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Discussion Starter #1
Got the '89 S3 back on the road after 2 years of mothballs. New clutch, pressure plate, throw out bearing, flex disc, & u-joints.

During shakedown jaunts of about 10 miles each I noticed occasional vibration coming from the area of drive shaft. Got underneath to check that everything is tight and appears everything is. I did notice that the new U-Joints (from autozone) leave a good bit of play. I shot a quick video demonstrating here:


Is this normal? Could this be the source of my vibration?

I bought a set of U-Joints from one of the Alfa suppliers & it was so tight I broke the new U-Joint trying to install. I noticed that Autozone had the "correct" size for '89 S3 in stock so I picked them up & they literally dropped right in.

Any & all advice & tutelage is welcome.

Thanks in advance,
M5
 

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The first u-joint is not even centered the second one I don't see the 'C' clip
 

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If they dropped right in then they are undersized. If you do a search in the ABB you will find discussions of poorly fitting U-joints going back at least 10 years. Some were too long making it impossible to install the C clips, others were undersized and loose. I have not had to buy any in a long time and the last good ones were from Highwood Alfa after getting unsuitable ones from three different sources. You should be able to find a relatively recent post from someone who bought good ones.
 

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That's way too much play. There should be absolutely no play at all if the joints fit correctly. That's got to be the source of the vibration. By the way, has anyone had experience with u-joints from Centerline?
 

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I just measured one that I know is correct. The cup diameter is 24.00 mm And the length across the cups is 63.10 mm
 

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There were some that were the correct diameter but were too long. Hopefully there are none of those still around.
 

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That's way too much play. There should be absolutely no play at all if the joints fit correctly. That's got to be the source of the vibration. By the way, has anyone had experience with u-joints from Centerline?
centerline u-joints are the correct ones, spend the extra $. Have used them on all of our Alfas 81, 82, 89 and our 74 GTV, and have replace the GTV with a one piece carbon fiber from centerline.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The original two I purchased last March were from Centerline. One broke on installation. I thought I was clumsy (smack in the middle of my medical issue) but in hindsight I may have had one of the ones that was a tad too long that has been mentioned in this thread. I did not risk installing the second one at the time, instead opting for the two in stock (supposedly) correct size ones at my local AutoZone.

I measured the one I have left from Centerline & it measures 24 mm at the cap & between 63.1 & 63.2 mm wide according to my digital caliper. I'm assuming that is within spec with what Ed graciously provided above. I just ordered another U Joint from Centerline along with a new windshield washer bottle. I'll replace the AZ ones with the Centerline ones & report back.

I'm curious though. I also replaced the flex disc with the U joints. Can I uninstall & reinstall the new flex disc without the metal band? If not, would some kind of giant hose clamp be needed, or is there some other McGyver method I should use?

Thanks in advance-M5
 

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Got the '89 S3 back on the road after 2 years of mothballs. New clutch, pressure plate, throw out bearing, flex disc, & u-joints.

During shakedown jaunts of about 10 miles each I noticed occasional vibration coming from the area of drive shaft. Got underneath to check that everything is tight and appears everything is. I did notice that the new U-Joints (from autozone) leave a good bit of play. I shot a quick video demonstrating here:


Is this normal? Could this be the source of my vibration?

I bought a set of U-Joints from one of the Alfa suppliers & it was so tight I broke the new U-Joint trying to install. I noticed that Autozone had the "correct" size for '89 S3 in stock so I picked them up & they literally dropped right in.

Any & all advice & tutelage is welcome.

Thanks in advance,
M5
Hey!...had the same problem on my 76 Alfa Spider...the AutoZone joints were to small...But the VickAutoSports joints fit perfectly!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
U-Joints are done!

Turns out I was being clumsy. The Centerline caps were the correct size (unlike AutoZone). I kept breaking caps on Centerline's UJ151 using the "hammer & socket" method. Invested in a Ball Joint press from Harbor Freight and used the "frozen caps" method. Pressing in was relatively easy. Found the exact hose clamp for the flex disc at Lowe's for less that $3.

Thank you all for the help and advice. Now to tackle the steering slop!!
 
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