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Discussion Starter #1
I took the car out for a bit of a shakedown the other night. The new U-Joints made a huge difference. No vibrations, nice & smooth. I was doing about 55 mph and suddenly there was an ungodly rattle & the car felt as if it would shake apart just behind me. I thought I dropped the driveshaft. Got it home & put it on jack stands in daylight. It urns out that one of my caps jettisoned. I don't know how that could have happened as I thought I was careful with the snap rings.

Please see picks of my yoke? the u joint beating on it briefly at 55 mph left some damage on what I believe is called the yoke.(See pics below)

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Questions:

1. What can I do moving forward to ensure that snap rings that appear secure are really secure?

2. Can a machine shop fix the damage in the pics above? The one dent is clearly on the snap ring channel. I don't believe it was there to begin with, but I definitely would not trust a snap ring on it now as is.

3. Can this be easily replaced or is it matched & balanced along with the other parts of the driveshaft.

Thanks in advance for the education-
 

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That happened to me once. Same thing...driving down the road and I heard the sound of a metal clip go flying and the drive shaft wanting to come out of the car. I limped back home and had to replace the driveshaft as mine was at the rear axle end. The clips can be a hair to fat, and even when you think you have them in, they are not secure. I take a flat-faced punch and make sure the clips are all the way into the groove by tapping all the way around. The worst-case scenario was to put back in the original clips as they were thinner. We are talking only about a .001.

I would check with a driveshaft shop and see if they can clean that up to accept a new set of Ujoiints. Take them the whole assembly so if it needs balancing they have it there.

'
 

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Richard Jemison
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There is threads in the BB on the u-joints being sold for Alfas. NONE of the aftermarket U-joints fit the Alfa drive shaft yokes. Too long and the clip cannot engage in the groove.
I suggest Jon Norman at Alfa Parts in Berzerkley Ca. Alfaparticle got his from,I think, Defatta Brothers.
I got mine from Tom Turner at First Floor Sport Cars in Jacksonvill, Fl.
 

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If the U-joints are a tiny bit too long you can reduce the thickness of the snap rings until they go all the way into the grooves. I used a piece of wooden dowel a bit larger in diameter than the rings and fastened the snap ring to the end with a couple of tacks, then held it against the flat side of a bench grinding wheel. Don't make them too thin or they can break.
 

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I ordered my U-Joints from Classic Alfa in the UK. They came with the little springs that fit under the caps. On a couple of the arms (can't remember which ones), if I tried to use a spring on both ends, there wasn't enough clearance to get both internal clips to fit in the grooves. I ended up using a spring under just one cap on those. Never had any problems with vibration (and I've been on the track a bit too).
 

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Which track or club allows you drive on the track in a rag top? My local track requires a cage or high end roll bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It seems our area's driveshaft shop closed its door a short time ago after 55 years! Just my luck.

In the meantime I was able to do a little work on it myself. With 5 seconds on a Dremel and about 3 hours with a mini & micro file I was able to remove the burrs and repair the snap ring channel. Please see pics:
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It will now accept a U Joint cap (snugly) and a snap ring. I tested the holding power of the repaired area, and could not get the snap ring to pop out by attacking it from the inside with a screwdriver and rubber mallet. However I doubt I exerted the forces that would be exerted by spirited driving?

Am I crazy for assuming that this may work as is? If not please educate me.

Thanks as always,
 

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The repair looks good, on the other hand, you won't know if the snap rings will fit until you get the U-joints installed. Just be sure that when you get everything together there is not binding on the swivel movement of the joint itself. If you manage to get it together with the snap rings in place, the end of the joint could press on the cap enough to bind.
 

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If you manage to get it together with the snap rings in place, the end of the joint could press on the cap enough to bind.
I'm not disagreeing with you, but I don't understand why Jeff's U joints would bind now if they didn't before - he hasn't moved the snap ring groove inward.

miani592 said:
Am I crazy for assuming that this may work as is?
It's tough to predict just from pictures; it might work just fine. The key is getting the snap rings fully seated in the groove and fully expanded.

I'm surprised that part was salvageable. It's a pretty common Alfa part used on all 105/115 spiders, GT's and sedans. The bullet-proof solution would be to get a good, used replacement from Alfa Parts Exchange.
 

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Just my rambling about covering all the bases. My thoughts were turned toward a replacement set.
A replacement set of U-joints? Yea, if they are not the right size (and apparently few of the "replacements" out there are) then checking for binding would be a good idea.
 
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