Installing a New U Joint

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How to install the new U joint into the saddle. 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 cleaning out our surface where our snap ring goes and seating the u-joint cups into the saddle. I'm going to slide it down this way and ensure that we get our stud to seat truly into the cap. What you want to avoid is for the edge of the stud to catch a bearing and fold it over into the center. What that will do is cause the cap to not seat fully. We're going to slide that all the way through and make sure we get out bearings on it before we seat it. Just like so. Go ahead and give it a couple of love taps with the hammer. You can see how easily that it's seating there. It's ok to go ahead and seat your other cap. What you?re going to want to do is extend your u-joint stud through some, so you can make sure that your bearings don't catch on the stud. Slide it in and pretty much repeat that same procedure. You can see how easily that's tapping in. If you find you?re having difficulty installing it or that it's binding up, your going to want to check to see that it turns as your installing it. That means one of your bearings in folded down inside. You?re going to need to tap it out, remove that bearing, make sure that it's not damaged and re-install it. If it is bad, if you did damage the bearing, it is possible for you to salvage one of your old ones. Clean it up with some break clean and install it where the damaged one was. Once you have it set like this, you can go ahead and use your socket to drive the cap all the way in and seat your snap ring. I'll hold that right there. I've got my little socket here and I'm going to drive this cap down until I can see the snap ring groove fully exposed. There we go, right there. I'm going to go ahead and install that snap ring. Replacements come with your u-joint. You can see I have them with the package right here. This is what they look like. Just grab one of them. Set the others off with your caps. Put your safety glasses on because you?re dealing with a spring loaded device, and grab your needle nose pliers. Get a hold of the snap ring. You?re going to set it into the u-joint saddle, give it a squeeze and work it down into position. Once you have it in position, tap around it with your needle nose and make sure that it's seated all the way around. Repeat that exact procedure for your other u-joint cap. I'm going to set it right up on here, use my socket and drive it into place. Once you have it seated all the way, you can see the groove. You can go ahead and install your second snap ring. I'll set it down just like so. I'll set it so you can see it. Grab a hold of it with your needle nose pliers and install it in its groove. There you go. That is the proper service procedure for installing your new u-joint into the pinion saddle.

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