Drive shaft removal
I'm new on this forum. This is a really basic question for most of you experienced mechanics, but it's something I don't know so I might as well ask. I tried searching first but didn't find a simple answer right off the bat.
I have an 89 Ford Ranger 4 cyl manual shift 2WD, pretty much stock, no major modifications. I'm getting ready to try to remove the transmission myself. My flywheel teeth are chewed up so it won't crank (even with a new starter). While I'm at it, I figure I might as well go ahead and put in a new clutch. I have never done this on any vehicle before, not with the engine still in the vehicle anyway.
So my question is: how exactly do you get the drive shaft off? I see bolts on the back where it connects to the differential. But on the front of the shaft, there are no bolts. I have a Haynes manual, but it tries to discuss several kinds at the same time and just confuses me.
It sounds from the manual like they're saying you unbolt the drive shaft at the back, then the front of the shaft just slides out. Is that correct? Sounds a little strange to me. I would think there'd be a little flexing of the distance between the back of the transmission and the differential, so I'm surprised that design would work.