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  #1  
Old 08-18-2009, 08:41 PM
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mngatewood mngatewood is offline
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Question Owner Friendly Driveshaft?

After spending a significant amount of money and time overhauling my driveline ($350 alone to replace all ujoints and balance the driveshaft), I finally got to take the 77 Cherk for a spin this weekend. Unfortunately, I pushed it too far and I busted a ujoint on the rear driveshaft...and the yoke...and the weld-on yoke on the driveshaft...and damaged the driveshaft as well. What I thought was a simple replace the ujoint and install a new yoke quickly turned into another $300 project.

I'm no expert on anything related to my Jeep...I just learn as I go. But my driveshaft is quickly becoming the most expensive part I own. The problem is that with my particular driveshaft (which I presume is stock) the ujoints are simply not serviceable without a heavy-duty pnuematic press. Is this a case of "that's life...deal with it"? Before I dump another $300 into the driveshaft, I wondered if there existed a friendlier driveshaft design.

In a perfect world, I would hit the trails with a couple spare ujoints. When necessary, the ujoint would break and the driveshaft would drop with no further damage to the yoke, driveshaft, or anything else. I would grab the appropriate tools to remove the old ujoint and install the new ujoint; hook up my driveshaft; and be on my way. Is this an unreasonable expectation? If such a dream is possible, does anyone have a recommendation?

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:08 PM
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Is it a double cardan shaft with two joints at one end and one at the other?

The ujoints aren't anything special for the stock rear shaft.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:31 PM
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Cecil14 Cecil14 is offline
 
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A ball joint press works amazingly well for doing u-joints. As Simon mentioned there's nothing special about a stock rear shaft, and the front is probably a double cardan shaft with two u-joints at the t-case end? I know those are a bit of a pain to change, but again totally doable. Someone else can give more specific instructions on doing that.


aa
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:33 PM
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Nope, definitely not a double-cardan on the rear driveshaft. The problem I have is not the u-joint, per se. It's the manner in which the u-joint is installed (sits in) the yoke. I'm a pretty stubborn SOB and I gave up after three days of trying to take them out using various methods. There's got to be a better design out there.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:38 PM
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Anthony and Simon,

Have either of you replaced a u-joint in the field without the benefit of heavy tools? If this is so doable, I may simply have to beg my driveshaft guy (Adam's Driveshaft) to show me how to do it. Thanks for your input.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:48 PM
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I have replaced mine with a couple sockets and a hammer. It's a MAJOR PIA to do it that way, but it IS doable.

This looks like a pretty decent write up for replacing them.

http://www.automedia.com/U-Joint_Rep...cr20050301uj/1

It's not that difficult if you rent a ball joint press from like autozone, or advance.

$300 to replace u-joints is insane. I didn't pay that much to have both shafts resized, balanced and new joints.


aa
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Last edited by Cecil14 : 08-18-2009 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Added link
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil14
I have replaced mine with a couple sockets and a hammer. It's a MAJOR PIA to do it that way, but it IS doable.

This looks like a pretty decent write up for replacing them.

http://www.automedia.com/U-Joint_Rep...cr20050301uj/1

It's not that difficult if you rent a ball joint press from like autozone, or advance.

$300 to replace u-joints is insane. I didn't pay that much to have both shafts resized, balanced and new joints.


aa

x2 what he said...

I didnt read the write up but i've changed a few u-joints in the last few months and once you figure out the right tools, should only take 15 min tops to remove and replace (that doesnt include removal of the shaft though)... A buddy and i replaced both u-joints in my front shaft the other day using a regular hammer, sockets and a 6in c-clamp... Oh ya and needle nose pliers for the snap ring.... I've done this same method alone but using a bench vice... It really does help having an extra set of hands, but can be done by yourself... I would say using the proper tools is a benefit as the risk of damaging the yoke is less, but if you're careful, you'll be fine.

I would have to say that doing this in the field should definetly be doable... If not, something isnt right in the shaft or joint itself...

hth and hope im not misleading any kind of info here.... im still a newb but think i have SOME knowledge..
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  #8  
Old 08-19-2009, 12:12 AM
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Just for clarification, I'm quoted $300 for a new yoke, new u-joint, new weld-on yoke (driveshaft end), and replacing the larger end of the driveshaft, which was also dinged or twisted in the process (and consequential labor, obviously). Given the information in this thread, I may seek a second opinion. I also believe that indeed, there is something wrong with the shaft. I even bought a special tool for removing u-joints which is basically an expensive 8" c-clamp with a receiver for the end of the u-joint. No matter how much pressure was applied, it simply wouldn't shift enough to clear the shaft. For $300, I'm very tempted to go with a newer, heavier driveshaft. As always, I appreciate the information.
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2009, 06:25 AM
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It very much sounds like the yoke is screwed up to me. If the ears get bent in at all it will put a lot more pressure on the joint caps. This could easily lead to early failure and will definitely make them difficult to replace.


aa
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2009, 06:26 AM
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Just call up tom woods here in Colorado (ads in every 4x4 magazine) tell him what you have, measurements, and drop coin on a bulletproof one that's warrantied.
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  #11  
Old 08-19-2009, 06:26 AM
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All U-joints are pressed in, you just didn't try hard enough to get yours out.

If you break a joint while under load, you WILL tear up the yokes, it's just a matter of physics, no way around it.
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2009, 08:49 AM
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seventynine seventynine is offline
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I never find driveshaft u-joints too hard to get out. Axle u-joints are always much more of a PIA.

I just did a few the other day that had been rusted in place for 20 years with two sockets and a no-bounce hammer. I have a press in the shop but I don't typically use it for ujoints.

They shouldn't be that hard to get out especially if they were recently installed.

I agree with Gambler....call Tom Woods: http://www.4xshaft.com

That rear shaft is a real simple one and I would think you could get it fairly cheap. They even offer a Trail Hazard plan for 20% of the price.

Dean
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