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by Steve (a.k.a. Jeeper)
Note: Steve was gracious enough to let me post his write-up on how to do a u-joint replacement. This came right after a trail run where one of our friends suffered a rear drive shaft u-joint failure while attempting to climb a steep rock shelf. I learned first hand how to do it, courtesy of the driver who's drive shaft blew. I hope you find this write-up as helpful as I did.
After recently removing my front drive shaft for inspection, I noticed that the U-Joint was in bad need of replacement. I've replaced U-Joints before while on the trail and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to write-up the instructions using only the tools that I normally carry with me in the Jeep. So, here you go, a step-by-step guide to removing and replacing a U-joint. You can use these instructions on the trail or in the garage. These instructions are of course assuming that you have the correct U-Joint replacement handy.
1. Remove the straps that hold your drive shaft into the transfer case and
2. Carefully remove the shaft so that you don't knock the caps off the exposed ends.
3. Use duct tape or electrical tape to secure the caps on the end that you will not be working on.
4. If you have greaseable U-Joints, mark the area with tape where the zirk fitting is in the yoke. This is important because if you don't, you may install the new U-Joint in the wrong place and end up not being able to grease it or knocking it off when the yoke hits when spinning.
5. Install the zirk fitting in your new U-Joint. Why they don't do this at the factory is beyond me. I use a 5/16" deep well socket for this.
More U-Joint Replacement