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Unread 03-28-2015, 01:26 PM   #1
jonnyb1984
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U-Joint replacement problems

So I'm having trouble replacing one of my front axle u-joints. I can get the c-clips on 3 of them but I can't for the life of me get the last one even close to being able to put on. I have a ujoint press and already broke one ujoint trying to force it to fit. I didn't have the press when I took it apart and did the high tech anvil and hammer method to take it off. Is it possible that I bent one of the spokes when doing that? Maybe I got two u-joints that are slightly the wrong size? The one that was in there before was smaller but an auto body place did it when I took it in for inspection a few years ago and it hasn't really felt right since then so I assumed they used a crappy cheaper ujoint when they replaced it. Kind of at a loss other than thinking I should go replace the end piece. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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Unread 03-28-2015, 02:18 PM   #2
jonnyb1984
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I'm actually thinking it'll just be better in the long run to replace the axel and hub assembly since I seem to be having terrible trouble with it, unless it's possible to just bend the holes back into place.
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Unread 03-28-2015, 03:14 PM   #3
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I've had that problem several times. Once was because a needle fell over and wouldn't allow me to press the cap on enough. Once was because the U-joint seemed to be just the wrong size. When I had the problem with the wrong U-joint, I could take it out and reinstall it and it was always the last c-clip I tried to install that gave me problems. My buddy happened to have a spare so we tried that one and it went in with no problem. I took the one back, they exchanged it no problem.

I think it would be tough to bend one without having it crack.
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Unread 03-28-2015, 04:40 PM   #4
jonnyb1984
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I've had it happen with a needle falling over before too. That was frustrating haha. I usually get my parts from a different store, but stopped at a different one due to convenience. Sadly they're not open tomorrow and are already closed today so I'll stop there on monday and grab another u-joint and see if that one works. It's where I got the other one that worked on the other side. I just assumed every place had the same u-joints.
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Unread 03-28-2015, 05:22 PM   #5
Utope
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i had this problem not too long ago and broke 2 new u joints. on the third when it got tight i hit the yolk with a hammer and the cap popped into place. sounds like it's just getting bound up and needs a love tap.
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Unread 03-28-2015, 09:24 PM   #6
oakmckinley
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If the cap is going on slightly crooked you will have problems as well.

Here's the way I put them on, take a rounded file and GENTLY file the rough edges off the yoke, file the holes a little too. You can file the holes slightly but don't want the cap spinning around.
Place one cap in snugly with your hand, then pull the u joint into that cap to prevent the bearings from moving and while holding it together gently tap the first cap into the yoke with a hammer. Tap it past the point it needs to go. Tap it far enough so you can place the second cap on the other side in enough where the second cap bearings stay in place. Then hammer the second cap in. If you filed enough off you should only need a hammer, not a 3lb sledge hammer, which I've seen used.
I've had no problems using this method if you can follow my description. This way both caps are on far enough so none of the needles fall out of place.

Good luck!

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Unread 03-28-2015, 10:09 PM   #7
jeepn4life92
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And find your self an old trusty socket that is the exact size of the u joint cap, I have my disignated u joint socket that is just a hair smaller than a 1310/1330 cap and it works great for u joint changes.
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Unread 03-29-2015, 07:01 AM   #8
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyb1984 View Post
So I'm having trouble replacing one of my front axle u-joints. I can get the c-clips on 3 of them but I can't for the life of me get the last one even close to being able to put on. I have a ujoint press and already broke one ujoint trying to force it to fit. I didn't have the press when I took it apart and did the high tech anvil and hammer method to take it off. Is it possible that I bent one of the spokes when doing that? Maybe I got two u-joints that are slightly the wrong size? The one that was in there before was smaller but an auto body place did it when I took it in for inspection a few years ago and it hasn't really felt right since then so I assumed they used a crappy cheaper ujoint when they replaced it. Kind of at a loss other than thinking I should go replace the end piece. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.
If you like your u-joints and your axle yokes, you go back to the high tech hammer and anvil. Presses of any type are bad for u-joint swaps.
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Unread 03-29-2015, 08:21 AM   #9
gijeep02
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I find that a combination of lightly hand sanding the bores of the yokes with very fine grit sandpaper to clean them up of rust and dirt/grit and then using a press and lightly tapping around the yoke as I press the new ujoints in,usually results in an easy install.
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Unread 03-29-2015, 08:38 AM   #10
mrblaine
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Originally Posted by gijeep02 View Post
I find that a combination of lightly hand sanding the bores of the yokes with very fine grit sandpaper to clean them up of rust and dirt/grit and then using a press and lightly tapping around the yoke as I press the new ujoints in,usually results in an easy install.
If you are going to do anything to the yoke bores for the caps, use nothing more than a wire brush. The press fit interference tolerance should be maintained as much as possible and anything that removes material is not good.

