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what year??
lol just read the whole thing... the circlip on the end that goes into the diff. use a little pry bar or screwdriver to pry the shaft out of the trans till the circlip releases. should pull right out after that
 

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no dropping of the pan. however have you changed your trans filter and fluid? from what i hear it recommended to do every 50 to 60 thousand on that trans. when you put the new shaft in make sure the end clicks into the diff, if not you will have a leak.
 

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you might lose may a half quart at the most. when i pull the shaft i have the new one ready to go in so i normally dont lose enough to even have to add. that trans holds alot of trans fluid. i think its 13 or 14 quarts. if i remember right is mercon v . use only the mercon v...
 

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no problem. you should have a tie rod end and ball joint just in case. you can always return unused parts. i hate running to the store in the middle of a repair.
 
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