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EmTee

'67 Riviera Driveshaft CV Joints

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Posted (edited)

So, I noticed an intermittent mild vibration in the seat of my pants at about 60 mph last fall.  I suspected a driveline fault.  Last week I was backing Goldie out of the garage and heard a muted 'squeak-squeak-squeak...' from under the car.  I pulled the driveshaft today and found the culprit - the forward U-joint in the rear CV assembly has a torn seal and is eating itself. These's visible slop as I flex the joint.  The forward U-joint at the transmission feels dry and tight, with some binding, so I think that one needs to be replaced too.  The center CV assembly and center bearing look OK and feel smooth.  There's a little end play in the bearing, but it spins smoothly.

 

I have replaced U-joints before, so I feel confident I can replace the joint at the transmission.  I'm a little concerned about attempting the rear CV assembly simply because I see there's some sort of an axially mounted coil spring/plunger gizmo inside the cage and I'm wondering how many hands are required when it comes to putting that plunger assembly back together while assembling the U-joint and keeping everything lined-up as I try pressing the caps onto the joint...  Plan B is to just drop the whole thing off at a local driveline shop and pay them to rebuild the whole thing.  Has anyone out there installed new joints in their 2nd-Gen Riviera driveshaft?

 

s-l1600.jpg

Edited by EmTee (see edit history)

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YES,

 

I've done a number of them. For someone with experience to take apart & rebuild the thing including the CV Joints is about 8 hours give or take. IF you've NEVER done it before & have no experience you will get VERY frustrated.

These are a time consuming job that is very EASY to mess up.  EVEN professional drive shaft shops get them wrong/screw them up. It's VERY IMPORTANT to get the phasing correct. Basically it's pressing out the old & installing the new, BUT the CV Joints can drive you crazy. IF you end up taking a stab at it a few pointers. Make sure you use the H/Duty joints with NO grease fittings. A couple joints are special & is one of the areas the pros mess up on. The CV Joints are another problem area .  These problems are NOT insurmountable, BUT you need to be aware of certain things & can end up with MORE problems than you started with. Drive shafts pros are almost ALWAYS telling those not in the know their shafts are "Out Of Phase".   For their information they are most times unknowingly WRONG!!!! They are out of phase for a reason!!!!  That's the way Buick designed them.

 

 

Tom T.

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10 hours ago, telriv said:

Drive shafts pros are almost ALWAYS telling those not in the know their shafts are "Out Of Phase".

 

Thanks, I've heard these stories and I was planning to somehow file or drill small witness marks at key locations to make it easy to check that everything is back where it belongs.  Looking on Rock Auto I see they have a Moog joint that has a grease fitting in oine of the end caps - I was considering that one, but honestly, I can see the replacement joints outliving me with the number of annual miles they will see...

 

Is there a trick to getting the ball/spring back together in the end CV?  As I said, the center stuff looks good, so I'm considering only changing the transmission joint and rebuilding the axle end CV,  My guess would be to work from the end inward on the CV and then assemble from the center outward...

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  Great initial observations in the first post! ...and in Tom T`s response. The front joint often stiffens up and this makes it "notchy" if that is a real word.

  The CV joints are a PITA, at times wou will want a 3rd hand, but if you have done ujoints before you will understand what needs to be done. I have done them with a 4X4 cutoff and a 4 lb. hammer in my driveway so if you have access to a press you are already one step ahead of what is absolutely required.

  IMO greaseable ujoints will be perfectly fine for a standard application. It is true the solid spyders are stronger but will you be drag racing your Riv? If not you should be fine...

Tom Mooney

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Thanks Tom(s), for the comments.  I was studying the CV on the floor today and looked-up the U-Joint repair section in my mid-60's Motor Repair Manual.  They have a section covering Buick/Olds 2-piece shaft CV rebuilding.  I read the words and looked at the pictures and came away thinking that it looks like something I can tackle.  To rebuild the rear CV the procedure says to begin by removing the forward CV joint.  The one thing that wasn't fully explained was how to keep the axial ball/plunger together while aligning the rear joint with the end caps.  That process will probably require several attempts and a few naughty words.  The plan will be to start the job early on a day this week when i have no other plans...  ;)

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33 minutes ago, EmTee said:

