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Unread 05-20-2009, 09:37 AM   #1
davenay67
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Newly installed U Joints seem stiff....

I am in the process of replacing all of the U joints in the front driveshaft. After installing the U joint at the front of the driveshaft, it seems stiff to move by hand. It's not notchy or anything like that, it just seems to take a bit of effort to move by hand.

Is this normal..?? Would it feel better if it were attached to the front axle and then moving the driveshaft..?? Is this expected when first installed, will it loosen up, or settle a bit when run for a few miles..??

The replacement job went (apparently) smoothly, quickly and relatively easily. I just want to make sure that everything appears fine and normal.

Cheers.

Dave.

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Unread 05-20-2009, 09:42 AM   #2
Noxian
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Sounds normal, they might need to break in, and for the grease to warm up abit before they move freely.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 09:47 AM   #3
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davenay67 View Post
I am in the process of replacing all of the U joints in the front driveshaft. After installing the U joint at the front of the driveshaft, it seems stiff to move by hand. It's not notchy or anything like that, it just seems to take a bit of effort to move by hand.

Is this normal..?? Would it feel better if it were attached to the front axle and then moving the driveshaft..?? Is this expected when first installed, will it loosen up, or settle a bit when run for a few miles..??

The replacement job went (apparently) smoothly, quickly and relatively easily. I just want to make sure that everything appears fine and normal.

Cheers.

Dave.
Did you set the caps back against the snap rings?
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Unread 05-20-2009, 09:56 AM   #4
davenay67
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Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
Did you set the caps back against the snap rings?
I did indeed do this. Is it possible to set the caps too far in to start with, and would they seat themselves over time if this were the case. Given the tight tolerances of the U joints, I can't see there being a lot of margin for error here..??

Not knowing how newly installed joints should feel, I am being cautious on the first timne around. The fact that all the joints feel the same is either a sign that things are fine, or I was able to screw up the job equally on all 3 U joints....!!

Dave.
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RC 2.5" lift,
31x10.5 tyres
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Unread 05-20-2009, 10:02 AM   #5
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davenay67 View Post
I did indeed do this. Is it possible to set the caps too far in to start with, and would they seat themselves over time if this were the case. Given the tight tolerances of the U joints, I can't see there being a lot of margin for error here..??

Not knowing how newly installed joints should feel, I am being cautious on the first timne around. The fact that all the joints feel the same is either a sign that things are fine, or I was able to screw up the job equally on all 3 U joints....!!

Dave.
There's not a lot of tolerance, nor can there be. If it's off even slightly, the shaft will not be spinning on centerline and will vibrate itself to death in short order.

So, from too tight and binding on the ends of the pins to just right is not discernible to the naked eye. Just tap below the yokes to set the caps back and if it moves freely, it's likely good to go.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 10:10 AM   #6
tavic
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Just to be safe, I'd take the U joints back off and double check that none of the needle bearings have gotten dislodged. If all looks good, you're good to go.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 10:12 AM   #7
mrblaine
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Originally Posted by tavic View Post
Just to be safe, I'd take the U joints back off and double check that none of the needle bearings have gotten dislodged. If all looks good, you're good to go.
No need. You can't get the snap rings in if one of the needles has fallen over.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 10:14 AM   #8
davenay67
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Thanks for the replies so far guys.

I am going to try gently tapping around the yokes tonight and see if this has any effect on the feel of the installed joints....

Dave.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 12:35 PM   #9
lupinsea
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One thing I do after installing a new u-joint (or re-installing a joint) is to take a steel mallet and give the yoke shoulders a couple swift, firm smacks. Tends to get everything set right with the u-joint caps and reduce any binding that might be there from pressing the joint caps in. So far this has worked beautifully for me and I believe it's actually mentioned in the FSM as an "official factory u-joint installation procedure".
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Unread 05-20-2009, 05:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lupinsea View Post
One thing I do after installing a new u-joint (or re-installing a joint) is to take a steel mallet and give the yoke shoulders a couple swift, firm smacks. Tends to get everything set right with the u-joint caps and reduce any binding that might be there from pressing the joint caps in. So far this has worked beautifully for me and I believe it's actually mentioned in the FSM as an "official factory u-joint installation procedure".
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Unread 05-21-2009, 08:07 AM   #11
davenay67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lupinsea View Post
One thing I do after installing a new u-joint (or re-installing a joint) is to take a steel mallet and give the yoke shoulders a couple swift, firm smacks. Tends to get everything set right with the u-joint caps and reduce any binding that might be there from pressing the joint caps in. So far this has worked beautifully for me and I believe it's actually mentioned in the FSM as an "official factory u-joint installation procedure".
I did exactly this on both the U joints installed so far. The one at the transfer case end (CV joint) freed up beautifully and is now as smooth as butter. The other one at the front differential end was still stiff though.

Given that I have the HF tool, joints are a real easy job to remove/install, so I took out the stiff U joint and re-installed it. No difference, still a little stiff after the second install also. It is perfectly fine until the very last push needed to actually get the snap ring located in the groove.

I now actually know it's a little on the stiff side. Not sure how big a deal this is at this point, and not sure how to proceed. I'm wondering if it's worth it trying a new U joint in there to see if that makes a difference..??

Dave.
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2.5L 4 banger, 5 speed AX-5,
NP231,
RC 2.5" lift,
31x10.5 tyres
Low Output 4 Cylinder Jeep Club #138
187,000 miles and counting....
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