Ford Mustang Aluminum Drive Shaft & Short Shifter Installation (S02E11)

Chris Duke shows you how to install a Leonard Racing SpyderShaft aluminum drive shaft and a Steeda Tri-Ax short throw shifter on a 2008 Ford Mustang GT.

Episode Notes

Regarding the bolts for the new drive shaft: Your stock Ford drive shaft uses 12mm bolts near the front, and 10mm bolts near the rear. For the installation of the SpyderShaft drive shaft you will not need the 10mm bolts, rather a new set of four 12mm bolts. If Leonard Racing did not provide these to you, get them from your local Ford Parts dealer before you get started.

Missing from the “tools required” scene: Red Locktite, Gear Oil

Links

Leonard Racing
Steeda Tri-Ax Shifter for 2005-2009 Ford Mustang

Additional installation information: (not provided by Motorz TV)

Pro 50 Super Shifter Installation
SpyderShaft Driveshaft Instructions

Episode Synopsis

In this episode we work on the drivetrain of our 2008 Ford Mustang GT (S197 2005-2009). We install an aluminum SpyderShaft drive shaft from Leonard Racing which is 33 pounds lighter than the stock drive shaft from Ford. As a result, it gives you more power to the wheels and also increases your fuel efficiency.

While we have the drive shaft off, it’s the perfect opportunity to swap out the shifter (since it is located directly above the drive shaft). We installed a Tri-Ax short throw shifter from Steeda which reduces your throw by a whole two inches, providing faster & firmer shifts and a guarantee to make 3rd gear.

The format of the show is to install everything in the MOTORZ garage in order to properly show you, the viewer, how easy it is to do the install yourself in your own garage, using a few simple tools. However, due to the low stance of our Mustang and all the camera work we needed to do below the vehicle as well as in the cockpit, it made better sense for us to film this episode in a different environment, with a lift and minimal power tools.

While we typically use all hand-crank tools on the show, there was one step where that was not possible. When removing the pinion nut from the differential, a breaker bar just wasn’t enough. So for this step we do recommend you use an impact gun (air or electric) otherwise it’s just impossible to remove. Also be warned that putting the pinion nut back on requires 125 ft-lbs of torque, so pick up a beefy torque wrench to get that sucker back on there.

Removing the stock drive shaft is fairly easy. There are four bolts near the front, four near the rear, and two that hold a bracket on near the center. Those all have to be removed, in addition to the pinion nut I just mentioned in the previous paragraph. After swapping out the stock flange with the aftermarket one, you can install your new drive shaft… unless your goal was to also upgrade your shifter while your drive shaft is off. Obviously it goes without saying… if you don’t upgrade your shifter at this time and want to do it later, you’ll have to remove your drive shaft (again) and most likely replace the bolts. Now you know why we did the shifter during the same install! Be sure to watch the end of this episode for some tips when it comes time to install the aftermarket flange from Lenoard Racing. If you botch this step up you can cause a ton of damage to your rear end.

Upgrading the shifter is also a straightforward process. After removing the shift knob and loosening the boot inside the vehicle, crawl underneath and loosen all the bolts that hold the shifter in place. Then assemble the new shifter and install it into place where the stock shifter once lived.

The combination of both upgrades is very noticeable… and both worth the effort! There are too many details to mention here, so just watch the video for the step-by-step!

Oh yeah, and a special thanks to Mike Wilkes for sending us his old Mustang parts to install on Jason’s Mustang. This made for a great episode!

48 Comments
  1. Thanks for watching! There's no balancing needed, but I believe it came pre-balanced. If you look at around 0:32 in this episode you can see what I believe is a counter-weight welded onto it.

  2. nice vid but it would be cool if you could work on a variety of different cars if its possible if not its ok

  3. pure sweetness, as always… and much easier to put that shifter in with the shaft out.. i think you need to try it without removing the shaft now! lol  man i want one of those Leonard Racing SpyderShaft aluminum drive shafts….

  4. Man if you think that flange nut was a problem, you should try the Harmonic balancer bolt on a Duramax Diesel.. 500 lb/ft WITH loctite. Your videos are entertaining. I like seeing parts on cars I have never been around (like the exhaust on that mustang).I think that mustang is in need of an exhaust system starting at some headers and going all the way back. When do we get to see that one? hehe :)

  5. When you went to test drive did you notice any improvements from an alluminum driveshaft? I wonder what kind of difference it makes.

  6. Toni, there is no noise, rattling, or anything else from the change. Just performance improvements. It is very noticeable!

  7. NOTE: All our previous videos were accidentally deleted, so we had to re-upload them all. Sorry for the inconvenience. We hope you continue to subscribe, LIKE and Favorite our videos! Visit our website (motorz.tv) for more!

  8. With my car you have to rebuild the diff when removing the nut you did on the front seal. It has to have spacers put in place when torquing that nut back down and requires a rebuild to do so. So this mechanic would be a epic fail if he touched my car. Just saying people should investigate their ride before doing so all diffs are not made the same way, but if you treat them the same you will be a epic fail too.

  9. With my car you have to rebuild the diff when removing the nut you did on the front seal. It has to have spacers put in place when torquing that nut back down and requires a rebuild to do so. So this mechanic would be a epic fail if he touched my car. Just saying people should investigate their ride before doing so all diffs are not made the same way, but if you treat them the same you will be a epic fail too.

  10. Good advice, sleepwalker29. Not all rear ends are the same and people need to do their research. This is hopefully a good overview video for people that are interested in moving forward.

  11. With my car you have to rebuild the diff when removing the nut you did on the front seal. It has to have spacers put in place when torquing that nut back down and requires a rebuild to do so. So this mechanic would be a epic fail if he touched my car. Just saying people should investigate their ride before doing so all diffs are not made the same way, but if you treat them the same you will be a epic fail too.

  12. Good advice, sleepwalker29. Not all rear ends are the same and people need to do their research. This is hopefully a good overview video for people that are interested in moving forward.

  13. I have 2 small Q guys:1- if i installed the new flange do i have to put some sort of sealing thing to prevent oil leaking?2- do you recommend to use Royal Purple to fill up the differential ? Thanks for your videos.

  14. I have 2 small Q guys:1- if i installed the new flange do i have to put some sort of sealing thing to prevent oil leaking?2- do you recommend to use Royal Purple to fill up the differential ? Thanks for your videos.

  15. Why does the Mustang not come with this stuff already equipped? Sure, it’d be more expensive, but aluminum driveshafts, short throw shifters, reworked weight distribution, and the death of the live axle would make the added expense worth buying.

  16. I noitce that almost all OE driveshafts are 2 piece. What is their reasoning for doing this. 1 piece seems to make more sense to me. Unless they are thinking of movies where the driveshaft falls on the ground then hits a pothole and flips the car over I can’t think of a reason to go 2 piece.

  17. I have an 06 GT and my stock driveshaft was vibrating bad so i put this badboy in and it vibrates even worse! I didnt torque that back nut i just tightned it because i couldnt find what to torque it to! also The directions said to put the boot in the back so the exhaust doesnt heat up the rubber piece. i noticed u put the boot in the front. Any advice on what the vibration could be? idk if i should turn it around but im definitly gonna torque that nut tomorrow

  18. Is it absolutely necessary to remove the drive shaft? I think I’ve seen videos where they don’t. I want a short throw like this but don’t know if I’m up for removing the driveshaft!

  19. I have a question isn’t the driveshaft boot suppose to be pointed towards the rear of the vehicle ?

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