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Old 03-21-2003, 04:30 PM   #1
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What are the symptoms of bad u-joints?

I was wondering if someone could tell me the symptoms of bad universal joints. I thought that this noise was my rear end gear. I had the rear on jack stands and I would turn the wheels and it wasn't the gear making the noise. The driveshaft seemed to be making a clunking noise and I was thinking the only thing I could think of would be the universal joints. So does anyone know what some symptoms would be? Thanks.
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Old 03-21-2003, 04:56 PM   #2
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vibration and or squeek, considering how easy and cheap they are to replace i'd go ahead and change them. if one breaks on you it can become a bit of a safety issue.
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Old 03-21-2003, 05:27 PM   #3
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Are you saying replacing the u-joints is something easy to do by myself? In the GM Shop manual I have it says to use all these special tools and such.
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Old 03-21-2003, 06:37 PM   #4
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About all you need is a vice and a socket set.

To check the joints, grab the yolk of the drive shift in one hand and the yolk of the diff/transmission in the other and turn the drive shaft back and fourth. If there is any motion at all between the yolks, the joint is bad or going bad.

Installation and removal of old joints is simple, do a search to find directions, or pm me.
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Old 03-21-2003, 10:22 PM   #5
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I am at college and well I don't have access to anything but the jack that is in the car. I doubt it would cost much to have a shop do it?
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Old 03-28-2003, 02:05 AM   #6
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hey college is for learning

Get a hammer and a socket set and maybe a punch. Thats all you will need. Set aside 1 hour to do the job because its your first time. Once you get the old ones out you will figure out how the new ones go in. 15 dollars in parts vs. 30 dollars in parts plus 50 dollars labor plus 10 dollars in misc. shop charges is a 75 dollar difference. 75 dollars buys alot of celebration beer at collllllllllege. And theres at least one or two ladies that will stop to see what your doing out in the dorm parking lot....you have 75 bills to take out two females....after your done. Well go do it!
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Old 03-28-2003, 12:58 PM   #7
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Re: hey college is for learning

Quote:
Originally posted by KEVIN L.
Get a hammer and a socket set and maybe a punch. Thats all you will need. Set aside 1 hour to do the job because its your first time. Once you get the old ones out you will figure out how the new ones go in. 15 dollars in parts vs. 30 dollars in parts plus 50 dollars labor plus 10 dollars in misc. shop charges is a 75 dollar difference. 75 dollars buys alot of celebration beer at collllllllllege. And theres at least one or two ladies that will stop to see what your doing out in the dorm parking lot....you have 75 bills to take out two females....after your done. Well go do it!

dude you are a very vey smart man :-D


save money, get the car fixed, get the girl(s)


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Old 03-28-2003, 09:38 PM   #8
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Before you begin, check the U-joints for the type of retainer...there are 2 styles in our cars........a good ol c-clip...or the dreaded nylon retainer....

Nylon retainers require that nylon be oozed back into it to secure it, because as soon as you pull that spider apart, you break the nylon lockers.......then again, if you replace them with the c-clip style (which is very likely possible) then you go right ahead and do that instead.

You can tell the difference in that the nylon style looks like a white-ish pin about 1/6 inch in diameter on the U joint.

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Old 08-30-2010, 10:56 PM   #9
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Re: What are the symptoms of bad u-joints?

I have a 87 2.8 v6 and i tried to solve my ill powered camaro by replacing the u-joints. thinking it would take 25 mins tops i put the beer in the freezer for when i was done. however, as my luck would have it, i ran into a problem. on both ends of the drive shaft the u-joints have what look like nails holding the needle bearing cups in. are they the nylon retainer you speak of? if so how do they come out? any ideas would be appreciated. I am out two beers and alot of time torquing the vise to pop the ujoints out. :/
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:25 AM   #10
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Re: What are the symptoms of bad u-joints?

The easiest way I found to get the nylon out is, heat the end with a propane torch. The nylon will start oozing out when it gets hot enough. But be careful as the grease in the u-joint will start to catch fire and might boil-splatter. Once most of the nylon retainer is out it will be very easy to tap the bearing caps out.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:59 AM   #11
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Re: What are the symptoms of bad u-joints?

ya i tried the good old heat with a torch but i was not able to get it out. possibly not well enough. ill try today and see what i can do.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:27 PM   #12
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Re: What are the symptoms of bad u-joints?

yes, the torch did work. a pain in the *** but it did work. aided in shifting and acceleration even tho torque test showed no serious signs of worn u-joints. one tip i learned. get a wide painters putty knife to put close to the hole where the nylon is spewing out at. The heat did cause the bearing grease inside to boil and explode out the nylon hole, as you stated it would. Using the putty knife kept the hot nylon goo from sticking to my skin or eyes potentially causing very serious burns. Thank you again. job time took 45 mins to complete once removed. about 3 mins of torch per side of the bearing cap.
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