Can anyone tell me the best way to check Jeep drive shaft u-joints for wear? I have a 2001 Sahara, all stock except for 31" tires, 59,000 miles driven and 40,000 miles towed, that developed a front end vibration at around 58 MPH that I just noticed last summer while on vacation. Since it's our tow vehicle behind our motor home we don't drive it much around home the reason I didn't notice the vibration until then. In about 2,000 miles the front tires have been balance 3 times with the right front being the only one needing additional weights or weight moves each time. I have BFG AT tires with about 1/2 the tread left but the shop says before BFG with do any adjustments on the tire they will have to dismount and examine the tire, re-balance the front tires, do a complete front end examination, and remove the front drive shaft to examine the u-joints for any thing that could be causing the vibration. Duh, balancing the right front tire (the left front needed no adjustment at the 2 & 3 balancing) always stops the vibrations for several hundred miles before it starts up again so how can it be anything about the front end. The shop that balanced them the first 2 times said he suspected something wrong with the right front tire but not a BFG dealer.
Not sure I want a tire shop screwing around with the drive shaft and u-joints but thought I would at least give them a good checking myself. Can this be done without removing the drive shaft?
I've been running BFG AT since about 1995 and usually just need to have the tires balanced a couple times during the whole tread wear so this is the first time I've had any trouble with one.
Appreciate any information here.