Preparing & Installing a U Joint onto a Drive Shaft

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How to prepare and install the drive shaft side when replacing a U joint. 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 go over the service procedure for cleaning out the snappering seats on the drive shaft, lining up our index marks, and installing the caps, our U joint assembly with the saddle, back on to the drive shaft. What I do is, I just take my pick and run it all the way around inside here to scrape out any rust the will inhibit my snapperings from seating fully. Go ahead and do the other side. Just like so. As you can see, I have a nice white mark here. I put that on there so I can make sure to line up my saddle with exactly where it went. It's going to go together just like so. Actually just like so. See how my marks are lined up right there. What I going to do is inspect my studs. Make sure there is no debris on them. And begin by seating one U joint cap. I'm going to pull the stud through a pretty decent amount so I can make sure to line it up with the barrings inside the cap. Right there. Once you have it lined up you can go ahead and give it a couple of love taps, just to get that cup to start to seat. From here we are going to go head ahead and seat the other U joint Cap. You are going to do that marginally differently than on the saddle. On the saddle you drove it all the way through and installed the clip. Being that we have all this weight here, we are going to slide this one up and start it as well to avoid tipping our barrings over into the bottom of the cap. Give it some love taps. Alright, once you have it thoroughly started you can use your socket and drive it all the way down until the snappering grove is exposed. Be careful not to overdrive it past the snappering grove. You just want it totally exposed. Once you have it exposed you can take your snappering and your needle nose pliers and seat it in position. It's going to seat right here inside this grove. Going to take and squeeze it down to compress it, just like so. Going to roll the drive shaft over and finish seating our other U joint cap. Use my hammer and socket method here. Once you have it driven in, you can go ahead and re-seat or Install your last snappering. Go ahead and give it a squeeze. Slip it in the hole. And pop it down in position. And that is the proper method for installing your U joint and saddle assembly into your drive shaft.

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