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Drive shaft universal joint help


drumyn29
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I have a terrible vibration and I think that it may be my stock 1939 Willys universal joints. I haven't opened up the leather boot that protects the joint but I'm wondering if anyone can guide me on the best way to rebuild it and also keep it original. Or is it better to update the shaft and universal joint?

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Looks like a Detroit system and repair kits can be had. Sometimes so much grease builds up in the boots that it will lump up and throw off the balance. Biggest issue is if you have to replace the main trunnion shaft in the driveshaft, it's very important to get it pressed in equally on each side to keep the balance. Boots are becoming harder to find but they do pop up on occasion but any good leather shop should be able to make a set but they may have to be the lace type.

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Now that you've opened the boot, you really should fix things: These Detroit ball and trunnion type joints are basically an early version of a CV joint and suffer the same issue of extremely fast wear if the boot is damaged.

 

There are several sizes of the Detroit joint so check the vendor's site carefully to determine if the parts your are getting are correct.

 

If the inside of the housing is not worn, then there is a kit with the needle bearings, balls, end caps, etc. that can be easily fitted. Simply pull the driveshaft off the car (some people like to mark so they get it back on in the same position) and then pull the sheet metal cover off the end by prying open the tabs. If your kit did not come with a new cover, then be careful with the tabs so you can re-install it. Once open it is pretty obvious how/where everything goes. Don't over grease, manuals for the Chrysler equivalent ones call for about 1 tablespoon total.

 

If the housing has been worn, then it will need to be replaced and that entails pressing out the pin and then pressing it back into place. And it has to be exactly centered or you will have vibration issues.

 

With respect to boots, the original ones usually had an inner cone that kept grease inside the housing and then an outer to keep water and dirt out. A lot of the replacement boots are only the outer. If possible see if you can find ones with the grease retaining cone.

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