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George H.
George H., ASE Certified Technician
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 18693
Experience:  15+years ASE Master W/L1 Drivability
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1996 Yukon: off u-joint shaft

This answer was rated:

taking off u-joint bearings 1996 Yukon 4wd - have drive shaft off but cannot get bearing caps off/out on drive shaft side

Hello I will help you with your question,


Heat the area around the cap with a propane torch to remove the nylon lock and you will be able to install the new joint


NOTICE: Never clamp propeller shaft tubing In a vise. Clamping could dent or deform the tube causing an Imbalance or unsafe condition. Always clamp on one of the yokes and support the shaft horizontally. Avoid damaging the slip yoke sealing surface. Nicks may damage the bushing or cut the lip seal.

  • Tools Required:
  • J 9522-3 Universal Joint Bearing Separator
  • J 9522-5 Universal Joint Bearing Spacer Remover
  • Support the propeller shaft in a line horizontal with the table of a press.
  • Mark the propeller shaft as to which end is the transmission end and which end goes to the rear axle.


  • Place the universal joint so that the lower ear of the yoke is supported on a 30 mm (1 1/8 inch) socket.

  • In order to shear the plastic retaining ring on the bearing cup, place J 9522-3 on the open horizontal bearing cups and press the lower bearing cup out of the yoke ear. If the bearing cup is not completely removed, lift the cross and insert J 9522-5 between the seal and bearing cup being removed and continue to press it out of the yoke.
  • Rotate the propeller shaft and press the opposite bearing cup out of the yoke.


  • Mark orientation of slip yoke to tube for proper reassembly.
  1. The cross from the yoke.
  2. Remaining universal joint parts from the yoke.
    • If the front universal joint is being replaced, remove the bearing cups in the slip yoke in the same manner.


  1. The retaining ring grooves for plastic.
  2. The bearing cup bores in the yoke ears for burrs or imperfections.


  • The remains of the sheared plastic bearing retainers from the grooves in the yoke.
  • The sheared plastic may prevent the bearing cups from being pressed into place and thus prevent the bearing retainers from being properly seated.


  • Remove the bearing cups from the universal joint and use your finger to coat the needle bearings in the bearing cup with a thin layer of chassis grease.

  1. One bearing cup part way into one side of the yoke.
    • Turn the yoke ear toward the bottom.
  1. Cross into the yoke so the trunnion seats freely into the bearing cup.
    • With the trunnion seated in the bearing cup press the bearing cup into the yoke until it is flush with the yoke ear.
  1. The opposite bearing cup part way into the yoke ear.

  • Make sure that the trunnions are started straight and true into both bearing cups.
  • Press the opposite bearing cup into the yoke ear while working the cross all the time to check for free unbinding movement of the trunnions in the bearing cups.
  • Press the bearing cup into the yoke until the bearing retainer groove clears the inside of the yoke.

Important: If there seems to be a hang-up or binding, stop pressing, and check the needle bearings for misalignment in the bearing cup.

  1. Bearing retainer in the retainer groove.
    • Continue to press until both retainers can be snapped into place.

  • If the retainer is difficult to seat, the yoke can be sprung slightly with a firm blow from a dead blow hammer.
  • It may be necessary to lubricate the snap ring with a slight amount of chassis grease so it seats in the bearing cup groove

Once the nylon spews out like a snake you can use standard procedures to replace the joint


Please ask if you have questions


Thank you

George H. and 4 other GM Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Ok looks good but i needed to say this is the rear side of the shaft. i cannot see the top/outside surface of the u-joint cap. Using the press as in the first figure you listed will allow the u-joint to push down? Not sure? The figure appears that you can see the end caps on all sides of u-joint.

This is at the pinion yoke right? the rearmost u-joint? How many pieces are in your driveshaft?1?2?3? Is the joint #22 in this diagram?





Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes it is #22
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Ok, I have to go to work and I'm sorry I cannot respond anymore with you on this subject. I will check back tonight when I get home 11:00pm CST. I will accept so you get paid also.

Once you remove the retainers on the pinion yoke the shaft is on the floor and you can melt the nylon on the driveshaft yoke to release the caps of the joint then you should be able to place a large socket on the floor to support the yoke and drive the cap out into the socket. The new caps are held in with external snaprings.


If none of this makes sense maybe you can post a picture of the area you have a question about. I am not sure that I understand that you cannot see the cap?


Ok I will be here until about the time you get back or a little later then I will be on tomorrow at 8:00AM. I will try to get you a clearer drawing of what I am saying