C3 Tech/Performance V8 Technical Info, Internal Engine, External Engine, Basic Tech and Maintenance for the C3 Corvette

aftermarket u-joint fitment

 
Old 02-01-2019, 06:16 PM
  #1  
ronarndt
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ronarndt's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2015
Location: Catlett VA
Posts: 1,497
Thanked 142 Times in 126 Posts
Default aftermarket u-joint fitment

I am rebuilding the rear suspension on my 68 convert. My parts order from Eckler's included u joints for the drive shaft and the axles. When I installed the first u joint on the drive shaft, the bearing caps would not go on far enough to expose the groove for the snap ring on the second side. First side was OK of course. I finally put more pressure on it with my shop press and the cross pushed thru the bearing cap on the opposite side. I thought it might have been a fluke, so I removed the broken joint and installed another u joint. Same problem. When I try to compress the second bearing cap, it will not go on far enough to install the snap ring. I miked the old u joint and the new u joint and the external dimensions are the same......except for the dimensions of the bearing caps. The new "heavy duty" ones have a cap that is longer than the original ones. I can't see how this would affect the fitment, since the extra length just pushes thru the opening on the drive shaft boss. Anyone have an idea what's wrong here? I also have four u joints to install on my half axles. Hope they are not a problem also.



ronarndt is offline  
Old 02-01-2019, 06:32 PM
  #2  
Duane4238
CF Senior Member
 
Duane4238's Avatar
 
Member Since: Sep 2009
Location: North Tonawanda New York
Posts: 938
Thanked 57 Times in 41 Posts
Default

Before you ruin another u joint, measure the distance from the snap ring groove on one side to the groove on the other side. Then compare that measurement to the distance from the outside of one bearing cap to the outside of the other. They should be about the same. If so, the joint should fit with just enough room to install the clips. If the measurement is different, they sent you the wrong U joint. Good luck.
Duane
Duane4238 is offline  
Old 02-01-2019, 06:55 PM
  #3  
CanadaGrant
CF Senior Member
 
CanadaGrant's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2006
Location: Blind Bay BC
Posts: 3,689
Thanked 262 Times in 232 Posts
Default

It's also possible your snap rings are too thick. I use solid Spicers and they come with 3 different thicknesses of rings. C3's usually take the copper or thinnest ring. You might try the old snap rings to see if they work or measure the thickness of the old ones compared to the new just to rule that out.
CanadaGrant is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to CanadaGrant For This Useful Post:
ronarndt (02-01-2019)
Old 02-01-2019, 07:06 PM
  #4  
kanvasman
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Dec 2012
Location: Summerville SC
Posts: 1,003
Thanked 73 Times in 69 Posts
Default

I agree with Canada above. I went through same issues and there are a few threads here discussing it. For whatever the reason, the snap rings are too thick. Go for the kit that has the 3 sizes to choose from. I actually ended up filing down the top edge of the cap ( where the snap rings sits) which gave me enough clearance to get the clips in. THEN I learned about this issue that others have had.
kanvasman is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to kanvasman For This Useful Post:
ronarndt (02-01-2019)
Old 02-01-2019, 09:13 PM
  #5  
twinpack
CF Senior Member
 
twinpack's Avatar
 
Member Since: Mar 2009
Location: Monson MA
Posts: 972
Thanked 21 Times in 18 Posts
Default

I had a very similar issue. I found that 1 of the needle bearings fell in between the cap and the end of the u joint. Not allowing the cap to seat all the way. Just a thought. It does appear by your picture you are missing a needle and there is a score mark on the end of the u joint.
twinpack is offline  
Old 02-01-2019, 10:09 PM
  #6  
jackson
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Sep 2001
Location: Timmonsville SC
Posts: 4,786
Thanked 99 Times in 93 Posts
Default

it doesn't help matters when the ears of yoke have been pounded & deformed. The distance between the ears may also have become shorter.
jackson is offline  
Old 02-01-2019, 10:15 PM
  #7  
jackson
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Sep 2001
Location: Timmonsville SC
Posts: 4,786
Thanked 99 Times in 93 Posts
Default

also, I like GMB water pumps but for u-joints I want either Moog, Neapco, or DANA-Spicer
jackson is offline  
Old 02-01-2019, 11:14 PM
  #8  
ronarndt
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ronarndt's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2015
Location: Catlett VA
Posts: 1,497
Thanked 142 Times in 126 Posts
Default

