How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Mike S. Your Own Question

Mike S.
Mike S., Chevy Mechanic
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 4993
Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician
Type Your Chevy Question Here...
Mike S. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

2002 chevy suburban: I think I might have a u-joint going out.

Customer Question

I have a 2002 chevy suburban. I think I might have a u-joint going out. I'm hoping it's not more than that. Here's the problem.
When I shift from drive to reverse or reverse to drive, I hear a clanking noise. Not all the time but sometimes. If I'm stopped and accelerate fast, I hear a very loud, hollow, tinny noise. It sounds like it's right behind the front seat but it's hard to tell. This happens if I accelerate fast in forward or in reverse. If I accelerate slowly I don't hear this noise. If I have the truck in neutral and hit the gas, the engine revs but I don't hear this noise. As I gradually go faster, the truck starts to vibrate at about 20 miles per hour, is really bad about 40 miles per hour and then not quite as bad once I reach 55 miles per hour. It kind of feels like your driving on a gravel road.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Mike S. replied 3 years ago.

Yeah, that's usually a good sign that 1 or both of the u-joints are worn. If you come to find out that one is bad, you might as well do them both. Remember to mark it first, cause it is balanced. Just take a piece of chalk and draw a line across the driveshaft right to the differential housing.

You can tell which one if you get down under there and take the driveshaft in one hand right near the u-joint and grab the transmission yoke on the front or the flange for the rear on back and push and pull with both hands and twist back and forth also. Any movement and they will clang or you can just stick a big screwdriver into the u-joint and move the screwdriver around in case you don't want to get your hands all dirty.

When checking the back, also check the ring and pinion backlash by grabbing the flange and turning that clockwise and counter-clockwise. There should be a little play and maybe a clink but no clunk. Also, move the flange up and down to make sure the nut is tight.

If the seal leaks do that while you have the driveshaft out, same as in the front if the tranny seal is leaking.

When under there also look for any weights that may have flown off the driveshaft although it may be out of balance just because of the u-joints being worn.

Do you know how to replace u-joints? You need a big vise and a big hammer.

Mike S., Chevy Mechanic
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 4993
Experience: ASE Certified Master Technician
Mike S. and 12 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have not replaced u-joints before. Is it complicated or is it fairly simple as long as you have a big hammer?
Expert:  Mike S. replied 3 years ago.

Simple. Once you get the driveshaft out, remove all the clips from the bearing caps if there are any. Sometimes they have some plastic stuff in them, you can tell by a little hole and maybe a blue tip thing and no clips. If you heat them up with a torch they kinda expand and come out like a worm coming out of an apple.

Once you get the clips off or those plastic things. If any clips are stuck, just use a socket and hammer and tap on the bearing cap a little and try to squeeze the clip together again and remove it.

Once you get the caps ready to come out, open your vise about 4-5 inches, enough to set the front yoke on top of both jaws and the driveshaft hand free, so you are catching the u-joint on the ends, then bang on the driveshaft right where the weld is and bang one cap out, turn it over and bang the other cap out, then turn the vise in some and lay the u-joint on top of both jaws and bang them caps out. Make sure you place the grease fitting hole so the compresses instead of separates when the driveshaft is spinning.

Set the u-joint in and gently place both caps on by hand as far as they will go but don't hammer them yet or you will loose the needle bearings and they will fall over. Now, set the u-joint exactly in the middle so it goes in a little bit on each end cap, then place in vise the entire thing between both end caps and squeeze it all together slowly. Then when caps are flush, if you have to put the clip back in use a socket and hit the socket with a hammer untill you can get the clip in.

 

remove u joint bearing caps

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here
View Full Image

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

install bearing caps

 

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here
View Full Image

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I was having a terrible problem with the wheel bearings on my 98 Chevy Cavalier and I suspect that using this website saved me plenty of time and money. Todd L Rochester NY
< Last | Next >
  • I was having a terrible problem with the wheel bearings on my 98 Chevy Cavalier and I suspect that using this website saved me plenty of time and money. Todd L Rochester NY
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tim's Auto Repair

    mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    7641
    Have owned a repair shop for 25 yrs.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TI/tim37857/2011-10-28_23053_S6301814.64x64.JPG Tim's Auto Repair's Avatar

    Tim's Auto Repair

    mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    7641
    Have owned a repair shop for 25 yrs.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DT/dt69nova/2012-6-15_234154_pic1.64x64.jpg Dave Nova's Avatar

    Dave Nova

    Chevrolet Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    6870
    ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ggrote1/2009-06-27_031011_me.jpg Gary's Avatar

    Gary

    Chevy Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    5404
    15 years GM master tech
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/testedtuff/2009-09-26_170108_pictures.jpg John's Avatar

    John

    Master A.S.E Automotive technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    4071
    A.S.E MasterTechnician A1-A8 w/L1,38 years experience General Motors Master Technician
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/rodcuda/2011-7-25_224114_Donhoff1.64x64.JPG Neal's Avatar

    Neal

    Chevy Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    2306
    Shop Owner and Mechanic on multiple makes.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/goodwrench9124/2008-11-09_220838_dscf0007.jpg goodwrench9124's Avatar

    goodwrench9124

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2041
    Ase Master Certified, GM Master Certified Tech. Awarded GM Top performer, Hybrid certified
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/drivefast1971/2012-1-12_172422_0009051tQKh.64x64.jpg Ron Z.'s Avatar

    Ron Z.

    - Chevy Tech -

    Satisfied Customers:

    1912
    18+yrs experience. State Inspector and Chevy Diagnostics