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What Now? - Swapping A Broken U-Joint

Posted in How To: Transmission Drivetrain on May 1, 2013
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Last month we introduced you to a series of stories called “What Now?” where we are going to detail various scenes of trail breakage, offer tips on assessing and diagnosing the problem, and highlight some solutions to get you rolling again. Last time we talked about diagnosing a broken front axle and how to replace the broken parts with good spares or limp off the trail. This time we will show you the basics of swapping out a broken U-joint. This basically continues where we left off. We’ll mainly focus on changing a broken axleshaft U-joint, but most of what we do and show is also applicable to swapping out a broken driveshaft U-joint. Here, we are working on a very broken front U-joint from a CJ Dana 30. Two of the trunions of the U-joint broke and the ears of both inner and outer axleshaft are damaged, with the inner shaft basically ruined. Neither part is in good shape and we would not run them even as spare if given a choice, but they could get a Jeep off the trail in a pinch…that is, if we can get the new U-joint in the damaged ears. Follow along as we show how to change out a U-joint on the trail using only a few tools that we carry in our tool bag when out wheeling.

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