Help on Universal Joint Replacement


RangerJoey

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Hi All,
Using the long weekend to finally swap the Universal Joints on this 1999 4WD, (2 Door, Extended Cab). I ordered some MOOG Super Strength Non-Greasable U Joints and got the front one in easily. But the rear one is insane. I'm thinking it's almost impossible. I referenced MOOG's site and it stated Part No. 254 but after [barely] getting one cap seated and the clip in, it actually came back out when I did the opposite side. o_O

I noticed the OEM sizes were nearly identical, (if not identical?). Has anyone else run into this? I took a few photos before starting. The first is both OEM and replacements (rear on left). The second is the front, (which is Part No. 269). The 3rd photo is the rear joint. Any help is appreciated!





 


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rusty ol ranger

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You sure you had the clip seated properly? I always take a flathead screwdriver and tap it into the groove. It shouldnt of came out. Itll be properly seated when the part you put pliers on pops up slightly.
 

RangerJoey

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Thanks! I'll double check. I cleaned the grooves with some hook tools and all. It could be off a hair and wiggled out from the banging.
Is it just me though or do the sizes look way off? I should also add the OEM caps might be mix-matched and I might have the OEM joints swapped in the photos. I don't really remember which was which. :cautious:
 
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RangerJoey

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so... just an update: Looks like this ain't working. The first retainer clip snapped so I made sure one cap was seated in there and used a new clip. Flipped it over and pounded away. