Removing a U Joint from a Drive Shaft

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How to remove the U joint from the drive shaft. 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 are 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 are going to talk about the proper service procedure for removing the U joint from the drive shaft itself. As you can see, I have the saddle removed and out of the way. What I am going to do is use the post in my vice. Just set it down like so. What that is going to do is; as I strike it with my socket and hammer, the downward force of the strike on the shaft is going to bottom out on these and drive up on that cup. Go ahead and knock it out with your hammer. Alright. There is on cup there for you. You can see what I have left for barrings inside my U joint. That?s pretty much all that?s left of them. Some dirt, dust, and debris. I'll dump them out for you so you can get a good look at why that U joint was bad. We are going to go ahead and roll it over and repeat the same procedure on this side in order to unseat your last cup. Alright. That should be enough. Take and remove the socket or the cup and you can see what I had left for barrings inside that U joint. Not very much. This all used to be lubricant at one point in time. From there you can take a remove your U joint four way post. Just like so. What I want you to pay attention to is the stubs, let me clean them off you, so you can see what happens inside the U joint and why they lock up on you. This is the only stub here that is marginally any good. See how it still has a little shine to it. These two where the ones that where extremely bad. As you can see here, it's actually looks like it?s splined. What this is called is brunelling. You can see how the needle rollers, this is a needle roller, have actually stopped turning in the cup and ground there way into the hard steel of the stud. That is the most common failure with the U joint right there. This is the factory U joint and it doesn't have a grease fitting. My replacement U joint is of a much better design. It can actually be maintenanced and will last a much longer time on the vehicle. That is the proper way to remove your U joint from the drive shaft.

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