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 driveshaft 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 driveshaft has excessive clearance. The driveshaft 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.
Find the Lowest Price
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 driveshaft, or completing extensive repairs, you know that we carry everything you need.
Torque is a jeeper's best friend. Good performance gets you out of rough situations, provides that sporty feeling and is just more fun to tool around with. That's why experienced jeepers choose high-quality parts for the applications that take the brunt of an engine's power, such as drive shaft universal joints. 4WheelParts.com has the biggest and best selection of Jeep parts online, including everything you need to completely rebuild your drive shaft to your own exact specifications. We also carry the top brands in every category, so rest assured that you're getting parts that are as good or better than the OEM version.
The Deal with Joints
On your drive shaft, U joints are one of the major stress points. They allow the shaft to rotate at a range of angles. Their unique design allows everything in the drivetrain to move independently, essentially empowering you to do all of that off-roading that you love. Rigid axles and drive shafts would have a whole lot more trouble navigating that rough terrain. The parts of a universal joint are relatively simple, including a cross, end caps and snap rings. When you buy your U joint from 4WheelParts.com, confirm you're getting the kit that includes all of these items.
To Lube or Not To Lube
There's some debate in the jeeping world about lubing up u joints. In our opinion, it comes down to how hard you intend to drive your 4x4. A drive shaft joint sees a decent amount of abuse no matter how you drive, but sloppy mudders might get more life out of a lubeable joint. If you intend to get wet and wild on a regular basis, make sure you have the ability to keep your drive shaft joint lubed up. Maintaining these greasable joints is the key to getting lasting performance. Contemporary non-greasable joints, also known as sealed joints, are always great choices. Once you make your decision, simply add the amount you need to your cart and finalize your order.