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"Best" u-joints?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by joea99, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Feb 9, 2019 at 9:46 AM
    #1
    joea99

    joea99 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure this has been beat to death, but what are the "best" u-joints to use?

    Many seem to say "dana/spicer" the 51150x grease-able type.

    But when I look on Rockauto.com I also see "Heavy duty" units fom Moog and like that.

    Then I read up on the Dana's and see they are called out as "light duty".

    I asked this elsewhere a few days ago and got no response.

    BTW, is there an agreed upon part number for the Cardan u-joints and service items?
     
  2. Feb 9, 2019 at 10:11 AM
    #2
    MikeWH

    MikeWH Well-Known Member

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  3. Feb 9, 2019 at 10:19 AM
    #3
    joea99

    joea99 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    How to know it is giving trouble? Other than obvious binding or looseness that is. Or, short of replacing all the other joints, if it is causing the vibration?
     
  4. Feb 9, 2019 at 10:22 AM
    #4
    MikeWH

    MikeWH Well-Known Member

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    What problems are you having?

    Check for free play (rotationally and up/down left/right). I would definitely do the other joints first, 9/10 times they would be the problem if you have vibration issues. And they are relatively easy to work on. Also check/replace your carrier bearing, it’s a common vibration culprit.
     
  5. Feb 9, 2019 at 10:49 AM
    #5
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    rockauto is good for normal every day replacement stuff. They don't really do anything that's actually "heavy duty." For that range of stuff, "heavy duty" really just means less crappy, lol...

    There is a school of thought that for the real "heavy duty" stuff, don't get the greasable ones, and those holes in the joints create stress risers. Greasable caps are a different story, though...
     
  6. Feb 9, 2019 at 11:09 AM
    #6
    skeezix

    skeezix Well-Known Member

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    :rofl:
     
  7. Feb 9, 2019 at 11:15 AM
    #7
    joea99

    joea99 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I don't really need heavy duty, as I only run on the street with occasional loads and a small trailer. I just paused when the Spicer said "light duty".

    As far as the problems, it is vibration that started soon after I replaced the outer tie rods. Coincidence? Actually had a shop do it as it is pretty cold out.

    The vibration is mostly above 25 MPH and seems to "smooth out" above 50. Worst on acceleration either straight or turning a corner. There is some vibration in the steering wheel that gives me pause. A local shop seems to think it is the joint at the rear diff. It took "some" grease and showed some rust, so I guess that is a good bet as a start.

    Replaced the carrier bearing last summer. Could not find a Dana at the time, in stock, so went with a TIMKEN HB31. Really did not like it, as there seemed to be a lot of "play" (softness) in the rubber part, for my taste, but it was better than what came out.
     
  8. Feb 9, 2019 at 7:30 PM
    #8
    MikeWH

    MikeWH Well-Known Member

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    Lot's of things to look into there- sounds like maybe the carrier bearing, I would do OEM or similar on that before I futzed with the double cardan. I believe the Spicer in the rear is basically OEM (there is a thread about it on here somewhere). Did you do an alignment when you did OTR's? What brand/quality were they? Have you had your tires rotated and balanced? Steering wheel vibrations would probably not be caused by u-joint but who knows!

    Ultimate process of elimination- if you ahve 4WD, remover rear driveline and run around in 4WD and see how it feels :)
     
  9. Feb 10, 2019 at 5:39 AM
    #9
    joea99

    joea99 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Did an alignment. I had gone in week before and they told me about the tie rod ends. Went back next week with Moog "premium" ES3545/3546. Rotated the first visit. Was going to get the fronts balanced, at least, this week. I agree about the steering wheel.

    I never thought about your ultimate test, but it's a thought.

    Want to do the work myself, but it's still pretty cold out. Starting to be concerned about driving it like that.

    Oh, yeah, just yesterday, pulling into a parking stop, there was a "clunk" or something as if something had shifted in the cargo bay. When I pulled out later, at least for a bit, it seemed as if the vibration had gone, or reduced a lot. Came back later on. Wonder if that points to the slip joint?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019

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