Q:

How do you replace universal joints?

A:

Quick Answer

Replacing universal joints requires removing the drive shaft, removing the C-clips or snap rings and pressing the joint and bearing out. The process also requires removing the bearing cup and installing the new clips and drive shaft.

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Full Answer

  1. Remove the drive shaft

    To replace the universal joint, the drive shaft must be removed. On some vehicles, the drive shaft is connected with axle type bolts that utilize an Allen or hex-type head. Removing the drive shaft requires removing the two bolts that connect the two halves of the universal joint.

  2. Remove the C-clips or snap rings

    The two types of clips that connect the universal joint are known as snap rings and C-clips. To remove the snap rings or C-clips, squeeze the ends of the rings or clips together using pliers or a removal tool. This process allows the clips or rings to come out easily.

  3. Press the joint and bearing out

    After removing the drive shaft, the next step requires removing the joint and bearings. This is accomplished by mounting the end and tapping the bearing enough to make the joint fall out.

  4. Remove the bearing cup

    After the joint is tapped out enough, remove the bearing cup. This component resembles a cup, and it is filled with grease.

  5. Install the new joint center

    Remove the old joint center, and install the new piece. Before reinstalling the center, lubricate every reachable component with grease. Next, reinstall the joint center and bearing cups, if applicable.

  6. Install the new clips

    After installing the center and bearing cups, reinstall the C-clips or snap rings.

  7. Start installation

    After reinstalling the snap rings or C-clips, reinstall the drive shaft with the new universal joint.

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