Chrysler Full-Size Trucks 1997-2000 Repair Guide

Front Driveshaft and U-Joints

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Note that two types of driveshaft bolt-ups are used. One uses small clamps to join driveshaft and yoke; the other uses a flange-and-yoke bolted directly together. Depending on model and axle fitted, these may be located at either end of the driveshaft.


NOTE
Do NOT allow the driveshaft to drop or hang from any U-joint during removal. Attach the shaft to the vehicle underside with wire to prevent damage to the joints.

  1. Place the transmission and transfer case in neutral.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle securely on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the skidplate, if fitted.
  6.  
  7. Matchmark the driveshaft at both ends. Mark shaft relative to flange and/or shaft relative to cross and yoke depending on setup.
  8.  
  9. Remove U-joint clamp attaching bolts and both clamps from the yoke, if fitted. Some models may have a yoke bolted directly to the flange. Remove the bolts if this type is fitted.
  10.  
  11. Use a suitable prybar to gently pry the U-joint out of the yoke, if necessary.
  12.  
  13. Remove the driveshaft.
  14.  
  15. Wrap the U-joint caps with tape to prevent them from falling off the U-joint.
  16.  
  17. On models with a U-joint clamp, align the U-joint with the yoke and position the U-joint in the yoke. Install the yoke clamps.
  18.  

To install:

  1. Be sure the match marks will all line up when the driveshaft is finally fitted.
  2.  
  3. Flange-and-yoke bolts are tightened to 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm) if at the transfer case end and 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm) if at the axle end.
  4.  
  5. Yoke clamp bolts are tightened to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm) if at the transfer case end and 14 ft. lbs. (19 Nm) if at the axle end.
  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8.  



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Fig. Flange-and-yoke bolt-up at transfer case-typical



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Fig. One type of front driveshaft assembly: bolt torque is 14 ft. lbs. (19 Nm) at the axle, 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm) at the transfer case



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Fig. Another type of front driveshaft assembly: bolt torque is 14 ft. lbs. (19 Nm) at the axle and 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm) at the transfer case

U-JOINT REPLACEMENT



This procedure is applicable for both single and double cardan type joints. The basic technique is to press the spider from one side, forcing a bearing cap out on the other side of the yoke. After this cap is removed, the spider is pressed in the opposite direction to remove the opposing cap. This will provide enough clearance to remove the spider from the yoke.

Sockets can be used to press the bearing caps.

  1. Remove the driveshaft from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Mark the components so that the can be reinstalled in their original locations.
  4.  
  5. Spray the assembly with penetrating fluid or rust buster and wire brush the rust off.
  6.  
  7. Remove any grease fittings whose position may interfere with disassembly.
  8.  
  9. With a soft drift, tap the outside of a bearing cap assembly in a bit to relieve tension on the snap ring, and then remove its snap ring.
  10.  
  11. Repeat the procedure with the other snap rings.
  12.  
  13. Place the yoke in an arbor press or vise with a socket with an inside diameter large enough to receive the bearing cap positioned beneath the yoke.
  14.  


WARNING
Do NOT clamp the driveshaft tube. Clamp only the forged portion of the welded yoke or the slip yoke. Do NOT overtighten the vise jaws.

  1. Position the yoke with the grease fitting hole, if fitted, pointing up.
  2.  
  3. Place a socket with an outside diameter smaller than the bearing cap on the upper bearing cap and press the cap through the yoke to release the lower bearing cap.
  4.  
  5. Remove the bearing cap, if possible. If the bearing cap will not pull out of the yoke by hand after pressing, tap the yoke ear near the bearing cap to dislodge it.
  6.  
  7. Remove the opposite bearing cap by turning the assembly over and pressing the cross out in the opposite direction.
  8.  


WARNING
Straighten the spider in the open hole before removal. If this is not considered, the bearing cap may score the walls of the yoke on removal.

  1. Repeat the procedure with the remaining bearing caps.
  2.  
  3. On double cardan U-joints, remove the spider centering kit assembly and spring.
  4.  

To install:

  1. Be sure that matchmarks are aligned during assembly.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rust from the yoke bores and apply some NLGI Grade 1 or 2 EP grease.
  4.  
  5. Position the spider in the yoke with the grease fitting, if equipped, pointing up.
  6.  
  7. Place a bearing cap over the trunnion and align the cap with the yoke bore. Keep the needle bearings upright in the bearing assembly. A needle bearing lying at the bottom of the cap will prevent proper assembly.
  8.  
  9. Press the bearing cap into the yoke bore far enough to install the snap ring.
  10.  
  11. Install the snap ring and tap it lightly to ensure it is seated.
  12.  
  13. Repeat the steps for the remaining bearing assemblies.
  14.  
  15. If the U-joint is stiff or binding, strike the yoke with a soft-faced hammer to seat the needle bearings.
  16.  
  17. Double cardan joints should snap over-center in both directions when flexed beyond center.
  18.  
  19. Install and grease the fitting if equipped.
  20.  



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Fig. Double cardan U-joint matchmarked for proper reassembly



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Fig. Exploded view of a single cardan U-joint



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Fig. Removing a bearing cap with a press



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Fig. Removing/installing the bearing cap on the trunnion



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Fig. Removing the bearing from the yoke-double cardan shown



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Fig. Removing the centering kit (double cardan U-joint)

 
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