A drive shaft universal joint or u joint is designed to function with varying velocity, meaning that it allows for speeding up or slowing down with each revolution. Universal joints are common components in drive shaft assemblies on rear- and four-wheel drive trucks, SUVs, and off-road vehicles. These paired joints transfer power to move a vehicle.
Uses for Universal Joints
A universal joint is a cross-shaped component featuring needle roller bearings held on four arms by caps and snap rings or circlips. The yoked ends of the shafts have lugs that engage with the arms of this joint and pivot on roller bearings. Universal joints cannot be separated from the propeller shaft or propshaft on many recent automotive models.
Signs of Universal Joint Failure
A worn universal drive shaft causes increasing vibrations. You may also hear squeaking noises when beginning to drive forward or in reverse due to insufficient lubrication. A resounding or ringing clunk indicates that the drive shaft has excessive clearance. The drive shaft will become dislocated when a universal joint drive shaft fails completely, making a vehicle impossible to drive. Keep an eye out for transmission fluid leaks due to a worn tailshaft bushing or damaged transmission output shaft seal. Rusty dust around a drive shaft u joint may indicate breakage.
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4 Wheel Parts stocks an enormous inventory of truck, SUV, Jeep and off-roading performance products from hundreds of aftermarket manufacturers. Trust in our superior service in our stores and online. You will also get the best deals on any parts you purchase from us, guaranteed. If you find a better price on any item you have ordered within 90 days, we'll refund the difference with our 100% price match guarantee. Whether you are replacing a universal joint, looking for a Dana Spicer drive shaft, or completing extensive repairs, you know that we carry everything you need.