U-joint in Hand

Universal joint undergoing repair, BB Z10 Photo by  © SCPotter

Universal joint undergoing repair, BB Z10 Photo by © SCPotter

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Started with a squeak,
Parts were spinning dry,
U-joint tried to speak,
Before the bearings fried,
Mechanic joints renewed,
Driveshaft spinning true.

Today’s tweet poem is another post in the series of “object in hand”; this time with a photo of a greasy bit of hardware known as a universal joint, or U-joint.

For the past week or so I’ve been hearing a squeaking noise coming from the rear of my truck. (’98 Ford Ranger) The frequency of the sound was proportional to speed and stopped when the clutch pedal was depressed. This told me it was likely the rear U-joint, and sure enough, when I took it apart one of the bearing cups was completely dry and turning into rust.

Ford did not include grease fittings on these joints; they are “sealed for life” and intended to be “maintenance free”. Problem is, when the life of your truck goes beyond average, a bearing that can’t be lubed is not going to last.

So today, for about $40 in parts (front and rear U-joints) and 4 hours of very dirty work, I now have a renewed drive train. (And U-joints with grease nipples)

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