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2wd U-joints: lubed for life?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by DGXR, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. Apr 6, 2010 at 8:49 AM
    #1
    DGXR

    DGXR [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have read up on all the TW threads regarding the driveline u-joints and grease fittings (zerks), apparently the 2wd trucks don't have any. This was confirmed last night when I slid under my 2006 2wd and found 3 u-joints and 0 zerks. It seems Toyota intended these to last the life of the vehicle but that is kind of stupid because these things will go 300k or more. So my question is, do I wait for a vibriation or noise, then replace them? Maybe some of you have a suggested replacement interval? Or maybe there is a way to drill and tap the u-joints for zerk installation? Mine's a 2.7 automatic access cab with the carrier bearing. Thx ppl
     
  2. Apr 6, 2010 at 8:52 AM
    #2
    Sparky4.0

    Sparky4.0 Well-Known Member

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    you could drill and tap em.. i would just check for play from time to time and replace as needed.. i hate sealed u joints. you positive there are no zerks?
     
  3. Apr 6, 2010 at 8:53 AM
    #3
    Crom

    Crom Outside...

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    You are correct. Only 4x4s have the zerk fittings. I don't know why.
     
  4. Apr 6, 2010 at 8:58 AM
    #4
    Sparky4.0

    Sparky4.0 Well-Known Member

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    :smack:@Toyota what kinda poo is that.
     
  5. Apr 6, 2010 at 9:05 AM
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    Tucker93lx

    Tucker93lx New Member

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    I just replaced the front one on my 06 2wd. I had a bad vibration when I was on the gas. I slid under it and the front one had spun all the grease out and was all over the bottom of the truck. When I pulled it out, one of the u joint caps was missing all the needle bearings. Went to autozone bought the $13.99 lifetime warranty duralast u joints. Truck is nice and smooth again. But yes, there were no zerk fittings even on the new ones. Not sure if drilling and tapping would would work if there are no internal passages for the grease. IMO as cheap as they are just replace them.
     
  6. Apr 6, 2010 at 9:08 AM
    #6
    Sparky4.0

    Sparky4.0 Well-Known Member

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    ya it would take work to drill a passasge in the spider/cross ..the cross would be easy 4 me. i have a drill press that would make quick work of the process.. your prolly right its more practical to swap em out
     
  7. Apr 6, 2010 at 9:12 AM
    #7
    DGXR

    DGXR [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I checked real good, in the spaces between the spider legs as well as the top and bottom flat parts. No zerks. I will just check for looseness periodically. If they ever need replacement I will surely get the ones with zerks. I love my truck but this is one of the few 'just plain dumb' things. Boo Toyota! :crazy:
     
  8. Apr 6, 2010 at 9:14 AM
    #8
    Sparky4.0

    Sparky4.0 Well-Known Member

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    i did a quick autoparts store search on only seen sealed joints (instock) i dont know if the greaseable versions are sold out in my area or if they dont make em...wtf?
     
  9. Apr 6, 2010 at 9:22 AM
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    Crom

    Crom Outside...

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    I have read on some heep forum that they run the sealed ones without any issues. They should last 100K miles or so.

    Some heep owners prefer the sealed ones because they have so many zerks. One heep had 25 zerks :eek:
     
  10. Apr 6, 2010 at 9:24 AM
    #10
    Sparky4.0

    Sparky4.0 Well-Known Member

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    those are prolly not your normal autoparts store u joints. and yes when you get into long arm suspension and knuckle joints with grease fitting there are alot
     
  11. Apr 6, 2010 at 9:28 AM
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    Crom

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  12. Apr 6, 2010 at 9:39 AM
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    woodygg

    woodygg Well-Known Member

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    yes, we need more things to maintain.

    oh wait...

    it's a good thing.

    if you need more things to spend money on, or do, I have a few suggestions... :D
     
  13. Apr 6, 2010 at 10:01 AM
    #13
    DGXR

    DGXR [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Maybe my original question should have been:

    Will a u-joint actually last longer if it is greased regularly, vs the sealed ones? Any real evidence of this?