Thanks Tom(s), for the comments.  I was studying the CV on the floor today and looked-up the U-Joint repair section in my mid-60's Motor Repair Manual.  They have a section covering Buick/Olds 2-piece shaft CV rebuilding.  I read the words and looked at the pictures and came away thinking that it looks like something I can tackle.  To rebuild the rear CV the procedure says to begin by removing the forward CV joint.  The one thing that wasn't fully explained was how to keep the axial ball/plunger together while aligning the rear joint with the end caps.  That process will probably require several attempts and a few naughty words.  The plan will be to start the job early on a day this week when i have no other plans...  ;)

That`s when you`ll want a 3rd hand....

Tom

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Just ordered the U-joints from Rock Auto -- roughly 1/2 the price of the identical part at NAPA.  Shipping adds 7 bucks, but still much less than sourcing locally.

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I replaced the u-joints on my '64 in 1981, just before the BCA Nationals in Sandusky. I didn't touch the CV joints. They were fine. When I tried to drive the caps out in the usual manner the cross would not travel far enough because the heavy CV casting blocked it. So, after the cross reached its limit, I cut the cross with a cutting torch and knocked the caps out with a punch. It when back together with no problem, 38 years and going fine.

 

I did have a Cadillac that had a CV joint ball fail. I took that one to a professional driveshaft service. After taking it back three times I took the service manual note to heart "This is not a servicable part". I found a good used one in a junkyard. The rebuilt one leaned in a corner of my garage for close to 20 years and then I through it out.

 

Yesterday at the picnic table with three gearhead nephews, Rock Auto got high ratings. Centric brake parts got special mention for quality castings. Raybestos has been removed from the running.

 

Bernie

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I ordered 3 U-joints and the plan is to replace the plain one at the transmission and at least the FWD joint of the rear CV assembly.  Now, the rearmost joint has been replaced previously, so I could leave it alone.  Whether or not I replace that one will depend upon how much cursing the other (definitely bad) one required to remedy.  All of the center stuff looks to be OK.

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Had my 65 done by a pretty reputable shop a while back. Told them to replace EVERYTHING in the shaft including the carrier bearing. 54 year old parts; I wasn't taking a chance of having to go back in. Got the "out of phase" story. Showed him the service manual and how it is supposed to be.

 

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Posted (edited)

Be sure to check the service manual.  There is a phase angle requirement between the two shafts.  I can dig it out if need be...

 

Edit: see figure 40-78 "Propeller Shaft Phasing", Section D of the manual, page 40-47.

Edited by RoadShark (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Here are a couple photos of what I found when I removed the two bad U-joints.  The first one was the forward joint from the rear CV assembly.  This is the one that showed obvious movement of the spider in the cup.

image.thumb.png.ff2fd3522374f02d9bf0c9ea85755b43.png

 

The second one is the single joint at the transmission.  Note the 'ruts' worn into the spider journals -- I believe this was the intermittent vibration I was feeling (and the squeak).

image.thumb.png.2a127a9b7af9fd838dc279905b7f27ab.png

 

Someone had recently replaced the rearmost joint in the rear CV assembly; it looked new and had a zerk fitting.  The center CV and center bearing looked OK, so I just left them alone.  I greased all three of the replacement joints and reinstalled the shaft.  Everything bolted-up just as it was originally.  Road test confirmed the fix - running smooth all the way to 80, um, I mean 55 miles per hour.  ;)

 

Gettysburg or Bust!

 

Edited by EmTee (see edit history)
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Fantastic.

Did the new ones come with Zerks?

One could do this whole job on a driveway?

 

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There are a lot more of those out there than one might think. Just that little low speed squeak, squeak, squeak.

025a.thumb.jpg.acc40888278df0632b920c471ea46519.jpg

 

My picture is one that was inside a torque tube. Sometimes you have to be persistent to find them.

 

At the time I changed mine there was a person on the Forum who couldn't separate his torque tube from the transmission. His U-joint failed, jammed up, locked up, and twisted the transmission output shaft.

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I was looking as Elm Tree's pictures and had to smile. You used to be able to walk up to the counter and ask for "a 1" internal clip U-joint". Try that today.

