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(1) 2 »

Greasing U Joints
#1
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Joe
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Hey gang - trying to grease up the needle bearings in my front U joint and having a heck of time getting these last two caps off. I can get both ends about this far (until the joint bottoms out on the shaft hooks). Tried using vice grips and channel lock to draw it through the rest of the way - refuses to budge. What am I missing with this? Thanks in advance.

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Posted on: 2023/11/26 15:47
Joe Busuito
Greenville, NC
1950 Super Deluxe Eight Touring Sedan, Model 2302-5
327 w/ Ultramatic
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Re: Greasing U Joints
#2
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Packard Don
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Vice-grips is what I use too but these are typically replaced rather than greased unless they have a grease fitting inside as some do. The removal more often than not knocks out the needle bearings. As for it being stuck, it needs to come out perfectly straight or it will bind in place so you may need to rock it a bit in order to get it realigned.

Posted on: 2023/11/26 16:07
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Re: Greasing U Joints
#3
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Bob J
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There is nothing in the mechanism's form that is stopping you, as you can see from the one you have already removed, it is a cross with caps containing an array of needle bearings. So I suspect dirt/hard dried grease is acting as a stop/binder. You can try soaking it in degreaser to see if that softens it. Heat might be quicker, would not take much to melt any interior build-up, be sure not to use any more than necessary as you do not want to adversely affect the steel's hardness. (Propane torch type, not cutting torch level.)
Once removed it would be a good idea to remove the grease fitting and run a wire through all the drilled grease tunnel lines and wash it out well so there is no more old lubricant or containments, same goes for the needle bearings. Check all the crosses too for wear on the bearing surface, any pitting and throw it away. Murphy says it will be the last cross you disassemble that will be worn!
You may find it best to get a new U Joint anyway, they are not that expensive and if yours has been run at all in the shape it is in there is a good chance its is due even if it looks good.
Bob J..

Posted on: 2023/11/26 16:12
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Re: Greasing U Joints
#4
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BigKev
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One thing I did on my 54 while I will do onnthe 37 is replace ever single grease fitting new ones. You can buy a assortement box of 50 SAE fittings for about $11 on eBay.

I paint everything I am going to paint on the chassis, and then replace the fittings. The just removes the frustration of dealing with gummed up or rusted fittings.

Posted on: 2023/11/26 16:21
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan -> Registry | Project Blog

1937 Packard 115-C Convertible Coupe -> Registry | Project Blog
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Re: Greasing U Joints
#5
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Joe
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Update - some more clean, along with some jerking/twisting motions got the job done. The U joint is out and everything soaking in brake cleaner. Should these be replaced with new U joints? The repair number (382742) yields some modern replacements, but I wouldn't call them cheap per se. Would you replace or reuse? I'm not sure what I'm looking for to determine if these should be replaced or not. Thanks again, everybody!

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jpg  Front U joint.jpg (403.30 KB)
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Posted on: 2023/11/26 18:58
Joe Busuito
Greenville, NC
1950 Super Deluxe Eight Touring Sedan, Model 2302-5
327 w/ Ultramatic
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Re: Greasing U Joints
#6
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Ross
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Look at the little stub shafts and see if they have grooves you can feel worn into them. If not, pack them them and mark the calendar for November of 2083 for the next service.

If grooves are present, its better to replace them.

Posted on: 2023/11/26 19:18
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Re: Greasing U Joints
#7
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BigKev
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If everything is in good condition and not scored or worn in anyway, then I would think repacking them and reusing them would be fine. If there is any wear, replace them. Its a job you should only have to do once while you own the car.

Posted on: 2023/11/26 19:20
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan -> Registry | Project Blog

1937 Packard 115-C Convertible Coupe -> Registry | Project Blog
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Re: Greasing U Joints
#8
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Joe
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Hahaha... (Great?) Grand kids and I will get it done in '83!!! I'll only be 97!!!

I ended up just opting for NAPA replacements (I'll change the rear one as well). They have a 20% off $125+ Black Friday deal going on; couldn't say no. The modern cross reference for the Packard part #382742, GMB 230-3012, cross references with NAPA part: UJS UJ531G. So with any luck, we'll get this all wrapped up. Thanks, all!

Posted on: 2023/11/26 19:39
Joe Busuito
Greenville, NC
1950 Super Deluxe Eight Touring Sedan, Model 2302-5
327 w/ Ultramatic
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Re: Greasing U Joints
#9
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Fish'n Jim
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Generally replace if there's excess play in the joint/vibration or by mileage.
If the rollers are out of round/damaged, then definitely replace. There's only two ends showing any noticeable scoring in the same axis but not grooved. They might be suspect/need checked.
Didn't say which joint this was, front or rear?
Generally, if they don't have zerks, they're to be replaced not re-lubed.
If the grease is hard, then won't help to try to flush out with fresh grease, so need dismantled/cleaned, if it's been driven like that. Time saver, I'd replace as chances of them being good in that condition are less and why invest the labor or have to do over anyway, if it's vibrating after reinstall.
Grease has to liquify enough to flow to coat the bearing surface, so if hard is like no lube. Tendency is to over grease, stick to a maintenance schedule. Then that opens the question of what else is full of hard grease?
I'm sure they were much cheaper/throw away back in the day, but not when they're rare or odd size - happy to get them. Finding quality is more difficult today.
ps:There's a bit of art in removing end caps. I use a socket that's only slightly smaller than the cap, so it pushes on the cap sides and press the top in to push out the bottom, then reverse. Keeps the rollers in line that way, if you catch the cap. Don't pound them out, the caps are thin and can crack/get damaged and center hits don't have any support.

Posted on: 2023/11/26 19:40
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Re: Greasing U Joints
#10
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TxGoat
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Which car are you working on?
I'd always replace both U-joints.
If you re-use old u-joints , it's best to put all the used parts back exactly as they were, which is difficult with u-joints. Also, you need new seals, which may not be available.

Drive line parts should all be marked before disassembly and re-assembled exactly as they were to preserve balance and "phasing".

Some yoke/splines can be assembled
"out of phase". Some have a "blind spline" to prevent this and some don't. Some have an arrow on the shaft and yoke, which may be hard to see. Out of phase assembly will cause trouble with vibration and may damage the clutch hub. Be sure that the driveline is re-assembled just as it was originally.

Posted on: 2023/11/27 9:59
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