Lubing the Driveshaft
By: Bob_98SR5
Application: 98 4Runner V6 4x4
Updated: 1/19/15



Tools & Supplies
Grease Gun - pistol grip type is best
Flexible Hose for Grease Gun plus universal grease tip
Grease (see your owner's manual)
Rag soaked with grease penetrant
Clean rags


I am providing this write up for illustrative purposes only. Perform at your own risk. Any mods (including this one) you perform on your vehicle is your responsibility. Commercial use of this write up will result in legal action.

This is one of those maintenance items that is so simple, cheap and easy, you'll wonder why you let your dealer or local mechanic charge you for this service.
The most difficult part of this service item is finding them. Most likely your zerks are covered in dust and grease, making it nearly invisible to find for the untrained eye. But this write up will show you exactly where they are and how to lube them.

A note about tools and grease type: If your 4runner requires two grease types, buy two pistol grip (one-handed) grease guns. It will save you alot of time. As for the grease type for a 98 4Runner, Toyota recommends two different grease types for the driveshafts: for the u-joints, use NLGI #2 Lithium Base Chassis Grease. For the slide yoke and double cardan joint, use NLGI #2 Molybdenum Disulfide Lithium Based Chassis Grease (Note: I have read that from 2000 to 2002, Toyota standardized the grease type to one kind). So if you are not 100% sure, look in your owner's manual and follow it. Of course, you can substitute any type of compatible synthetic grease as well (I'll switch to some type of Amsoil grease soon), but again, follow the manufacturer's recommendation.

Lastly, because you're working under your vehicle, its a good idea as always to wear goggles or some kind of eye protection. I've gotten many little specks of dirt in my eye just by brushing up on some part of the undercarriage. So put them on and let's get back to the write-up.

Step 1: Lubing the Front Driveshaft (4x4 only)

Without going into too much technical detail about u-joints, double cardan joints, and slip yokes, see the images below. They will be self-explanatory.

For the front driveshaft, there are a total of three zerks. To expose the zerk fittings, just simply turn the front driveshaft with your gloved hand. As you will see, the front zerk fitting can be found sticking out from the u-joint. This one is a bit tough to get to because of the sway bar. Take your oil penetrant-soaked rag and clean off the zerk fitting. Next, take your grease gun with the flexible tube with universal tip and snap it into the cleaned grease fitting. Of note, you may need to force it into it to fit. Once mated, pump your grease gun until you hear and see the grease coming out of the seals. It makes a very distinctive sound and you'll know when you hear it.

Next, move down to the other end of the driveshaft and rotate it until you can see the two other zerk fittings. One is on the u-joint and one is on the slip yoke itself. Again, clean off the fittings and then pump some grease into them. Of note, the slip yoke takes about 5 or 6 pumps of grease.

There are a total of 3 zerk fittingson the front driveshaft (nos 1 - 3)

Step 2: Lubing the Rear Driveshaft
There are total of five zerks on the rear driveshaft. Unlike the front driveshaft, you cannot just turn the shaft to rotate and expose the zerk/grease fittings. The easiest way to turn the rear driveshaft is to put your vehicle in neutral and just roll your vehicle forwards or backwards (assuming you are on a level surface) until you can see the zerk fittings. Otherwise if you want to waste time, jack up the rear end to get the tires off the ground and then you can turn the driveshaft to expose the zerks.

At the forward end of the rear driveshaft, there are three zerk fittings. One of the zerks is neatly hiding away behind the double-cardan joint. This is a u-joint zerk, so use the appropriate grease. And to finish, grease the two most visible zerks protruding out of the double cardan joint.

Finally at the rear end of the driveshaft, there are two more zerk fittings. One is sticking out of the u-joint and the other in the slip yoke. Clean and lube both.

Here are 5 zerks on the rear driveshaft (nos. 4 - 8)

Questions or feedback? Email me and I'll try to get back to you. If this article helped you save time, money or just made things more convenient for you, please consider donating to keep this site alive.