What Is the Best Method for Replacing and Installing a U-Joint?


Quick Answer

To replace a universal joint, remove the drive shaft as well as the clips holding the U-joint in place, mount the drive shaft in a vice, and tap the top of it to remove the bearing and U-joint. Install the new joint, and remount the drive shaft.

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Full Answer

The replacement of U-joints requires two basic mechanic's tools, a hammer and a spark plug socket. Some vehicles require the removal of the U-joint to remove the drive shaft, while others require removing the drive shaft altogether in order to gain access to the U-joint. You must remove any bolts securing the U-joint first, and you might have to take out two additional bolts on the other side. You can remove the drive shaft after taking out the bolts.

Removing the clips on the U-joint requires squeezing the ends of the clips together with a pair of pliers. If they are difficult to remove, soak the U-joint in penetrant to loosen the clips. Removing the bearing from the U-joint requires a hammer and a spark plug socket. Place the socket over the circular bearing, and tap it with the hammer until the bearing pops out. Then remove the bearing cup to remove the old U-joint.

Apply a thin coat of lubricant to the new parts and mounting areas before installing the new joint and reinstalling the drive shaft on the vehicle.

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