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Unread 10-09-2009, 08:00 PM   #1
Roadymi
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1982 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Central MI
Posts: 319
Changing axle u-joint

I have a bad u-joint on front axle of my 99 xj. How difficult of a repair is this? I've changed plenty of u-joints but never on an axle. My shop is all tied up with my CJ rebuild and I was quoted $135 parts and labor to fix it. Just trying to decide if it's worth my time and effort to make room and do it myself.

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Unread 10-09-2009, 08:12 PM   #2
Beefcake7777
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
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from what i know its pretty serious, and if you dont know how to put it on perfectly, down the road it could come apart and cause more trouble. my u joints are ****ed an im jus going to let a mech handle it
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Unread 10-09-2009, 08:46 PM   #3
tkdtim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefcake7777 View Post
from what i know its pretty serious, and if you dont know how to put it on perfectly, down the road it could come apart and cause more trouble. my u joints are ****ed an im jus going to let a mech handle it
I did both of mine a couple weeks ago. It was really easy.
Take off the tire, caliper, rotor
Take out 3 bolts holding the axle in (dana 30) and slide the axle out
Pull the C clips off the joing, put the U joint in the bench vice and hit the axle with a 3lb hammer and the top cap pops out. Rinse repeat.

Put the new u joing in place, start both caps on gently then press them together in the vice or with a C clamp. Put the clips in.

Hardest part imo was breaking loose the 3 bolts to get the axle out. I would bet it hadn't been out in 15 years since it rolled off the line.
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Unread 10-09-2009, 09:15 PM   #4
Roadymi
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so u don't have to get into differential at all.......don't sound too bad......my xj came from the south so it's pretty rust free........everything should come apart ok
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Unread 10-09-2009, 09:24 PM   #5
Beefcake7777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkdtim View Post
I did both of mine a couple weeks ago. It was really easy.
Take off the tire, caliper, rotor
Take out 3 bolts holding the axle in (dana 30) and slide the axle out
Pull the C clips off the joing, put the U joint in the bench vice and hit the axle with a 3lb hammer and the top cap pops out. Rinse repeat.

Put the new u joing in place, start both caps on gently then press them together in the vice or with a C clamp. Put the clips in.

Hardest part imo was breaking loose the 3 bolts to get the axle out. I would bet it hadn't been out in 15 years since it rolled off the line.
good thing someone who knew what they were talking about answered the thread. as easy as that sounds to u, i could probably get as far as taking off the tire without screwing something up.
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Unread 10-09-2009, 09:57 PM   #6
foggybottombob
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I've changed axle u-joints a couple of times and it's no more difficult than changing drive shaft u-joints. I have bent the ears on a stub shaft once using a ball joint press. I just use a hammer and two sockets to get u-joints apart now. That is what has worked for me.
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Unread 10-09-2009, 10:03 PM   #7
tkdtim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefcake7777 View Post
good thing someone who knew what they were talking about answered the thread. as easy as that sounds to u, i could probably get as far as taking off the tire without screwing something up.
Honestly, I'm not that mechanically inclined. I didn't even really know how to do it going in, I just took it apart and put it back together with the new parts. But, if you have problems with the tire, might want to get some help.
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Unread 10-09-2009, 10:11 PM   #8
Jeep89JV
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I'd attempt it yourself first, hopefully you have another vehicle in case you run into problems causing to become delayed. If DIY fails, maybe someone you know locally or a fellow jeeper would help on your dime or beer!

In my experience it's not as hard as they say, I don't think it was mentioned and I read you mentioning there isnt much or any rust on the rig though i'd still pick up some PB Blaster.

If these options don't sound that great go ahead and take it into the shop for the $135 quote though you'll feel better as well as learn more about your rig in the long run by doing it yourself.
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Unread 10-10-2009, 09:37 AM   #9
Carl48
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Look at the tech FAQs at the top of this forum...lots of step by step help. Also a search will give you tons of help on this.
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Unread 10-10-2009, 10:22 PM   #10
Zjeeplover
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I did it myself this summer. Not bad, but the axle nut is super snug. I went through a whole can of PB Blaster on the three bolts and axle nut. Here's a good write-up on it. http://www.stu-offroad.com/axle/ujoint1/u-joint-1.htm
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Unread 10-11-2009, 12:38 AM   #11
xjfan
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Completed the same install a couple months ago. The link provided is what I used, it was my first time. Next time, I'll be much faster. Click on the build link in my sig below to see more pictures. Page 17.

Good luck, go slow, take your time...
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Unread 10-11-2009, 09:19 AM   #12
BigBearXJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zjeeplover View Post
I did it myself this summer. Not bad, but the axle nut is super snug. I went through a whole can of PB Blaster on the three bolts and axle nut. Here's a good write-up on it. U-Joint Replacement - 1
There is no need to loosen the axle nut. Just pull the stub shaft and the unit bearing together.
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Unread 10-11-2009, 10:43 AM   #13
Zjeeplover
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I couldn't fit my whole unit bearing in my vice.
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Unread 10-13-2009, 04:48 PM   #14
Terrible2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefcake7777 View Post
from what i know its pretty serious, and if you dont know how to put it on perfectly, down the road it could come apart and cause more trouble. my u joints are ****ed an im jus going to let a mech handle it
whod you hear that from? everyones told me its easy, im about to find out soon. im changing mine out
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Unread 10-13-2009, 04:53 PM   #15
XJohnnyC
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First time, it may be a bit intimidating. Just like anything else. But after you've done a few, it's pretty easy. It's good to know how to do it, because you may need to change one out on the trail some day.
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