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Old 09-27-2009, 11:09 AM   #1
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Front Wheel U Joint problem

I have a 99 TJ with a 4.0 and 5 speed 140k on it. Progressively over the last couple of months I've started getting a slight clanking noise when turning mainly to the right. I got underneath the front and made sure everything was tight and lubed like it is supposed to be and it was. I can grab the wheel u joints on each side and move them slightly to the point where the do make a clanking noise. Not a lot of movement but enough to make a sound. I went to the used car lot on a Sunday and looked at a couple other Wranglers and tried to move the u joints on them and they moved as well. It has now gotten t to the point where it is making the sound more and also just in the last week if I am accelerating and change gears sort of aggressively like speeding up to merge or something it seems like it is clanging slightly. I've put the jeep in gear and grabbed the front and rear driveshafts and tried to twist and get 0 movement so I don't think those ujoints have a problem. If I put it into 4 wheel drive high the problem seems to go away on the accelerating. Am I on the right track thinking of replacing those front u joints or is there something else I should be looking at? BTW the sound is definitely coming from the front.

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Old 09-27-2009, 11:19 AM   #2
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Can you take a few pic's and post them of the joints?

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Old 09-27-2009, 11:38 AM   #3
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Here are some pics. The one with the red arrow is the right one. It has a bit of travel in the direction of the arrow. It seems like the right one has a bit more movement than the left one.
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:00 PM   #4
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They r bad change them both bout an hour worth of work and 20 dollars
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:14 PM   #5
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Hard to tell from the pic's if they are shot or not.. changing them out is not a bad idea. You will need a 12 point 13mm wrench for the 3 bolts that hold the unit hub on. These bolts can be a bitch to get out, so keep that in mind.. think pipe over wrench to give more help freeing them. As well as a 36mm deep socket if you want to take off the hub and remove it from the shaft. Also the whole unit itself is hard to brake away from the steering knuckle so use a long socket on the shaft yoke and then turn the steering wheel to help the whole thing push out.. Will make more sense when you get to work on it.

Also it appear that both pic's are showing lots of oil/grease around the area, any idea what that is causing that?
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Old 09-27-2009, 05:30 PM   #6
Knows a couple things...

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There should be no movement in that direction. A nice upgrade for the factory Spicer 297 u-joint is a Spicer 5-760x which is a more durable and stronger version. The 5-760x is a direct replacement.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:26 AM   #7
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I was going to change the wheel u joints this past weekend but ran into a snag. How do you remove the metal caps that seal in the u joints? I assumed they would just pop off with some prying and got a screwdriver and tried tapping them to see if I could lift them off but they didn't budge. What am I doing wrong? Also the U Joints I bought from Oreilly's seem quite a bit bigger than what is on there. I've checked with their website and verified the part # is correct. Do the new ones compress down to meet the rubber seal? If that is the case then they may be correct.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:54 AM   #8
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I also had movement there. But a new u-joint didn´t help because the hole for the u-joint in the axle shaft was worn out.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZZR_JOE View Post
I was going to change the wheel u joints this past weekend but ran into a snag. How do you remove the metal caps that seal in the u joints? I assumed they would just pop off with some prying and got a screwdriver and tried tapping them to see if I could lift them off but they didn't budge. What am I doing wrong? Also the U Joints I bought from Oreilly's seem quite a bit bigger than what is on there. I've checked with their website and verified the part # is correct. Do the new ones compress down to meet the rubber seal? If that is the case then they may be correct.

Here ya go....sounds like a c-clip is not off yet...

U-Joint Replacement - 1

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