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On 6/24/2019 at 9:38 PM, EmTee said:

Here are a couple photos of what I found when I removed the two bad U-joints.  The first one was the forward joint from the rear CV assembly.  This is the one that showed obvious movement of the spider in the cup.

image.thumb.png.ff2fd3522374f02d9bf0c9ea85755b43.png

 

The second one is the single joint at the transmission.  Note the 'ruts' worn into the spider journals -- I believe this was the intermittent vibration I was feeling (and the squeak).

image.thumb.png.2a127a9b7af9fd838dc279905b7f27ab.png

 

Someone had recently replaced the rearmost joint in the rear CV assembly; it looked new and had a zerk fitting.  The center CV and center bearing looked OK, so I just left them alone.  I greased all three of the replacement joints and reinstalled the shaft.  Everything bolted-up just as it was originally.  Road test confirmed the fix - running smooth all the way to 80, um, I mean 55 miles per hour.  ;)

 

Gettysburg or Bust!

 

The squeek was from the "dry" cup. The notches you noted are from "brinneling" (sp?) and are usually the result of impact loading. Both these images are very common Ujoint failures but the brinneling is unusually deep for an automobile...someone drag racing this car? Lol...

Tom

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Great follow up EmTee, and the pictures speak or themselves.

The U joints are available, and reasonably priced from Rock Auto, and any 2nd generation Riviera will probably run a lot better with new  U joints.

The ACDelco type - 3 types available, are greasable (with zerks), or non greasable, and heavy-duty types.

Well written EmTee, and well worth your  effort, judging from the photos !

Enjoy Gettysburgh !

 

PS. Mr. Paul you probably could do this in your driveway but the garage might be better just in case it rains !

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11 hours ago, 1965rivgs said:

the brinneling is unusually deep for an automobile...someone drag racing this car? Lol..

 

Sign of a high idle when putting it in gear. AND, maybe, a driver who has a habit of putting the car in Drive when they shut it off.

 

Bernie

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On 6/26/2019 at 10:47 AM, 60FlatTop said:

Sign of a high idle when putting it in gear.

 

Hmmm, I'm going to check that.  I believe last time I looked it was ~600 in 'Drive'.  No clunks, squeaks or shudders in the driveline.  The car was smooth all the way to 70 on I-81 this week on the trip to Gettysburg.

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On 6/25/2019 at 7:35 AM, PWB said:

Did the new ones come with Zerks?

One could do this whole job on a driveway?

 

The replacements I got (from Rock Auto)  have zerk fittings, as does the one at the rear of the rear CV which was replaced by someone else previously.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=8440452&cc=1319059&jsn=1051&_nck=Ekt6BqBF1pwlXdx0gYlm1esw98pF26vehMm%2FGG3C%2Fl2QOXSJubi7WSpUmUSdg3OxWOs2f5z9h422EONy36O0PjCuaadDqI1r86y%2FvJ1lBqy8eOR0sg7BszHWEnTZqwKC%2BzVaWhuyCC3H6y%2F9m5%2BHhd70HpUexkGn0Nf5eMou8qUXkQt9K4ZyIZBkB7NpSX8odSczohg79zkGZVT7tOStQSxaCesiBtcNQQL%2FlcEVWRfsS4V1CwRgy90fzmUC8GslOnaQVoOvsshLLRutE%2FxsDwgS%2FxVTEsThO7F%2B5geu46lTez%2F1CU8vTr9HFbMMKLMEAslhKcV6I08on0HuW1DUSxvQi70qiMOXH6LAP5MUSICbtvaxpXwvLhGqzt5CeS77NtBf5J5jLEsXVPkfdkZ53GVOhFsKTHGp4wz5zHs8Xffj%2Fwgp4LiVSbylhdC74u69

 

I greased all of the ones with fittings before re-installing the driveline in the car.  Everything went in and bolted-up as it was originally.  While I was at it I replaced the output seal on the transmission, which showed signs of leaking.

 

While this job can be done on your back with the car up on jack stands, it was sooooooo much nicer to finally have the luxury of doing it on my 4-post lift.  Also, it helps to have a second set of hands when threading the shafts back through the frame and into the transmission.  Be sure to protect the slip yoke to keep it clean - I taped a layer of single-ply cardboard around the circumference and covered the opening in the end to keep dirt out until it was time to reinsert it into the transmission.

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