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U-Joint Help!

 
  #1  
Old 04-20-2011, 08:31 PM
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U-Joint Help!

Hey everyone, I have a problem with the ujoints in the front drive axles of my 90 f-250. The old ones were rusty and had no lubrication or grease fitting so I decided to change it. Now Ive already had the front hubs apart before and the entire knuckle torn apart too. I hate ball joints but thats another post. So Ive torn down this far before. I rented the u-joint service kit to press in the bearing cups and set to work. Everything went pretty well save for the squeaks when i got it all back together. So thats the questions. Do ujoints have a "break in" period? I have tried hitting the union back and forth a little to press the cups out (external lock) and have greased the fitting well. Still squeaks a lot. I also replaced the entire steering linkage the same day before I did the ujoints. Drove it before I did anything else and there was nothing amiss. Do you guys have any points of wisdom? Id be most appreciative. thanks again
 
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:34 PM
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Do the squeeks happen turning/right/left-brakes on/off? Under power/coasting? New greased u-joints shouldn't have a bit of noise.
 
  #3  
Old 04-21-2011, 10:50 AM
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The squeaks come on whenever the joint is stressed. Adding power, turning are the most squeaky. I know they arent supposed to squeak. I think Im going to try to grind the bearing cups down on the outside. There is about a 32nd inch chamfer on the outside of the cups i can take off to make it flush and that will give the joint a little more room to breathe instead of being so tight in there.
 
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:57 AM
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Are the hubs locked and in 4wd when squeaking?
is the squeak slow or relatively quick?

in 2wd and hubs free, nothing should be turning. A quick chirp would point me more towards a driveshaft u-joint and a slower wheel joint. Dive under with a light, any driveline ujoint with lubrication failure will ususally show some rusting on one or more caps.

Its not likely but possible that one of the cap rollers fell down and got wedged under the cap but that usually give you a hard time putting the clips in

pressing the brakes while its squeeking, could that change it? could also be the dust shield scuffing the rotor.
 
  #5  
Old 04-21-2011, 03:48 PM
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You could try cleaning up the area where the clips fit in with a cutoff wheel or something,but if they have grease fitting load them up. U joints will loosen up a touch after a few miles but if you didnt have trouble getting the clips in,then i doubt a needle fell out
 
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:48 AM
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Yeah, if the clips were pretty easy to get in and not all deformed/twisted when you got them in you should be good. Another good test is an assembled joint should be pretty free to rotate, move it around before you install, it shouldn't bind at all. Sometimes a little tap to push the caps to the top of the bore is all that's needed.
 
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by markplusone View Post
The squeaks come on whenever the joint is stressed. Adding power, turning are the most squeaky. I know they arent supposed to squeak. I think Im going to try to grind the bearing cups down on the outside. There is about a 32nd inch chamfer on the outside of the cups i can take off to make it flush and that will give the joint a little more room to breathe instead of being so tight in there.
That shouldn't be necessary or something I'd do. The caps are usually a tight fit and don't need room to move, normally they is just enough room to get the clips in. The caps are not going to move, nor should they. I'd check the joints in the drive shaft and drive it a bit. New u-joints should not make noise. It might be a squeek from the brake pads or the dust sheld as mentioned.
 
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:40 PM
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Sounds like you had one of the needles fall into the bottom of the cap. Find which side is squeaking and tear it apart
 
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Diesel_Brad View Post
Sounds like you had one of the needles fall into the bottom of the cap. Find which side is squeaking and tear it apart
Indeed, my usual trick is to take all 4 caps off and fill them with heavy bearing grease before getting started so those pesky little rollers are really pinned in there. sure grease will spoo out all over on assembly but it helps prevent dropping a roller.
 
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:47 PM
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Ok heres an update. I have subsequently torn both axles back out and dis assembled and re assembled the ujoints to no avail. There is still something that is squeaking. The axles freely moved through their range of motion smoothly and without any stress or hangups. The reason I did this in the first place was I heard a joint clicking badly in 4wd and assumed it was the wheel joints. It is now my belief that the ujoints that I put in are fine and that it probably wasnt even those that were making the initial noise. They were dry but they were not loose. After tearing apart the front end for the third time in as many days, Im starting to believe the problem is with me and not the new joints. There are 3 more ujoints to go in the front drive train. I think its time to do them all and be done with it. Then refill the pumpkin too for good measure. I didnt see anywhere where the dust shield could be rubbing the rotor and the squeaks only happen when the hubs are locked in (more so when under load). I could check each joint individually but they all look like original equipment (1990 with no grease fitting) so just to eliminate the headache altogether, Im going to replace them, all together. Ill give you guys an update on how it goes but it wont be till wed. next week when I get some money put together. Thanks again for all your help. I love this truck and it is a labor of love but sometimes, I want a divorce. But, in the words of the Jake and Elwood Blues, its cheaper to keep her! Ford forever!
 
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:35 AM
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Does it squeak all the time, or only while in 4x4?

If it does it in 4x4, are you on concret or dirt?

Do they squeak repeatedly? If so, does it squeak in relation to tire speed?

Is the truck a manual trans or auto? What engine? Oversized tires?

If you can give us some info and a good description of exactly whats happening, how and when, we might be able to save you some trouble and money and keep you from replacing random parts.
 
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:20 AM
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Thanks for the update, yeah, likely front driveshaft, get a light under there and find the one with the rust on it. You will find that say at walking speed, a wheel rotates once per second and the driveshaft is 4x per second. One helpful way to tell which joint it is.
 
  #13  
Old 04-23-2011, 07:47 AM
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Like I said in earlier posts, the squeaks only come in when the truck is in 4wd (every once in a while when no load is on, all the time when there is a load ,i.e. accelerating, turning.) with the hubs locked in. The squeaks are in time with wheel/axle speed so I know its the front drivetrain. I am driving on asphalt but I expect the truck to jump and shimmy while turning on it. The tires are stock size. Had some bigger tires on it when I bought it but I didnt like them so I took it back to original. All the ujoints are rusted on the caps so either they are all bad or I wont be able to use that as an indicator.
 
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:07 AM
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That leaves one more joint, up by the diff on the passenger side axle stub. Often neglected.

When I think of rust its not the blackened usual rust but when rusty and moving gets a little water, it'll form this bright orange red rust that weeps from the joint. A failed ujoint bearing that's around any kind of water will show one cap that looks different, the rubber gasket will be spattered with red rust, it'll make the rusty caps look different from the others.
 
 
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