Driveshaft wont go in right

by bill blannken

1994 Mercury Mariner 115hp 4cyl 2stroke Serial# 0G151982. Start off clutch exploded while under load. Removed lower unit. Took out all gears and all shafts. All came out easy. Cleaned have new parts. The problem is I can not get the drive shaft to seed right. The housing for driveshaft is in tact.
Placing drive shaft through hole and tapered bearing and pinion gear can not get seeded right to get spline of driveshaft through both tapered bearing and pinion gear enough to put on pinion nut. The driveshaft, tapered bearing and pinion gear are the three lose items for the driveshaft install. The forward gear is in. Prop shaft is ready to install and shift shaft is in and installed
Again cannot get driveshaft through tapered bearing and pinion gear to install pinion nut. Is there a trick I am missing?

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