Prop Shaft Renovation


In order to get down to a bare shell the engine and gearbox has to be removed. The correct method to do this is to remove the prop shaft, remove the gearbox then remove the engine. This is a havy bit of work and I did not have the lifting equipment or the space to do this on my own. So Mustang Maniac allowed me to work on the car with them down there in their panel shop. Thanks Guys.

Removal Of The Prop Shaft from Automatic Gear Box:

This can only be done in one way, and you start at the back. the prop side of the diff is a Universal Joint that allows the car to move and flex maintaining a constant drive no matter where the axle is in relation to the gear box. The prop side has two u-clamps held on my two bolts on the opposite side to each other. Undo these four bolts and pull the u-clamps away.

The prop will stay in place if left there. Pull the prop towards the front of the car enough to release the bearings from the cups. It only has to move a couple of inches. It’s heavy enough so make sure it don’t drop on you or land on you. I suggest a block of wood to take the drop initially. After the rear of the prop has disengaged move to the gear box end.

The front of the prop is inside the gearbox by almost a foot long pipe. Pull the shaft rearwards to expose the prop connector. When removing this make sure you have something to collect the excess transmission fluid. Again take the weight as you remove the shaft from the gear box.

That’s it, done.

Important: Before you move the shaft at the diff end there is a cup that slide over a small shaft. This cup contains dozens of needle rollers that will fall out if knocked off the shaft. Wrap a few layers around the cups to hold them in place like a mummy wrap.

cups holding the needles in place

Clean Up:


The first thing to do is to remove the grease cups which contain the needle bearings at the diff end of the prop. Remove carefully and keep them out of harms way to avoid the bearing falling out. Once these two cups are removed then you can get to work on the UV joints degreasing.

To start with I used a tiny pallet knife to scrape out most of the hardened grease. Once you are down to the metal then I used POR marine clean to remove the grease, this was mixed 1:1 as strong as I could mix it.  I used an old towel in strips and wrapped it around a screwdriver to get into all the tight places.  Once the grease is mostly removed I then started on the rust on the main shaft. I have an old drill that I attached a rotatory wire brush to remove the old undercoat. This comes of pretty easily but takes a while going the full length and full circumference of the tube. Once again when most of it is of I then used more Marine Clean and removed all of the grease till I could see the bare metal. The grease was so thick in places I couldn’t even see the grease nipples on the UV joint.

Once everything is cleaned up, check that the rubber bushes are intact and the UV have no wear & tear now they can move free of grease and grime.


The treatment will be POR15 as normal. That is a the marine clean first, already done. Then the keeping wet for ten to twenty mins for the Prep & Ready mixture. then wash it of and thoroughly dry it to bone dry. then and only then can you paint on the POR15. This will need to two coats as normal. I made up a rig to support the UV joints via the vices at each end of the bench. Painting was a synch now.

Update: 17/3/2014

The second coat of the POR15 was applied a few days later but was rubbed down with some 240grit sand paper to give it a key for the second coat to stick. The UV joints were masked up carefully and made sure the paint would not get into the grease nipples or the joints of the UV. The circlip sections of the UV were masked out and a sharp scalpel was used to cut the circular mask out. Once the next coat of the POR15 paint had dried I applied a coat of the POR15 Self etch primer which is formulated to stick to cured POR15 paint. This was allowed to dry for the recommended thirty minutes plus more. The primer was grey but almost white itself.

The three fairly thin coats of gloss white top coat were applied and allowed to dry in between each coat. This didn’t take long as the weather was warm and sunny.

Update: 14/4/2014

I will let you into my secret on how I done it without the needle rollers falling out. The first issue is that you have to clean fairly aggressively to get the old debris off. The inner diameter of the bearings is about 15mm. The exact size is not critical and I will explain why in a moment. I was toying with the idea of sticking my fingers in the hole but that would not be stable. I had the bearings on my bench and I noticed that the wood block holes were about the same size. So I opened the draw and pulled out the pegs that go into the bench holes to keep things from moving around. I gave the inside of the bearings a wipe out to get most of the old grease out and tried the peg. It was also around the 15mm mark but it was loose in the hole. So I got some masking tape and wrapped it around the peg a turns at a time to see if it was tighter.

About four wraps done it and was tight enough not to fall out when tapped. With the peg in place I was able to hold the bearing and clean the outside without any worries as the peg was holding everything firm. With the peg in place I twisted the bearing and found that the tape was cleaning the needle rollers as well. So I used Gibbs Brand to squirter the inside and finish cleaning the rollers.

The outside was degreased and wire wool used to clean the outside. Be careful as there is a rubber top to the bearing. Once the bearing was cleaned I removed the peg and gave a final spray of Gibbs Brand.

The final step is to place the bearings back on the prop but make sure you tape them in place to stop them falling off the shafts.

Share my Content

Leave a Reply