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Left front axle U-Joint

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  #1  
Old 07-11-2009, 10:15 PM
programmertim programmertim is offline
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Default Left front axle U-Joint

1999 1500, 4x4, 5.2L.

This u-joint is completely shot. Loads of play, to the point that it looks to have busted the inside ends of the bearing caps. I have removed all four retaining clips and taken the entire assembly off of the truck. Per my chilton manual, I put it in a 6" vise with a socket larger (I'm positive it's plenty larger) than the bearing cap on one side and a socket smaller (again, positive it is plenty smaller) than the bearing cap on the other side. I bent the handle on my vise. Then, I decided to use a poor mans press. Put the same setup on top of the jack and tried to jack the truck up. I was jacking against the frame basically in the middle of the truck and got the rear tire off the ground and still the bearing caps didn't move.

Is this just a sign of a totally screwed shaft and I need to replace the whole thing, or am I missing something? I've replaced bearings and cv joints, but never a u-joint, so I have no experience with these issues.
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2009, 11:55 PM
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A jack? Forget that, just use a hammer. It will come right apart.
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  #3  
Old 07-12-2009, 12:39 AM
programmertim programmertim is offline
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Nope. The hammer doesn't do any good.

And by hammer, I mean sledge hammer. Nothing. When I say I bent the handle on the vice, I'm not saying it is a weak vice. I put a 3ft cheater pipe on the handle to get enough leverage. It had enough force to deform the end of the small socket. If I didn't know and hadn't gone back to count them and double check, I'd say I didn't remove a retaining clip, but that's not the case.

Last edited by programmertim; 07-12-2009 at 01:06 AM.. Reason: Expansion
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2009, 01:23 AM
topsites topsites is offline
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Gosh I don't know, it can't be that bad, or maybe it can...
They make a tool called a bearing puller but by the time you pay for that...
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:55 AM
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i had the breakage issue with my driveshaft a couple years ago. i broke a 9" c clamp and a big vise trying to get the u joints out. what did it for me was when i got ahold of an arbor press, if you know someone that has one of those then you will be set.

are you using any penetrating fluid or is it bone dry?
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:05 AM
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Tap the ears on the yokes with a hammer while you apply pressure to the cap.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:46 PM
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Tapping the ears didn't help, and I've got as much wd-40 on it as I can get without soaking it in a bucket of the stuff.

I'm having oreilly's get a price for the shaft and all on Monday. I think I'm just going to have to replace the whole thing. The other side is shot too, although nowhere near as bad. But I don't have room on that side of the truck to pull the shaft until I get the left side fixed so I can turn the truck around. (It's way too hot to be doing this out in the driveway.) I'm hoping I can just replace the u-joint on that side. Is that going to be a bad idea if I have a new shaft on the left?
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:02 PM
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I think you are doing something wrong sorry to say. But if you don't think so , well , whatever. This would be the first time I've heard of a joint being that stuck on any vehicle.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:39 PM
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I agree with Z, somehow the joint has to come off. No way would I go buy a new shaft... that would be ridiculous.

A simple way of doing it is to rent a ball joint press from Autozone (its free over there). I have used it before and it made short work of the cap removal.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:44 PM
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Also, while a vise usually works just fine, what really talks is shock load. Jacking up the truck with the socket/jack setup wont do diddly. Put that setup back in the vise, tighten it as tight as possible, and then smack the side of the vise with a big hammer... tighten some more, and repeat. It is bound to come off.

Good luck man, I know exactly how stubborn stuff like this can make a quick/easy job a real pain in the @ss.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:44 AM
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I just did this precedure. Go get the ball/ujoint press from Autozone or Advance auto parts. $165 from advance auto and you get your money back when you return. Simple.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:23 AM
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my advance and autozone don't have the ball/u joint press for a loaner and a previous employee at o'reilleys walked out with theirs. its messed up that mine don't have that tool because my sisters advance in knoxville has one.

