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Unread 05-16-2012, 01:55 PM   #1
TheRobster
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Mission, BC Canada
Posts: 403
Front U joint replacement. How hard?

I was told they needed replaced soon.
They have got to clicking, and it is starting to annoy me.

How hard is it to replace them the front axle U joints? I mean the steering ones, not the drive shaft.

Anyone got a write up?



I did search, but I couldn't find one.

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Unread 05-16-2012, 03:40 PM   #2
UboatCmdr
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1991 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Calgary, Alberta
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Removing them-
http://www.stu-offroad.com/axle/d30/axle-1.htm

Replacing the joint-
http://www.stu-offroad.com/axle/ujoint1/u-joint-1.htm

However while your in there I would just replace the shafts with 1 pice shafts.
You eliminate the problematic Vacuum Disconnect, and get larger 297X Ujoints which are ALOT stronger.
The shafts are essentially drop in, You need to remove the fork off the Vacuum actuator. And install a Napa #11800 Seal into the Passenger side of the pumpkin.

You can get the shafts from TJ's Or the newer body style XJ's.

They were about 60 bucks for both from Pick n Pull.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 03:46 PM   #3
BleepinJeep
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if u r a visual person like me:

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Unread 05-16-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
UboatCmdr
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But, Long story short.

Its very easy. Invest in either a small shop press, or a ujoint replacement kit(Essentially a big c clamp)
Especially if they are original joints it will make your life alot easier.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 04:37 PM   #5
fishnic
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I just did mine. I tried the method of inserting a socket behind the head of the bolt and it wouldnt pop the hub free. I ended up using a puller with a huge bar to crank it. when it let free it almost popped the entire axle half way out. They looked like original u's and i didnt have a vice or a ujoint tool. I took them to a buds house who had a vice and he hammered them out and pressed the new ones in. As long as you have a vice you can do it yourself. I am not the worse mechanic, but not the best.

I only broke 2 bolts on the actuator. if they are original which they most likely are, just replace them.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 08:37 PM   #6
TheRobster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishnic View Post
I only broke 2 bolts on the actuator. if they are original which they most likely are, just replace them.
What did you break?
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Unread 05-17-2012, 07:11 AM   #7
fishnic
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i broke the head of one of the 4 bolts taking the actuator off. once the actuator was off the stud threaded out easily with a channel locks. so i replaced that bolt. putting it back on i snapped 2 more bolt heads off with very little tightening torque. off the actuator had to go. got one of the studs out, but the second had nothing to grip so i have to drill it and remove it. didnt have the time or energy so its on with 3 bolts now. I would buy 4 new matching bolts if I had to do it all over.
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Unread 05-17-2012, 07:19 AM   #8
little_Jeep
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As others have said, pressing out the old joints and pressing in the new joints shouldn't be that big of an issue, but if you don't want to mess with this, you can always just pull the shafts and have a machine shop press in the new joints for you. I have heard of guys paying as little as $10.00 for a machine shop to press them in. The Harbor Freight ball joint press also works well on U-joints.
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Unread 05-17-2012, 09:48 PM   #9
deermjd
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Most parts stores have u-joint presses available for rent.
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Unread 09-28-2012, 09:59 PM   #10
jmsjokerhaha
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this can be done easily with just a c clamp and a hammer or just a vice and a hammer. the only thing most people dont have laying around is a 36mm socket for the rotor and hub. VERY IMPORTANT DO NOT BUY CHEAP CHINA MADE PART FOR EXAMPLE DURALAST. THE SPACING IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT AND THEY ARE A ***** I RECOMMEND BUYING PRECISION OR SOME OTHER U.S.A MADE JOINT
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Unread 09-29-2012, 07:44 AM   #11
94YJ4L
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Any advise if your axle u-joints are original? Looks like mine are. The end caps look fused to the axle and the C-clips are at such an angle that I can't even get a screwdriver, let alone one of them there retaining clip plier thingys, in there.
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Unread 09-29-2012, 07:58 AM   #12
PA_YJ19
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1994 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Just take it to a machine shop, they'll press them out of there for u for 10 bucs. The ones that came in my tj axle shafts were the same, nothing short of a nice big press was going to take them out.
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