This Technical article address's a very important part of owning maintaining and upgrading your Jeep or 4x4 rig. We all like to save a buck or two, or 15. So we are going to talk about UJoints specifically we are going to talk about getting the most life our of your UJoints. How to tell if they may be going bad? When do they need replaced and what are some of the signs that you may not make it to the Quicky Mart. Will the Drive line pop and leave you sitting on the side of the Freeway or in the middle of the Trail when 50 rigs are stacked up behind you and you are broken.
Let's examine a picture of a U Joint that is about ready for some grease. Keeping your U Joint in tip top shape will make you happy in the long run.
When you take a close look at this picture you can see a little bit of light brown. This is an initial sign of Rust. Rust is bad. Keeping Grease in the joints will keep the bad man Mr. Rust out. Click on the Picture to get a closer look. Rust also accelerates wear. As you can see here the UJoint caps have experience a tiny bit of wear.
Take a close look at this picture it shows a very important part of the Cap. The rubber gaskets that hold the dirt out and the Grease in. As you can see here, it might be a good idea to replace the gaskets. But unfortunately I don't think you can get these separate so you may consider replacing the U joint.
In this picture I want to point out the value of a really thick protective layer of "Junk" grease, oil, dirt blood, and even a bit of swam water have all combined to protect the other half of this drive line u joint. Keeping the outside of the joint clean may lead to premature wear of the Joint.
To Summarize: If your Drive line makes a Big loud Clunk sound every time the put the Jeep in gear, or if it squeaks or squeals like a small child who just dropped his ice cream on the ground, Or if it Grinds like an old 18 wheeler without a clutch, Or if it happens to fall right out on the ground then be warned these are the first warning signs that you may need a new U joint. But then again if you are not really interested in fixing the u joint after some of these warning signs are heard, then Just Keep on driving. It may last another 5 years.
Forget about and Keep on driving.
This U Joint is toast, take the info here as one of those "WOW" stories. This u joint was in a Jeep XJ Cherokee and was used and driven every day by the owner. He knew is was going bad but I'm not so sure he knew how toasted these really were.