i'm replacing my passenger u joint along with the driver axle seal and i'd like the press to make it easier but it looks like i'm going to have to use a hammer and a socket like i did on my driver u joint. unless i can get my dad to bring the arbor press home from work again.
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:14 PM
d_sinsley d_sinsley is offline
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I have done both sides of mine at different times. I bought the u joint took the axle and u joint to a auto repair shop and had them do it. First time it cost me a six pack of beer the second time $15 to the guy who did the work. It takes them no time to do it and neither shop owner bothered with it they just let their guy do it on the side. By the way it was different shops each time. Maybe we just have nice mechanics in North Idaho.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:51 AM
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well the only time i've ever taken my truck to a shop was when my tranny was about to blow up. i'd rather do all the work myself. and it doesn't take long with the hammer, the press would just make it faster and easier. and had you done it yourself then you could have drank that six pack while you were working on the truck. beer makes the tedious tasks a little less boring.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:41 PM
d_sinsley d_sinsley is offline
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I do almost all my own work but when it comes down to buying a new axle cause I cant get the u joint out i'll sacrifice the six pack of beer. I didnt take the truck in I took the axle in. the rest of it i did myself. I just dont think spending a couple hundred on a new axle is worth saying i did it all myself. now had i been able to get mine out with the a hammer that would have been fine but if im going to rent a press why not tkae it to someone that already has a press. Guess i like my money.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:00 PM
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the loaner tool program is free. you buy the tool, use it, then return it and get your money back.

and if you can't get it out with a hammer then it sounds like you need a bigger hammer.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:18 PM
d_sinsley d_sinsley is offline
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According to the original poster he said he tried a hammer, a sledge hammer, heat and a hammer, and the parts store did not have a press available. Now really I do understand what your saying about doing stuff yourself, really I do. I have worked on every vehicle I have owned. Im a do it yourself shade tree mechanic .... but there comes a point in time when its just alot simpler to let someone with the proper tools do it, when its cost effective. Now driving the truck to a mechanic and saying heres a blank check fix it is not what I was talking about. I have destroyed a few parts ( read a $200 front wheel bearing assembly) because I beat on it with a bigger hammer.

Now I dont mean to engage in an argument...Sheriff..... feel free to beat on your truck with a hammer. I am sure that my days of beating on my truck with a hammer are not gone. However I wasnt offering advice to you but rather to the desperate person that was about to spend alot of money cause your method of choice has yet produced the desired result. And my opinion is just that my opinion take it or leave it. Really makes no difference to me.

For the record my first thought would have been to beat on it with a hammer before taking it to a repair shop but that had already been tried so I offered an alternative idea.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:54 PM
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you sound a little grumpy today. i was kidding about the bigger hammer deal. and bearings are one thing i wouldn't be beating on with a hammer.

programmertim--wd40 doesn't penetrate very well, one thing you can try is a 50/50 mix of acetone and atf. i was reading a tractor restoration forum and those guys swear by it on 60+ year old tractors that have spent their lives out in the weather. if you do go that route make sure you have good ventilation and wear gloves and glasses, acetone is some pretty nasty stuff. make sure you mix it in a disposable glass container because it will eat through plastic.

your u joint sounds like the ones on my rear driveshaft, i had cracked caps on them and that really adds to the holding pressure inside the yoke. if you're about ready to give up then you can always do what d_sinsley said and take the axle to a shop and let them fight with it.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:20 PM
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lol you know what as a matter of fact i am kinda grumpy now that you mention it. i like the acetone and atf idea ill remember that one. I wish now i could remeber the name of the stuff my brother-in-law used at work it wasnt a true penetrating oil it was some sort of chemical anti seizing compound sort the consistency of grease. Not sure how it even was able to penetrate cause it was viscous but it did wonders just couldnt get it near anything like rubber seals unless you planed on replacing them.

Sheriff im always open for a good old pissin match and maybe today I will go home and crack a beer and grab my hammer. It past time to do my rear breaks.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:35 PM
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hehe, i had a U-Joint that was kinda stubborn (i bent the ear on my stub shaft trying to remove it, and bent it true) gotta love having a 20 ton bearing press, but it was in vain b/c a week later i ended up replacing that stub shaft, as dad and i had accidentley destroyed it the first time FML
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:35 PM
 
 
 
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1500, 1999, 4x4, 99, axle, change, dodge, front, front axle, joint, joints, ram, replacing, u-joint, universal joint

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