Throw the press away.
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Unread 03-29-2015, 08:47 AM   #11
gijeep02
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Originally Posted by mrblaine
If you are going to do anything to the yoke bores for the caps, use nothing more than a wire brush. The press fit interference tolerance should be maintained as much as possible and anything that removes material is not good. Throw the press away.
I hardly think that the very fine grit sandpaper I use with minimal finger pressure and minimal passes takes off any more material than a wire brush...but if I had a small wire brush I would probably use that instead...its on the list of tools to buy lol. As for the press, if I'm not having to exert any significant pressures with it, what's the harm? It's just seems to be an easier more controlled install to me?
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Unread 03-29-2015, 09:07 AM   #12
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Well, I agree with the wire brush. I forgot to mention that. I have used a battery terminal tool to clean the inside of the yoke before. Now I have something I picked up from a plumber friend of mine. Not sure what it's called but I cut a small hoop of the back side of it and put it in a cordless drill. Having said that, I have seen a guy use fine grit sandpaper to do the same thing and never have a problem. Don't know if I'd recommend it, but I doubt you'd remove enough material, if you giving it a quick cleaning, to matter.

As far as the press vs hammer method. I prefer the hammer to getting the old u-joint out, but have never had a problem using a press to put the new one in. A friend uses his bench vise for both removal and install and to my knowledge, he's never had a problem.
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Unread 03-29-2015, 09:10 AM   #13
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gijeep02 View Post
As for the press, if I'm not having to exert any significant pressures with it, what's the harm? It's just seems to be an easier more controlled install to me?
This is a very commonly discussed topic amongst those of us who have installed hundreds of u-joints. We ALL have the same opinion of those who insist on ignoring very sound advice.

There is almost zero chance of bending yokes, damaging bores, or cocking a cap sideways in the bore which peels metal away when you use a hammer. The same can NOT be said when you use any type of a press.

Start doing some high strength axles and you'll be glad you know how to use the hammer method.

I put together a set of the new Revolution axle shafts yesterday and the only tools I used were a set of snap ring pliers and a small ball peen hammer. The install was flawless and took me less than 5 minutes per side.
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Unread 03-29-2015, 09:13 AM   #14
mrblaine
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Originally Posted by Trons View Post
Well, I agree with the wire brush. I forgot to mention that. I have used a battery terminal tool to clean the inside of the yoke before. Now I have something I picked up from a plumber friend of mine. Not sure what it's called but I cut a small hoop of the back side of it and put it in a cordless drill. Having said that, I have seen a guy use fine grit sandpaper to do the same thing and never have a problem. Don't know if I'd recommend it, but I doubt you'd remove enough material, if you giving it a quick cleaning, to matter.

As far as the press vs hammer method. I prefer the hammer to getting the old u-joint out, but have never had a problem using a press to put the new one in. A friend uses his bench vise for both removal and install and to my knowledge, he's never had a problem.
I've had at least 10 axle shafts sent to me over the years to fix due to folks hanging a cap up and keep trying to force it in with a press. I bend the yoke ear back with the shop press, put the u-joint in with the hammer and ship it back.

Ya'll are welcome to do it however you can afford. I don't like fixing stuff I don't have to.
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Unread 03-29-2015, 09:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
I've had at least 10 axle shafts sent to me over the years to fix due to folks hanging a cap up and keep trying to force it in with a press. I bend the yoke ear back with the shop press, put the u-joint in with the hammer and ship it back.

Ya'll are welcome to do it however you can afford. I don't like fixing stuff I don't have to.
I have a stash of Lead hammers that were going to get pitched when we tore down one of the Goodyear buildings,they are the cat's *** for a lot of things.
I also scooped up a couple of Brass hammers from a buddy at Timken.
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