I will check the thickness of the snap rings tomorrow. The new kit contained two sets of rings, but I did not check them against the ones I took of the old U joint. Since the outside length of the old and new joints are the same the snap ring seems to be the logical fix.
ronarndt is offline  
Old 02-02-2019, 09:22 AM
  #9  
terrys6t8roadster
CF Senior Member
 
terrys6t8roadster's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2012
Location: Allenton Wisconsin
Posts: 1,744
Thanked 173 Times in 169 Posts
Default

Greaseable u-joints are very difficult to grease and they do need the lube from time to time. They need to be in a certain position in order to get a needle point grease fitting on it. Also they are weaker than solid u-joints. Certainly a point to consider behind a big block. T
terrys6t8roadster is offline  
Old 02-02-2019, 09:57 AM
  #10  
derekderek
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Jul 2015
Location: Westville NJ
Posts: 4,486
Thanked 560 Times in 525 Posts
Default

It looks like 2 possibly 3 rollers are missing.
derekderek is online now  
Old 02-02-2019, 12:31 PM
  #11  
jackson
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Sep 2001
Location: Timmonsville SC
Posts: 4,786
Thanked 99 Times in 93 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by derekderek View Post
It looks like 2 possibly 3 rollers are missing.
faster, cheaper PRC SOP
jackson is offline  
Old 02-02-2019, 03:45 PM
  #12  
GTR1999
Tech Contributor
 
GTR1999's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 1999
Location: New Haven CT
Posts: 11,232
Thanked 289 Times in 215 Posts
Default

my 02 worth not that it means anything but I get calls like this all the time. In order to blow out the cap like that you have to have a needle in between the cap and cross as the others said, then apply too much pressure trying to seat them and get the clip in and bam, 1 wrecked u-joint.

Solid spicers are the best there is today, cost about $30 each locally and $20 online. While not trying to add fuel to the fire you would have been miles ahead getting the best parts and Spicers are available all over the place.

I broke a zerk joint in 1/2 with no abuse or shifting over 3K RPM 30 years ago, never went back to anyone's zerk joint and to date the only other joint failure- a solid spicer in fact, was at the track with a hard dead hook that broke a lot of parts.

If that was me I would return what you have and get the spicers. If the flange is even a little tweaked it won't fit. I ground a clip once to fit and then stopped and found the flange was bent a little,. I replaced the flange and the same joint fit fine- you should not have to fit clips, the copper ones are the ones to use.
GTR1999 is offline  
Old 02-03-2019, 01:08 AM
  #13  
ronarndt
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ronarndt's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2015
Location: Catlett VA
Posts: 1,497
Thanked 142 Times in 126 Posts
Default

Thanks to all for comments. The "missing" needle bearings were in place after the end cap broke. I pulled the end cap off to check if they were in place. When I put the cap back on they got pushed out thru the hole in the end and are on my work bench. I used my shop press and applied too much pressure. There is an excellent training video from Weber University on replacing u joints. During the installation part, the instructor had the same problem I have. He is using Spicer parts. He had a variety of thicknesses of snap rings and even with the thinnest ones he barely got the snap rings on and ended up with a joint that was really stiff. I have looked for somewhere to order the Spicer snap rings. Even the Spicer website does not sell them. Autozone, Advance Auto and NAPA do not have them, so if anyone has a source, let me know.
ronarndt is offline  
Old 02-03-2019, 01:18 AM
  #14  
speedreed8
CF Senior Member
 
speedreed8's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2006
Location: Tyler Texas
Posts: 1,891
Thanked 42 Times in 41 Posts
Default

Northern Drivetrain.com
speedreed8 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to speedreed8 For This Useful Post:
ronarndt (02-03-2019)
Old 02-03-2019, 10:37 AM
  #15  
Bikespace
CF Senior Member
 
Bikespace's Avatar
 
Member Since: Mar 2017
Location: Vienna VA
Posts: 1,463
Thanked 227 Times in 212 Posts
Default

Amazon has them. Use the clips for now, and hold on to the U-Joint until your current one breaks.

