Met a guy yesterday who took my suzuki 750 motor that he bought from
me. He is a truck driver and an all around nice guy. I gave him a ride
from his semi to my house and back, and he told me that my U-Joint in
my 1999 Dodge RAM is going bad. He claims that he "heard it" when I
was accalerating or switching into reverse. I could not tell much, but
figure that he had no reason to lie to me.
My questions are 1) just what exactly should I look for to see if the
U joint is bad and 2) how hard is it to DIY replace it.
Assuming it's on the driveshaft, you'd look for any slop in the driveshaft
by trying to turn it back and forth while holding the rear pinion still with
a big pair of channel locks. Also, any apparent grease leaking out passed
the cup seals on a stock U-joint are a tell-tale sign of impending failure.
Actually, pretty easy. You remove the driveshaft (by unbolting the straps
at the rear differential yoke, and unbolt the center carrier bearing from
the frame [if you have an extended cab, longbed truck]), then pull the slip
joint out of the transmission (or transfer case, if you have a 4x4). Have
the rear end raised up on jackstands, or the vehicle parked facing downhill,
to prevent fluid loss out of the transmission/transfer case while the slip
yoke is out.
Remove the snap rings with a pair of pliers (squeeze them together and pull
them out), then with a ball joint/U-joint press borrowed/rented from your
local auto parts store, press the U-joint out (pick up a cheap service
manual, like a Haynes #30041, from the auto parts store for details and
pictures on this. You'll also use the press to press the new U-joint caps
in. Re-install the snap rings, and re-install the driveshaft.
Best to do both if you're going to do one - U-joints are cheap. Also, mark
the orientation of the slip yoke in relation to the driveshaft, and the
driveshaft in relation to the rear axle yoke, so everything goes back
together the same way. Go easy when re-installing the slip yoke into the
back of the (transmission/transfer-case) - you don't want to damage the oil
seal. Also wipe down the slip yoke thoroughly and apply a little trans
fluid or oil over the surface of the slip yoke, again to let is slide
through the seal nice an easy.
just did my ram 2500 4 wheel drive, when u put it in reverse you will hear
a clang, thats the joints, mine had 6 joints total parts on the joints was
$382.50, they were a bear to get out as the old ones where in there pretty
good, could'nt press them out had to beat them out, maybe yours will be
easier, also 4 wheel has a front shaft also. good luck.
With my ball-joint press and an impact wrench, I blew out the end of a
bearing cap by driving the cross through it (accidentally had the press
interfering with the movement of the cap). There's no way any rust is going
to stand up to that kind of pressure.
You just needed a better press :)
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.