# How To Measure Driveshaft Length

The driveshaft of a vehicle transfers the torque or power from the vehicle's transmission to the wheel axles.

If your car is a front-wheel drive, the power is sent to the two front wheels. If it is a rear-wheel drive, the power will be sent to the back wheel axles.

Four-wheel drive vehicles can sometimes have two driveshafts to ensure that there is enough power to drive on difficult terrain.

If you need to replace the transmission, any other vehicle component, or even the driveshaft itself, you may need to measure it so that you can replace it with compatible parts.

If the original driveshaft is still available, it can be measured to ensure that the replacement has the same dimensions. If the original driveshaft is damaged, or if you purchased the vehicle without a driveshaft, you will have to take careful measurements and ensure that the correct replacement is available.

This article shows you how to measure the drive shaft length correctly.

## Part 1 of 2: Lift the vehicle

Materials Needed

Unless your vehicle is high enough to crawl underneath, you will need to lift the vehicle till you have enough space to work under it comfortably. To do this, raise the rear end of your vehicle using a hydraulic floor jack and place jack stands under the rear axle.

Step 1: Secure the vehicle. If possible, park your vehicle on firm, level ground and apply the parking brake.

If the ground is soft, uneven, or sloped, it will be much more challenging to use the jack and jack stands safely.

Place wheel chocks securely against a front tire to prevent the vehicle from sliding.

• Tip: Since the parking brake on almost all vehicles holds the rear wheels, lifting the rear wheels of the vehicle off the ground can allow the vehicle to roll. Placing wheel chocks against a front tire helps stabilize the vehicle.

Step 2: Use a jack to lift the vehicle. Determine the correct lifting point under the rear of the vehicle and place the jack at that point.

Itâ€™s important to find the correct lifting point so that the vehicle does not slide off the jack while lifting it and it also helps prevent any damage to the vehicle.

The correct lifting point is usually the center of the rear axle, under the differential.

• Tip: Check and determine the correct lifting point ahead of time as it can vary between different vehicles. You can also refer to the ownerâ€™s manual of your vehicle to find the

• Warning: Whenever lifting a vehicle with a jack, always place jack stands below the vehicle to support it before you begin working underneath. It is very dangerous to work under a vehicle that is being supported only by a hydraulic jack.

Step 3: Place the jack stands. After lifting the vehicle, place jack stands securely under the rear axle.

• Tip: When measuring driveshaft length, the vehicleâ€™s weight must rest on the rear suspension. This will affect the distance between the back of the transmission and the pinion flange on the rear axle.

## Part 2 of 2: Measure the driveshaft

Materials Needed

• Flashlight
• Paper and pen
• Steel tape measure

Step 1: Take an accurate measurement. The actual measurement process can vary depending on the type of driveshaft your vehicle uses and how it is mounted.

If your vehicle has a flange mounted on the back of the transmission and a flange on the differential, simply measure the distance between the two flanges.

On many vehicles, the driveshaft just slides onto the transmission output shaft in the front and bolts on at the rear. If the driveshaft in your vehicle is of this style, measure the distance from the end of the transmission shaft to the centerline of the rear u-joint.

If the driveshaft is out of the vehicle, also measure how far the transmission output shaft sticks out past the end of the transmission case.

Other vehicles use a driveshaft that connects from one U-joint to another U-joint. If your driveshaft is of this type, measure the distance from the centerline of the front U-joint to the centerline of the rear U-joint.

• Tip: Ahead of time, look at the tape measure you are using and identify how 1/16th of an inch is marked. This will be the degree of accuracy you need for driveshaft length. When you are taking the measurements under the vehicle, get a friend to help you measure the length. Having a person on each end of the tape measure will make it much easier as well as more accurate.

Step 2: Take some pictures. Take a few pictures while youâ€™re under your vehicle.

Capture pictures of the back end of the transmission, as well as the differential on the rear axle where the driveshaft attaches.

If the driveshaft is out, also take a picture that shows how many splines are on the transmission output shaft. Having those images may be helpful later when talking with a driveline shop or ordering parts.

Getting the right driveshaft and installing it correctly is a crucial job when it comes to the safe operation and reliability of your vehicle. The difficulty level is usually within the reach of a person handy with tools and armed with some specific information.

However, if something doesnâ€™t look right or feel right, play it smart and ask for help. One of our top rated technicians from YourMechanic can replace the driveshaft for you at your convenience and location.

## Next Step

### Schedule Driveshaft Repair

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

## Recent Driveshaft Repair reviews

(23)

21
2
0
0
0
21
2
0
0
0

### Bryant

12 years of experience
492 reviews
Bryant
12 years of experience
Chevrolet S10 - Driveshaft Replacement (Rear) - Indianapolis, Indiana
very perfect nice man and mechanic
Pontiac G6 - Strut Assembly Replacement (Front, Rear) - Indianapolis, Indiana
Even though he is not always on time it is because he is thorough with everyone and he knows his stuff. If your car needs it he will tell but if you don't have to have it or it can wait he will tell you that too. He is the only one my whole family uses now and Soo reasonable.

### Joel

21 years of experience
960 reviews
Joel
21 years of experience
Dodge Dakota - Driveshaft Replacement (Front) - Jacksonville, Florida
Great job as always

### Jacob

16 years of experience
12 reviews
Jacob
16 years of experience
Ford F-150 - Driveshaft - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
He did a very good job. Jacob was on time and very professional, I will use him any time I need work done.

10 years of experience
214 reviews
10 years of experience
Kia Sorento - Driveshaft - Sacramento, California
Vladimir Kishov did a great job on putting on the drive shaft. he finish within that time frame that was given. if i can get him to fix my car again that would be great.

### Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

### Related articles

What is Rear-Wheel Drive?
For For the better part of the twentieth century, nearly every vehicle on the road had the engine sending power to the rear wheels. This arrangement makes a lot of sense to designers, with the rear wheels handling all of...
How to Lubricate Your Car's U-Joints
U-joints allow the driveshaft to keep up with the movements of your car's suspension system. Keeping them lubricated will prevent wear and noise.
How to Lubricate a Driveshaft
CV joints by design do not need regular servicing unless a CV boot has become ripped. Many times it is more cost effective to...

### Related questions

#### driveshaft problems

No, you can use the bearing you have already purchased as long as it hasn't been damaged in the first installation. In addition, shops prefer to use the parts they supply for quality control purposes. Most of the time, buying...

#### I have 2009 Toyota Highlander, LIMITED.

Since you recently did some work on the driveshaft, I would first suspect there was a problem as a result of the installation process. Before you begin taking the wheel off for inspection, I would connect a scanner to retrieve...

#### When I take off or reverse the back of my truck makes a cracking noise

You should inspect the rear driveshaft U-joints to see if the joints are bad. You may see where the joints are loose or rust around joints. You will need to replace the U-joints if they are loose or making noise....

## How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.