Tips On How To Remove and Install Your Imperial's Driveshaft


Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> U-Joints & Driveshaft -> Removal




1)  Remove the front universal joint clamps from the transmission yoke.  If bushing retainer strap is holding bushings on cross, it is not necessary to remove the bushings.


2)  Remove the rear universal joint clamps in like manner.


3)  Remove the center bearing housing bolts and remove shims under the housing.


4)  Remove the driveshaft as an assembly, toward the rear of the car.





1)  Insert the forward section of the driveshaft over the body cross-member, and connect the front universal joint to the transmission yoke.  Tighten the bolts to 170 inch pounds.


2)  Connect the rear universal joint to the pinion yoke.  Tighten the bolts to 170 inch pounds.


3)  Position the shims under the center bearing housing, install and tighten bolts to 30 foot pounds.

Question from Allan (1962):


A couple of you know about me trying to bring home my 62 convertible so here is the up to date continuing saga. I left N.J. to go pick it up Fri night at about 7.00 pm. It is in long island about 70 miles from me. I have the nutty fetish about driving my cars home instead of towing them so I was going to drive this one home even without dash lights or a top. I figured I could always thaw out in a hot shower when I got home. When I got there, my partner in business, who thinks I am nuts now for sure after seeing this car helped me wrap the bows in saran wrap, the heavy stuff that we use to wrap pallets. Used a bungee cord to hold the drivers door closed, checked the oil and other fluids and got ready to go. Engine runs great, car stops and trans seems fine. Started to go and lo and behold as I accelerate a horrible vibration is coming from the middle to the rear of car. To bad to attempt to drive home. Car went back into garage and there it sits . I have a question, has anyone ever don a driveshaft on their 62 or similar with center hanger and 3 joints and how hard is it to remove and repair? Can I do it on the side of the road so to speak with minimal tools or do I have to get robbed to flat bed the car home ($300.00 + is what they seem to want) . Any help would be greatly appreciated as I will not chance driving it this way and possibly screwing up something else.




From Kenyon:

You can take it (1962 driveshaft) out with barely a little more effort than a standard propeller shaft due to the additional linkage. Make certain to mark where the 2 shafts are aligned, as they are fit to each other, says memory, and don't like to be oriented other than they came on the car. Don't know if they are balanced separately, but that would make the most sense.

Be prepared for a new carrier bearing and rubber isolation coupling. Great idea even if seems ok but original - this rubberized bearing carrier piece is a mechanical Achilles' heel of the Imperials of this era.

From Jay:

have taken the driveshaft out of our '62 about 4 times now. It's real easy to do. Remove the four nuts that hold the forward driveshaft flange to the back of the parking brake drum. Loosen/remove the two bolts that hold the center carrier mount to the frame, then remove four of the bolts on the forward side of the rear U-joint. The whole driveshaft is now loose and you can slide it toward the rear of the car to remove it as a whole unit.

Before you remove the driveshaft, you might want to key everything (scratch marks) from the parking brake drum back to the rear U-joint so you can put it all back together they way it came apart. The entire driveshaft is balanced as a unit and the phasing of the U-joints 90 degrees from each other is critical to avoid vibrations. Also take note of the number and position of the shims to the center mount.

If there is any lateral slop in the center mount, it should be rebuilt. (About $90 at The Damper Doc in Redding CA.)

I too have a vibration problem that I am trying to solve. I haven't repaired/replaced the U-joints yet, but I understand that they are cheap and relatively easy to lube and install, just remember the phasing of them relative to each other (see above)

I don't think you will do any harm by running the Imperial with the vibration unless it is severe. The only things that may take abuse are the center mount and possibly the U-joints. 

This page last updated October 8, 2003.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club