physically. Steps for the removal and disassembly of a U-joint are as follows:
1. Raise the vehicle and place it on jack stands.
2. Scribe the alignment marks on the differential yoke and universal joint, so drive shaft balance is ensured upon reassembly.
3. Unbolt the rear joint from the differential. If used, also unbolt the center support bearing. Pry the shaft forward and lower the shaft slightly.
Do NOT allow the full weight of the drive shaft to hang from the slip yoke. Support the drive shaft to prevent damage to the extension housing, rear bushing, and front U-joint.
4. Wrap the tape around the caps to prevent them from falling off and spilling the roller bearings.
5. Slide the drive shaft out of the transmission. If the transmission lubricant begins to leak, install a plastic plug into the extension housing.
6. Before disassembling the universal joint, especially constant velocity joints, scribe mark each component. The marks will show you how to reassemble the joint.
7. Clamp the drive shaft yoke in a vise. Do NOT clamp the weaker center section of the drive shaft or it will bend. If used, remove the snap rings, using a screwdriver, snap-ring pliers, or needle nose pliers.
Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes in case the snap rings fly out of the universal joint during removal.
8. Use two sockets - one LARGER than the bearing cap and one SMALLER than the bearing cap. Place the SMALLER socket on the bearing cap of the universal joint (fig. 5-11). The LARGER socket is to be placed over the outside diameter of the bearing cap on the opposite side of the joint (fig. 5-11).
9. With both sockets and the universal inside the vise, slowly tighten the vise to force the bearing caps out of the yoke. Use the same procedure on the remaining bearing caps, as required.
Figure 5-11. - Universal joint removal.
Normally, a universal joint is replaced anytime it is disassembled. However, if the joint is relatively new, you can inspect, lubricate, and reassemble it.
During the inspection, clean the roller bearings and other parts in solvent. Then check the cross and rollers for signs of wear. If the slightest sign of roughness or wear is found on any part, REPLACE the U-joint.
UNIVERSAL JOINT REASSEMBLY. - Once the U-joint has be cleaned and inspected and found to be in a serviceable condition, it must be reassembled. Steps for reassembling a U-joint are as follows:
1. Pack the roller bearings in high-temperature grease. A good method of keeping the bearing in place is to fill the bearing cap with grease.
2. Position the cross inside the yoke. Align your marks. Then fit the bearing caps into each end of the yoke.
3. Center the cross partially into each cap to keep the roller bearing from falling.
4. Place the assembly in a vise. Tighten the vise so that the bearing caps are forced into the yoke.
If the bearing cap fails to press into place with normal pressure, disassemble the joint and check the roller bearings. It is easy for a roller bearing to fall and block cap installation. If you try to force the cap with excess pressure, the universal and drive shaft could be damaged.Continue Reading