U-joints were real rusty and I could not press them out with a vise. Retainer clips were breaking even with a couple days worth of penetrating oil. Didn't have a cutting torch so I cut them out with a cutoff wheel on an angle grinder. Hammered the caps out. They came out pretty easy after they broke free.
Sanded mating surfaces clean and applied some grease before I seated the new caps. Pressed them in with a bench vise. They are a tight fit and I can't get the last cap to seat all the way on both u-joints. I'm really cranking on the vise and they won't move. A hammer did not work either. One cap is flush with the yoke and has about 1/8" to go the other has about 1/16" to go. Anyone have a tip for getting that last cap pressed in?
I'm hoping that's not the case. They fit tight and I had to really lean on the vise with about as much strength as I had to get them seated. These last two caps just won't go. I stopped short of putting a pipe on the vise crank. The u-joint turns freely in all directions. Do you still think there is a bearing in there?
I can't count the number of times I thought for sure I had the needle bearings all lined up, but sure enough of of those little bastards was behind the cap. Take it back apart to make sure before you crack the cap or bearing.
I'll see if I can get them apart without damaging them. I wanted to learn how to do this. Turns out to be a bit more difficult than anything I've read had mentioned. Best of all I'm getting a full education on this repair. Should be easier in the future.
Found out I'm not strong enough to press the u-joints in or out with a 5" bench vise. Maybe I need a bigger one or a press. Didn't want to put a pipe on the crank. With a hammer they came out pretty easily. Found broken bearings in the end of the cap.
All three u-joints are the same so I took good bearings and caps off of one. Made sure I had all the broken pieces out and replaced them with a new cap and bearings. Now I have to get a new u-joint tomorrow.
At least it was not an expensive mistake. Thanks for your help.