U-Joints, '03 2500 CTD 4WD

I have a new sound coming from up front as I drive. It sounds like "clunk...clunk...clunk...clunk" when I drive real slow. When I drive a bit
faster, it sounds like (read this part a bit faster) "clunk...clunk...clunk...clunk". :o)
I haven't lifted the front end to shake anything and don't plan on it cause I don't have the tools to pull and press U-Joints and that is what I'm suspecting.
I'm looking for advise from you guys on what brand of U-Joint I should be asking for (if that is indeed the problem, what do you think?). OEM? Greasable? Spicers? Precision? I'm guessing if one is going bad, I may have them all replaced. Is this 'right' thinkin?
FMB
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. . ============FMB wrote:

I kinda got the slow sound........ I think i got the quicker sound...... and.....I'm leaning toward a speed related, rotational driven diagnosis.
But.... before I make my final diagnosis, think maybe you could git that sucker up to bout 85wpm so's I can be sure.
:)
any whoooo.......
I prefer Spicer. I always replace all joints on the affected shaft.
I've replaced several hundred and the above has worked out well for me.
~:~ Marsh ~sips his coffee~
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Pull the front driveshaft (need a 16mm socket/wrench for the four bolts on the transfer case side, and a T40 Torx for the axle side), and see if the noise goes away. If it does, you have your problem half-solved.
If not, put the front axle on jackstands (I know, I know... but you won't know for sure until you do this), and spin each wheel by hand. Then turn the steering all the way to one side, and spin each wheel again - forwards and backwards. If you feel any clunking, you've definately got a U-joint that's shot.
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I put it in neutral, crawled underneath, grabbed the front drive shaft and gave it a turn in both directions. I get a "clunk...clunk...clunk" coming from the LF U-Joint. To be more specific, when I turn the front drive shaft back and forth (one hand on the drive shaft and one on the LF U-joint), the LF axle yoke wiggles but the corresponding yoke on the wheel does not. No movement or noise from the RF.
I just went down to a trusted shop and they can't take it for over a week. I'm awaiting a call back from a 2nd shop. If nobody can repair this soon, just how tough a job is it to r/r a U-Joint on this?
FMB
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Two Spicer U-Joints, 2 hours per side (will charge 3:45 as it is already on the lift), 420 + Tax. Hmmmm.....
FMB
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FMB wrote:

You oughta ask em to not worry bout the warranty on the parts and labor.
Tell em they don't have to worry bout doing a clean job... you'll live with the grease on yer rotors.
Tell em you know they got tool payments..... but it'd be okay with you if they didn't use any.
Tell em they're only "grease monkeys" and shouldn't expect for their families to live as well as yers does.
Tell em you understand overhead..... but yer willing to let them do it outside under an oak tree so's they can save on the rent.
Tell em you don't appreciate them using you to pay their utility bills.
Tell em you think Workmans Comp is a load of crap...... and could they please knock that little extry off the ticket for you.
Tell em you understand the laws of supply and demand.... and if they want yer buisness, you demand they supply theirs for a little less.
Tell em yer fix'n to sell it....... (personally.....i never git tired of hear'n that one)
Tell em some smart-arse on the internet led you to believe that perhaps, maybe, possibly, there wuz a way to git the price down a bit by going to a dirtier, greasier, less professional, shifty act'n shop........but you'de rather they do it for you cuz they's pros......and you can tell.......but only if they meet that other dudes price. (This is the time to make up a price in yer head and jest chunk it at em) (...trust me....they'll fall for it everytime if they's pros)
Then...... Offer them cash "under the table" (cuz Uncle Sams pull'n the same con on you)
I'm, thinking that if you do all of the above...... Maybe you can git em down to about 50 bucks.
or........ you go get the U-joints...... give me a buz.....
and i'll do it in the ditch next to my house, on some cinder blocks. jest bring a bottle of wine over and we'll git'r done... NO CHARGE... (i'm fond of anything peach flavored....in gallon jugs)
WARRANTY.......sure......hehe.... no problem...... mmm....... where's the 50 bucks... i likes get'n paid up front.
respectfully submitted in code to support popular thought
~:~ MarshMonster ~hopes you ask me if i'm a tech...~ ~
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Who said anything about asking for a discount? That was the quote I received. I did not ask for any discount. If I decide to have the work done in a shop, I expect to pay the man. The "Hmmmm...." relates to my previous posting where I said "If nobody can repair this soon, just how tough a job is it to r/r a U-Joint on this?"
This is a decision I will make with the intelligent input I get from respected posters. The decision is based upon if I have the skill set and tools to do the job myself in a reasonable time without injuring myself or the truck.
I also decide when to spend my money and on what. There are lots of landscapers around here that would love to take on the job of mowing my lawn for $100/month. If choose to mow my own lawn with my own mower, I'm not taking food out of his mouth I'm keeping food for mine. If I decide to do the U-Joints myself, I'm not taking anything away from the shop.
Thanks for your Spicer input, but your "Discount" rant was uncalled for.
FMB
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FMB wrote:

==================FMB, My intent was not to suggest you were cosidering asking for a discount. I will admit I was off a bit as to the "hmmmmm". I took it as a request for opinions as to whether the quote was inline with what was to be expected as far as the cost of the job, and not as to whether it was a job worth attempting to do to save money. Either way, my take was that you were after info... and not a discount. So..if you took it thay way....understand it was not my intent to flame you, but rather the rantings of a lunatic taking advantage of an oportunity to vent the frustrations of his trade. Albeit, in a perhaps confusing display of the written word.
And.... you are perhaps correct. My rant is likely not called for. If my rantings are unwelcomed, that's ok, that's understood now, that's fine with me.
I jest like to rant. I like to rant alot. I live for the rant. I look for oportunities to rant. I think ranting is good therapy.
( i will stop ranting now)
I don't mind you cutting your own grass. I'm sure landscapers don't either.
I don't mind if you work on your truck. I don't believe any Tech should mind if you work on your truck.
I'm all for helping a DIY'r save money. I'm all for giving DIY'rs the info they need to save money.
However....... I take every chance i can get to rant about cheap customers defend my trade, express my wish's for my trade to be accepted as highly technical, and point out the fact that "most" folks will attempt to "work" the system if there's a way to do it.
~In Closing~ fix yer own truck. It's not hard...it requires a few special tools you're going to have to go spend about a hundred dollors or so on....but it's definately, definately, doable.
and again... you do not believe you to be a cheap, tightwad, want something for free, gonna git over........sort of guy.
yet.
~:~ MarshMonster ~believes you are innocent.....untill he proves you guilty~
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It's not a terribly hard job, but you do have to remove the hubs, pull the shafts, and press out the joints. If it were me, I'd do it myself - but I have the tools (hub puller, U-joint press, etc.) to make it fairly easy. I guess it depends on how attached you are to that extra $380 or so :)
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Had a U-Joint press years ago. I sold it because my giant Rigid vice works as good if not better. I put some nails in the rafter above the vice and use a rope to tie whatever to hold it in position. I use sockets and short bars to get U-joints apart. And my BFH sometimes helps.
Anyone here have a ball joint press? The ones that look like a super heavy duty "C" clamp. How do they work?
Al
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I tried the vise method... my 6" bench vise is just barely adequate to fit a big U-joint, and I couldn't generate nearly as much pressure as I can with my press.

That's actually what I use... I mount the frame in the vise, mount the piece into the press, and drive the forcing screw with an impact gun. To give you an idea of the amount of force that can be generated, I once didn't have the U-joint lined up properly in the press... the frame was just barely blocking the bearing cup from passing by. I didn't realize this until I had driven the cross THROUGH the bearing cup, shooting the back of the cup clear across the shop, with a report that sounded like a gunshot, and leaving a nice dent in the wall. Oops :)
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clamp and forcing screw without the ball joint tools part number (SPX 7248) also never need an impact gun to do U-joints. Also renting it to my friends paid for it's self in just over a year.
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Yep... I've got the Harbor Freight version of that one - paid $20 for it 4 years ago. It paid for itself the first time I used it :)
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Starting in 03 there is no front axle disconnect on those trucks and the front drive shaft and axles are aways turning even in 2wd (4wd only applies power to front shaft that is always turning anyway) Because of this, they can wear out a bit sooner and use a bit more fuel too. My first guess would be the drive shaft joints. The way I check them is to look at them first for signs of dried grease and grit coming past seals which is a tell tale sign of joint failure and if it looks okay then place your finger tightly between the yokes of joint and twist drive shaft back and forth a bit to check for play without having to remove it. If you can feel it, it is time to replace them. You can do the same with front axle joints too. Some neglete to keep front shaft properly lubed which can shorten its life since it is always spinning unlike some other model 4x4's and front drive shafts usually run at a bit steeper joint angles by design which adds to wear potenail over time when it is constantly turning. Ujoint are not constant velocity and when bent past about 3 degrees, the joint actually vary the speed across the joint twice per revolution (the steeper the angle the more the variance) and this cause more wear in time and can aggrevate the sloppiness in the joint when it wears and make it more prone to get noisy as the varing torque loads are carried across the joint as it flexs and cycles the speed variances across the joint.
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