what does a bad u joint sound like? - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 7 Old 07-24-2008, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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what does a bad u joint sound like?

ok ive done just about everything on the 27 different cars ive had in 6 years but im in the dark on this one. what are the symptoms of a bad front u joint? when i bought my 97 2.5 5 speed tj the owner told me he replaced the left front u joint, but didnt do the right. he gave me the part, he said it would need it soon. well i got the jeep stuck and was romping on it trying to get it out. after that i hear a slight popping, clicking noise that has been getting progressively worse, and it is coming from the right front. now all of that would suggest u joint to me, but the only thing is that its not consistent, and doesnt happen under any specific circumstances, but i mainly only hear it at low speeds. is this my u joint? i looked under the jeep and didnt see any visible damage. how hard is it to replace the u joint? thanks for any help

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post #2 of 7 Old 07-24-2008, 07:56 PM
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that is definately a bad u joint. eventually it will sound like the jeep is about to fall apart and you'll get really bad vibes out of it when its about to completely go. to find out which one it is, put the jeep in neutral, and jack up one front tire, and one rear tire. then chock the two tires that are still on the ground and crawl under it. grab the driveshaft and rotate it, shake it back and forth and whatever way you can think. if its making noise already, you'll be able to tell which one pretty easy. to replace it, i recommend renting a ujoint removal tool from auto zone if you've never done it before. its fairly easy. search around for a good write up

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-24-2008, 09:21 PM
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Yeah it's likely the u-joint, but it could also be the unit bearing (hub). If you've got the part ready to go, go ahead and just replace it.

While you're in there give the hub a couple spins by hand and see if it sounds alright. Grab it and see if you can rock it up and down at all.. if you can, it needs to be replaced. It should feel nice and tight and should sound clean and greasy (quiet).


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post #4 of 7 Old 07-24-2008, 09:31 PM
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Yep they hit the nail on the head, loud scary popping noises....just like what mine is doing now lol. Tackling it in the next few days because I don't think it can wait. I'm surprised they didn't blow in a little 4wd and flexin' tonight.

The hub nut that holds the rotor and all on can be a big pain to get off. Most likely will require an impact wrench, thats what my dad and I used after bending a socket wrench using a pipe for leverage.

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post #5 of 7 Old 07-24-2008, 09:52 PM
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It's a very easy job just did mine a few weekends ago. X2 on impact. Air tools make it easy

tj 1998 4.0 Ax15 HP30 and D44 4.88s ARB
1995 XJ
/l ,[____]
l__L OlllllllOL
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-24-2008, 09:55 PM
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I recommend using the harbor frieght u-joint press. Also use this for reference.

tj 1998 4.0 Ax15 HP30 and D44 4.88s ARB
1995 XJ
/l ,[____]
l__L OlllllllOL
l----l l---l
()_) ()_)--)_)
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-24-2008, 11:00 PM
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And just to let you know, you don't have to take the hub off the axle stubshaft to change the ujoint...one less painful step...

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