u-joint replacement

granitex Jan 20, 2012

  1. granitex

    granitex Skid Plates Founding Member

    Messages:
    1,394
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    I know that I promised pics. but it is like 10 deg in my garage so that is not going to happen rite now.

    First step is to get a pair of spicer 1310 u-joints, and some red locktite.

    Nissan does not view the joints an the Xterra as a servisable item so they do not list a part number, that being the case most parts stores can not look up there parts numbers.

    Just tell them that it is for a 03 frontier and you will be fine (chevy used this same joint in the front of 1/2 ton pickups for an eternity so they will always have one or two on hand.


    After you have the joints park on a hard flat serface and chok the front wheels.

    jack up the rear end and place it on jack stands, and put the transmission in nutral.

    To remove the drive shaft you will need a 8mm six point socket, a 3/8 impact is a great thing to have here.

    Once you remove the straps on the end of the driveshaft, you need to push the shaft forward to get it out of the yoke. Sometimes a long prybar is enough, but it usually takes a sharp smack from a hammer to release any rust weld holding it all together.

    When the DS is out of the truck remove the c-clips that are holding the u-joints in place.

    There are three main ways to get the old joints out.
    1 u-joint press(looks like a big C-Clamp with a hole at one end)
    2 A shop press 12-10 ton
    3 Deep well socket and big hammer

    Drive the joint all 9of the way in one dirrection, so that you can remove tne bearing cap on one side so that you have room to get the joint out of the ear on the shaft. After the joint is out of one side repeate for the other three sides and inspect the ears for cracks or other damage, and make sure that the grooves for the c-clips are clean.

    You had a choice between greasable and non greasable joints, if you got greasable pay attention to the dirrection of the zerks. If you put them in the wrong dirrectionyou will have two issues.

    1 on the rear position you will not be able to get to the zerks to put the grease in.

    2 on the front joint, it will hit the inner portion of the shaft and will not have a complete range of motion.

    When re-assembly starts I like to put one of the c-clips in and drive the new u-joint untill it touches the c-clip, then put in the other c-clip. Once the entire joint is in hit the ears with a hammer to spring it and releave the pressure, allowing it to move freeley.

    When you go to put the DS back in be careful not to nick the output seal or you will be replacing it very soon as you will see a spot of ATF in the driveway under the spot where the DS exits the Transfer case.

    When you put the very small bolts that hold the back end of the DS to the rear diff, put some red locktite on the threads and run them in. DO NOT over tighten these 4 bolts.

    I usually reassemble at all of the way, and then take out one bolt at a time to do the locktite.
     
  2. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    15,917
    Location:
    Dallas
    How does one know when their joints are bad?
     
  3. Jmac289gt

    Jmac289gt Sliders Founding Member

    Messages:
    918
    Location:
    Dickinson, TX
    Man I hope I don't have to do this anytime soon, nice write up though sir.
     
  4. granitex

    granitex Skid Plates Founding Member

    Messages:
    1,394
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    The usual first indication is a vibration at speed. The speed can vary pretty greatly from one truck to another, my last one woul do it at 40-60 mph. Second indicator can be a popping sound under load.

    To diagnose it jack up the back end and shake the drive shaft, if there is any movement in the joint it is bad. But they can still be bad with no visible movement, because they are binding up internally.

    With the correct tools they are not bad to change, the last time thä I saw someone post up about a shop changing them it ran about $100.00 bucks or so. But you can get a ball joint/u-joint press at harbor freight pretty cheap.
     
  5. TKDx00

    TKDx00 Lockers Installed Founding Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    S.Subs of Chicago, IL.
    Ummm since you like to work in the cold, you can come over and replace mine. I do have a heater tho. :lolz:

    Great write up Rep given. :D
     
  6. TKDx00

    TKDx00 Lockers Installed Founding Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    S.Subs of Chicago, IL.
    I think it's time for this for me. I'm feeling a vibration with my foot @ the 2K rev point at any speed.
     
