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Numbchux

Driveshaft Ujoint replacement

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I've done 3 joints in the last year or so. One on an '04 Outback, and the other a '00 Outback. Process should be the same for basically all Subarus.

We've tried used ones here, most of them have worn joints...not worth the install time IMHO.

Dorman makes an aftermarket shaft, same part number for '96-'04 Outback AT. I fished a donor shaft out of the scrap bin here at work with bad joints that came from an '07 4EAT Outback. I've measured it, and held it up under my car, and it looks like it should work, at least temporarily (front half was hardest to measure, looks like it might be a hair short, but I'm not worried about the slip yoke having a little less engagement for street use for a week).

Rockford offers joints specifically to replace the staked in applications. Here's their application list for the 430-10 part (the Justy is the only Subaru found elsewhere in their list).
http://www.rockforddriveline.com/media/documents/Vehicle_Fitment_430-10.pdf

You may notice it lists Legacy/Outback 1990-2009.

Using parts interchange listings, and trying other vehicles on that list, I came up with a few other part numbers. Napa lists a UJ10430, although there was no availability. Autozone lists a 2-0430DL, of which they had 4 in their Hub store across town. I now have 2 of those sitting on my desk (they are greasable, btw).


1. The joint before I started, you can see some of the 8 little "stakes" being deformations in the outer yoke holding the caps in.
29387329077_a2370196e2_k.jpg
20180827_192114 by Numbchux, on Flickr

I've seen 2 ways to do staked in joints (generally, not specifically Subaru), one is to grind the stakes out, and the other is to just use a press to push through them. In my experimenting on other shafts, it takes an enormous amount of force (easily the most I've ever done on my little 12 ton HF press), so I opted to grind first.

High speed metal cutting bit on the dremel does a pretty good work down in the corners.
44275234752_1344786acd_k.jpg
20180827_192401 by Numbchux, on Flickr

While I had it out, I used the dremel to make a few light marks on the yoke and the shaft itself to ensure the orientation when it came time to reassemble.
42515607970_f6f3436f05_k.jpg
20180827_192552 by Numbchux, on Flickr

2. Then over to the press, make sure to support the other end of the shaft pretty well.
29387326937_390b60a92c_k.jpg
20180827_192748 by Numbchux, on Flickr

3. Once it's pressed off to one side, the stakes become really clear (some of these are ground down, some are un-touched).
43606114034_0943f28695_k.jpg
20180827_192926 by Numbchux, on Flickr

4. Flip it over and press it back all the way through to flatten those stakes. Then lay it with the opposite yokes supported (a vice works best for this), and pound on the yoke so those cups can be pushed out beyond the ears. Don't pound on the thin part at the top of the ears, and don't pound on the shaft tubing itself.
44323329991_e2800d4201_k.jpg
20180827_193255 by Numbchux, on Flickr

5. Flip over and repeat the other way until those cups are pushed as far out of the yoke as possible. It should get to the point where the cross of the ujoint can be removed from the yoke (if those cups are damaged, you might need to sneak a punch passed the cross to push the cup out further, just make sure not to damage the yoke).
44323331651_3943864235_k.jpg
20180827_193408 by Numbchux, on Flickr

6. Then pound the cups out the rest of the way:
44275225952_f1bd3ad823_k.jpg
20180827_193515 by Numbchux, on Flickr

Rotate the shaft 90*, and repeat steps 1-6 to remove the other 2 caps, and remove the joint completely.

7. Now switch to a softer dremel bit (wire wheel or sanding drum work well) to clean up the inside of the yoke, you want to smooth everything out without taking off really any material. You'll also want to run a flat file across the inner surface of those ears, as the new joints will be held in place by snaprings against this surface.
44275218902_f759a6271e_k.jpg
20180827_195537 by Numbchux, on Flickr

8. Now to start preparing the new joint. The four cups need to be removed from the center cross, inside those cups are needle bearings which have to stay in place, and the only thing holding them there is grease. They *should* be pregreased with assembly lube for this purpose, but I don't trust it, so I hold the caps in place by hand and gently pump some fresh grease through them:
44275221072_083402f786_k.jpg
20180827_194557 by Numbchux, on Flickr

9. Then pull the caps off. You'll notice I removed the grease zerk from the one cap to protect it from damage, this is optional, but IMHO a good idea.
43417281045_edc18d22d7_k.jpg
20180827_194833 by Numbchux, on Flickr

10. Put the cross in the middle of the yoke, and one of the caps in from the outside. You want to hold the cross inside the cap as tight as possible as you press on it to help keep those needle bearings in place.
43606110874_5ca72ad74c_k.jpg
20180827_194903 by Numbchux, on Flickr

11. Then press it in well past it's final resting place. This simplifies putting on that snapring, and aligning the opposing cup.
44275212122_668951cb74_k.jpg
20180827_201328 by Numbchux, on Flickr

12. Put the snapring on the one cup, then put the opposite cup from the other side, and again slide the cross into the new cup as you press it in. This is a bit tricky, as you have to get it pressed in far enough to get the second snapring on, but you don't want to put too much pressure on the bearings to damage them (although, the cross should bottom out in the cups before the needle bearings bear the brunt of the weight)

Back to step 10 to finish the other half of the joint, taking care to reassemble in the same orientation that you started with.

Install the grease zerk (if you removed it), and grease.
44275212172_168050742f_k.jpg
20180827_203215 by Numbchux, on Flickr

Now flip the shaft and do it all again at the other end.

Install in the car, and enjoy!

