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how do i replace u-joints for a 1985 1/2 ton c 10 chevy truck

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Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Triston replied 9 years ago.

you don't have to do all this, but this is for all the u-jonts they make for your truck. good luck please accept if satisfied. thanks T-MAN


See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8

There are three types of U-joints used in these trucks. The first is held together by wire snaprings in the yokes. The second type is held together with injection molded plastic retainer rings. This type cannot be reassembled with the same parts, once disassembled. However, repair kits are available. The third type (4-wheel drive models only) is the large constant velocity joint which looks like a double U-joint, located at the transfer case end of the front driveshaft.

Snapring Type

  1. Remove the driveshaft(s) from the truck.
  2. Remove the lockrings from the yoke and remove the lubrication fitting.
  3. Support the yoke in a bench vise. Never clamp the driveshaft tube.
  4. Use a soft drift pin and hammer to drive against one trunnion bearing to drive the opposite bearing from the yoke.

The bearing cap cannot be driven completely out.

  1. Grasp the cap and work it out.
  2. Support the other side of the yoke and drive the other bearing cap from the yoke and remove as in Steps 4 and 5.
  3. Remove the trunnion from the driveshaft yoke.
  4. If equipped with a sliding sleeve, remove the trunnions bearings from the sleeve yoke in the same manner as above. Remove the seal retainer from the end of the sleeve and pull the seal and washer from the retainer.

To remove the bearing support:

  1. Remove the dust shield, or, if equipped with a flange, remove the cotter pin and nut and pull the flange and deflector assembly from the shaft.
  2. Remove the support bracket from the rubber cushion and pull the cushion away from the bearing.
  3. Pull the bearing assembly from the shaft. If equipped, remove the grease retainers and slingers from the bearing.

Assemble the bearing support as follows:

  1. Install the inner deflector on the driveshaft and punch the deflector on 2 opposite sides to be sure that it is tight.
  2. Pack the retainers with special high melting grease. Insert a slinger (if used) inside one retainer and press this retainer over the bearing outer race.
  3. Start the bearing and slinger on the shaft journal. Support the driveshaft and press the bearing and inner slinger against the shoulder of the shaft with a suitable tool.
  4. Install the second slinger on the shaft and press the second retainer on the shaft.
  5. Install the dust shield over the shaft (small diameter first) and depress it into position against the outer slinger or, if equipped with a flange, install the flange and deflector. Align the centerline of the flange yoke with the centerline of the driveshaft yoke and start the flange straight on the splines of the shaft with the end of the flange against the slinger.
  6. Force the rubber cushion onto the bearing and coat the outside diameter of the cushion with clean brake fluid.
  7. Force the bracket onto the cushion.

Assemble the trunnion bearings:

  1. Repack the bearings with grease and replace the trunnion dust seals after any operation that requires disassembly of the U-joint. But be sure that the lubricant reservoir at the end of the trunnion is full of lubricant. Fill the reservoirs with lubricant from the bottom.
  2. Install the trunnion into the driveshaft yoke and press the bearings into the yoke over the trunnion hubs as far as it will go.
  3. Install the lockrings.
  4. Hold the trunnion in one hand and tap the yoke slightly to seat the bearings against the lockrings.
  5. On the rear driveshafts, install the sleeve yoke over the trunnion hubs and install the bearings in the same manner as above.

Molded Retainer Type

An injection molded plastic retainer is used on some models. A service repair kit is available for overhaul.

  1. Remove the driveshaft.
  2. Support the driveshaft in a horizontal position. Place the U-joint so that the lower ear of the shaft yoke is supported by a 11/8 in. socket. Press the lower bearing cup out of the yoke ear. This will shear the plastic retaining the lower bearing cup.

Never clamp the driveshaft tubing in a vise.

