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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im thinking my U joint is bad, because when I hit some bumps on the road I can feel some play in the steering wheel. But when I go down the road and stick my head out to see how they react when I hit the bumps they go straight. So how do I check to see if the U joint is bad? Please be really specific. Pictures would be nice. Thanks in advance.
 

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are you talking about your axle u joints? or your tre's? or possibly ball joints? easy way to see if the axle u joints are bad is to get under the jeep and locate the joint that you think is bad, grab a hold of it and see if it moves side to side or up and down, there should be no movement in the u joint. if that's not what youre looking at snap a picture of the problem area and upload it hope this helps
 

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Get your front axle up on jackstands, spin the tire forward, then backward while lying on your back or your side ( I know this means getting dirty but you may as well get used to it ) with your ear as close as possible to each u-joint ,, checking one side at a time,, if they are silent all is good,, if they make slight grinding noise or chirping noise, then it's time to replace them.. Visually check for any rust or corrosion around or coming from the bearing caps, if you see this it's time to replace them.... If you off road a lot and have upwards of 50k miles on a set,, it may be time to replace them.. Good luck ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. So I went under and played with it a little and it has no play with the yolk. Im going to have my tires balanced see if that helps.
 

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I know, just kidding/yankin' your chain lol. I didn't know jack about Jeeps either for the longest time, and you're getting an earlier start than I did. I was driving a '57 Chevy when I was 17 and barely knew how to change its spark plugs. :)
 

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Yes it's absolutely 100% normal for there to be a fair amount of rotation allowed on the driveshaft as you rotate it back & forth. That "slop" is actually caused by the backlash (slop) that is required between the ring & pinion gears inside the axle housing. There is never supposed to be any movement/slop in the u-joint itself however.
 

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Just had the front axle u-joints replaced on 03 TJ and I can't believe how much more solid the front end feels. It even seems to brake better.
About that yolk thing, I woulda blamed the auto spell.
Since the "Gandalf of Jeeps" (Jerry Bransford) is with us: do axle shafts need to be replaced when the u-joints are worn? Like, is the yoke going to wear out at the same time? If the front axle u-joints are due, are the drive shaft u-joints in the same condition?
 

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The axle shafts don't need replacing simply from when the u-joints are worn.

But when the u-joints physically break from pulling free of the ears on the axle shafts, that is a clear sign the ears have stretched from excessive force against them. That's a clear sign its time to replace the axle shafts. And if it's excessive force that is stretching the ears (what the u-joints are seated in), then it's time to go with hardened alloy axle shafts like from Superior Axle. :)
 
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