Half shaft bolts for dummies


Wwabbit

GT Owner
Mar 21, 2012
1,259
Knoxville, TN
Seems like I’m always finding new ways to qualify as a dummy in something, just ask my ex-wife. Shortly after buying my car and reading many of the posts about the halfshaft bolt issue, I realized that I had not actually confirmed that my car’s bolts had been changed (yep, dummy). So I went spelunking down in the bilges of the engine bay and saw this:



Yikes! Am I really seeing the original torque-up marks across the coupling and bolt heads? Just like when you find a four-leaf clover, I had to stare at it for a moment to make sure of what I was actually seeing, but minus that warm, lucky feeling part. And since I could not confirm the status and there was no paperwork to be found, I guess that drive into the mountains I was planning will have to wait.

Fast forward a bit, well I changed the bolts, but it seems like there are still a lot of low mile or under-used cars popping up out there and new buyers that might have a similar experience. A lot has been written on the subject and this post won’t repeat too much of that. This post won’t apply to most owners since the halfshaft bolt issue is pretty well known and most owner’s cars have already been fixed. Also, you pros won't be impressed here, you do this in your sleep. This is written primarily for guys like me who find themselves with a question and are miles from a reliable shop. So, here goes a pictorial of the halfshaft bolt inspection and swap out as I experienced it. This is a really long post, with a butt load of pics. The BB looked like it was going to blow up, so I’ve dumped it to a PDF, you can see it here;

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pn7jq3mrpe1pbqx/Halfshaft%20Bolts%20for%20Dummies.pdf

Have fun. I'm going for a ride.
 

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RALPHIE

GT Owner
Mar 1, 2007
7,278
Prior to any mechanical work, it would be best to get an Oasis Report on your vehicle's VIN to determine if the last Ford replacement kit (check the date of the installation vs. the published letter from Ford) was installed. However, if an Accufab kit was installed, it will not show up on the Oasis Report.
 

nota4re

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 15, 2006
4,193
If we had this car in the shop, it almost certainly would appear to us that the upgrade has NOT been done and we'd open up one side (10 minutes or work) to check.
 

Wwabbit

GT Owner
Mar 21, 2012
1,259
Knoxville, TN
Prior to any mechanical work, it would be best to get an Oasis Report on your vehicle's VIN to determine if the last Ford replacement kit (check the date of the installation vs. the published letter from Ford) was installed. However, if an Accufab kit was installed, it will not show up on the Oasis Report.

Good advice. The outside Accufab bolts are of course also easy to identify visually from OEM (black 12pt heads vs. stock silver torx).
 

twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
6,060
Las Vegas, NV
Prior to any mechanical work, it would be best to get an Oasis Report on your vehicle's VIN to determine if the last Ford replacement kit (check the date of the installation vs. the published letter from Ford) was installed. However, if an Accufab kit was installed, it will not show up on the Oasis Report.

From what I am told an Oasis report alone may not be enough. Apparently there were two revisions of the bolt kit, and you want the later one. Someone else may be able to fill in the blanks but I'm told mine was the last one.
 

BlackICE

GT Owner
Nov 2, 2005
1,416
SF Bay Area in California
Great writeup!

You can have 2nd career in writing service manuals. Your instructions are better than 90% of those printed.
 

MTV8

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 24, 2010
1,017
Houston Texas
Those are great instructions. I read through the entire thing, and I do not even need to change the bolts.
 
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Wwabbit

GT Owner
Mar 21, 2012
1,259
Knoxville, TN
Thanks, Ice. Thanks, MTV8.
 

tmctguer

GT Owner
Jan 11, 2010
129
dana point, CA
Very nice write-up, Wwabbit. some feedback that could add some value to your fine write-up would be:

1). from my recollection of doing this job (confirmed by the link to Accufab's installation instructions below), the six outer bolts were to be torqued in two stages. first torqued to 30 foot pounds, then torqued to 50 - 55 foot pounds.

2). there was an order to follow in torqueing the 6 outer bolts. in order to make absolutely sure i followed the correct sequence, i used Liquid Paper and painted a number on each bolt (1 through 6) in the proper torqueing order, and used the numbers to make sure i was wrenching on the right bolt in the right sequence. i torqued them all to 30 foot pounds in sequence, then repeated the sequence to 50 - 55 foot pounds. given the 12 total bolt torqueings, the numbers REALLY helped me stay focused. after i was done, i scraped off the Liquid Paper numbers.

http://www.accufabracing.com/tech/half_shaft.pdf

again, you really did a nice job. in my prior life with Porsche's, write ups like yours really helped me learn to perform repairs that a Porsche dealer would charge a mint for, OR do jobs on my older Porsche that dealers forgot how to do years ago!
 

Wwabbit

GT Owner
Mar 21, 2012
1,259
Knoxville, TN
Thank you for the kind words, tmctguer. I purposely left off the torquing pattern as to differ to the supplier and Ford. You are right, marking the coupling to keep track of the tightening sequence is helpful. I used a marker and later wiped it off with alcohol. Your whiteout idea is a good one, it's probably even easier to see. For those who do this later, the pattern soon reveals itself as simply; forward 3, back 2, forward 3, back 2, forever and ever.....
 

BasillioG

GT Owner
Jun 12, 2019
16
Phoenix
The original Half Shaft Bolts for Dummies pdf link is not working. Anyone have an updated link or can re-post? Thanks
 

BasillioG

GT Owner
Jun 12, 2019
16
Phoenix
Found this video and have what I need now to replace mine. Purchased my car last year and the bolts had not been done prior and have been waiting for the accufab kit but got tired of waiting and ordered the Ford kit.

 

Tomcat

GT Owner
What a small world...the video above features a GT and owner that I know personally from the area. I did not know he did this.
 

HNS

GT Owner
Mar 11, 2020
97
East Coast
Found this video and have what I need now to replace mine. Purchased my car last year and the bolts had not been done prior and have been waiting for the accufab kit but got tired of waiting and ordered the Ford kit.

Awesome video and super informative!!!