    I am not looking for more maintenance work by asking about a sealed u-joint. I'm just saying, if a few minutes with the grease gun and a rag, done 2-3 times a year will save me from u-joint replacement every "100k miles or so" then sign me up.
     
  14. Apr 6, 2010 at 10:03 AM
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    Sparky4.0

    Sparky4.0 Well-Known Member

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    it depends on how you use your vehicle. i stated i hated sealed joints cause i play in mud and water alot. and am anal about spraying mud off my undercarriage more than my body panels. so i flush the grease out quickly. the sealed joints have a better seal but dont stand up to what (I) subject them to. there are alot of threads already posted on the web about such debates. google greasable vs sealed u joints.
     
  15. Apr 6, 2010 at 10:38 AM
    #15
    DGXR

    DGXR [OP] Well-Known Member

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    OK, thx sparky
     
  16. Apr 6, 2010 at 12:58 PM
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    BlueT

    BlueT Well-Known Member

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    I think anybody that suggests sealed u-joints are better then grease-able is nuts.
    The only reason companies are now installing sealed U-joints, is because most people did not grease u-joints (too lazy ???) So sealed will last longer if you dont grease u-joints. But if you grease u-joints at atlest every oil change you are pretty much set for life. Grease-able u-joints just don't fail as long as they greased often. (every oil change, after every offroad trip with water involved) The same thing wheel bearings. If I could catch retard that came up with sealed bearings I would shove it my hi lift up his .... Old bearings as long as they where greased would last 200K -300K miles. with water crossings and all kind of things.
    I hate lazy shmacks who cause car companies to idiot proof trucks. :frusty:
     
  17. Apr 6, 2010 at 1:28 PM
    #17
    Isthatahemi

    Isthatahemi Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. In my opinion, sealed units typically have a longer service life than greaseables. The one with grease zerks only have them so you can squeeze out any contamination. For the average Tacoma 2WD owner, that is probably of little use. Which is probably the short story as to why they are on 4WDs, and not 2's. Submersion is not likely. I prefer to have zerks, (on my 4X) but if my truck were 2WD, I would prefer sealed. Example: Snowmobiles; I have always gotten longer service from sealed drive and jackshaft bearing.
    If you are set on greaseable joints, it should be noted that there is a small vent hole in addition to the zerks on the 4WD shafts. Without it, you would damage the seal on the joint with the pressure from a grease gun.
     
  18. Apr 6, 2010 at 4:57 PM
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    BlueT

    BlueT Well-Known Member

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    quite a large number of prerunners that needed new u-joints on this forum disagrees with you. Also my u-joints in 1 gen driveshaft with 150k miles and once in my LC with 200K miles disagree with you. Both show no sign of wearing.
    Average car owner does not realize then that U-joints asre not really sealed even they say so. Sealed means airtight otherwise oil from grease will separate and leak out slowly. leaving you with dry u-joints that will rust everytime there is morning mist.:)
     
  19. Apr 6, 2010 at 5:07 PM
    #19
    Sparky4.0

    Sparky4.0 Well-Known Member

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    the sealed joints do have a better seal than the grease zerk type. how much better i dont really know. but you have to think. over 50% of u joints fail prematurely from abuse not just lack of grease. that being said a 2wd that does no offroad or take off from a stop light with a heavy foot pullin a trailer etc. isnt really abusing the u joint beyond what its designed for. so for those applications i would prolly run a sealed unit. that and because i dont wanna belly crawl under the damn thing even when its on jackstands. any other application i would run a greasable version
     
  20. Apr 6, 2010 at 5:14 PM
    #20
    blackonwhite

    blackonwhite Well-Known Member

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    i just replaced mine rear u joint on my 2wd 2006 like 4 hours ago and it only has 60,000 miles on it.. it was completely shot. the one i replaced it with has a grease fitting and it was only 15 bucks. i have never ever went mudding or went through any water other than rain in the truck so i wonder why it went out... the old one had no grease left in it at all. I like greaseable.
     
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