  7. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    15,917
    Location:
    Dallas
    Does it do it when the tranny is cool as well as warm? I've got a shimmy at 2400, but only when the tranny warms up; quick drain/fill and it's fine for a while
     
  8. TKDx00

    TKDx00 Lockers Installed Founding Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    S.Subs of Chicago, IL.
  9. Bklyn.X

    Bklyn.X Need Bigger Tires Supporting Member Founding Member

    Messages:
    702
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    FYI Torque Specs;
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Jmac289gt

    Jmac289gt Sliders Founding Member

    Messages:
    918
    Location:
    Dickinson, TX
    I am feeling a quick vibration upon acceleration from a dead stop, it only last a second or two and is barley noticable. I hope it is in my head and not my shaft.
     
  11. SnickerDoodle

    SnickerDoodle Life's Better Seeing Pink Super Moderator Founding Member

    Messages:
    1,975
    Location:
    Williamstown NJ
    Here's a tip... if your u-joints are beyond rusted to the point where, pb blaster, sledge hammer, and press won't get them out... just remember a blow torch is your friend. I ended up having a friend of mine melt my u-joints out at his shop. If you are doing this yourself.. ***BE ADVISED*** the grease will do two things.. 1) catch on fire and 2) pop! wear gloves, safety glasses and a long sleeve.. all in all.. just don't be stupid. :uhhh:
     
  12. SnickerDoodle

    SnickerDoodle Life's Better Seeing Pink Super Moderator Founding Member

    Messages:
    1,975
    Location:
    Williamstown NJ

    I totally could.... but I won't! :lols:
     
  13. TKDx00

    TKDx00 Lockers Installed Founding Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    S.Subs of Chicago, IL.
    HAHAHAHA ... bad girl...bad
     
  14. Jmac289gt

    Jmac289gt Sliders Founding Member

    Messages:
    918
    Location:
    Dickinson, TX
    LOL, I knew someone would go there but never thought it would be you girl, you have shattered my image of you but for some reason I like you a little more now.

    Okay people, Back on topic, nothing else to read here.
     
  15. ChiXterra

    ChiXterra Wheeling

    Messages:
    520
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    Just picked up my premium u-joints, and now I get to try this. I'll try to take pics too.
     
  16. Maxterra

    Maxterra Wheeling Founding Member

    Messages:
    517
    Location:
    West Haven, UTAH
  17. granitex

    granitex Skid Plates Founding Member

    Messages:
    1,394
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    Thats the tool, it is a lot easier than using a shop press, or a bfh and a socket, or a vice and socket. All three of which have done, and will always grab that one first.

    I picked mine up at Harbor Freight, and would expect that they were made at the same plant in china.
     
  18. ChiXterra

    ChiXterra Wheeling

    Messages:
    520
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    Ok, I have another question.... did you buy a kit (includes new cross, seals, caps and snap rings)?
     
  19. RacerXXL

    RacerXXL First Fill-Up (of many) Founding Member

    Messages:
    281
    Location:
    North Alabama
    There is no kit, buy a U-joint and it will come with everything you mentioned.
     
  20. ChiXterra

    ChiXterra Wheeling

    Messages:
    520
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    Doh.
     
  21. ChiXterra

    ChiXterra Wheeling

    Messages:
    520
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    For those that have done this, did you get any enhanced vibration out of the driveshaft?
     
  22. granitex

    granitex Skid Plates Founding Member

    Messages:
    1,394
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    Did you spring the ears after you had the joint in? did you grease the joint when you installed them? It souuld be nice and smooth with the new joints, if you have a vibration it is indicating that something is binding during the rotation.
     
  23. ChiXterra

    ChiXterra Wheeling

    Messages:
    520
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    Vibration is a bad word to use. Did you get any increased feedback due to the new joints? I haven't installed them yet, just asking.
     
  24. granitex

    granitex Skid Plates Founding Member

    Messages:
    1,394
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    It should be nice and smooth, like it is not there at all.
     
  25. landc

    landc Test Drive

    Messages:
    2
    If greaseable u joints were to be used, which way should the zerk be orientated to ensure access and prevent interference?
     

Share This Page