I keep killing u-joints...

Discussion in 'Technical' started by facelessnumber, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. facelessnumber

    facelessnumber Drew Pittman

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,713
    Media Gallery:
    49
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Vehicle:
    '71 Grabber
    Ever since the 351w swap, my car's been hell on u-joints. I keep busting the bearing caps. Stock rearend, C4, stock driveshaft, engine mounts are the same as I had on my 302. It's smooth as can be, there are no driveline vibrations... I am using 1" lowering blocks but they've been on the car for years. I don't think there's anything wrong with the pinion angle.

    I drive the car all the time, and yes I have a lead foot. Is this just part of the deal when you put a lot of torque to a stock driveline, or is something likely to be wrong? I'll just keep putting u-joints in every few months if I have to, but that doesn't seem right. I don't want to ignore a problem if I have one, but I also don't want to be chasing down some non-existent issue either.
  2. mercgt73

    mercgt73 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Messages:
    3,044
    Media Gallery:
    6
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    102
    Location:
    Eastern Shore, Maryland
    Vehicle:
    1973 Comet GT (clone), 1974 Mustang II
    Are you breaking the diff yoke end or the trans yoke end?
    Could wheel hop be snapping your u-joints?
    When you installed the last new ones, were they free to rotate and not binding?
  3. facelessnumber

    facelessnumber Drew Pittman

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,713
    Media Gallery:
    49
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Vehicle:
    '71 Grabber
    It's been the rear u-joint so far. I'm hearing that telltale clank again and I haven't checked, but I'm pretty sure it's the rear one going out on me again. When I installed it last, it was moving smoothly and I greased it up good.

    I'm not having any wheel hop.
  4. Mavaholic

    Mavaholic Growing older but not up!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    Messages:
    14,727
    Media Gallery:
    20
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    192
    Location:
    Crownsville, MD
    Vehicle:
    Original 72 Sprint Owner, 71 Comet GT, 57 Ranchwagon
    Pull the driveshaft and have it checked for trueness and balance.
  5. mercgt73

    mercgt73 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Messages:
    3,044
    Media Gallery:
    6
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    102
    Location:
    Eastern Shore, Maryland
    Vehicle:
    1973 Comet GT (clone), 1974 Mustang II
  6. Joe Dirt

    Joe Dirt six poppin'

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    4,363
    Media Gallery:
    89
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mcdonald,tn
    Vehicle:
    1973 4 door
    Overtightning the straps distorts the bearing caps and causes this type failure
  7. simple man

    simple man New Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,512
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Bunnell,Florida
    Vehicle:
    74 Maverick - 82 Ford Ranger,one of the first ones made!
    Are they ones with the large needle bearings or the small needle bearings? The ones with large needle bearings are garbage! Try to get some that have the small needles and you should be good to go! :)
  8. junrai

    junrai Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,462
    Media Gallery:
    41
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    117
    Location:
    rancho cordova ca
    Vehicle:
    1972 mercury comet 1972 comet gt
    when you put in your u jioints are you making sure theyre in between the little tabs? Ive done that a few times changing mine. in a rush or cant see or just plain dont to be fixing on anything and not paying attention that will give you trouble. but maybe your rear end has just a little play in it where it slams the ujoint every time you step on the car a little
  9. injectedmav

    injectedmav Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2,010
    Media Gallery:
    28
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Location:
    Georgia
    Vehicle:
    1972 Maverick 2dr 5.0l EFI, 2003 Expedition(wife's), 1991 Toyota p/u
    I had the same issue and I thought it was pinion angle so I went to hell and back trying to get it just right. I finally got frustrated enough to take the driveshaft to a local driveshaft repair shop. He spun it up on the machine and it was shaped more like a banana than a precision driveline component. He was able to straighten it and rebalance it. So far so good. I had this driveshaft shortened by a different facility and I had returned there when I had the first rear joint failure and they told me it was fine.:hmmm:

