Many thanks for your reply, I was begining to get a bit discouraged until I got your response.
This is the family's fifth Citroen (2CV, Dyane, GS & CX) but it is the first time I have had to do anything major to the ZX in two years of ownership.
However, suitably encouraged by your reply, I am pleased to say that the shaft is now on the bench.
After a bit of head scratching, I have also discovered that the aftermarket inner gaiter I bought does not include the circlip, O ring, spring and plastic thrust plate that the genuine part does.
Luckily, the local motor factor has agreed to exchange it for an aftermarket
gaiter that does included these parts. Talk about traps for the unwary !
I am reliably informed that the dealers prefer to take out the wishbone pivot bolts next to the gearbox to release the shaft. However, they have the advantage of being able to use a free wheel lift.
Now I am trying to separate the inner joint from the shaft. Am I right in assuming that the only way to get the can out of the cast inner joint cover is to tap around the tin lip until either the lip disappears or the can pops out, whichever is the sooner ?
As a matter of interest, do you know how much surface abrasion\scoring is acceptable on the section of the shaft that runs in the transmission oil seal, before a new shaft is desirable bearing in mind that a recon shaft is not that expensive ?
However, I know for a fact that this recon shaft is only two years old and has covered about 1000 miles, so there should be plenty of life left in it yet but it is showing slight pitting in a small patch at the gearbox end.
All the best,