U joints

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by jbenn, Oct 17, 2000.

  1. jbenn

    jbenn LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 4

    I'm having trouble changing the U joints on the front axles of a 1978 4 wheel drive chevy truck with lockout hubs. What is the easiest way to remove the old ones. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks
  2. bandit_36

    bandit_36 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    I have provided you a phone #. Check your e-mail & I will tell you how.

    OBRYANMAINT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 555

    you can do it yourself but go to local machine shop or driveshaft shop and they will remove old and install new for like 15 bucks plus parts and will most likely do it same day or while you wait
    my time is too valuable to be beating out old joints

    these are also guys you want to grease because they will do driveshafts quickly in an emergency

    same goes for tranny guys ----make them happy!!!!

    BUSHMASTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 519

    i use my 6" bench vise to press out and in the caps, an old u-joint cap is needed,or if you just want some more toys OTC makes a u-joint press for about $125.00 to use with an impact this tool is also great for 2 and 4wd ball joints

    [Edited by BUSHMASTER on 10-17-2000 at 09:53 PM]
  5. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    Guess I'm old fashioned. I beat them out with a short brass drift, and an impact socket to "receive" the bearing caps, right on the concrete garage floor. I use a baby sledge. Doesn't take very long at all. I use a vise to press in the new bearing caps, until the drift is needed again. I tap them back in the rest with the same brass drift.

    Before I knew what I know now, I tried using a ball peen hammer, and spent an hour trying to get one bearing cap to move. No go. WIth the baby sledge, they come right out. I have a friend that likes to tow overloaded trailers with his 1/2 ton. He stops by every few months so I can change his joints at $50 a shot. Not bad for less than an hour of my time. Now he brings me his van driveshafts too, since he staarted towing with them too.


    [Edited by ChucksChevyPages on 10-18-2000 at 04:51 AM]
  6. Alan

    Alan Member
    Messages: 1,185

    If they are original equipment joints it helps to heat them and burn the plastic locking compound out of them before you do anything else. I've never tried to remove one without melting the lock out first, that stuff is pretty tough.
  7. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    Like Alan said, if they are original, then heating them to burn the "loc-tite" off helps a lot. I just happen to think of something else. Did you remove the snap rings before you tried removing the bearing caps jbenn? They can be pretty rusty, and hard to see, but they will still prevent you from getting the bearing caps out.

    When you put the new u joints in, be sure the hole in the trunion for the grease fitting is facing towards the center of the axle, not the wheel. That way, with the wheels cut all the way, you can screw in the grease fitting, and grease the joint. Then remove the fitting, and install the plug in the hole, that comes with the joints. Then cut the wheels the other way, and do the other side, same thing. If you leave the grease fittings in, they will get sheared off. That's why the axle u joints come with a fitting and a plug.


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