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Discussion Starter #1
I'm having a driveshaft shop put in my u-joints and balance my driveshaft for an S2 Spider. I got new u-joints from Classic Alfa, but they don't have the little springs as pictured below. They say they are not needed with replacement u-joints they sell. My driveshaft shop says they are needed (they've done a lot of Alfa shafts). I have also heard of people having trouble with their "new" u-joints. I wonder if lack of the little springs is why.

Can anyone shed light on whether I really need those little springs or not with the new aftermarket u-joints currerntly on the market? Thanks.

1654776
 

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Richard Jemison
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Most U-joints being sold actually do not fit correctly. The cross piece MUST center the U-joint.
If you can move the joint side to side when they are installed they are the wrong ones.
 

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I lost a lot of time with improper u-joints from one of our major suppliers. TH balance shop took three times to figure that the joints were moving sideways, defeating the balancing process.

I shimmed the caps (less than .010), and went to a different shop ,They felt necessary to replace the joints again, and they found u-joints that fitted correctly from their US supplier catalog. Go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah - I had heard about similar issues. I've not done u-joints on an Alfa myself, but wondering if using those "little springs" will solve this issue?
 

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When Spica joints were still available, Alfa mechanics told me not to worry about the springs.

They WOULD prevent the u-joint from moving sideways, but it would end up off-center. .010 is not much , but would play havoc with the driveshaft balance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting. My driveshaft shop was very much in favor of the springs. Seems like there are many ways to skin this cat depending on shop's preferences/technique.
 

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Got some Alfa original u joints (spica) with the spring if you’re interested let me know.
 

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Are you able to tell us who the supplier was for the "good" ones?
I shimmed the caps (less than .010), and went to a different shop ,They felt necessary to replace the joints again, and they found u-joints that fitted correctly from their US supplier catalog. Go figure.

Are you able to tell us who the supplier and he P/N was for the "good" ones? Like to put them in a "bookmark"
 

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I checked the invoice, it states "CR 243 joint 24 mm x 63,1 mm".

My searches cannot find anything that looks like "CR 243", but CR did manufacture u-joints before being absorbed by SKF, so maybe I've been sold a pair of NOS joints.

The dimensions did lead me somewhere though, and we may be able to settle this once and for all.

They first lead me to the GMB u-joint catalog which lists two sizes of u-joints for 101 and 105 Alfas: earlier 1300-1600s up to a fuzzy point before 1750s had 15/16 (0,938'' = 23,825 mm) bearings, and later cars had 24 mm bearings (0,945''). The width of the earlier bearings is 61,3 mm (2,413'') and the later ones 63,2 mm (2,488''). Early bearings will slide in later yokes with perhaps a little radial play, but the axial play from the insufficient width will be a problem for sure. These dimensions are exactly what I was dealing with.

GMB's 24 mm joint is part number 220-0410 and fits Alfas only. Their part number for the 15/16 joint is 220-0500 and it fits a wide variety of other cars, including early Volvos. I had been told by an older Alfa owner that Volvo joints could be used on an Alfa - partly true.

I then found other u-joint catalogs which quote only one part number for all 101 and 105 Alfas (Neapco 1-0300, Spicer 5-101X) but both of these are the shorter 15/16 joint. This is the source of the problem: bad application guides that fail to identify the two variations.

Rockauto currently lists the correct GMB 220-0410 u-joint for 2000 Alfas ($15), and also Moog 413, SKF UJ413, and AC Delco 45U0010, and from the quoted dimensions these are all correct .

Could it be that Spica supplied the springs to take up the slack between the two applications and make the replacement joints "universal"? In the early days of our cars, it seems than Alfa did not list u-joints, sold new drive shafts instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That is some great investigative work. I’ll see what the dimensions are on the ones I just ordered when I drop by the driveshaft shop next and report back.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK - so below is what I bought from Classic Alfa...they seem to be correct based on what @yvesmontreal found above.

Overall width is 63.25mm and the cup OD is 24mm. No "little springs" required.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Got some Alfa original u joints (spica) with the spring if you’re interested let me know.
Thanks for the offer. Appreciate it.
 
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