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Have to replace front 4WD U-Joints

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Old 09-24-2010, 09:13 AM
BigDaddy1515 BigDaddy1515 is offline
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Default Have to replace front 4WD U-Joints

HELP!! I want to know, is it a major project to replce the front 4WD Universal Joints on a 98 Dodge Ram 1500. My truck has been making "a loud clicking" noise from the front end, climbed underneath it and notice both front whell drive U-Joints are worn out, sloppy-loose. I have been warned, this job is extremely difficult, probably gonna cost me 800-1000 and not to do it. Have a Pro handle it. Problem is money is tight, I need my truck to plow this winter and It does not look that difficult. Any of you hardcore Dodge threads have any advise, should I DIY or have it done by a pro??
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:50 PM
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From what I remember(I haven't done this... yet), most people one here have done the U Joints themselves. Definitely get spicer if you do do it yourself. and if I remember right, they aren't THAT expensive for the parts.
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:55 AM
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its a pretty big job. you'll need jack stands, jack, very stout impact wrench, 1-11/16 socket, pull bar, 12pt 14mm. if you can get the axle nut off, and the bearing out of the knuckle, then you're home free. if you can't, then the job starts to suck quick. use the Precision brand 377 super strength greasable joints from napa. they're expensive at 29 ea.

here's the best articles. there's a lot of discussion on this site in the 2nd gen main forum.
http://www.pavementsucks.com/tech-article-5.html
http://www.pavementsucks.com/tech-article-3.html

when i first got my truck i looked at those pavement repair guides and thought to myself, oh crap what have i gotten myself into now. 4 years later i've ended up doing almost every one of them. once you get started, most aren't too bad, but you've got to have an impact wrench.
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Last edited by dhvaughan; 09-26-2010 at 09:01 AM..
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:04 AM
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A breaker bar, a good penetrating fluid and a little muscle are a suitable substitute for an impact wrench.

A prybar in the cooling vanes of the rotor resting against the caliper bracket will keep the rotor still so you can crack the hub nut.
Click the image to open in full size.

A home made scraper will get the crud out of the axle tube. I used a piece of scrap sheet metal and clipped it in the shape of half of the axle tube then smoothed it out with a grinder. Then I used a couple screws to secure it to the end of a scrap board.
Click the image to open in full size.

A junk socket or a dowel the same size as the u-joint caps along with a hammer is a good way to get the u-joints moving out of the yokes. If you mess up like I did and knock it too far out of the yoke (instead of halfway like you're supposed to) then an angle grinder and a dremel will make it easy to get the u-joint out.
Click the image to open in full size.

Hit the sealing surface on the end of the axle shafts with some 400-1000 grit sandpaper to make sure they're clean and smooth before re-installing them.

And don't forget the anti-seize when you put it all back together.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:04 AM
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