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Thread: Front Axle U-Joints

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    Default Front Axle U-Joints



    I'm starting my winter maintenance on my Jeep and am replacing both front axle U-Joints. I'm going through both axles this winter and am replacing these due to age and multiple water crossings. As such I'm tempted to just go with the Spicers again, but I also like the Moog greaseable ones. The OEM ones are the Spicers and haven't been greased since 2006, still working, but I like the idea of being able to grease them. Price is irrelevant. Any opinions?

    Thanks!

    https://www.amazon.com/Moog-377-Supe..._t4_B009X1XDZG

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...AD7D7YND&psc=1

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    Isn't the transfer case side of the front driveshaft a double cardan on a TJ or LJ? I've never had good luck getting access to the zerks on my greasable double cardan CVs / ujoints without unbolting the driveshaft from the t-case flange, even with a needle-nozzle adapter. But my zerks are on the body of the u-joint and not in the cap like the one you show so its probably not much of an issue. The fitting for the central joint is the toughest to get to.

    Then again maybe the LJs are different and use two u joints...if so than sorry about that.

    If the non-serviceable spicers worked well for you before then it seems likely they will again. Fewer items on the maintenance list is generally a good thing.

  3. The Following Member Says Thanks to Trevor? For This Post:

    Paul (December 18th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    I'm actually doing the front axle joints, not the driveshaft. I replaced all my driveshaft u joints front and rear last winter, and have a complete spare rear driveshaft in my trail spares too. I have spare front and rear axle shafts too, but it's a bit of a pain to replace them on the trail and they are heavy / cumbersome to carry, I usually just carry the short side.

    Side note, I crossed "fix center console rattle" off my list yesterday by cleaning it and taking all the loose stuff out. Not my finest moment.

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    I've always been a fan of Spicer joints. You don't get much better until you get into the stupid expensive aftermarket parts.
    ___________
    2001 XJ 4.0/AW4/NP242/HP30/D44 on 32s with TrueTracs,
    1987 MJ 4.0 (or 4.6)/AW4/ORD Monster Box/NP205/HP60/D80 on 40's with ARBs (that's the plan anyway, ETA 2022)

    If you can't fix it with a hammer or duct tape you have an electrical problem

  6. The Following Member Says Thanks to derf For This Post:

    Paul (December 18th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    I misunderstood. Sorry about that. I suppose my last comment may still be useful, unless you think you'll be stressing them more now than in the past or doing more water crossings more often...In which case Derf makes a good point.

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    Paul (December 18th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    I appreciate it! Your comments are useful and the TJ and LJ front shafts are identical, the LJ is longer than the TJ behind the transfer case, identical before. The rear driveshaft is almost the same too, same yokes and joints with a longer shaft. I'm inline with Derf's thinking too, just wondering if anyone has a particular U-joint that they'd recommend over the Spicer. From what I've read the grease passage in the greaseable ones are the weak point, so that's another point for Spicer. Pretty sure I'm just going to order those.

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    Another vote for the Spicer joint. I know mine went 13 years and 140K miles without complaint before I changed them "just because."

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    Paul (December 20th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    Another vote for the Spicers
    ___________
    I started out with nothing and still have most of it

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    Paul (December 20th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    RCV axle set would be worth exploring in my opinion.

  15. The Following Member Says Thanks to Getaklu For This Post:

    Paul (December 20th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    RCVs are the way to go for big money...
    for my kinda money run the Spicers...
    ___________
    In a never ending search for the proper mix of dirt & rock !

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    Paul (December 20th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    Spicer again FTW. I'll keep the ones that come off as spares, depending. Thanks everyone!

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    I found the Yukon Chromoly axle set for for $370 on Amazon today. I'm not sure I've ever seen it this cheap before. https://www.amazon.com/USA-Standard-.../dp/B00D61DQ92

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    I ordered the chromoly axle kit for my Jeep. Looks like I'll have to press the U-joints in as part of the install. Do you plan to use a sledge or a press to do yours, Paul? I've never done U-joints before, but it doesn't look complicated.

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    The last time I did u-joints on my JKUR I tried the sledge and socket method and it was difficult. I then used my ball joint press and it was much easier.

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    open_circuit (December 22nd, 2020)

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    newracer previously posted:
    "The last time I did u-joints on my JKUR I tried the sledge and socket method and it was difficult. I then used my ball joint press and it was much easier."

    This was my thinking was well. I don't own a ball joint kit so I'll rent one from the auto store. I rented a kit to replace control arm bushings last year and found it to be annoyingly difficult due to the c clamp on the kit being damaged (pried apart slightly). I'll rent from a different store this time and hope for a kit in better condition!

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    $370 is a good deal. I'm going to use a combination of hammer, sockets, heat and this https://www.harborfreight.com/ball-j...les-63279.html

    I've used it for driveshafts and balljoints, it's a useful thing to have around. Amazon has similar kits at decent prices too. Mine is pretty beat up, I remember I had an issue when I did my Jeep's Balljoints but can't remember what it was and haven't looked at it yet. If it's good to go you can borrow it.

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    That is the kit I have. I clamped it in a vise on the workbench and used an air impact to turn it.

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    That kit looks fine. I've considered buying it (and it seems to be on sale with coupon for $59.99 right now). I can "rent" for free from my local auto parts store, which is what I have done in the past. The kits I have rented before have more pieces to fit more odd shaped stuff, so I would be tempted to buy a kit with a few more pieces if I wanted to own one.

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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    x100 on the ball joint press. So much easier than the hammer and socket method. Either will work though. After you get the joints installed give each joint cap a whack or two with the sledge. Helps to seat the cap and loosen up the fit so it rotates easier.
    ___________
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    Default Re: Front Axle U-Joints



    I've never had a big issue with the hammer and socket/driver/drift method. Sometimes is a bit of a PITA, but a bit of heat really helps (I've started using the oven quite a bit to warm stuff up and expand it just a bit - just don't tell Jen).
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