U-joints....am i an idiot? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 02, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Plano, TX 75074
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Guys.....I am having the hardest time with my u-joints. Before putting inmy new rear end i thought i'd replace the u-joints...no big deal i thought. I first tried it the WRONG way just by tapping them in....couldnt get the retainer clip on. I took that u-joint back out (ruined it of course) and thought i'd use my neighbors vice this time. We did it all proper and no matter how much we crank, we cannot get the retainer clip into the groove. I have the correct u-joint for a 69 according to Auto Zone, and comparing with the old one, they are the same height and look identical. My old u-joints have USA with the number 429 on them...no reference that i can find for this.....
Am i just a ham-bone or is there a trick to these? Do i have the wrong u-joint? I am about to have it professionally done....this is really frustrating me!!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 02, 04:52 AM
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Drive the first cap in a little farther than it needs to be. Install the snap ring and then drive the other cap (and cross) all the way in, pushing the first one tight against the snap ring that you just installed (the center of the snap ring may stick out a little). You should then have enough room to install the second snap ring. Make sure the groove is clean. To loosen the joint up, tap around the yoke with a hammer where you just installed the caps. This link may also help. Good luck!
https://www.camaros.net/forum/Forum9/HTML/001511.html

Mark

[This message has been edited by mbrekke (edited 02-27-2002).]
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 02, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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is it possible i did not drive the first cap in far enough? It has the retainer clip in the first side of course, but shouldnt it press in from the other side? Should i take the retainer clip out of the first side and press it in more?
I didnt think these were that difficult....
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 02, 05:05 AM
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Damon,

Leave the first snap ring installed. Drive the second cap and cross assy. down against the first cap firmly which will seat it hard against the snap ring. This should give you enough space to install the second ring. Just be sure the cross moves freely before you install the shaft.

Just had an afterthought... How much space are you lacking to get the second ring in? You may have a single needle bearing laying in the bottom of one of the caps preventing you from pressing the cross in all the way.

Mark

[This message has been edited by mbrekke (edited 02-27-2002).]
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 02, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
 
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That is the position i left the U-joint in the yolk now....half is in with the retainer clip and I cannot press the joint over anymore than it is. I cannot get the retainer clip into the little groove...everything is clean. The u-joint is really stiff now, and it doesnt seem right to have to crank it THAT hard. We had a breaker bar on the vise to try to compress the u-joint in far enough to get the clip in, but no luck.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 02, 05:35 AM
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Damon,

If you're lacking any more than a 'hair' from getting that second ring in, you've got a needle bearing in the bottom of one of the caps. If you're only lacking a 'hair' you can tap the ring into the groove with a punch and then loosen up the cross by tapping around the caps with a hammer. A worst case scenario is that the yoke bent in the vise... not a good thing. I tend to prefer the hammer/socket method for installing u-joints, but you have to be careful.

Mark
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 02, 05:44 AM
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If you look at the seal on the cap and there is a gap you have a needle down.Smear grease inside the cap before assembly that will help hold the needles in place.It shouldn't take much force.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 02, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the replies.....will try once again.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 02, 07:12 AM
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Damon,

If you are using a vice --try tapping around the yoke opening WITH the pressure still on the u joint. What happens is when you put pressure on the yoke you actually press the two ends together. You need to tap lightly on the yoke to get them to spread apart. Am I making any sense here? after you get them in, take it out of the vice and tap around the yoke again --this should loosen everything up.

Good luck
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 02, 07:51 AM
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Are the U-joints correct? There are ones for TH400 and ones for all others..Also, some use inside clips and others outside clips..Just a thought..
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 02, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for the info.....
I got them in this weekend. I went to NAPA and got the exact same U-joints that came out. The are made in the USA and not China. I then went to a buddys house with a big vice....a little lith grease and walla those things go in great. The only thing i felt uncomfortable about was a snug retainer clip on the u-joints, but i think they will work fine. The driveshaft had 30 years of abuse on it from other people attempting to put in u-joints....If this doesnt work out i need to get a new one....for the most part i think it will last for several more years though. It helps having the right tool for the job.
Next step....installing the new 12 bolt.
Thanks all!!
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 02, 02:43 PM
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use a peice of wood or brass when your putting them in, so you dont cuase yourself to need another set.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 5th, 02, 07:32 AM
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When I took the driveshaft to have it balanced and new U-Joints installed, the guy at the shop really stressed that when I installed the shaft, I needed to tighten the four nuts (that go to the U shaped bolts) to only 15-20 lbs of torque. He said alot of u-joints go bad because guys crank these nuts down. Any thoughts? Has anyone else heard this?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 5th, 02, 09:09 AM
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Denver

That's true. If you really crank on the nuts you're forcing the needle bearings against the bearing surface. Kind of like over-torquing a wheel bearing.

Mark
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 5th, 02, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the info guys....i will keep in mind the torque of the nuts. Has anyone ever changed out those U-bolts for the Moroso girdles? They are aluminum...wider...say they are stronger....about $20 in Summit and Jegs. I was thinking of replacing the old ones, but they wanted $7 for shipping and handling....not good ona $20 item, and i really dont need anything else. I guess i will use the old u-bolts...they are still in good shape.


[This message has been edited by Damon Colson (edited 03-05-2002).]
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