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MIClassicGuy

"Mechanics" type U-joints--Did they really ever hold oil?

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I've got one of the joints apart, cleaned, cleaned again, and back together...Then filled it with oil and, of course, it leaks like a sieve, around the little cork/brass "seals". Anybody found a good modern way to seal them up? I've read not to fill it full of grease, but that's was what was in there when I took it apart...

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If there's a leak, even a tiny one, STP will come out too, only slower but a pain to wipe up. Sort of like cold honey. I'm not familiar with the name 'Mechanic's" Universal joint and it's seals you describe but you may have to find replacement seals for it. Have you tried Myers Dodge parts? Romar's? Perhaps Hemmings Motor News? Also try looking into "Cornhead grease" It may not channel out like other grease will. Found in most tractor/farm supply places. Model A Fords have a grease fitting on the universal housing--and that's what they took--grease. I would still check any original literature you may have or find, to what actually belongs in there.

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Pete's right of course - best forget the STP idea. If you can't find replacements can you just replace the old cork seals? Perhaps the idea is that cork will expand slightly and hold oil, rather than grease - again I don't know for sure. I would go with Pete's "cornhead grease" suggestion.

(In more modern cars where stub axles are turning in "trunions" designed to hold oil, often grease is used to try and compensate for wear in the brass threads. Does no harm.)

Ray.

Edited by R.White (see edit history)

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I had a set of seals for my U-joints. I installed them in 1962 and they lasted until 1968 when they started to leak again. I took my driveshaft out and took it and both transmission and differential yokes to the GM shop where I worked. One of the mechanics cut the yokes and replaced the "Mechanics" crosses and bits with standard spicer joints. 45 years and 350,000 miles later I have only had to replace one u-joint. I take them out every second year and repack them. I have never seen another seal kit and I have never seen a "Mechanics" u-joint that wasn't almost totally worn out. Machinists tell me they are impossible to rebuild so I think my solution is the only viable option. The machinist that welded mine did it while the shaft was turning slowly in his lathe. We never balanced it and it spins beautifully.

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I think I may have found a solution...I took it apart and measured where the cork seals go and found modern seals, or at least the part numbers...The closest I could find were actually Suzuki and Honda part numbers, Tomorrow, Monday, I am going to call around and see which are the easiest to obtain...I will write again with the results..For MikeC5, here are some pics...post-97557-143142288889_thumb.jpg

post-97557-143142288868_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for the photos! That makes it a lot easier to understand the configuration.

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Interesting.. I'm sure I've never seen one like that before. But it operates same as a conventional U-joint. It looks like you would need a seal similar to what is found on conventional U-joints plus the parting line of the ring halves.

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Well...My Suzuki seals seem to be the fix for now...tonite we assembled one joint and filled it with 80/90wt oil and so far so good...no leaks. The idea of a oil filled cavity with no vent seems like trouble to me...I think when the car goes from 40 degrees to 110 degrees going down the road on a hot summer day the pressure from expansion would force oil out somewhere...I guess we'll see...post-97557-143142300455_thumb.jpg

post-97557-143142300432_thumb.jpg

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Anybody know what color the drive shaft and joints were painted on these cars that were "hosed down" all one color? The trans looked like it was gray over a coat of black, most all other frame and suspension parts were body color (green), but there was no sign of color left on the shaft, which was either too greasy or too rusty to give up any clues...

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