    The cap u-bolt torque and using the correct rear joint is critical. The u-bolt caps are thicker and some parts databases show both joints to be the same. I assure you, they are different, just in case you didn't already know.
  10. cyclonewill

    cyclonewill Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    64
    Location:
    SandSprings, Oklahoma
    Vehicle:
    69.5 Maverick - (2)72 Maverick- 64 comet cyclone- 69 mustang 70 cougar -69 Ranchero - 69 Cobra-
    Took me a few times to figgure that one out.
  11. facelessnumber

    facelessnumber Drew Pittman

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,713
    Media Gallery:
    49
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Vehicle:
    '71 Grabber
    I bet we have a winner right there. I've had the driveshaft out a few times changing the trans, or the engine, plus the times I've pulled it to change the u-joint, and I have not once put those straps on with a torque wrench. I've very likely overtightened them. (y)
  12. baddad457

    baddad457 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    5,269
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Opelousas La.
    I'd bet you have the wrong diameter caps for the pinion yoke. I've run into this before. Make sure the caps fit snugly into the yoke saddles, if they're loose, pick a joint with a slightly larger diamter cap. Might also try a better quality joint too. I've never used a torque wrench to tighten U bolts on a joint and never busted the caps.
  13. Joe Dirt

    Joe Dirt six poppin'

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    4,363
    Media Gallery:
    89
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mcdonald,tn
    Vehicle:
    1973 4 door
    Torque wrench not needed, just dont cram them down till there way tight went through this in my teen years
  14. yellow75

    yellow75 MaverickMike Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,524
    Media Gallery:
    15
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    132
    Location:
    Tillamook Oregon
    Vehicle:
    72 Maverick 64 Falcon 2 door wagon 2007 Shelby GT 500 2012 Ford F150 FX4
    Every time I have got a u joint from the parts houses they give me a 1310 because they say thats what the book calls for but in actuality you need what is called a 1310 special which is a hybrid you joint, it has a 1310 has the caps all the same size at 1 1/16" the correct one for a Maverick needs to have 1 1/16" for the driveline yoke and 1 1/8" for the third member yoke.

    This subject has been brought up before and Summit carries the correct u joint but I dont remember the number. I just buy 2 u joints and put the caps off of the 1 1/8" joint on the 1310. Been working for several years with a lot of racing action.
  15. 71gold

    71gold Frank Cooper Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Messages:
    19,059
    Media Gallery:
    45
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Location:
    MACON,GA.
    Vehicle:
    '73 Grabber
    X2...:tiphat:

    I think it's an... "Old Wives Tale"...:yup:
  16. injectedmav

    injectedmav Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2,010
    Media Gallery:
    28
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Location:
    Georgia
    Vehicle:
    1972 Maverick 2dr 5.0l EFI, 2003 Expedition(wife's), 1991 Toyota p/u
    I don't use a torque wrench either, some people just use too much wrench or too long of a ratchet to tighten them. I use a 1/4" drive ratchet with a short socket.
  17. John Holden

    John Holden Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,703
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    85
    Location:
    NJ
    No torque wrench here either. It would be hard to overtorque one of those with an open end wrench. Nobody has suggested the possibility of the added torque of the new engine twisting up the rear axle enough to cause a bind in the u-joint. I don't believe the o/p mentioned the use of any traction aids to eliminate axle wrap (only lowering blocks which worsen axle wrap) but I may have missed it.
  18. Ol Maverick Man

    Ol Maverick Man Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    227
    Media Gallery:
    7
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Wallingford, Ct.
    Vehicle:
    1973 Maverick Grabber Clone
    A drive shaft shop, once, told me to use new lock washers, and just tighten the nut until the lock washer flattens.
  19. Comet Fever

    Comet Fever Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    3,382
    Media Gallery:
    129
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    192
    Location:
    Texas
    Vehicle:
    1975 Mercury Comet
    I would have a professional check that driveshaft. Years ago I had a Camaro that went thur u-joints quickly like is described here. This can be a nightmare especially if you do highway driving. No fun having to pick up your driveshaft off the highway because the u-joint failed.
  20. facelessnumber

    facelessnumber Drew Pittman

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,713
    Media Gallery:
    49
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Vehicle:
    '71 Grabber
    No "traction aids" really. I do have the leafs clamped and I have a rear swaybar, but that's it.

    Also the joints I've been using are Moog #430. I believe it has two different sized bearing caps but I'm not certain of that. I know the caps fit tightly in the driveshaft though.

Share This Page