How to: Change U-joints on the drive shaft.
First off, make sure you have about 1 foot space in front and back of the truck for rolling purposes so you can roll the truck to access all bolts on the drive shaft.
Spray penetrating oil on all bolts and clips and mark a line from the drive shaft yoke to where it connects to the diff so you put it back on the exact way you took it off (so it stays balanced)
Place chuck behind wheel so it doesn’t move
Loosen the rear bolts on the drive shaft, and remove 3 of the 4 bolts
Remove all 4 bolts from the front of the driveshaft
Remove last bolt from rear, and take drive shaft out. Place it on work area. Flat ground or table is best.
Remove clips from the u-joint. Needle noise pliers work best for this part. Clip is most likely going to break, but using a small flat head screwdriver, you should be able to pop it out of the grove.
If you get a part stuck in the grove, I find it best to fill the hole with penetrating oil and let it sit for a few minutes.
Once clips are removed, its time to press out the u-joint caps. I found it best to place a small socket in the hole on one side and a larger socket on the other side. The larger socket must be large enough so the u-joint will fit in it, other wise it will hold it in place. I set this up in a vise, and slowly cranked on the vise until it poped out. Penetrating oil helps with this part as well.
Another method would be to set up the same way, but not in a vise. You would hit the smaller socket with a hammer pushing the u-joint out.
Once you push out the one cap, you have to switch the larger socket and smaller socket and press the u-joint back through to the other side to remove the other cap like so.
Removing this cap can be tricky. One way to do it is to place the cap in a vise and try to pull up on the shaft, or hit the shaft with a hammer. Be careful not to bend the shaft while doing this. Penetrating oil is your friend.
Another possibility is to get a pair of locking pliers, clamp it around the cap, and try to work it off by twisting it.
Although it may be hard to see, this is what a bad cap looks like. All the pins which are supposed to roll freely are froze up, and there is no lube on the cap at all.
Follow this process for the other set of caps to
Once everything is removed, clean all the surfaces and groves where the caps sit.
Wire brush used to clean the inside.
Make sure to clean in the grove as well
Ready to place the new u-joint in place
Remove both caps from the new u-joint, place the caps in the hole from the outside in, and place u-joint in the holes. They are ready to be pressed into place. I used a vise and slowly pressed them in.
The caps still need to be pressed in further if you use a vise instead of a hammer. Place small socket over cap and tap it till you clear the grove.
Be careful not to bend the drive shaft when hitting the cap. Make sure the drive shaft is not supporting the weight, you want the flange to support it as you hit with hammer (sorry it is blurry).
Set clips in grove. Use a needle nose pair of pliers to compress the clip, and release in grove. Make sure the clip is all the way set into the grove, you may have to hit the cap in a little more if it does not set in place, but be careful not to push it to far in, otherwise you will push the other cap outward
Put the drive shaft back into place under the truck. Start all screws, and then tighten to 70- 95 lb/ft