If your truck has started to vibrate and make a clanging noise while you drive down the road, then the universal joints need to be replaced. Passenger truck u-joints are self-contained parts that serve the purpose of connecting your truck's differential and transmission via the driveshaft.
You can replace the u-joints on your own truck with the following tools and supplies:
- 2 replacement u-joints
- socket and ratchet
- 2 jack stands
- 2 concrete blocks
- propane torch
Follow this simple procedure to remove the faulty u-joints in your truck and replace them with new ones:
Step 1: Park your truck on a level surface and jack up the truck's rear axle. Once it is jacked up high enough, then place your truck on jack stands. Block the front wheels with concrete blocks for additional safety.
Step 2: Using your socket and ratchet, remove the two bolts that hold the drive shaft into the differential. Once the two bolts have been removed, then pull out the drive shaft by pushing it into the transmission and dropping it down out of the differential.
Step 3: Placing the drive shaft between two blocks of wood or gently in a vice, use your hammer to remove the old u-joints. If you are unable to loosen the u-joints by hitting them with the hammer, then they may have nylon pins in them that need to be melted out. This is likely the case for older trucks or those that have never had their u-joints replaced.
Step 4: The only effective way to remove the nylon pins from the u-joint is to melt them out using a propane torch. Heating the metal around the pins will melt them and force them to extrude out of the holes in the drive shaft's end.
Step 5: Once the u-joints have been removed, then replace them with new ones. There is one u-joint on each end of the drive shaft, and you should replace both of them at the same time. To install them, simply place the new u-joint in place and tap them using the hammer to keep them in place.
Step 6: Place the drive shaft back into the transmission and re-bolt it in place into the differential's flange using the bolts that you previously removed. Lower your truck down off of the jack stands and remove the blocks on the front wheels before you attempt to test drive your truck.
If you don't feel comfortable doing this job yourself, take your car to an auto repair shop.