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Possible U-Joint issues, advice needed

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Old 05-08-2012, 06:43 PM   #1
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Possible U-Joint issues, advice needed

I bought this truck about 3 months ago. 2 months ago, I started to notice a weird, minor vibration coming from the bottom of the truck upon acceleration, notably in 3rd gear between about 30-40mph.

Since about a month ago, I have noticed a faint squeaking noise upon moderate acceleration. This noise would disappear upon coasting or light acceleration, but would get much worse during hard acceleration. As of yesterday, I now have a very, very noticeable "clunk" when upshifting, most noticeable during the 1st-2nd, and the 2nd-3rd.

The truck is a 2002, V6, manual transmission 4x4.

So, my first thought was that a u-joint was failing.

I look under the truck, and, oh joy, I have 4 u-joints in the rear-driveshaft alone! Yay!

So, I dropped the drive-shaft (don't worry, I marked it all out) and proceeded to test the u-joints. ALL u-joints pivot perfectly and without any resistance or noise. The carrier bearing is very, very slightly out-of-round when turning, but has no slop whatsoever. The u-joints also have no slop of any kind.

Any ideas?

I really don't feel like taking every u-joint apart if I don't have to, as all I have is a trusty 3/4" socket and a hammer to do it with.

I'm also quite broke right now, and can not afford to just bite the bullet and replace every single one. I want to find the culprit.

I don't believe it is a front u-joint, as the squeaking and clunking noises seem to be emanating from slightly behind and to the right of the driver position inside of the truck.

So, once again, any feedback would be great!

Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:55 AM   #2
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Bump for visibility.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:09 PM   #3
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Well, 68 views, no offers of advice...

I think that I've found the problem. The rear u-joint is actually the culprit. I had to maneuver in an odd fashion, but I finally got it to bind up. Also, in that position, I can see that it is crumbling apart in a bad manner. Wasn't far from self-destructing.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:12 PM   #4
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Sorry, no advice here but hoping you'll post results if you find any! Good luck... And bump again.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:46 PM   #5
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I'll be working on replacing the u-joint tonight and tomorrow morning. We shall see if it fixes the problem.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:57 PM   #6
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unfortunatly the joints in the double cardan are not replacable, and the double cardan itself must be replaced. how many miles? it might be worth simply replacing carrier for the sake of things sense you have it out. the inner most and outter most ujoint are changable on a decent table vice.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:58 PM   #7
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Greensystemsgo is one of the sharper tools in the shedGreensystemsgo is one of the sharper tools in the shedGreensystemsgo is one of the sharper tools in the shedGreensystemsgo is one of the sharper tools in the shedGreensystemsgo is one of the sharper tools in the shedGreensystemsgo is one of the sharper tools in the shedGreensystemsgo is one of the sharper tools in the shedGreensystemsgo is one of the sharper tools in the shedGreensystemsgo is one of the sharper tools in the shedGreensystemsgo is one of the sharper tools in the shedGreensystemsgo is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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unfortunatly the joints in the double cardan are not replacable, and the double cardan itself must be replaced. how many miles? it might be worth simply replacing carrier for the sake of things sense you have it out. the inner most and outter most ujoint are changable on a decent table vice.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:42 PM   #8
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I sympathize with you situation. Sometimes it is difficult to diagnose which joint is bad just by moving it. Joints aren't that expensive and I tend to replace them all when I have the shaft out. My taco is an 2011 so I don't have any experience with it, but I removed the rear shaft on my 2003 RAM 3500 a couple of times to replace the u-joints and carrier bearing. The last set was greasable and was in the truck for over 70,000 miles before I traded it on my Tacoma. Good luck.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:25 PM   #9
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Well, I'm down to almost a "food or truck" budget right now. I found the bad u-joint. Luckily, it was the one on the end, near the rear-axle. Was disintegrating pretty badly in one spot. I am working on pounding it out right now. I would love to replace everything, but $10 was about my budget on this one

Oh well, now that I know how, it's actually quite easy to get the whole drive-shaft off. Thanks everyone, I'll let you know more once I get this corroded, tight fitting u-joint out!
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:29 AM   #10
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Well, that ujoint was gone. Crumbled while pounding it out. Only 1 cap had any needle bearings left at all. The rest had disintegrated. The truck is fine now, and all bad symtpoms are gone. That sucked to do without a press or a vice!!
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:39 PM   #11
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I need to look into u-joints. I have a feeling some of mine need tending to.
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