Replacing Universal Joints The rear universal joint
1 Remove the drive shaft as de-scribed previously in this chapter.
2 Removing the ring. The bearings are secured to the drive shaft yoke with a snap ring or lock ring. The snap ring may be located in a groove at the base of the bearing. The lock ring may be found at the top of the bearing in a groove in the drive shaft yoke. Remove the ring with the correct tools. Note: Some late-model cars use an injected nylon retainer on the universal joint bearings. When service is necessary, pressing the bearings out will shear the nylon retainer. Replace the retainer with the conventional snap ring.
3 To remove the bearing in the drive shaft yoke, open your bench vise wide enough to allow the entire bearing, the length of a one-inch socket and a 9A6″ socket, to fit between the jaws. Place the 9A6″ socket on the bearing, then put the one-inch socket on the drive shaft yoke opposite the 9A6″ socket. By tightening the vise, the 9A6″ socket will push the bearing and cross shaft out into the one-inch socket. Remove the drive shaft and sockets from the vise. If the bearing is not free of the yoke, use a hammer and tap the bearing out.
4 Place the cross shaft across the vise jaws, then with a brass or soft drift pin and hammer, remove the other bear-ing. Remove the cross shaft, and clean the drive shaft yoke with a wire brush. Apply a thin coat of lube plate to the in-side of the yoke where the bearings are installed Removing the bearings You will need a vise to remove the bearings in the drive shaft yoke. If you are going out to buy’ a vise for this job, remember;the bigger and heavier the better, within reason. A 12- to 40-pound vise with 31/2- to 5-inch jaws is a good choice. Look for a vise with a box frame to guide the moving jaw and cover the jack screw that closes it. Keeping filings off the threads and out of the nut makes it much easier to turn the handle.
5 Installing the new cross shaft. Re-move all the bearings from the new cross shaft, and position it in the yoke with its grease fitting facing the drive shaft. Extend the cross shaft out of one of the bearing holes in the yoke.
6 Reinstalling the joint. Put one new bearing on the cross shaft and guide it into the yoke. Be sure the cross shaft and bearing are not cocked to one side. Holding the cross shaft firmly with one hand, gently tap the bearing into the yoke until it is started. Using the vise as a clamp, press the bearing completely into the yoke. Caution: Press the bearing into the yoke only far enough so it is flush with the yoke. This will prevent squeezing or destroying the yoke. Place the 9A6″ socket on the newly-installed bearing and the one-inch on the opposite side of the yoke. Put this assembly into the vise and press the bearing in until the cross shaft extends out about 1/8 of an inch beyond the oppo-site side of the yoke. Remove the drive shaft from the vise, and locate the new bearing on the extended cross shaft. Put the drive shaft back into the vise, and, as before, press the second bearing until it is flush with the yoke, then install the new snap ring lock on the first bearing or in the yoke. Place the 9A6″ socket on the second bearing and press it in until the snap ring can be installed. Reinstall the drive shaft as described in this chapter. The front universal joint The procedure for removing the front universal joint is the same as described previously for the rear universal joint, with the exception that you must press the new bearings into the transmission yoke as well as into the drive shaft yoke. Before removing the front joint, scribe alignment marks on the drive shaft and transmission yokes.