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need drive shaft - u joint help ASAP PLEASE

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by elite1msmith, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    04 dodge ram 2500 4x4 quad cab, short bed, auto trans, 140k miles- hemi

    i had to install a new rear u joint.

    old one came out no problem (which was bad)

    installed the new one to the drive shaft, and i cant hardly flex the joint. i ran into this problem a few years ago, but cant remeber what i did about it

    what the problem is the u joint caps are too wide once installed. i was able to get the retaining clips into place but one side or the other looks like it bows out becasue its not sitting flat. to get it to work i had to hammer the caps towrds each other, and now the cap binds the joint and casues it to not flex properly

    should i grind and remove .01 to get this to work, or should i just take the joint back to the store, or is this very tight joint normal and will wear in correctly?
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  2. gd8boltman

    gd8boltman Senior Member
    Messages: 328

    Do what you need to do to secure the clips

    then place the exposed caps in a soft rag, put them across the vise and give the side with the clips installed a few whacks with a hammer, that typically loosens up the joint. Do both sides and you should be ok. A problem will arise and you will split the cap on the clip side if you have a roller wedged in between and will not allow the cap to seat fully on the joint. Several years ago we invested in an arbor press and that as helped greatly with u-joint installs.

    Good luck!
  3. sno commander

    sno commander PlowSite.com Addict
    from ct
    Messages: 1,063

    x2 most likely you have a needle wedged causing the joint not to seat. make sure the joint is centered on the yoke when you push the caps in. push all 4 in slowly al ittle bit at a time. i find a press or a c clamp works good to push th caps in. if the caps go in tight clean the yokes good with some sandpaper.
  4. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    X3 you have a needle bearing that fell between the cap and the cross.
  5. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    This is the reason I pay the extra $10 or so and have the driveline shop do it. ;)

    I know it doesn't help now, but something to consider next time.
  6. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    Try giving the yoke a few light whacks with a ball peen or other small hammer on all sides. As long as the joint is installed correctly (no misplaced needles), this should let the yokes springs to their natural postion.
  7. the_experience

    the_experience Member
    Messages: 75

    This. If a roller were misplaced there is no way you would get the clips on. Push it together and get the clips on all the caps and then whack it all over with a hammer. Smacking it where it flares out from the shaft diameter is where I have had the best luck.
  8. timberjack

    timberjack Member
    Messages: 96

    I agree too. In all the u joints i've replaced, vehicles, tractors, skidders, etc. When a needle bearing fell into the cup on assembly, i've never been able to seat the cup far enough to put the 2nd clip in.

    A few well tempered hits with a hammer in the right spots should seat them right, and loosen up the ujoint.
  9. stonewellmark

    stonewellmark Member
    Messages: 41

    I agree with JCBYRD24 and THE EXPERIENCE often when replacing joints the yolks get bent inward a little and need to be "adjusted" with a persuasion devise ie. the BFH.