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  1. #1
    Sr. Engineer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Indianapolis, In

    Default U-JOINTS, How hot, How long

    Need to replace U-joints in my 2000 Yukon. I understand that they are held in place by injected plastic that must be heated or burned out before they can be disassembled/replaced. Is this true? How does one go about doing this and can you damage the driveshaft by overheating? How do you know when you're done cooking the plastic out? I have the means to heat from propane torch to oxy-acetylene rose bud torch tips.
    Last edited by dpeter; 07-25-2011 at 06:48 PM. Reason: spelling
    2000 GMC YUKON SLT, 5.3L tow pkg, G80 rear/w 3.73 gear

  2. #2


    Just start torching them with either type torch, keep a hose or fire extinguisher nearby in case anything gets out of hand.
    You only need the torch hot enough to start the plastic melting, you dont need to get the metal red hot, and if things do get out of hand be careful with the water so you dont cool the ears to fast and warp them, should only take a few minutes with the torch.
    Dont worry about the old u-joint grease burning cause your gonna replace it anyways.

  3. #3
    Sr. Engineer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Indianapolis, In


    Thanks +10. does it need to be worked while hot or does the heat just ruin the plastic and make it workable?
    2000 GMC YUKON SLT, 5.3L tow pkg, G80 rear/w 3.73 gear

  4. #4


    Here is the factory recommend procedure.
    Universal Joint Replacement Nylon Injected Ring Type

    Removal Procedure
    Never clamp propeller shaft tubing in a vise. Clamping propeller shaft tubing in a vise could dent
    or deform the tube causing an imbalance or unsafe condition. Always clamp on one of the yokes and support the shaft horizontally. Avoid damaging the slip yoke sealing surface. Nicks may damage the bushing or cut the lip seal.

    1. Support the propeller shaft in a line horizontal with the table of a press.
    2. Mark the propeller shaft in order to show which end connects to the transmission and which end connects to the rear axle.
    3. Place the universal joint so that the lower ear of the yoke is supported on a (30 mm) 1 1/8 in socket.

    4. In order to shear the plastic retaining ring on the bearing cup, place the J 9522-3 on the open horizontal bearing cups and press the lower bearing cup out of the yoke ear.

    5. If the bearing cup is not completely removed, lift the cross, and insert J 9522-5 between the seal and bearing cup being removed. Continue pressing the bearing cup out of the yoke.
    6. Rotate the propeller shaft and press the opposite bearing cup out of the yoke.

    7. Disassemble the cross from the yoke.
    8. Remove the remaining universal joint parts from the yoke.

    9. If you are replacing the front universal joint, remove the bearing cups in the slip yoke in the same manner.
    10. Inspect the retaining ring grooves for plastic.
    11. Inspect the bearing cup bores for burrs or imperfections.
    12. Clean the remains of the sheared plastic bearing retainers from the grooves in the yoke.

    13. The sheared plastic may prevent proper seating of the new bearing cups.

    Installation Procedure

    1. Remove the bearing cups from the new universal joint journals.

    2. Coat the needle bearings in the bearing cups with a thin layer of the grease that is present on the journal.
    3. Apply the grease with your finger.

    4. Install one bearing cup partway into one side of the yoke.
    5. Turn the yoke ear towards the bottom.

    6. Install the cross into the yoke so that the trunnion seats freely into the bearing cup.
    7. With the trunnion seated in the bearing cup, press the bearing cup into the yoke until it is flush
    with the yoke ear.

    8. Install the opposite bearing cup partway into the yoke ear. Make sure that the trunnions are started straight and true into both bearing cups.

    9. Press the opposite bearing cup into the yoke ear. Work the cross all the time. Check for free unbinding movement of the trunnions in the bearing cups.

    10. Press the bearing cup into the yoke until the bearing retainer groove clears the inside of the yoke

    Continue pressing until you can snap both retainers into place.

    A small amount of chassis grease may help the snap ring seat in the bearing cup groove.

    12. If the retainer does not seat, spring the yoke slightly with a firm blow from a dead blow hammer.

    Last edited by Bigg Ron; 06-13-2011 at 04:49 AM.

  5. #5
    Sr. Engineer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Indianapolis, In


    Hey bigg Ron, no mention of heat in this how to. I found no mention of heat in any of the "professional" write ups either. I will assume that the aplication of enough force will shear the plastic so no heat is needed.
    2000 GMC YUKON SLT, 5.3L tow pkg, G80 rear/w 3.73 gear

  6. #6


    Any feedback on the factory procedure? I need to replace my ujoints and am trying to decide if I want to tackle it myself, or pay someone else to deal with the plastic retainer. I have a C frame press for doing ball joints, and I've used it on regular snap ring retained ujoints, but I'm not sure if I will be able to put enough torque on it for the plastic retainers.
    '98 K1500 Suburban LS 5.7 L 4L60E NV246 ARB
    '92 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0 L A4LD BW13-54 Trac-loc rear
    "My toys were the greasy cogs and springs and pistons that lay around all over the place, and these, I can promise you, were far more fun to play with than most of the plastic rubbish children are given nowadays." Danny in Roald Dahl's Danny The Champion of the World

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