Breaking an Old U Joint Free

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Removing a U Joint from a Drive Shaft....5

Break free the old U joint before installing a new one. Learn about universal joint replacement on a car's rear axle in this free car repair video.

Part of the Video Series: Replacing a Rear Axle U Joint
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Video Transcript

In this clip we're going to talk about the proper service procedure for removing and replacing a rear axle u-joint on a Ford Explorer. In this step, we're going to talk about the proper service procedure for breaking free your u-joint caps. What I've got here is my shop vice, an old junk socket. You want to make sure the socket fits inside the radius of your u-joint cap. What we're going to do is break free the corrosion that's holding our u-joint together. Once we have it broken free, we can tap it out with a hammer and avoid beating the heck out of our drive shaft in the process. Your going to apply tension to it, just like so. Once you have the tension applied you can tap the shoulders and the u-joint cap will pop free. Alright, I'm going to go a head and take it out of the vice and show you exactly what I just did. As you can see that cap's been pushed through and this one has as well. What we've done is break the corrosion bond between the u-joint cap and the u-joint saddle itself. Once you have that done, you can take and squeeze your vice closed and use that as a small anvil to knock the caps the rest of the way out. As you can see, as I'm tapping on it, we're developing play inside here. What will happen is I'll drive it far enough that this cap will pop right out of the bottom. Once that's happened, I can pop the other one out. As you can see, I've driven, using the u-joint itself, the cap almost all the way out. It's going to take a little bit more tapping to get it unseated. I'm going to go ahead and do that now for you. As you can see, the cap is driven almost all the way out. I'm going to take a punch and pop it the rest of the way out. Right there. Once you have that cap removed, you can go ahead and remove the other cap using pretty much the same method. To remove the other end of the cap, I'm going to show you a little trick of the trade. What I have here is a 3/8" extension and a socket that happens to be just small enough to fit inside the saddle and just big enough to go around the stub of the u-joint. I'm going to place it right on there, put my extension in it and go ahead and drive the other cup out with my hammer. Once you have the cup mostly broken free, you can take a larger junk socket, one that will fit over the cup with enough room, set it down on the concrete, use your driving socket and extension and hammer the u-joint cup the rest of the way out. And there you go. Once you have the cup knocked out, you can remove the saddle.

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