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Changing a u-joint is a pain!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by txbartman, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    I had no idea how much trouble it was to simply change a freakin' u-joint! I had mt driveshaft out this weekend and thought I would change my u-joints. You know, preventative maintenance. Afterall, they are the original factory joints and do have over 239,000 miles on them!

    Anyway, first I tried a c-clamp to press them out. But that wasn't big enough. Then I tried a BIGGER one (10" clamp). That one was big enough the clear the sockets I was using on both ends, but my drive shaft has "ears" or small tabs on it. So, the big socket I was using to press into, wouldn't sit flat. As it would tilt, the damn clamp would just walk it self right out.

    The answer? Well, I put the 1 1/4" socket on the floor of the garage. Laid the drive shaft on it center the u-joint cap so it could just pop into the socket when it came out. Put a 3/4" socket on the top cap. And beat the hell out of it with a 3lb sledge! (Love the punishment the Craftsman sockets can take.) After quite a bit of beating and chasing the 3/4" socket around the garage (would fly out everytime I hit it), the old joints finally popped out.

    It took me probably 2 hours to get the two joints out! Man was that a pain in the arse! I certainly hope one of these things doesn't break on the trail!

    Just wanted to relate my weekend saga!

    Brian
    Click to see <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com> My 85 Jimmy </a>
    PM me for a great deal on blinker fluid! Best price on the net!
     
  2. TheGeneral

    TheGeneral 1/2 ton status

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    Just as a note, keep some old smaller u-joint caps in tool bag, sledge, block of wood, and beat away. I only use a vise to press them in, but gettin them out is always the sledge. The first time I took a u-joint out my new chevy, I beat the livin hell out of it. Had to call someone on it, and found out you have to heat it to get a nylon ring-like crap out around u-joint before you can even budge it. It was on a friends truck and I know she was thinkin' "and this idiot works on his truck, remind to never take a ride in his truck." LOL

    If you ain't hurt, you ain't playin' hard enough.

    The General
     
  3. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Harbor Freight sells a press made just for doing them and Ball joints. It's basicly a big C-Clamp but it has spacers to help do the job. They are often on sale for $39. and well worth the price. I can change out a U-Joint in about 10 minutes. Works just as well on ball joints. Just be sure to have a long handle wrench to turn it.

    It's not my damn planet monkey boy!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s>communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s</a>

    Grim-Reaper
     
  4. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Where the hell were you on Saturday when I could have used this advice! j/k Guess I will have to get me one of those. That flying socket was quite dangerous!

    Brian
    Click to see <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com> My 85 Jimmy </a>
    PM me for a great deal on blinker fluid! Best price on the net!
     
  5. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    Remember to use never- seez and the are not so hard to remove the next time.

    my truck's not dirty, it's earth tone paint
     
  6. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    Just to add to this, factory U-Joints are usually glued in - melt the glue with the torch, and life is much easier.

    Dos mas Tecates!!!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  7. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Mine had the pressed in plastic. My shop manual showed nice and easy pictures of using a bench vise to press the old ones out. Well, don't know about you, but my bench vise doesn't open to 7".

    Brian
    Click to see <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com> My 85 Jimmy </a>
    PM me for a great deal on blinker fluid! Best price on the net!
     
  8. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    I've got my own little handy tool for this - I strap the shaft in my pipe vise, and I've got a retaining pin for the ripper tooth on a Cat D-10. It's the perfect size for a U-joint, and a few taps from each direction with a deadblow usually loosens them up quite nicely.

    Dos mas Tecates!!!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  9. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Ya, I use the Hammer and sockets method to get mine out. I can usually do it pretty quickly....
    In the past I have tried using a hydraulic press, but I ended up bending the shaft ears, so I resorted back to the hammer and sockets method.

    Mike

    <font color=green>"It's like a sore dick deal, You cant beat it!"</font color=green>

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/emmettology101>www.geocities.com/emmettology101</a>
     
  10. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    You mean everyone doesn't have a 2 foot vise? LOL, just kidding...

    Impact sockets hold up pretty well for beating...

    I personally use sockets and a vise, and can get it done pretty quick with no heat or anything else, but a pair of vise-grips to yank the caps if they distort...
    I'm waiting to try and rebuild my front CV joint... Wonder if I can use the vise for that...

    Ratch
    <a target="_blank" href=http://k5.8m.com>k5.8m.com</a>
    **Ever stop to think... Then forget to start again?**
     
  11. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah that C clamp tool will be one of the best investments you can make... I would just shell out the money to get the kit though that will allow you to do ball jt's too. My Mac Ball jt kit makes short work of ball jt's. Factory original u-jt's have a was filling like was stated and genery a hot torch makes the job much easier by hand.

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    &lt;a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/milnerlives_2000/blazer.htm&gt;http://www.geocities.com/milnerlives_2000/blazer.htm&lt;/a&gt;
    <P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by CaptCrunch on 08/13/01 06:04 PM.</FONT></P>
     
  12. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    The best way I found to do mine is to pull out the drive line and take it to a driveline shop. I just did mine. Only cost 40.00 including parts and they had it done in an hour. I havent beat on a U joint in years.Although I perfer to do most of my own work. Its just one of those jobs that it is easier and less time consuming to pay someone else to do.
    Besides all that beating and hammering can weaken your yokes and cause them to break.
    U joints should be pressed out.

    &lt;P ID="edit"&gt;&lt;FONT class="small"&gt;&lt;EM&gt;Edited by Thunder on 08/13/01 01:30 PM.&lt;/EM&gt;&lt;/FONT&gt;&lt;/P&gt;<P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by Thunder on 08/13/01 01:31 PM.</FONT></P>
     
  13. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    Factory original ball jt's have a
    was filling like was stated and genery a hot torch makes the job much easier by hand.

    Please post you source of info. on the filling .
    TIA
     
  14. You know..."filling"...one part cream, one part butter, and a little lemon zest. mmm mmm good!

    '84 K5

    Chevy in my blood.
     
  15. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    It's either an epoxy, similar to JB Weld, or thermoplastic stuff - depending on the model year.

    Dos mas Tecates!!!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  16. Nonesuch

    Nonesuch 1/2 ton status

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    BFH and socket method works best for me...got real good at doing it when my old 79 decided to blow a UJ about once a month...never could figure out why..it wasnt even lifted..got it down to a science and it only took about 15 minutes on the roadside
    Remember to always carry a spare front and rear UJ. I was so unlucky I had to carry two for each!
     
  17. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    Opps... ment u-jt's not ball jts... where is my head today [​IMG] [​IMG]

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/milnerlives_2000/blazer.htm>http://www.geocities.com/milnerlives_2000/blazer.htm</a>
     
  18. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Obviously you didn't melt the stock plastic out.

    Now that the stock ones are gone from mine I can do them in a few minutes with a ball peen hammer and a screwdriver to pop the clips out

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  19. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks, we don't what the newbe's seeing stars !
     
  20. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    You can avoid bending the tabs/ears by tapping on the vise or clamp when it gets hard to turn with the handle or wrench. When you can turn it anymore with reasonable force, whack the clamp or vise with a hammer (not super hard but enough to shock it, like an impact wrench), and you should be able to tighten more without bending tabs/ears (may have to do it a few times until completely out especially if the joint has been in there for years).

    If you didn't build it yourself, how can you call it yours.......?
     

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