Skip to main content

Torque tube maintenance

To pull the driveshaft out of the torque tube a large  ~ Ø110 mm circlip has to be removed. I tried using a regular circlip plier, but the circlip only laughed at my effort.
I did not want to remove the circlip with screwdrivers etc., which could ruin the machined slot in the torque tube. I purchased a heavy duty Knipex circlip plier (4811-J4, 320 mm), which made the removal easy (Wear eye protection, the circlip stores significant energy when compressed).
Inside, it was hard to tell that this torque tube had been in service for 20 years and 178.000 km (110k miles). The rubber couplers looked and felt like new. There was no play in the bearings, but they had less preload and made more noise than their new counterparts*
A curiosity is the "16/1/2004" date stamp on the driveshaft for a car produced and sold in 2003 (The black marks are from my oily fingers).
To remove the rubber couplers the bolts have to be heated to break the factory thread lock. I first tried without heating the bolts, which quickly broke the toolset bit. Heating the bolts causes the rubber couplers to catch fire, so this method renders the couplers U/S.
The torque tube rebuild kit includes new circlips, O-rings and bearings, and also the slinger. A hydraulic press is required to replace the parts. Not much force is needed to press the bearings off and on. Be aware that there is actually a circlip hiding behind the slinger!

The purpose of the slinger is to provide additional protection for the outer bearing, which is exposed to the elements in the bellhousing. The centripetal force helps to prevent dust and other solid contaminants from entering.
More used parts ready to be added to the auto parts bin. I never throw away old bearings etc., as they can find a second use for other purposes.
Torque tube shaft reassembled with all new parts. Wonder if I'll ever see that text again...
There is significant difference in noise and preload between old and new bearing, so it was after all a good idea to service the torque tube at 110k miles!

I bought all the parts from Texas Drivetrain Performance. Thank you!