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Ford U Joints - front axles

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by turfquip, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    How big a job is changing out the universals on the front axles..is it more difficult than the rear driveline u joint replacement?

    This is a 96 F-250 4X4.
  2. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 752

    Pretty straight forward to replace them. Get a Haynes or Chilton manual before starting. Take the axles with you to the parts store to be sure you get the right size u-joint. A press makes the installation of the new joints easy. You may want to take them to a machine shop and have them pressed in and out. Might save a few cuss words! Or if the parts store has a tool loan program and they offer a u joint press, that may be the way to go. Sometimes they can be a real pain to break loose.
  3. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    Thanks xcopterdoc!
  4. NewImageLawn&Landscape

    NewImageLawn&Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    Make sure you have a good slide hammer with the proper hub adapter too. It took me about 30 mins of banging away to get one side off. This was on a 97...
  5. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    I never done a twin traction beam Ford they are a little different over a regular straight axle.

    You should have the proper axle nut socket its needed no way of doing it with a cold chisel which isn't the proper way either. You prolly want to get new grease seals for the back of the rotors because it is a good time to clean and repack the wheelbearings. If your brakes are in the need of changing might aswell do them now while you got it all apart.

    The hardest part will be getting that rotten spindle off make sure you have a good dead blow hammer or lots of wood to use a regular hammer. They can be a pain to get off the axle housing.

    If you have a digital camera take pictures of how the hub assembly comes out so when you put it back together again it helps.

    While your at it check the pivot bushings they are prone to wearing out and causing problems. Also check your ball joints if they are worn its a good time to replace them too.
  6. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    thanks again everybody
  7. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 752

    97 and up was a different bird altogether. They have a CV joint type axle assy. 81 thru 96 was like a soilid axle shaft, much easier. Also get the new seals while yur at it.
  8. lwcmattlifter

    lwcmattlifter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 859

    Not necessarily. The 1997 HD and diesels had the 81-96 Dana 50. The hardest part is removing the spindle if it's never been separated before.
  9. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    There is also a bearing and seal in the backside of the spindle that you may easily overlook, go ahead and replace it while you have it apart. The bearing shouldn't be more than $20 and you may as well replace it while it's apart. You will need the grease seals for the back of the hubs, there is no probably to it, if you take the hub off it will not seal well enough to keep crap out. As for the bearing repack in the hubs it is quite easy. The spindle can be a ***** to get off, but a 2x4 and a small sledge and you can have it off without too much difficulty (sometimes).
    The digital camera recommendation is a good idea, also take a pic of the brake calipers and where the pins are and the direction in which they are in holding the calipers. You may need to pull the calipers in to get them back on the brake rotor. While we're on that note, check your brake pads and rotors, if they need turned or replaced do it, you already have it apart and it will save you the cost of replacing the hub seals again (well under $20). Also like someone said check your ball joints and all the bushing on the knuckle.
    While the axles are out of the differential you may want to go ahead and change the oil in the diff. I think you have to take the axles out to be able to get the pumpkin off so if they're already out you may as well do it.

    The axle to the passneger side can be a pain in the butt where the slip yoke is, often it doesn't want to come apart. By the way the passenger side takes two u-joints.

    Have fun!
  10. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    The outer ones are not so bad, It's the center one. For that one, you have to pull the differential apart to remove the clip that holds the shaft in the diff. The slip joint in the front axle is often siezed as well. I have seen the take a full day to do all three joints in a good shop, not a bunch of wrench monkeys.

    The TTB F-250 I have now is my first and absolute last....

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