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Old 06-04-2014, 20:46   #1 (permalink)
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'04 Escape 2L MT half shaft replacement

I'm having trouble installing a new driver's side front half-shaft on the above car. This is the side that goes directly into the manual transmission, vs. the intermediate shaft as on the passenger side. The old half shaft came out fine, and I have verified that the new half-shaft is correct. I even tried re-installing the old half-shaft, but with the same difficulty. I can see into the transmission, and everything seems lined up.
I am able to get the splines aligned and started, but beyond that it's very tight. I even took off the locking C-clip to see if that was impeding the seating, without success. It's almost like there is a press fit into the bearing in the transmission that supports the shaft. I don't know how much force and where to use the force on the half shaft, which is difficult anyway because of the tight space. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:21   #2 (permalink)
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Re: '04 Escape 2L MT half shaft replacement

Any way to measure the new part and compare to the old one just to be safe. Can be difficult to snap in but if you took c-clip off should go in easier.


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Old 06-23-2014, 21:15   #3 (permalink)
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Re: '04 Escape 2L MT half shaft replacement

I was finally able to get the new shaft in, and everything seems fine after driving it quite a bit the last few days.
I kept trying to get the new shaft seated - it was possible to engage the splines, but not much before the C-clip stopped the insertion progress. It became apparent that it was a very tight fit, and the addition of the C-clip impediment was enough to prevent advancement. This car has a MT, and I have an '06 Escape with AT that was much easier to remove and replace the halfshaft. MT Escapes are pretty rare, and I just think that's the way they are as far as the halfshafts. In fact, I have previously changed the clutch on this car and had removed the MT and driver's side halfshaft as a unit because I was afraid of damaging the transmission by levering the halfshaft out, since it didn't seem to want to come out. This time I bought some of those long-armed pry bars and that did the trick as far as removal.
What I ended up doing (after beating on the shaft numerous times) was using the car jack as a ram to get the C-clip started inside the female splines. I was able to brace the halfshaft against the jack, then against a 2x4 which was in turn braced against the foundation of my garage. Once the halfshaft was started and C-clip engaged, I banged it in the rest of the way.
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