OK, I think it's time to support the frame by jack stands, pull the tires, springs and unbolt the sway bar and cycle the suspension.
I'm about at that point. It's uber-frustrating to have to do so when I'm dealing with a daily driver - there's always pressure to hurry up and get her back together - but I can't seem to make any progress with this, otherwise. Maybe when I start working on the compressor re-install I can do a full cycling - I also need to fine-tune my axle location, while I'm at it - and hopefully keep my down-time to a minimum.
On the topic of u-joints, I prefer Spicer greasable. I grease my drive shafts fairly often--after every wheeling trip and/or every ~3-4k miles.
I want the 212x greasables as well, but I couldn't seem to come up with any that were 1) in stock, and 2) economical to ship. So, I figured that the 793x joint will work for now, and I'll pick up a 212x when I have some extra funding. For now, I just pulled the driveshaft so that I could still get around town; that took all of five minutes and it was impossible to photograph until it was lying on the ground.
Pictured: Which is NOT where a driveshaft is supposed to be at any point in time.
I'm still just totally befuddled by how quickly that cap came off. I literally tapped
the yoke with a small hammer and the joint popped loose, and as soon as it was loose the cap just slid sideways and aimed itself straight for the floor. Thanks, gravity. I could understand this a bit easier if the cap had been pointing straight downwards, but it was facing horizontally to prevent exactly what ended up happening, anyway; I didn't even had time to grab the roll of tape I had sitting at hand, ready to wrap the joint and hold the caps in place. Now, I've started wondering whether or not there was something amiss with the joint itself...and although I'm not the world's leading expert on the internals of universal joints I can tell that there are a couple of slight differences between the contents of the two caps shown below.
These are pictured exactly as they were when they came off; the one on the left is the one that swan-dived itself floorwards and consequently spilled its bearings everywhere, and it's missing two things that the right-hand cap is displaying...namely, one needle bearing and a shim of some sort. Now, normally I would say that I'd simply misplaced these very tiny parts when they hit the ground, but in this case it's really not very possible; the cap hit my hand before it hit the ground - softer, slower impact - and as it did I actually watched
the bearings get gently ejected in the immediate area...and the immediate area just happened to be freshly-swept and exceptionally clean. When I got everything picked up and placed back in the cap and came up one bearing short and had found no shim I checked the joint body and the surrounding area to see if they'd stuck somewhere and never fallen to the floor; nothing to be found. So, something isn't right, here - all the more reason to replace the joint - and I kind of wonder if someone didn't have this thing apart at some point in time and accidentally lose some parts, or if it was assembled this way at the factory. There's no telling...but it's damned sure not
okay, now. I'm sort of glad this happened, in a sick way.