
Because installing a center bearing will require you to remove and reinstall plenty of parts, you need to mark the parts and their proper positions before removing them. This way, you won't get confused when it's time to put them back in place. Once you've jacked up your car on level ground, get under your vehicle and locate the drive shaft. Use the chalk to mark the positions or placements of the following parts: the route of the drive shaft from the transmission side, the universal joint that links to the yoke coming from the rear axle differential, and the plates that connect the back and front parts of the drive shaft.
Step 2: Uninstall the drive shaft.
Once you've marked the appropriate parts for reinstallation, disconnect the center bearing bolts from your car's frame using heaocket wrench. Depending on your car's make and model, the bearing bolts could either be threaded through nuts that are welded into the frame or bolted into the frame with standard bolts. Once these bolts are removed, unbolt the universal joint linking to the yoke that pokes out of the rear axle differential. To prevent the universal joint caps from falling off, secure them with a duct tape. After removing the bearing and joint bolts, you can now pull off the drive shaft from the frame.
Step 3: Remove the old center bearing.
Disconnect the drive shaft's front part to its rear part by unbolting the plates that connect them. Then put the front connecting plate on a vise so you could remove the center nut that holds the center bearing in place. Using a brass-end punch, tap the old bearing until it pops off of the shaft.
Step 4: Install the new bearing.
Grease the empty shaft to make installation easier. Then push the new bearing into the shaft. Use a brass-end punch to hammer it in place. Keep on hammering it down until it is securely plops into position.
Step 5: Reinstall the drive shaft.
Reattach all of the other drive shaft components you've removed. Use the chalk markings as guide to make sure every component is back in its proper location.
- A brass-end punch is the best tool when hammering down the bearing because this tool won't scratch or nick the shaft.
- Because you'll be dealing with plenty of parts during the installation, you can also sketch a diagram of the exact position of the drive shaft components to help you figure out later on where to reinstall the parts you've removed.