Article: U-joint Replacement Procedure (go to thread for pics)

txsbill

Legacy Registered User
City
Houston
State
TX
#1
u-joint question...

I was going to reinstall my rear driveshaft this weekend but when I went to install the u-joints, the back one fit fine, but the front one was too small for the yoke. The guy at the auto parts told me the same u-joint fit the back and the front of the shaft....Of course I realize that individual results may vary....
I inspected the yoke, it doesn't look stretched or malformed in anyway, it's just bigger....

How do I find out which u-joint will fit?
 

RandyLL

1 Long CJ
City
Highland
State
IL
#2
The front end of the driveshaft (slip yoke) should match the transfer case output yoke. Is it still stock? If one or the other has been changed you can put different size caps on the same u-joint. But you'll still need to figure out what it came from.
 

txsbill

Legacy Registered User
City
Houston
State
TX
#3
Nothing to Yoke about.....

The slip yoke side matches the output on the x-fer case, and the other side matches the diff yoke, but they are different sizes.

I'm just worried about what I'll do to the pimply faced kid at the auto parts store when I show up with a drive shaft that takes a different u-joint than what it shows on the computer. I might lose patience with him and use my drive shaft as a club and go "Fred Flintstone" on him.

I just took out one of my front axle shafts yesterday, and after inspecting it, I think I might just take all my u-joint issues to a driveshaft shop. I can't see how the front axle shaft joints come out. I generally don't like to beat on stuff until I see how it all fits together.
 
City
Snohomish
State
WA
#4
Hard to explain, easy to do :(

Basically you remove the "C" clips on the inside of the joint caps. When the joints are old and dirty they are hard to see. Clean up the joints really well then remove the "C" clips with a screwdriver or punch and hammer. There should be 4 total.
Next go to your vise open the jaw so you can rest two of the caps on the vise. This will allow you to hit the axle at the base of the curved end inbetween the cap hole and the shaft. this pushes the top cap up and out. Then flip the shaft 180º repeat. now the caps should be out of the ends and you can wiggle out the joint. next do the same thing with the other half of the axle shaft.
To replace the joints you will need to put the trunion (center part of the U-joint) into the axle end, then slip the caps into the cap holes as far as you can (MAKE SURE ALL THE NEEDLE BEARINGS STAY IN PLACE, I USE GREASE) the allign the two caps and trunion and squeeze them qhole thing together with the vise. Put one Inner "C" clip in place (snaps in) then you will most likely need to beat, press or otherwise open the end of the axle so you can clip the other "C" into place.
WARNING: IF YOU HAVE TO FORCE THE "C" S INTO PLACE STOP. THEY WILL DISINTEGRATE AFTER A WHILE CAUSING PROBLEMS
I'v had to pull the "Ears" of the axles apart slightly before to get the clips in. (Punch, hammer) next do the other side. grease if you have zerks, then put it all back together.

I learned by watching it done and doing it a bunch of times.

Vise
Hammer
Punch
Screwdriver.

Good Luck!

Mark
 
Last edited:

John N

Addicted....Ex-SOA VP
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rockville
State
VA
#5
Mark's description is good, but use a socket a little smaller than the cap to push it out with the hammer. The best solution is to have someone show you the first time, then it will make sense. This is an essential skill for all Jeepers to learn.
 

txsbill

Legacy Registered User
City
Houston
State
TX
#6
Front axle u-joints...

I appreciate the help on the u-joints. The issue I see on the front axle u-joints is I don't see any clips to remove. When I took out the rears, they had the little clips you pinched with pliers and took them out and then they shot across the garage.

On the front axle joints its like a smooth rounded cap. No clips are visible. It's almost like some sort of resin or something was poured on top of the caps where the clips are...I'll clean them up really good tonight and see if I can see anything. If not I'll take a picture and show you what I'm talking about...
 

John N

Addicted....Ex-SOA VP
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rockville
State
VA
#7
On the front axle shafts, the clips are under the cap, not on top. So look inside the ears of the axle shaft.
 

txsbill

Legacy Registered User
City
Houston
State
TX
#8
u-@#$%# Joint!!!

