DO MY U-JOINTS NEED TO BE REPLACED?
Rust, the caps coming out of the yoke or the joint becoming loose are all causes for u-joint replacement. The u-joint may be at either end of a drive shaft. It consists of a pair of hinges connected by a cross shaft. Basically, it allows engine power and torque to transfer from the transmission to the wheels, no matter what the driving conditions may be. If a U-joint has become loose or damaged, anything from vibrations to a broken drive shaft could occur so it’s important to keep it up to par and replace it if needed.
If your vehicle is making noise from underneath, and it’s been determined your universal joint is worn, you can have your universal joint replaced. A clicking sound from under your car may indicate a worn universal joint at the drive shaft.
HOW TO REPLACE A U-JOINT
Accessing the U-Joint – Removing the Drive Shaft
The first step in replacing your u-joint is getting to it. It will be necessary to remove the drive shaft. On some vehicles you remove the drive shaft by removing the universal joint. If your drive shaft attaches with axle type bolts (a circle of bolts with either hex or allen heads), the end of the driveshaft will need to be removed. If your driveshaft does not have that type of end, it can be removed it by removing the two bolts that hold the two halves of the u-joint together. The drive shaft will drop easily once removed.
REMOVING CLIPS ON THE U-JOINT
There are two types of clips holding your universal joint together. Snap Rings are one, the other are standard C-clips and are remove easily. The steps are the same whichever clip your vehicle uses. To remove the snap rings, squeeze the ends together with pliers or a special removal tool. Should they have become corroded, it may be necessary to soak the u-joint with some penetrant.
REMOVING THE U-JOINT AND BEARINGS
With the drive shaft out of the vehicle, the next step is to remove the joint and its bearings. The end in a vice will need to be mounted, then the bearing tapped through far enough to get the joint to drop out. A spark plug socket may be the perfect tapping tool. It will take a firm tap on the top of the socket with a hammer to press far enough in to pop it out. With the joint tapped through, the bearing cup (it looks like a cup and is full of grease) will be removed. This enables us to fully remove the loose joint section.
Remove the old joint center and put in the new piece. There’s a chance that the new center will assemble a little differently than your old one. Most replacement joints tend to look a different. Before we reinstall, we lubricate every part we can reach with grease. It should not be overpacked which could cause parts failure. It’s then time to reinstall the bearing cups if your new part comes apart.
Once the assembly is almost back together, the snap rings or c-clips your universal joint uses can be reinstalled.
Call Today to Schedule a U-Joint Replacement
That’s it! Of course, we do prefer that you call a professional if you don’t have any experience. Need a u-joint replaced in Houston, Kingwood or Katy, Texas and prefer a professional handles it? Call My Transmission Experts today to schedule a free estimate. We’ll give you an honest and fair diagnosis and cost estimate for your u-joint issue and check out the rest of your transmission for any other service needs. Call now!