You are here:

Toyota Repair/Rav4 pilot shaft removal/replacement


Ted, I recently went through the motor in my 97 2-door 4WD Rav4. As part of the engine removal I removed the rear drive shaft/aka pilot shaft. I'm uncertain if I reinstalled it correctly and the shop manual is unclear.

I was under the car recently and noticed the portion of the shaft in front of the center support is not in-line with the portion behind the support suggesting the center support is shifted to one side. I don't recall the ability to move the support side-to-side however. The shop manual discusses some measurements of certain portions of the shaft when the axle is unweighted which I assume means the car is jacked up so the rear tires are off the floor and the rear suspension is hanging loose with the shocks fully extended. Again, not clear. The manual also states that before decoupling the shaft from the redifferential that I needed to mark the mating parts so they could be mated the same way when I reinstalled the shaft. I failed to mark the mating parts and am now wondering how to recover from this mistake.

The bottom line question is what is the proper procedure for installing  the rear drive shaft in my Rav4?

hello, the center driveshaft support bearing is moveable a small amount due to the slots in the mounting bracket, maybe 1/2"side to side, if you didn't separate the two drivehafts there is no problem except that if not marked before removing at the rear differential flange there may be a slight chance of a vibration at higher speeds. don't overcomplicate this.  

Toyota Repair

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ted Ritter


I have more than 28 years experience as toyota technician, I will be able to answer most questions related to the Toyota product line up to the present year models,I am located in the US but welcome questions from other regions of the world. When asking a question please provide specific information: year,model, engine,transmission information. Provide as much information as possible including a brief repair history if possible. I have been a volunteer here for more ten years an have answered over 16,000 questions helping Toyota owners with their problems and save thousands of dollars without any compensation, some of my answers are published on many other websites including google and various automotive forums. DONATIONS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, IF YOU HAVE RECIEVED HELPFUL INFORMATION PLEASE MAKE A DONATION. AS OF TODAY (JULY 22, 2014) ALL REQUESTED GRAPHICS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DIAGRAMS, PHOTOS, WILL REQUIRE THE MINUMUM DONATION UP FRONT.


Toyota technician since 1979,expert in electrical systems,OBD systems,engine repair, driveability problems,EFI systems,ASE certified,Toyota master technician.
Certified Hybrid Vehicle technician.

Toyota master technician, ASE certified in eight catagories, Hybrid vehicle certified. Toyota technical training: Engine Automatic transmission Manual transmission Drivetrain Electrical systems Brakes and chassis Air conditioning Engine performance and diagnostics Hybrid systems

©2017 All rights reserved.