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Yep, totally doing this to my L series tail shaft. 

@Numbchux What uni joint did you use as a replacement?  I didn’t see any model or part number reference in your thread. 

Cheers 

Bennie

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6 hours ago, el_freddo said:

Yep, totally doing this to my L series tail shaft. 

@Numbchux What uni joint did you use as a replacement?  I didn’t see any model or part number reference in your thread. 

Cheers 

Bennie

Using parts interchange listings, and trying other vehicles on that list, I came up with a few other part numbers. Napa lists a UJ10430, although there was no availability. Autozone lists a 2-0430DL, of which they had 4 in their Hub store across town. I now have 2 of those sitting on my desk (they are greasable, btw).

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28 minutes ago, Mike104 said:

Using parts interchange listings, and trying other vehicles on that list, I came up with a few other part numbers. Napa lists a UJ10430, although there was no availability. Autozone lists a 2-0430DL, of which they had 4 in their Hub store across town. I now have 2 of those sitting on my desk (they are greasable, btw).

Thanks for that, I’ll have to find out if they have those part numbers available over here. 

And don’t you need three uni joints for a Subaru driveshaft since they’re usually two piece or fitted with a centre support bearing?

I know I need three for mine... 

Cheers 

Bennie

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9 hours ago, el_freddo said:

Thanks for that, I’ll have to find out if they have those part numbers available over here. 

And don’t you need three uni joints for a Subaru driveshaft since they’re usually two piece or fitted with a centre support bearing?

I know I need three for mine... 

Cheers 

Bennie


Yea, that got kind of buried in there. There's a link there to the Rockford Driveline application list, which shows their number as 430-10.

Good point on the number of joints. Around 2000, Subaru replaced the center U-joint with a DOJ. So those models only require 2, but the older ones require a 3rd in the center.

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Fortunately we typically can find used prop shafts around here that are in decent shape. But nothing rusts. 

But really I don't know that it's economically viable to do this at least in a shop environment. I can get a new driveshaft from Subaru for around $600. By the time I replace all three u-joints, spend an hour on each one (with them being staked in and all), and then I still have a used DOJ, and a used carrier bearing. So figure I'm going to charge the customer 3 hours at least with R&R, and replacement of all two or three u-joint assemblies (if one is bad, might as well do them all), then plus parts, etc..... I'm within a couple hundred (maybe less) of a brand new shaft. 

As a budget repair it's certainly feasible to replace only the failed joint and save quite a bit. 

GD

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27 minutes ago, GeneralDisorder said:

Fortunately we typically can find used prop shafts around here that are in decent shape. But nothing rusts. 

But really I don't know that it's economically viable to do this at least in a shop environment. I can get a new driveshaft from Subaru for around $600. By the time I replace all three u-joints, spend an hour on each one (with them being staked in and all), and then I still have a used DOJ, and a used carrier bearing. So figure I'm going to charge the customer 3 hours at least with R&R, and replacement of all two or three u-joint assemblies (if one is bad, might as well do them all), then plus parts, etc..... I'm within a couple hundred (maybe less) of a brand new shaft. 

As a budget repair it's certainly feasible to replace only the failed joint and save quite a bit. 

GD

I love having this type of DIY option available!  I'll still probably take my driveline to a shop for piece of mind, but thanks a ton Numbchux for the procedure!  Might have to try this on a spare driveline!

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5 hours ago, GeneralDisorder said:

Fortunately we typically can find used prop shafts around here that are in decent shape. But nothing rusts. 

But really I don't know that it's economically viable to do this at least in a shop environment. I can get a new driveshaft from Subaru for around $600. By the time I replace all three u-joints, spend an hour on each one (with them being staked in and all), and then I still have a used DOJ, and a used carrier bearing. So figure I'm going to charge the customer 3 hours at least with R&R, and replacement of all two or three u-joint assemblies (if one is bad, might as well do them all), then plus parts, etc..... I'm within a couple hundred (maybe less) of a brand new shaft. 

As a budget repair it's certainly feasible to replace only the failed joint and save quite a bit. 

GD

We tried to buy a used shaft a couple times when I worked at the Subaru dealership here, and it always took several tries to get one that was even acceptable (thank goodness we had a great relationship with a great junkyard). So yea, I think that's very much regional. We saw many joint failures, and several of them were catastrophic. Carrier bearing failures were VERY rare by comparison.

 

Yes, this probably falls under the DIYer category, and doesn't generally make sense to pay shop labor. There are 2 driveline shops here in town (not a big town, so I assume there are places like this all around the country) that will replace the carrier bearing and both joints for about $250 with a day turnaround. Not to mention new aftermarket shafts, etc. Although, with better tools, I think I could do one in less than 30 minutes, parts cost is less than $20 ea, you could make money.

 

But, for a guy who has a press (Mine is a ~$80 Harbor Freight one, I've done countless wheel bearings, suspension bushings, etc.), a few hours over the weekend might make more sense. 

Edited by Numbchux
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@GeneralDisorder - mate, I really enjoy reading an insight to the way you think as a business in terms that are best for the customer/client’s back pocket.  I’ve never had to think this way and I can see now where some of your “short and sharp” comments come from. ;)

@Numbchux - I agree about the carrier bearing comment. I broke the carrier before the centre bearing let go on one shaft!  I still don’t know how that carrier bracket broke, other than some awesome off-roading action! :grin:

I’ll be looking into this further when I get a chance. And I’ll add a spare uni joint to the spares kit too. 

Cheers 

Bennie

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