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How do I know if my u-joints are bad?

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Old 09-17-2010, 03:29 PM
Fubba Fubba is offline
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Default How do I know if my u-joints are bad?

I have a 96 with a 5.2l. Between 15 and 30 mph, there is a clicking and vibration coming from the front wheels on both sides. It doesn't stop or change when I apply the brakes, and it doesn't change when I turn the wheel. I put it on my lift two weeks ago and wiggled the tire up and down and left and right, but I didn't have any bearing or ball joint play. Is this noise coming from my u-joints or is it something else? Is there a way to check if they're bad? I should also note that when coming to a stop, when the weight of the vehicle is pushed toward the front of the truck, the clicking is louder and the vibration is worse. Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2010, 05:40 PM
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if it's a 4x4, I don't know that you can check the front u joints. Grease leaking from the cap near the seat or a small gap in the cap is usually a sign.

the driveline u joints in the driveshaft can be checked by elevating the wheels and putting the truck in neutral. Grab the driveshaft and rotate by hand and look for play in the U joint.
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aim4squirrels View Post
if it's a 4x4, I don't know that you can check the front u joints. Grease leaking from the cap near the seat or a small gap in the cap is usually a sign.

the driveline u joints in the driveshaft can be checked by elevating the wheels and putting the truck in neutral. Grab the driveshaft and rotate by hand and look for play in the U joint.
It is a 4x4. So what do you recommend me do? Should I change them anyway? What else could be making that noise?
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:15 PM
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Well, the reason I don't know if you can check them is that I have a 2wd and can't look under the truck to verify myself, LOL.

if you can see them, try to wiggle the body of the u joint. if it has play, they need replacing.
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:20 PM
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Check the sway bar links!!
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:24 PM
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Check the sway bar links!!
How so? Just by grabbing the sway bars and trying to move them?

I really appreciate the responses here guys. If I can get this front end squared away, it'll be great to drive again.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:55 PM
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Yep, visual inspection, and the 'shake' test. Should be able to get a few fingers on the front u-joints.
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Old 09-18-2010, 02:28 AM
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Thanks. I'll give it a try in the morning.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:01 AM
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front u-joint is pretty easy to check. since the tire side is stationary and the axle is free to spin, you can grab ahold of the axle half and twist back and forth. if it moves any and/or makes a click or clack sound, its bad. replace with Precision brand super strength 377 greasable from napa. $29/ea, but you'll be impressed with their bulk.
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:57 PM
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U-joints are really bad. REALLY bad. There's a lot of movement and noise when I shake them around. Now I just gotta find a 1-11/16" socket somewhere...none around here. Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:17 PM
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I do mine every year. I plow snow with mine so they need a disassemble and grease every spring. I'm almost positive you cannot get a greasable on for the front. I have looked all over and they always tell me no. I get the precision as well I don't know the number but they are called super tough. I have heard of other guys who plow and let them go, and when they bbreak they ruin driveshafts. Go to sears and get a 3/4 drive adapter and the 3/4 drive 1-11/16 socket. Fits nice.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:50 PM
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If you want greasable front axle u-joints you can get them I got spicer joints

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:56 PM
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Thats my problem! I've been just going to O'rileys, napa, advance and just asking not telling! You think I would have learned by now. I like the truck too! The biggest little red ram you'll ever see.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:04 PM
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The best part was it only cost me $65.00 parts and labor to have them put it I just took them the axles with the hubs on because I could not get the axle nuts loose they took the nuts off and put the joints in.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99ramman View Post
I'm almost positive you cannot get a greasable on for the front. I have looked all over and they always tell me no.
ask for this part number at napa. PUJ377
Precision brand Super Strength, Greasable...
http://www.napaonline.com/Search/Det...377_0275676154
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhvaughan View Post
ask for this part number at napa. PUJ377
Precision brand Super Strength, Greasable...
http://www.napaonline.com/Search/Det...377_0275676154

That is so freaking stupid! I've been there and that is the brand I use! Why haven't I ever got one?! Well I know what I'm getting this next spring. Thanks for setting me straight on this one.
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:25 PM
 
 
 
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