How to Install your U Joint Hardware
The universal joint or U joint is an important but often neglected component of your vehicle. It allows the rod to bend and move in any direction, and it is usually used in shafts that transmit rotary motion. Due to its steel or aluminum material, it is prone to wear and tear especially if your vehicle is already old. Rust and corrosion are the usual culprits of a worn-out U joint. Good thing, you can readily replace your U joint hardware within the comforts of your home. You may also consider taking your vehicle to your trusted mechanic to have this part replaced. It is important to note that once you removed your old U joint hardware, you cannot reuse it as it has previously been torqued, causing it to be distorted. This is to ensure that your U joint is always in good condition.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Brass hammer
- Wrench set
- Replacement U joint hardware
Step 1: Before installing a new U joint hardware, it is important that you carefully inspect the new joint first by removing all of its bearing caps. Check the rollers and cap seals for signs of damage or dirt. This is to ensure that you will only install a U joint in good condition.
Step 2: Make sure that the grease zerk is also in its right condition and location. If the grease zerk is mounted on one side, either towards the front or back of the U joint, that side should be installed towards the driveshaft tube. This ensures that the zerk can be accessed by a grease gun after installation.
Step 3: Make sure that the joints are fully lubricated once you have installed them. The new U joints are packaged with just enough lubricant to hold the rollers in place and to stave off rusting.
Step 4: Check if the caps and bearings are on the trunnion before forcing the cap into the yoke ears. Otherwise, it would cause the rollers to fall between the cap and the trunnion. A dropped roller can cause your new U joint to succumb to premature wear and tear.
Step 5: Position the trunnion through the yoke, and install the cap on the trunnion. Next, force the cap and trunnion back into the yoke ear.
Step 6: Remove the U joint and install the new one. Make sure to use steady controlled pressure only. Use only proper pulling and pushing tools.
Step 7: Use a dead blow or brass hammer to help seal the bearing caps. Make sure to avoid damaging the shaft, yokes, and the U joint itself.
Installing a new U joint may take you an hour or two, depending on your familiarity with your vehicle's components. It is important that you follow the instructions carefully to ensure that it will be installed properly. Remember to dispose your used U joint and not recycle it in another vehicle. It is probably worn out and damaged, which can only cause your vehicle more harm than good.