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DIY: Replacing Universal Joints

A few basic tools, a good sturdy vice and a decent hammer is all you'll need to do this job.
» Part 1: Universal Joints
» Part 2: Before You Start
» Part 3: Disassembly
» Part 4: Assembly

What you will need:

  1. Jack stands
  2. Pliers
  3. Socket Set
  4. Vise
  5. Hammer
  6. Punch
  7. Grease gun
  8. Shop Rags
  9. Latex Gloves (Optional)

Universal joints are a vital link in your vehicle's driveline. If these joints fail, you could be left stranded. Fortunately this can be prevented through periodic maintenance and/or replacement. A bad U-joint can most commonly be detected by a metallic clunking sound when the vehicle is placed in gear. This indicates play in the U-joint and should be investigated as soon as possible. Other symptoms of a failing U-joint are vibrations from the drive shaft, noticeable especially between 25 and 35 mph; shudder on acceleration and/or squeaking noises.

To check a U-joint for play, raise the vehicle and support the rear axle with jack stands. Place the vehicle in neutral and set the parking brake. Now rotate the drive shaft back and forth by hand, checking the joint for any play if any play is detected, the U-joint will have to be replaced. Also look for signs of rust. This usually means a U-joint that has no grease and is ready to be replaced soon.

DIY: Replacing Universal Joints

» Part 1       »
Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4

Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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