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help with installing a "u" joint

eric-clark's Avatar
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11-18-04, 04:10 PM   #1  
help with installing a "u" joint

If any one can help i have no idea how to put in a new "u" joint in my driveshaft? Any suggestions?

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toyotaman11769's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2002
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11-18-04, 04:25 PM   #2  
Skill and experience are needed, very easy to mess up.

Buy the U joint at a real parts house that has a machine shop on premises.

They will install each joint for around $10, well worth it.

splashchris's Avatar
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11-18-04, 05:39 PM   #3  
Toyotaman's suggestion to have them professionally installed is your most cost-effective option, even though U-joints are not that difficult to install. They are easy to do if you know how, but very easy to mess up if you don't.

There are some situations where professional u-joint installation is strongly recommended; for example, if you have an aluminum driveshaft. If your driveshaft has a black sheith over it, most likely it is aluminum. In that case, special equipment is required to remove/install the u-joints to prevent damage. Also, aluminum driveshafts should always be re-balanced if removed from the vehicle.

1> Safety First! Before you remove the driveshaft and take it to a shop, make sure you're parked on level ground and block all 4 wheels. The only thing stopping the car from moving will be the emergency brake once the driveshaft is removed. When the driveshaft is in place, the parking pawl inside the transmission locks up the drivetrain.

2> Paint a mark on the rear differential and a matching mark on the driveshaft (to remind you how to allign it when reinstalling). Borrow some bright-colored nail polish from a significant other if you don't have paint. It's a great conversation ice-breaker at the driveshaft shop Do the same on the output shaft on your transmission and the yolk (front swivelling part attached to the driveshaft).

3> Wrap some electrical tape around the rear u-joint (to prevent the caps from falling off). This is also how you should get it back from the shop. You lose the caps, you lose the needle bearings. I can tell you from personal experience that it will ruin a perfectly good day.

4> It's worth the extra $$ to have the driveshaft balanced when it is out of the car. Check for some local driveshaft/power train shops in your area; they can all do this work for very little money.

5> Change both u-joints at the same time. No sense getting dirty twice

If you go with 2 u-joints and have the shaft balanced, expect to spend between $80 - $125. Good luck, and keep us posted.


slickshift's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 4,320

11-18-04, 08:47 PM   #4  
What type of vehicle?

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