Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,486 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
searched forum but found no info....Anybody know how effective it is to regrease u joints say, 2X per year to reduce wear? Someone told me that with so much road crud collecting in those crevices, its pretty much a useless task, as the grease rarely oozes into the bearing surfaces like it should, making it a futile effort. He said just replace when they wear.

DARN, looks like I wont be able to have some fun under the car, right?
 

·
1966-2013
Joined
·
13,741 Posts
Unless the fittings you have are equipped with a grease nipple (which if stock, aren't) then your information is correct, just change them.

As they aren't designed to be re-lubable, the seals are a slightly different type, and pulling them apart to pack them manually will potentially result in more harm than good. (contamination, possibly damaged seals, lost needles, etc)

If you got quality joints, they should last in the neighborhood of 5-10 years with no re-greasing, unless you're racing or the like.

As to what grease is there oozing/moving around, sure it does, but the joint has to be up to operating temperature before it can happen. (cold joint = cold thick grease. Warm joint = slightly more flowing grease being moved inside the center yoke out to the caps by inertial forces)

Granted it's never going to outright flow, but it does get around in there.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
549 Posts
Have a related question... I get a vibration at above 65 mph coming from the tunnel, is that a sign of worn u-joints or is it the rubber thingy. I checked it and it looked ok, no tears..

Ed
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,622 Posts
Ed, best way to check for failing U-joints is to get under the car (safely) and grab the drive shaft. Twist the driveshaft back & forth while watching & feeling for looseness at the U-joints. There should be none. There'll be a wee bit of play in the driveshaft's sliding joint and you'll notice play due to gear lash in the differential and the transmission. But the important part is to look for play at the U-joints themselves.

The vibration you mention could be tires, the driveshaft itself, a worn center bearing, a failing guibo (the rubber donut), or, yes, failing U-joints. Usually though, failing U-joints are noticed by a 'clunk' on initial take off - as the U-joint slop tends to allow the driveshaft to wind up a little and then clunk as they reach the end of their slop.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
549 Posts
I know my car is weird because it sat for so many years, so things rotted before they wore out. I wouldn't expect the u-joints to be bad yet so I suspect the guibo first. Maybe its just old and hard from sitting, but still not cracked.

I get a clunk when I start and if I let the clutch out abruptly so I know something is going on. When I spin the drive shaft, I don't notice any play in the u-joint but I do get about 10 degrees of rotation in the differential.

My guess is that I have more than one issue. First one being something in the drive shaft and the second being the lash in the differential.

Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,623 Posts
When I check Ujoints, I drop the back end of the shaft as it is the easiest to get to. Then I rotate the back end Ujoint to see if it moves freely. If it doesn't then I change it out. By moving the whole drive shaft back and forth (left-right/up-down) this is to check the front Ujoint for free action. It isn't that hard to swap them out, just requires some patience and knowledge of how to do it.
If the rear Ujoint goes out, you know it by the rumbling sound that comes out of the rear axle as you come up to a stop sign. The front from my experience is when you take off the center joint wants to bounce in the mount.
Lash in the differential is only removed by resetting the pinion to the ring grear afaik.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,168 Posts
best way to check U-joints

ghnl had written: "best way to check for failing U-joints is to get under the car (safely) and grab the drive shaft. Twist the driveshaft back & forth while watching & feeling for looseness at the U-joints. "

I disagree somewhat with ghnl. I DO agree that if you perform his test, and feel/see some play in the U joint, then it definitely needs replacing. However, they often fail by becomming too tight, rather than sloppy. Or, feel "notchy" as you work them. The only way to do these tests is to take out the driveshaft, and feel the rotation of the joints (as Velocedoc wrote, you could just uncouple the back, and feel it while you're under the car, but once you've got the back flange off, unbolting it at the front, and feeling it while standing on your feet, rather than lying on your back, makes sense to me).

These joints don't last forever. They should be firm, but not so tight that they can't be rotatated by hand. No notchiness should be felt. And, of course, if there is any play in the joint, it's history. Replace both while you're in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
If you're not comfortable replacing the joints yourself, find a good machine shop that will PRESS the new joints on & balance the shaft. Make sure the joints are "phased" properly when shft is re-installed. Good luck.

P.S. - Don't use any "Brand X" joints - you're asking for trouble. I got mine from Centerline and they fit perfectly.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,622 Posts
I disagree somewhat with ghnl. I DO agree that if you perform his test, and feel/see some play in the U joint, then it definitely needs replacing. However, they often fail by becomming too tight, rather than sloppy.
Well then, I agree with Alfajay...! What I shoulda said was, 'a quick way to check for failed U-joints' is to wiggle the driveshaft and check for slop at the U-joint. As Jays says, the best way to check is to drop (one end at least) the driveshaft to check for looseness or binding.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top