Replacing the U Joint on your Jeep Cherokee can save you money in the long run. A faulty U Joint will eventually lead to catastrophic failure of other components such as your driveshaft, differential, and transmission. If this happens while you’re driving at highway speeds, it could be very dangerous or even deadly! It’s worth replacing that old worn-out U joint with a new one for peace of mind and safety sake.
What is a U Joint and what does it do
What is a U Joint and what does it do? The driveshaft has one or more joints that allow for rotation in two planes of motion. These joints are called universal joints or u joints. They transmit power from the transmission output shaft to the drive axle shafts, allowing them to rotate freely at different angles depending on load conditions.
Tools needed for the job
Tools needed for replacing your own joint: A workbench (or an old table), a floor jack, three wrenches (17mm, 21mm, and 27mm), liquid wrench lube spray WD40, and paper towels.
Steps to replacing your U joint
Make sure your vehicle is on level ground before replacing a U Joint. If you’re replacing both sides, jack up the side that’s easier to work on first and then replace it with the other one when both are done.
- Take off your tire to get access to the U Joint
- Put jack stands or ramps under each side of your Jeep so it’s supported while you’re working on it
- Loosen bolts on either side of the axle with a socket wrench
- Remove bolts from U Joint, then remove the old joint from axle shafts by pulling outwards (if replacing both sides)
- Clean up all debris and grease that has accumulated over time
- Install new U joints, taking care not to cross-thread them into place, and tighten nuts with your breaker bar in order to ensure they are tight enough (make sure there is no play in any part of the joint)
- Reinstall bolt onto axles and replace wheel back onto the car. Make sure to use anti-seize lubricant on all bolts before tightening them down
- Lower the car down onto the ground again using a ramp or jack stand
- Tighten lug nuts
- Put on your tire back onto the car
- Repeat steps until all four U Joints have been replaced
- Lower vehicle
Tips for success when replacing U joint
Don’t forget to tighten all bolts after replacing a joint except for the ones connected to metal joints (make sure those are tightened down as well). When tightening, make sure not to cross-thread them in place by turning two opposite threads at once! You should use a breaker bar instead of hand tightening to make sure they are tight enough.
Use lube spray WD40 liberally around each nut so there’s no risk of them corroding or rusting over time. This will also help loosen any stubborn nuts if they have build-up from old grease over time.
Be mindful when replacing bolts that you’re replacing all four if necessary or else you’ll notice play in parts of the joints where there should be none which could lead to breaking down more quickly than normal again.
Drive carefully after replacing u joints so as not to damage brand new ones.