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U Joints

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by thelawnguy, Jan 21, 2002.

  1. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Easiest way to ID a bad U joint w/o dropping the shafts? I have a noisy one (hear it chirping in Reverse) but no clunks nor play when I try to shake the shaft on the truck.

    If I need to pull em both say the word. Otherwise, any other hints?
  2. TurfPlus

    TurfPlus Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    If you are hearing a clunk when shifting from forward to reverse it sounds like a u-jount. I generally look for play. Hold the yoke and twist the shaft back and forth. If there is any play, replace the u-joint. Remember to check the center support bearing if its a two piece drive shaft.
  3. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Id drop the driveshaft,so you can feel them,other than that your just guessing.
  4. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    I had to do both U-joints on my rear driveshaft. It was only 4 nuts to take off and the driveshaft came right out. After we replaced them, the shimy was gone. Not sure how hard your driveshaft is to take out but better do, then not and the U-joints start falling apart.

  5. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom Member
    Messages: 82

    If you got to drop the shaft to replace a bad joint you may as well do them all. It's cheap insurance and if one is bad the others usually arn't far behind.
  6. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Well in the course of plowing today I narrowed it down to the rear driveshaft, so stopped into an ACME along my route and picked up two. I'll change em tomorrow as temps are supposed to reach the mid-40s, and the truck is high enough so I can fit under it without jacking it up.
  7. jackfrost

    jackfrost Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    lawnguy,Im sure you know this but remember to block the wheels,my friend from high school(close friend)took out the drive shaft on his 92 F150 2WD and the wheels werent blocked and the truck rolled over him,by what the paremedics said he was probably killed instantly.He was gone before they got there.I think 4WD would stop this from happening but Im not sure.Because you would leave one drive shaft going to the front and that would stop the truck from rolling.Just a my 2 cents and what I experienced,hate to see you get hurt.

    Chris Whertman
  8. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Can nothing go right???

    I removed the shaft, the rear joint literally disintegrated as I took the last cap screw out. Now I notice the parts store gave me the wrong joints, and to boot the ones there are so rusted up Im going to go get the correct ones then drop the whole thing off down at the corner transmission shop and let them do it, then I'll put it back under tomorrow...actually the shaft is too big to fit in my vise to press em out anyways...
  9. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Actualy Bill,everything went right,it broke when you were taking it apart.Not good would be getting "deshafted" in a snow storm when your truck spits the driveshaft out the back of the truck,but not before it broke the transfer case,and destoyed itself,and possibly the fuel tank, beating around before falling out.Ive seen these too,they get towed in and 2000 bucks later everything is fine.Then they tell you they have been hearing a noise for the last month.
  10. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Got it all back together, trans shop charged me $20 cash to press out the old ones and put in the new.

    I brought back the wrong size joints, the listing showed them correct for my truck, the parts guy dug around and we matched up ones that fit, checked the book the listing says for a 3500 Cummins? and I have a 2500 360. Screwup in the book or does my truck have an unusually large yoke?
  11. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    I had the same thing happen to me when i was replacing my rear driveshaft U-joints. Even though it was the correct listing in their book, the boots didn't match up, they didn't fit. I ended up have to take the whole rear driveshaft in the station car to the parts store to match up the U-joints. The parts manager said the correct U-joints were for a 150.

  12. yorkpaddy

    yorkpaddy Member
    Messages: 32

    what does a set of U-joints cost. I have seen offroad trucks with a hoop around the driveshaft to keep it from swinging around when a U-joint breaks, sounds like cheap insurance to me.
  13. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622

    Driveshaft loops are required on race cars for the same reason.

  14. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    The 3 1/2 inch joints on my truck cost $27 each at ACME. Plus $20 for the shop to press out the old and install the new-I r&r the shaft myself from the truck.
  15. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    As a general rule, any time you hear noise from your u-joints, squeak, chirp, clunk or otherwise, it means the u-joint's shot. The grease has dried and you are getting metal to metal contact. Better to replace in good weather than in the middle of a snow storm.
  16. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    Some time has gone by since the frist post, I bet it was the front driveshaft double U-joint, there's a centre pivot gizmo on the drive shaft where the two joints are. Some oil spreaded there sometimes will make it go away, if it's too worn, new driveshaft!
    Take a chair to the dealers so you can sit down when he tells you the price!

  17. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    It was the rear joint on the rear shaft. I replaced em both while I had the shaft out.

    I agree, if its the front knuckle joint save a few bucks and bring your own K-Y jelly to the dealer with you lol.
  18. MGardner

    MGardner Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Front knuckle joints completely replaced @ local Dodge dealer $165.00. Now I thought that was a good thing. Jackfrost, never eould have thought of a truck coasting when you knock that joint off the back, what a damned tragedy. Knew a guy crawled under a single row cornpicker to grease it and he went to pull himself back out and the thing tipped on it`s stand over center of gravity and crushed him. He`d probrably gresed that thing 100 times before.