U-Joints for 2001 Chevy Suburban--can I do it?


Old 10-31-06, 11:12 AM
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U-Joints for 2001 Chevy Suburban--can I do it?

I've replaced U-Joints on several different vehicles but after talking with a part seller, he was cautioning me about replacing the joints myself b/c the driveshaft is aluminum and the possibility of messing it up. Does anyone else have any experience replacing U-Joints on the large aluminum driveshaft for this model car? Is this a job that a do-it-yourselfer can do or should I leave it to the pros?

My extended warranty expired about 5000 miles ago and the dealer wanted me to empty my pockets. The water pump is leaking also but I figured I didn't want that headache. I was either going to take it to another shop (not dealership) or do the U-Joints myself.

My vehicle is a 2WD with a 5.3L V8.

Any advice? Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-31-06, 02:16 PM
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Gosh, these people will tell you anything to get extra money. You can do this yourself. They act like the al. shaft is like tin foil. It is strong. You would have to do some serious torqueing to damage it.
Old 10-31-06, 03:49 PM
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Not sure about the u-joints/alum drive shaft. But you do not want to know about the water pump!!!!!!!!! That is one expensive chunk of aluminum. 2000 Silverado 4.8. Thanks to the general.
Old 11-01-06, 12:38 PM
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I'm with "Hot"; pretty straight-forward stuff. Make sure the vehicle is situated so it won't roll and the wheels chocked. Wouldn't hurt to mark the postion of the shaft inrelation to the rear end and tranny, but I don't know that it's critical in that application. Once you have the shaft out you'll need to press out the joints with either a vice or you can knock them apart with a hammer and a coupl of large sockets. When assembling the new stuff be extra careful you don't dislodge the little needle bearings in the caps.
Old 11-02-06, 05:30 AM
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Thanks for the replies! Both you guys convinced me that I'll do this job myself. I've replaced U-Joints before but a Jeep Wrangler's drive shaft is a WHOLE lot shorter. The aluminum shaft comment from the parts guy scared me but I can be gentle.

I'll evaluate the water pump. The part is $85 from part's store (probably a rebuilt one) but the dealership wanted ~$250 with another $250 in labor. Who knows, I may just DO this one myself, too.
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