How to tell if axle u-joints are going bad? - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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How to tell if axle u-joints are going bad?

I think my axle u-joints are starting to go, but I'm not sure...

Symptoms are that while driving straight ahead, everything feels normal, but when I turn, it feels like the front end is binding up like it does when I turn too tight in 4WD. Is that the angel of u-joint death telling me to get my affairs in order?

I'm at roughly 80K miles now, and I suppose I should do ball joints and wheel bearings while I'm at it, correct?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 12:21 AM
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Jack up the front and with the wheels turned to one side, rotate the wheel by hand. If the joint is going bad it will get tight and loose every quarter turn.

If the bearing hubs are fine, why change them? If ball joints are loose you can check while it is on the jacks. Push and pull on the top and bottom of the wheel to check.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 02:29 AM
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Mine would making a squeaking noise when turning at slow speeds.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatDudeOrion View Post
I think my axle u-joints are starting to go, but I'm not sure...

Symptoms are that while driving straight ahead, everything feels normal, but when I turn, it feels like the front end is binding up like it does when I turn too tight in 4WD. Is that the angel of u-joint death telling me to get my affairs in order?

I'm at roughly 80K miles now, and I suppose I should do ball joints and wheel bearings while I'm at it, correct?
newbie here, but with other cars I've had similar issues with the differentials and needing to add some friction modifier or service the diff
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 08:56 PM
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Mine just started acting up this week. I am getting a shimmy back and forth in the steering wheel as I turn. It is worse at slow speeds and I am getting a squeaking sound as well. I will be replacing them and the unit bearings in the upcoming weeks.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 09:03 PM
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The best way I know my u joint was going bad was when I turn the wheel either way. It would jump and jerk. So I jacked the front end and a buddy climbed under and moved the U joint itself and said it was bad. They will also click when they are bad. I would not replace the ball joints unless they are bad. They become loose and move up and down in there. I replace my one u joint with only 89,000 miles on it. Now I have no jerking or anything.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 08:43 PM
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Mine has 117K miles and I just put in all new u-joints and upper and lower ball joints. Lots of squeaks and cracks as well as some vibrations from the u-joints prior to the recent work. Lots of frustration at having to change all of this at what I consider low milage. I used all Napa parts by the way. I think they hold up better than Moog parts.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 09:34 PM
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axle u-joints

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatDudeOrion View Post
I think my axle u-joints are starting to go, but I'm not sure...

Symptoms are that while driving straight ahead, everything feels normal, but when I turn, it feels like the front end is binding up like it does when I turn too tight in 4WD. Is that the angel of u-joint death telling me to get my affairs in order?

I'm at roughly 80K miles now, and I suppose I should do ball joints and wheel bearings while I'm at it, correct?
Jack the wheel (have it turned all the way, doesn't matter which way)
look at the cups where they go onto the u-joint X. More than likely you'll see what looks like rusty water streaks coming out or chunks of the cups broken off at the edges.
If you have to replace I use greaseable (MY choice). Check the unit hub bearings and ball joints before tearing into it. Unit/hub bearing has to come off so if it looks questionable and you're almost to the ball joints so if they're iffy, why not.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 09:36 PM
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u-joints

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Originally Posted by CoronaL View Post
newbie here, but with other cars I've had similar issues with the differentials and needing to add some friction modifier or service the diff
Dodge does NOT use friction modifiers (sp?). Synthetic fluid, no clutches.

Bob, Current;
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 01:12 AM
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grab each side of the axle with the ujoint in the middle, if you can turn both shafts the opposite way and theres play that means there bad.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 09:50 AM
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My axle u-joints were popping and as I would steer at slow speeds the steering wheel would shudder back and forth violently when they were going bad.

[B]2004.5, 5.9 HO Auto, Laramie, Gray w/Black Leather, Snow Plow Pkg., Tow Pkg., 4.10 Rears, MBRP T304 Duals, AFE Bladerunner, AEM Brute Force Intake, 08.5 Steering Upgrade, Mag Hytec Diff & Trans, HID's, Tint, Kore Performance Leveling Kit, 35" Toyo M/T's, Isspro triple gauge pod, Smarty Tuned!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 10:02 PM
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you know I discovered that when a red dust (rust color) would develope on the rim the ujoint was going out.

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