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Old 04-30-2011, 07:45 PM
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n8ishooiam n8ishooiam is offline
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Should I replace my own U-joints?

So I searched around this forum looking for similar posts but didn't notice any. As I've been replacing parts on my '68 F250 I kind of looked at the driveshaft knowing I needed to replace the U-joints. From what I can tell it looked like I just needed to take out some bolts, not to mention I asked my brother who replaced his on his '93 Blazer. He said should just be 4 bolts. Yes I realize the brand and year difference but some things are just that universal. So I crept underneathe and even looked in an original '68 shop manual that I bought. I'm not THAT familiar with names and working parts. The truck is not my DD so it sits as I rebuild it. So I can take a couple days on a part replacement. What I'm wondering is if it would be too involved for me to do it. I already went and got both U-joints. I have a WELL trusted MG specialized mechanic who also works on everything else, but he is a bit more expensive. I also have a front end and brakes guy who is about 20 miles away who is also family trusted. If this is something that would be worth my while not to delve into and learn then I'm all for that. But if this is something that I can do and learn from without toooo much hassle I'll go that route
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:20 PM
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U-Joint replacement is dead easy. If you have the shop manual it should at least show an exploded view of the parts and you can figure it out from there.
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:48 PM
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like Jeff said it is an easy job and one you should learn I have had to replace them on every truck I have ever driven its a common problem
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:51 AM
tmcalavy tmcalavy is offline
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Ditto...you can do it as long as you bod can take lying on the ground under the truck for a few minutes at a time. Some advice....before you start, go under there with a wire brush or two and clean up all the bolts on the U-joint clamps...then hit 'em with some penetrating oil (Kroil, PB Blaster) and let 'em soak...the longer the better. Then pick a good day, get out your wrenches and get 'er done.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:34 AM
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For the most part I agree. Pulling the driveshaft is one thing. You can do the joints with a vise, sockets and a hammer. A press would be real handy. The U-joints are pressed in on one end and doable, but you do take the risk of deforming the new ones getting them in.
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:12 PM
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That's all good. I have no problem laying under there for however long it takes. I just did the transmission filter. I don't mind learning as I go but my biggest fear is doing anything like what gfw1985 stated or any number of things that I may "ruin" like clips or the joints. Another thing is if I do get into and something goes wrong I don't know anyone who can come over and "show me the way". So now I'm thinking I may have one done and just watch and then do the other one for learning sake. Or maybe just have my guy look at them and "point and click". I guess we'll see. Thx for the advice
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:19 PM
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No laying under the truck for long. Once you pull the driveshaft you replace the joints or take it and have them pressed in for you.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:25 PM
Alamo Diesel Aggie Alamo Diesel Aggie is offline
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I highly recommend you take the old u-joints to the auto parts store when you go to buy. A few years back it took me three trips to get the right ones. Ford had a bad habit of mid-year changes on stuff like this resulting in lots of variations in parts.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:44 PM
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you have to always use chalk and mark the driveshaft before you remove it. if you dont have any, then u have to go to the store and get chalk. i have make the mistake before. your driveshaft will vibrate and be toast. and that also goes for if you beat the ujoints real hard and deform it. best thing to do is carefully remove it from the truck yourself, drive it down to a driveshaft shop, pay them the 60 bucks to press the old ones out, press the new ones in, and they will hand you back your driveshaft which you can slap back in the truck.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:50 PM
tmcalavy tmcalavy is offline
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Dave makes a couple of excellent points...especially chalking the driveshaft. Plus, if you ask real nice the driveshaft shop will install grease zerks and better U-joints so you can lube them as needed.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:56 PM
68ranger704 68ranger704 is offline
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why do you need to mark the drive shaft? i changed my universals a few years ago... i dont remember doing that but i may have. what is the danger of putting it back in a different position? thanks for any info
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68ranger704 View Post
why do you need to mark the drive shaft? i changed my universals a few years ago... i dont remember doing that but i may have. what is the danger of putting it back in a different position? thanks for any info
The driveshaft is a balanced rotating assembly. You aren't guaranteed to have problems if it's put in 180 degree out from where it was but there's no point in taking the chance when keeping it oriented correctly is so easy.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:17 PM
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nate, if you can't replace U-joints then you have to turn in your man card . . . along with your tools. It's slightly more difficult than picking your nose.

On being out 180 . . . that would have zero effect on balance. It would only matter if it was balanced (long ago) along with the yokes it is bolted to. I doubt the factory balances them in the truck. Not sure how they'd do that. It's like saying you always have to put your tires back on with the lug bolts in the same rim holes.

And you can press them out yourself if you have a vise. The first time I did U-joints on an ole Datsun pickup, I had nothing but some hand tools and a hammer, pounded them out on the curb, and didn't worry about being out 180. Turned out great.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:29 PM
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I agree with qman as long as you have a vise you can do them yourself. I have replaced them on many a truck and car and never marked the drive shaft either.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:28 PM
Mustangtoby2001 Mustangtoby2001 is offline
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I've done many u joints over the years, and wouldn't pay somone to do somthing so simple myself. A press makes it easier, but a vice and a hammer work fine. If yuo pull the slip yolk apart, make sure you line the u joint caps back up (this is why you mark it). If you don't slide the slip yolk apart, no worries. Definetly opt for the better u joints with grease zirks, and then grease them regularly.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:28 PM
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