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Re: Dumb owner's U-joint replacement

Subject: Re: Dumb owner's U-joint replacement
From: Scott Fisher <>
Date: Sun, 02 May 1999 09:30:45 -0700
Bill Saidel asks about rotating the driveshaft from beneath.

You've got it exactly right, Bill, except it isn't forcing it.  There's
one additional trick that you haven't thought of: 

If you put the car in neutral, it means you need to hold the driveshaft
with one hand, the wrench you've got on the U-joint nut with the other,
and the wrench you've got on the U-joint bolt head to keep it from
turning with... you get the idea.

It's much easier with an assistant to take the car in and out of gear. 
What I've always done:

1.  Crawl under with the car in neutral.

2.  Rotate the shaft till I've got easy access to one of the nuts.

3.  Have my assistant put the car in gear.

4.  Remove the nut/bolt combo.

5.  Have the assistant put the car in neutral.

6.  Repeat steps 2 through 5 till all the nuts are off.

As another hint: this only works if you remove the driveshaft from the
diff end first.  If you remove it from the tranny end first, your
assistant can woggle the shifter till they federalize the MGD and it
won't do you a bit of good.

Should you do the front end first, the obvious solution is to replace
steps 3 and 5 above with set and release the handbrake, respectively. 
Works just as well.

Final comment:

"What does spiders mean?"

In this context, spiders can mean either:

A.  You have left the car sitting for so long that arachnids have taken
up residence in any open space under the car.  You must remove them from
the car before they bite you.

B.  You have left the car sitting for so long that you decided it was
easier just to buy that nice shiny Alfa and leave the MGB for posterity.

C.  The X-shaped section inside the U-joint, with the "yokes" being the
part that actually bolts to the driveshaft/transmission/diff mounts.

C is what Haynes meant, I'm sure, though I've done both A and B as

One note: be sure to scribe some alignment marks on your driveshaft, the
yokes, and the places they line up on the transmission and diff.  The
U-joints are balanced in a particular orientation; if they don't get put
back in that orientation, they will vibrate something fierce, and you
get to crawl under the car and do the whole thing again.

Best of luck,

 --Scott Fisher
   Sunnyvale, CA

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