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I have a freeze plug that needs replacing and in the process I started to remove the passenger side half shaft on my '97 Camry (2.2L) in order to get better access. I have the outer end free of the steeering knuckle and supported. I removed the internal snap ring and retaining bolt from the center bearing support as directed. The instructions tell me to pry and or tap the shaft out of the center support. I am at my wits end. I have done alot of axles but never had one that refuses to budge. I'm not sure where the problem is. I can't believe the small circlip ring on the slined end inside the transaxle is holding it up to this degree. Can the center bearing be that tight in the support?? Please help.
 

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Attempt to determine if it is the center bearing or that small cir-clip that is keeping the shaft from moving (or both).

Sometimes the center bearing freezes inside the bearing housing. Can you see the bearing moving when you attempt to move the axle in and out? If the bearing is frozen try a torch to heat the housing, remove the housing and bearing together, penetrating oil, a very large hammer or pry bar.

If the center bearing is free, the shaft can still be a difficult to remove because of that small cir-clip. The inner CV joint should have a slot for the end of a pry bar. Use a large pry bar, one end in this the slot the other against whatever you can find as a lever point. Then attempt to pop the shaft out, not pry it. Prying seldom works here, but a quick pop does.

This situation is common, suggest checking past TN Camry posts for additional suggestion. And yes it can be a real pain to remove this shaft.
 

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so geoffg how did you get this drive axle out in the end? If you read this can you pleae update, you've got me curious!

You'd think they might use some anti sieze on these parts at the factory but they never do. Good reason to use some on the splines at both ends and anywhere else it touches the chassis when you replace it. I've read posts where people succesfully used a slide hammer to yank the drive axle out-
 
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