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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just realized after just talking a look under the jeep that my u joint on the passenger side front wheel...how hard is that going to be to fix?? I can take a pic if you need it
 

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Abe Froman
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Not bad, you will need to pull the hub off and pull the axle. You will also need a 36mm socket if I remember correctly for the axle nut. Figure on 2 hours and you will be good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
doclouie said:
Not bad, you will need to pull the hub off and pull the axle. You will also need a 36mm socket if I remember correctly for the axle nut. Figure on 2 hours and you will be good.
Don't we need to press it in with a press???
 

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Don't we need to press it in with a press???
Nope, just use a long socket and hammer to get it into place. You also will need a 12pt 13mm wrench to get the 3 hub bolts off.
 

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I'd rather use a big bench vise and a couple sockets and squeeze em out. one time I used a hammer on one so hard I ruined the driveshaft, not good. It's a very doable job though. I had to do all my u joints right after I bought my TJ.
 

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X2 on what's been said. Also, make sure you don't over torque the bolts to the brake calipers as it's an easy mistake to make. IIRC, the torque specs on those are 11 lbs
 

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You may need a new inner and/or outer shaft if the ujoint is broke. Pics would help if you got em. The ears can get stretched or oblonged and the new ujoint wont fit correctly.

That 36mm bolt does not actually need to come off. Pull the wheel, then:


2 ea 1/2" bolts holding the caliper on. The caliper may beed a little pry to come off.
3 ea 13mm 12 point bolts behind the knuckle
You may need a hammer to knock the unitbearing/axle out of it's "seat". Do this by pounding (as best you can, its a little hard to get a direct hit) on the back side of the flange where the wheel studs are. The whole unit bearing and axle shaft will then slide out.


I like to change u-joints without a press/vice if possible. After popping the 4 ea clips out, find a strong table, or even the concrete ground works. Lay the axle shaft so that one ujoint cap is on a spacer (or a socket that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the cap). Then, grab a hammer and pound on the opposite side ear right next to the ujoint cap. USUALLY, a few good whacks will break the friction/rust and the joint will start to come out. This is a trick I learned from an old co-worker whom used to work at a driveshaft shop and had to change ujoints all day. :) Using a vice or press works just fine, but a little slower.

Reinstall opposite. If you are new to putting in new u-joints, be careful that a needle bearing doesn't fall to the bottom of the cap when installing. Youll know if you did by the cap coming about 1/16th of an inch to where it should seat, then bottoming out. But by this time the needle bearing may be already crushed in the bottom of the cap. When putting the new caps on, just be aware which way things will go with gravity. Also, installing the first cap a little too far will help hold the u-joint to where it will be harder for the needled bearings to fall out.


Good luck, it is really not that hard once you do it a time or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
XtrmTJ said:
FIRST ... Go read Stu Olson's report on changing out a U-Joint! Pics, Tips and a well written article! :D
Where can I find this??

And thanks for all the responses guys! I will be attempting this with my dad tomorrow! I'll upload a couple pics tonight! :)
 

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You may need a new inner and/or outer shaft if the ujoint is broke. Pics would help if you got em. The ears can get stretched or oblonged and the new ujoint wont fit correctly.
Do yourself a favor and check the ears out before you start the job. The stock shafts are fairly soft and the holes that the U-Joint fits into can get stretched out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Schmo said:
Do yourself a favor and check the ears out before you start the job. The stock shafts are fairly soft and the holes that the U-Joint fits into can get stretched out.
And if they are stretched out what do I need to do? :)
 

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You may need a new inner and/or outer shaft if the ujoint is broke. Pics would help if you got em. The ears can get stretched or oblonged and the new ujoint wont fit correctly.

That 36mm bolt does not actually need to come off. Pull the wheel, then:


2 ea 1/2" bolts holding the caliper on. The caliper may beed a little pry to come off.
3 ea 13mm 12 point bolts behind the knuckle
You may need a hammer to knock the unitbearing/axle out of it's "seat". Do this by pounding (as best you can, its a little hard to get a direct hit) on the back side of the flange where the wheel studs are. The whole unit bearing and axle shaft will then slide out.


