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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2002, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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HELP: Can\'t get U-Joints out of axle shafts!

Well a Jeeper friend was kind enough to give me replacement axles for my Waggie D44. I was going to change out the u-joints before I installed them. Well the caps are rusted to the yoke. I can't get them to budge. I have used the BFH and my 6-ton Harbor freight press. I have soaked them in PB Blaster. I have beaten them silly with the BFH. One cup might have moved a 32nd. And yes I did remove the retaining clips. I am nervous that I will screw up the yokes if I beat them any harder. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Tom
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2002, 07:42 PM
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Re: HELP: Can\'t get U-Joints out of axle shafts!

Heat, and lots of it. And yes you can deform those yokes, the press is brutal, shock (hammer) and heat are the best combination.
post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2002, 08:35 PM
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Re: HELP: Can\'t get U-Joints out of axle shafts!

One trick is to cut the X's out with a torch. Once they are apart, if you can get a cap out on one side, you can use a drift to get the opposite cap out. Otherwise, you need to get a spacer in the cap and put it on the thin end of an anvil to beat it out. There's a lot less danger of springing the yoke this way.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2002, 04:13 AM
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Re: HELP: Can\'t get U-Joints out of axle shafts!

Do NOT cut them out with a torch, what a PITA and it takes 2 hours for them to cool. I'd recommend cutting them out with a cutoff saw or something similar. I found this out when doing the ones on the TJ, it was impossible to get the joints off being so close to the tone rings for the ABS.

Here's a pic of me "smoking my first joint".



Here's the second one, which was done and assembled before the first had even cooled.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2002, 05:17 AM
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Re: HELP: Can\'t get U-Joints out of axle shafts!

Some may poo-poo the idea, but the HF ujoint tool works really well for 30 yo ujoints & ball joints. It's about $30, and I used it on multiple sets with the impact gun until it finally stopped working. [img]images/icons/laugh.gif[/img] I prefer it to the press, personally. And re-assembly is easy with a hammer or a vise.

Bryan
post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2002, 07:09 AM
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Re: HELP: Can\'t get U-Joints out of axle shafts!

Your 6 ton press wouldn't take it out? Then my suggestion will fall on deaf ears, but it may help someone else out...

I'm gonna take heat for this, but I broke down and bought a "Harbor Freight" ball and U-joint tool. There's one a less that two blocks from where I'm living so it was... a heck, no excuses... I'm cheap and the price was right. I admit it... I'm like a kid in a candy store when I walk in there.

Last week I used it to remove and reinstall well worn, and rusted in place, ball joints on the two Caravan's that I own..It worked slicker'n snot. Wow, was I surprised. I'd a figured it would have broke before the joints dropped out, but it didn't. I just wished I had it when I was working on all those U-joints while still in the Midwest. I'd not have had to do so much repentin' for all the cussin an hammerin' that went on.

So much for my previous rants on "Made in China" tools... now I'll have to look at that Pulley puller set, the Ramsey Knock Off winch an a good Slide Hammer. [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

On occasions, to remove U-joints, I've had to cut U-joints at the "cross." It's tedious, and not a fun job, but with a die-drinder it doesn't go too awfully slow. Just be prepared to change the cutting disk's a lot and don't cut into the Yoke. Once the cross is removed out of the joint the Caps can be hammered toward the center of the Yoke and it usually moves easier in that direction.

This is one job I don't relish.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2002, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: HELP: Can\'t get U-Joints out of axle shafts!

Hey JEEPN:

How did you use that cutoff saw(too many sparks in the picture)? I was using an angle grinder and got about halfway through when I ran ouy of blade. Can you use the cutoff saw without cutting into the yokes? I assume you just have to be careful.

Thanks,
Tom
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2002, 07:58 AM
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Re: HELP: Can\'t get U-Joints out of axle shafts!

Thanks for the pic, we can see the problem. First get something on over that t-shirt, something heavy like a jean jacket if you don't have anything else. Next get some gloves on, then you can put that left hand on the vice so you can steady that torch head. You need to cut it out not melt it out. That aerosol can right next to you ain't good either.

Nice "don't do this" photo.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2002, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: HELP: Can\'t get U-Joints out of axle shafts!

THEY'RE OUT!!!

What a pain! I ended up cutting through the X with my 4" angle grinder. I had to cut each of the 4 sides right against the base of the cups. Even after that I still had to beat the crap out of them to get them out. I ended up having to file the inner edge of the yokes because I had wailed on them so much. The new joints are in, and the front end is back together. I don't see how you guys do that repair on the trail, especially with the cups frozen. I am sure it is easier if the joint has been recently replaced.

Later,
Tom
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2002, 12:29 PM
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Re: HELP: Can\'t get U-Joints out of axle shafts!

It is easier once you go to the second set of joints. The factory ones are usually the hardest ones to get out and each set after gets a little easier.
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