I had Cub Scouts last night, so I didn't have alot of time to work on the Jeep. However I did go out and inspect that front axle shaft....I got it clean enough to see one of those clips on the inside of the shaft ears, I even managed to get it off....I'll do some more cleaning etc. tonight, I'll get that old U-joint loose. The one that's in there is totally worn out....It has some red dust for a bearing.....

I also will have to buy at least one rotor since the inboard pad was totally worn away because the front bearings were so loose...Anyone have any Rotors for cheap$$$ ?
 
City
Louisville
State
co
#9
I use the John N method but with a vise not a hammer. If you warp the caps by pounding on them they will not work well. One other trick you can use is to take a torch or oven and heat the Joint and Yoke. That tends to make the install and removal a tad bit easier.

Good luck. They are not hard to do. You might want to take the drive shaft to the parts store so you can match numbers or size of your odd ball U-joint. Buy a extra set for out on the trail if you need it or them.

Good luck!
 
City
Snohomish
State
WA
#10
No Torches, no Sockets.

I need to post a pic!

I will do that tonight, it is really an easy job with a hammer and vise.

Check back tonight around 9:00 p.m. PST

Mark
 

txsbill

Legacy Registered User
City
Houston
State
TX
#11
Yet another new way...

I tried the vice/hammer method as well as the heating method without much success. I got to thinking about it and tried something else.

My dad taught me how to replace a hammer handle by tapping the handle into the head a little bit, then to hold the hammer by the handle with the head facing down. Then strike the bottom of the handle with another hammer and the head will "climb" up the handle until it is where you want it.

So using that theory I held the axle shaft in my hand and hit the yoke with my BFH. after about 10 licks the old ujoint cup "climbed" right out of the hole. I then flipped it over and did the other side until I got the u-joint out then finished punching out the other one.

I ordered all my front end part replacements today as well. I ended up buying it all from Vintagejeeps.com over the internet. They were priced as good as anyone else, and when I told the guy on the phone I had a CJ-8 he didn't try to tell me that Jeep didn't make one, like the kid at the Auto Parts store did.
 

RandyLL

1 Long CJ
City
Highland
State
IL
#12
Here's some more tips that apply mostly to the rear driveshaft ujoints. To avoid a really tight ujoint that will eventually fail. Clean the rings out (that hold the clips in). And after it's in, tap the ujoint outward, toward the clips, using a punch from inside the yoke.
 
City
Snohomish
State
WA
#13
Sorry didn't get the pics up last night, here ther are!

My pictures are of my Dana 60 U-joints, sorry I don't have and Dana 30s around, but the method is the same!

Good luck!
 
City
Snohomish
State
WA
#15
And here is where (and the direction) you hit it with the BFH.

You could use some WD-40 or PB Blast before changing these things if they are stock and crusted in.

After you install the C-clips it is best to hold the shaft the tap the spot with the hammer on all positions to seat the cap s properly and so the joint moves easily.

Thats it, put em back in the rig!

MArk
 

mulescj8

INSANE SCRAMBLER HACK
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Middle of No Where and Too Far From Any Where
State
Tn
#16
BFH

BFH hammer works great,if it don't work then get a bigger BFH:rolleyes: -lol
 

txsbill

Legacy Registered User
City
Houston
State
TX
#17
Thanks for the help...

I appreciate all the help and cool pictures as well...

BFH is the way to go....I thought about using my sawzall, but I didn't want to damage it by hitting the shaft with it....

I actually used my sawzall to cut off a stuck tie rod end....It took 2 blades, those things are hard....

Bill
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#18
You are the MAN!!

BIG_Mark said:
No Torches, no Sockets.

I need to post a pic!

I will do that tonight, it is really an easy job with a hammer and vise.

Check back tonight around 9:00 p.m. PST

Mark
I got nowhere with the vise and socket press method and then had them all done in a matter of about 10 minutes with your method... THANK YOU!

BFH is ALWAYS the answer!!! :D
 

BIG_Mark

Old Skool
City
Snohomish
State
WA
#19
Always gald to help, I learned how to do it this way from my buddy, he's know as "the Man who can make sh*t outta nothing"
 
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