I like to change u-joints without a press/vice if possible. After popping the 4 ea clips out, find a strong table, or even the concrete ground works. Lay the axle shaft so that one ujoint cap is on a spacer (or a socket that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the cap). Then, grab a hammer and pound on the opposite side ear right next to the ujoint cap. USUALLY, a few good whacks will break the friction/rust and the joint will start to come out. This is a trick I learned from an old co-worker whom used to work at a driveshaft shop and had to change ujoints all day. :) Using a vice or press works just fine, but a little slower.

Reinstall opposite. If you are new to putting in new u-joints, be careful that a needle bearing doesn't fall to the bottom of the cap when installing. Youll know if you did by the cap coming about 1/16th of an inch to where it should seat, then bottoming out. But by this time the needle bearing may be already crushed in the bottom of the cap. When putting the new caps on, just be aware which way things will go with gravity. Also, installing the first cap a little too far will help hold the u-joint to where it will be harder for the needled bearings to fall out.


Good luck, it is really not that hard once you do it a time or two.
X2 big time on checking the axle shaft ears for stretching or elongation that would allow the u-joint to pull itself free where it would then spin free and break. That is what happened to my passenger side axle shaft and u-joint while doing Sledgehammer in Johnson Valley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jerry Bransford said:
X2 big time on checking the axle shaft ears for stretching or elongation that would allow the u-joint to pull itself free where it would then spin free and break. That is what happened to my passenger side axle shaft and u-joint while doing Sledgehammer in Johnson Valley.
I am pretty sure that is what happened to mine =\
What do I have to do if they are elongated? Get new ones??
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
XtrmTJ said:
Google Stu Olson' s TJ Page :D Look around on there, you'll find it, loads of good info !
Oh I think I've Been there! Haha
 

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I am pretty sure that is what happened to mine =\
What do I have to do if they are elongated? Get new ones??


Yep, if it is the part of the u-joint that hooks up to the outer, then you'll need a new outer (or called stub) shaft. If its the part of the ujoint that presses into the inner, you'll need a new inner. Of course this is all assuming you'll need one, but in my experience, a broken u-joint takes out the shaft as well, especially if you have been driving on it.
 

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I am pretty sure that is what happened to mine =\
What do I have to do if they are elongated? Get new ones??
The only fix for that is to replace the inner and outer axle shaft. Since you are wheeling hard enough for that to happened, I would go with hardened alloy shafts from a company like Superior Axle. The ears will be hardened enough so this will no longer be a problem. I haven't had a broken front axle shaft or u-joint since doing that to my jeep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Jerry Bransford said:
The only fix for that is to replace the inner and outer axle shaft. Since you are wheeling hard enough for that to happened, I would go with hardened alloy shafts from a company like Superior Axle. The ears will be hardened enough so this will no longer be a problem. I haven't had a broken front axle shaft or u-joint since doing that to my jeep.
Oh awesome! Do you think a 4 wheel parts would have it?? Cuz I was gonna do it tomorrow with my dad
 

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I think they only carry Alloy USA shafts. If you're doing an upgrade use the 4340 chromoly over the 1541H (they make both and there isn't a huge difference in price).

As far as brands, Alloy USA, Superior, Nitro, Ten Factory, Yukon and I'm sure I'm leaving some out.
 

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Oh awesome! Do you think a 4 wheel parts would have it?? Cuz I was gonna do it tomorrow with my dad
Nope, they won't have anything even close to that quality in stock at a local store. Most of their stuff is stocked up in LA and has to be trucked down. They don't normally stock the good stuff anyway even up in their LA warehouse.

For the best deal on Superior Axle shafts, contact my buddy Gerald Lee who is one of the partners that owns Savvy Offroad in Orange County. They are one of Superior's key dealers so Gerald can give you a smoking deal. Email him at [email protected] and tell him I sent you. He is also very fast at getting stuff delivered if he doesn't have it in stock.
 
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