Replacing a front drive shaft is a straightforward procedure that involves unbolting the old one and bolting in the new one. Generally, there are additional steps required, depending on the make and model of the vehicle, such as removing parts that are in the way or removing cover panels.
The first step is to make sure the vehicle is in Neutral. Before putting the vehicle in neutral, make sure it is stable with the parking brake on. Block the tires so the vehicle cannot roll, then lift the vehicle using a jack or lift. If using jacks, make sure to put the vehicle onto jack-stands so that you can comfortably work underneath.
Next, locate the drive shaft. Usually there is a cover that must be removed to access it. After removing the cover with a pencil or marker, make index marks where the flange and pinion are positioned.
Next, locate and the bolts holding the drive shaft in place. It is often helpful to have an assistant hold the drive shaft as you remove the last two bolts in order to prevent it from falling onto you. If you do not have an assistant, you can use a strong piece of canvas, duct tape or wire, to secure the drive shaft to prevent it from falling when the last bolts are removed.
After the bolts are out, remove the old drive shaft and put the new one into place. Use the marking of where the flange and pinion were positioned to help get the new drive shaft into place. Then bolt the new part in, making sure to torque the bolts to manufacture specification. Lastly, replace the cover (if any).