  1. If the bearing cup is not completely removed, lift the cross, insert a spacer and press the cup completely out.
  2. Rotate the driveshaft, shear the opposite plastic retainer, and press the other bearing cup out in the same manner.
  3. Remove the cross from the yoke. Production U-joints cannot be reassembled. There are no bearing retainer grooves in the cups. Discard all parts that we removed and substitute those in the overhaul kit.
  4. Remove the sheared plastic bearing retainer. Drive a small pin or punch through the injection holes to aid in removal.
  5. If the front U-joint is serviced, remove the bearing cups from the slip yoke in the manner previously described.
  6. Be sure that the seals are installed on the service bearing cups to hold the needle bearings in place for handling. Grease the bearings if they aren't pregreased.
  7. Install one bearing cup partway into one side of the yoke and turn this ear to the bottom.
  8. Insert the opposite bearing cup partway. Be sure that both trunnions are started straight into the bearing cups.
  9. Press against opposite bearing cups, working the cross constantly to be sure that it is free in the cups. If binding occurs, check the needle rollers to be sure that one needle has not become lodged under an end of the trunnion.
  10. As soon as one bearing retainer groove is exposed, stop pressing and install the bearing retainer snapring.
  11. Continue to press until the opposite bearing retainer can be installed. If difficulty installing the snaprings is encountered, rap the yoke with a hammer to spring the yoke ears slightly.
  12. Assemble the other half of the U-joint in the same manner.

Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 1: U-joint alignment, 1980-87 K models with two-piece driveshafts only Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 2: U-joint alignment keyway, 32 spline shaft Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 3: U-joint repair kit, snapring types Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 4: U-joint bearing cup removal with a vise, snapring type Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 5: Install trunnion into bearing yoke Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 6: Install U-joint snaprings Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 7: Tap the tube yoke lightly to seat the U-joint bearings against the lock rings Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 8: Injected molded retainer U-joint repair kitConstant Velocity (CV) Joint

See Figures 9, 10 and 11

Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 9: Constant velocity joint showing alignment marks punched for reassembly Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 10: Constant velocity joint disassembly sequence Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 11: Exploded view of a constant velocity joint



  1. Using a punch, mark the link yoke and the adjoining yokes before disassembly to ensure proper reassembly and driveshaft balance.

It is easier to remove the universal joint bearings from the flange yoke first. The first pair of flange yoke universal joint bearings to be removed is the pair in the link yoke.

  1. With the driveshaft in a horizontal position, solidly support the link yoke (a 17/8 in. pipe will do).
  2. Apply force to the bearing cup on the opposite side with a 11/8 in. pipe or a socket the size of the bearing cup. Use a vise or press to apply force. Force the cup inward as far as possible.

In the absence of a press, a heavy vise may be used, but make sure that the universal to be removed is at a right angle to the jaws of the vise. Do not cock the bearing cups in their bores.

  1. Remove the pieces of pipe and complete the removal of the protruding bearing cup by tapping around the circumference of the exposed portion of the bearing with a small hammer.
  2. Reverse the position of the pieces of pipe and apply force to the exposed journal end. This will force the other bearing cup out of its bore and allow removal of the flange.

There is a ball joint located between the two universals. The ball portion of this joint is on the inner end of the flange yoke. The ball, as well as the ball seat parts, are replaceable. Care must be taken not to damage the ball. The ball portion of this joint is on the driveshaft. To remove the seat, pry the seal out with a screwdriver.

  1. To remove the journal from the flange, use steps two through five.
  2. Remove the universal joint bearings from the driveshaft using the steps from two through five. The first pair of bearing caps that should be removed is the pair in the link yoke.
  3. Examine the ball stud seat and ball stud for scores or wear. Worn seats can be replaced with a kit. A worn ball, however, requires the replacement of the entire shaft yoke and flange assembly. Clean the ball seat cavity and fill it with grease. Install the spring, washer, ball seats, and spacer, if removed.
  4. Install the universal joints opposite the order in which they were disassembled.
  5. Install a bearing 1/4 of the way into one side of the yoke.
  6. Insert the journal into the yoke so that an arm of the journal seats into the bearing.
  7. Press the bearing in the remaining distance and install its snapring.
  8. Install the opposite bearing. Do not allow the bearing rollers to jam. Continually check for free movement of the journal in the bearings as they are pressed into the yoke.
  9. Install the rest of the bearings in the same manner.

The flange yoke should snap over center to the right or left and up or down by the pressure of the ball seat spring.