On the advice of this Forum, I insisted on solid Spicer 1350 U-joints when I had my half-shafts rebuilt. They charged me a bit extra, due to the hassle that you are going through, but I think it was well worth it.

(EDIT: I don't know what size you need, so it may not be 1350 for your car)

Last edited by Bikespace; 02-03-2019 at 10:52 AM.
Bikespace is offline  
Old 02-03-2019, 05:22 PM
  #16  
kossuth
Junior Member
 
Member Since: Jan 2003
Location: Frederick MD
Posts: 45
Thanks: 0
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by jackson View Post
it doesn't help matters when the ears of yoke have been pounded & deformed. The distance between the ears may also have become shorter.
This is where my mind went. If it has had joints in the past bubba might have pounded everything back together with a hammer and closed the ends.
kossuth is offline  
Old 02-03-2019, 06:54 PM
  #17  
DUB
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Apr 2009
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 19,578
Thanked 2,483 Times in 2,156 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by kanvasman View Post
I agree with Canada above. I went through same issues and there are a few threads here discussing it. For whatever the reason, the snap rings are too thick. Go for the kit that has the 3 sizes to choose from. I actually ended up filing down the top edge of the cap ( where the snap rings sits) which gave me enough clearance to get the clips in. THEN I learned about this issue that others have had.
I also use only solid Spicers...

AND the copper snap rings is also what I have found to be the ones that work.

DUB
DUB is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to DUB For This Useful Post:
ronarndt (02-03-2019)
Old 02-03-2019, 08:31 PM
  #18  
ronarndt
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ronarndt's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2015
Location: Catlett VA
Posts: 1,497
Thanked 142 Times in 126 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by kossuth View Post
This is where my mind went. If it has had joints in the past bubba might have pounded everything back together with a hammer and closed the ends.
Yeah, Bubba and the BFH seem to go hand in hand...I finally got everything back together. Not sure where they came from, but I found two snap rings, one 0.049 inch and one 0.050 inch that fit and actually allowed a small amount of axial play. I'll try northern drivetrain to get more rings. I looked on Amazon and all that was there was one envelope of rings that did not show the size in the ad. Usually Eckler's has good stuff and I added the u joints to my rather extensive order for bushings and a bunch of other stuff. Their catalog and on line does not show the manufacturer, which in this case was GMB from China. I also got a Moog (Mexico) from Autozone as a backup, but did not need it. They did not stock Spicer joints. I have only Advance Auto and a small NAPA store in my small town, so I may have to order the Spicer stuff or see if I can make an exchange with Eckler's.

For those interested- check your ball joint tools. One of my pullers had a fork that was the same width as the GM tool for pushing on the cross of the u joint, rather than pushing on the bearing cap. I used it to press the bearing caps back against the snap rings after installation to give axial clearance to allow the joint to flex freely. The GM tool is about $250. It also will push out the bearing cap without damaging it if you intend to re- use it.

ronarndt is offline  
Old 02-03-2019, 11:53 PM
  #19  
CanadaGrant
CF Senior Member
 
CanadaGrant's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2006
Location: Blind Bay BC
Posts: 3,689
Thanked 262 Times in 232 Posts
Default

I use a ball joint/u-joint service tool to remove and install them. Quick and easy with no hammering or hydraulic press required and it's cheap. I like that part.
Amazon Amazon
CanadaGrant is offline  
Old 02-04-2019, 03:37 PM
  #20  
flyeri
CF Senior Member
 
flyeri's Avatar
 
Member Since: Mar 2011
Location: Kernersville NC
Posts: 1,232
Thanked 82 Times in 74 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by jackson View Post
it doesn't help matters when the ears of yoke have been pounded & deformed. The distance between the ears may also have become shorter.
This is very likely the problem and I've had the same issue. I finally got the ears spread slightly so that the snap rings fit. Problem is I don't know which one was bent out or in, or if I even bent it in the right direction to center everything or bent it further off center. I just got it to fit. I'm pretty sure there is a tool that can be used to prevent this problem during replacement. I know there is for the flanges on the outer ends.
flyeri is offline  
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: aftermarket u-joint fitment


Sponsored Ads
Vendor Directory

Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: