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front axle u joints

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by baddboygeorge, Dec 13, 2002.

  1. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge Senior Member
    Messages: 237

    i need to install some new ones on a ford 1990 model 4x4 how hard are they to install
  2. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    Take your time and do it and an hour each side.

    Tools need, sockets, allen wrenches snap ring pliers and a buch of paper towel.

    Do you have a press, it helps but is not needed. Just use a bfh.

    Get a chiltons manual for your year and you will be all set.

    Buy quality u-joints preferably us made Dana corporation.

    If you need to do your brakes now is the time as you will have them apart too.

  3. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    To do the job properly, you'll need a special socket to remove the spindle nuts. It's available at most auto perts stores, but may need to be special ordered. It will cost $20 - $25, and makes the job easier.

    You can get by without the socket using a flat punch, but this will misshape the nuts.

    While you're at it, grease your wheel bearings too. When placing the u-joints in place, be sure to point the grease fittings towards the center pumpkin.
  4. Bucky Badger

    Bucky Badger Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    Go to Autozone for a spindle nut socket...you can buy or rent them--price is the same, but you can take it back and get a refund after you use it. I also recommend having a torch, chisel, and a BFH when it comes to taking the spindles off. Once those 8 nuts are off that bolt it to the axle housing, it is a royal PITA to get the spindle off. Generally they are rusted tight with the rock shield that covers the inside of your rotor. Unless your extremely lucky....I'd soak it down with some kind of penetrating oil and let it sit overnight...that may help. I ended up trashing my shields when I pulled mine off a year or so ago...Tried to get replacements from Ford with no luck. Once it's apart, it gets fairly easy...I ended up heating mine till it was nice and hot and working a couple chisel in between to get the spindles to come off...

    Good luck
  5. ljbev

    ljbev Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    Putting a long pipe over the end being careful not to damage the threads rock up and down then side to side, also works well along with the heat.
  6. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Before you start,check your ball joints,pads and rotors,and wheel bearings before you do anything.Because all these must come off to do the job,get them ahead of time so you won't be having to do it again anytime soon.If doing the ball joints,borrow the press kit from the parts house.

    Get the joints with the grease fitting on the end cap,much easier to grease.Not sure what year,or model you have,but take all the info,including FAWR when you order parts,as they need to know.It will be needed to determine what wheel bearing nut socket you need as well.

    I would also recommend getting the little inner hub bearing for the axle shaft,and the seal to go with it.As they are usually really trashed.A 4X4 shop will probably have these cheaper than Ford.Good salt water proof grease is needed for these too.The splash shields will probably need doing as well,so get a set from Ford,they are cheap,and available.

    As mentioned above the spindles can be a real bear to get out of the knuckles.If you have access to one,get an air hammer\chisel with a flat chisel tip,work it in between the two,alternating sides until it comes off.It may damage it slightly,but you can just file or grind down any burrs on the spindle before replacing them.When the spindle comes off,note how the plastic washer and inner bearing seal are orientated,they have to go back the same way.Sometimes the washer will be stuck on the shaft,so don't forget it.

    Be real carefull you don't damage the drivers side axle seal when you pull the shaft,as it is a pain to have to do if it's damaged.The pass side inner axle and joint do not come out without removing the diff assy from the axle beam.To get the outer shaft out,cut the clamps off the slip yoke boot,slide the boot back,and with some heat and WD 40 it should separate there.

    I've done hundreds of these (8 Years at Ford),so if you need any more info,drop me a line,and I'll give you my cell number.
  7. Mr_Roboto

    Mr_Roboto Member
    Messages: 63

    Depends on if it's a 1/2T or 3/4T truck. The 3/4T trucks with Dana 50 (HD front axle), the axle housing has to come apart to take the right axle shaft out. (It did on my '88 anyways). Dana 44 (used in 1/2T and some 3/4T) axles have a retaining flange with three bolts that holds the right axle shaft in. Those come apart without axle disassembly. Post the model, and front axle weight rating, and maybe we can tell you better.
  8. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Have never seen the retaining flange you speak of on a D44.Just did an F250 with a 44 in the front yesterday,and we had to drop the diff to get the inner shaft out,as the slip yoke was siezed together.Wish it was easier.What model years would have this flange ?
  9. Earthscapes

    Earthscapes Senior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 577

    I always torched the middle u-joint out..it seems to be the fastest way to get it out.
    Also if you have a dent puller or access to one they make a threaded socket looking tool that threads onto the spindle and the dent puller. 3 or 4 pulls and the spindle falls right off.
  10. ljbev

    ljbev Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    Yes I torched that one last time too. The inner drive shaft is attached inside ham with a c ring I believe torch is much faster than taking whole front axle apart!!!!!!!!!!:realmad:

    SIPLOWGUY Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    Plan ahead. I planned on doing ball joints on my Bronco II labor day weekend. I wound up laying up the truck because I needed much more than ball joints. Rebuilt the complete front end only to have some jerk rear end me that February and total the truck. I plan a complete front end job on the F150 this summer. I hope it doesn't get blasted!
  12. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge Senior Member
    Messages: 237

    thanks guys for the feedback

    i will rebuild the whole front end one side at a time i have already got the parts as soon as i get a break its coming apart . first i want to buy a torch setup an a few other tools . thanks alot for all the help thanks
  13. Mr_Roboto

    Mr_Roboto Member
    Messages: 63

    It was an '82 (D44)I used to have, there was a three bolt retainer over a Timken sealed bearing, you took that off and the axle slid right out of the center. The Dana 50 uses a snap ring inside the diff for the right axle shaft (in my experience).

    I have a SuperDuty with the solid front axle, so no more funkiness with the TTB!