Dodge Aspen/Volare 1976-1980 Repair Guide

Driveshaft and U-Joints



You can avoid loss of lubricant from the rear of the transmission by raising the rear of the car before removing the driveshaft.

  1. Match mark the driveshaft, U-joint and pinion flange before disassembly. These marks must be realigned during reassembly to maintain the balance of the driveline. Failure to align them may result in excessive vibration.
  3. Remove both of the clamps from the differential pinion yoke and slide the driveshaft forward slightly to disengage the U-joint from the pinion yoke. Tape the two loose U-joint bearings together to prevent them from falling off.

Do not disturb the bearing assembly retaining strap. Never allow the driveshaft to hang from either of the U-joints. Always support the unattached end of the shaft to prevent damage to the joints.

  1. Lower the rear end of the driveshaft and gently slide the front yoke/driveshaft assembly rearward disengaging the assembly from the transmission output shaft. Be careful not to damage the splines or the surface which the output shaft seal rides on.
  3. Check the transmission output shaft seal for signs of leakage.
  5. Installation is the reverse of removal. Be sure to align the match marks. The torque for the clamp bolts is 170 in. lbs.


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1 Exploded view of the front U-joint assembly

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Fig. Fig. 2 Exploded view of the rear U-joint assembly

  1. Remove the driveshaft.
  3. To remove the bearings from the yoke, first remove the bearing retainer snaprings located at the base or open end of each bearing cap.
  5. Pressing on one of the bearings, drive the bearing in toward the center of the joint. This will force the cross to push the opposite bearing out of the universal joint. This step may be performed using a hammer and suitable drift or a vise and sockets of pieces of pipe. However installation of bearings must be done using the vise or a press.
  7. After the bearing has been pushed all the way out of the yoke, pull up the cross slightly and pack some washers under it. Then press on the end of the cross from which the bearing was just removed to force the first bearing out of the yoke. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to remove the remaining two bearings.
  9. If a grease fitting is supplied with the new U-joint assembly, install it. If no fitting is supplied, make sure that the joint is amply greased. Pack grease in the recesses in the end of the cross.
  11. To reassemble start both bearing cups into the yoke at the same time and hold the cross carefully in the fingers in its installed position. Be careful not to knock any rollers out of position.
  13. Squeeze both bearings in a vise or press, moving the bearings into place. Continually check for free movement of the cross in the bearings as they are pressed into the yoke. If there is a sudden increase in the force needed to press the bearings into place, or the cross starts to bind, the bearings are cocked in the yoke. They must be removed and restarted in the yoke. Failure to do so will greatly reduce the life of the bearing. Repeat steps 6 and 7 to reinstall the remaining two bearings.