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Super Coupe Club of America > SC Literature > Ford Thunderbird SC Rear Half-Shaft Installation

by George Davenport


  1. Remove the rear wheel center cap to expose the half-shaft retaining nut. Loosen this nut with the proper sized socket (36mm). It is a right hand thread on each side and will be TIGHT (250 ft/lbs). Ford recommends not re-using this locking nut. Loosen lug nuts.

  2. Jack-up car, remove lug nuts, wheel, caliper, rotor, and retaining nut. Tie caliper up out of the way. Support the car on good jackstands.

  3. Remove nut and bolt that hold upper control arm to aluminum knuckle and tie upper control arm out of the way.

  4. Using a large three-jaw puller attached to the hub, push the end of the half-shaft out of the hub, letting the knuckle swing forward. Pull half-shaft free of hub and knuckle.

  5. Using a suitable tool (like a large screwdriver) gently pry the half-shaft out of the differential. Be careful not to damage the ABS exciter ring. There are also seals in the differential where the half-shaft goes into the differential, take care not to put the screwdriver in too far as this could damage the seals. You want to pry the half-shaft straight out. Of course, you may want to replace the differential seals at this time. The half-shafts are held in the differential by ring clips that will pop out of the side gears as you pry on them. Ford has a special tool for this, but it is not required.


  1. Install new seals in differential (if necessary).

  2. Install new dust seals on the outboard CV joint (if necessary). This seal can be removed by tapping around it with a screwdriver. It should be installed with the flange part pointing toward the knuckle or outward. It can be driven on with a suitable diameter piece of pipe. (It is usually attached to the new half-shaft.)

  3. Insert one splined end of the half-shaft with the ring clip into the differential until it is firmly seated in the side gear.

  4. Clean and lightly lubricate splines on half-shaft and insert into splined hub. Install and tighten upper bolt. (Upper bolt 118-148 ft/lbs). Make sure coil spring is seated in the correct position.

  5. Hand tighten the retaining nut.

  6. Install rotor, caliper (23-26 ft/lbs), wheel and hand tighten lug nuts. Lower car back on to the ground. Torque new retaining nut to specifications (250 ft/lbs).

  7. Torque lug nuts to specifications (85-105 ft/lbs) and re-install center cap.


    When you buy your new half-shafts and look at them closely, you should see the ring clip on the end that goes into the differential. There should also be a bearing seal on the end of the half-shaft that goes into the hub. It is just a metal ring with rubber and seals the back of the knuckle to keep water and dirt out of the bearings. On most 5-speeds (and early automatics), the right side half-shaft was of larger diameter than the left side. These shafts are no longer available and you will probably get two of the smaller shafts when you purchase new ones. Unless you can still find some of Bill Hull's "BIG DAWG" half-shafts and put one of these larger shafts on each side.

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Document Last Modified: 07/29/04 03:33 AM
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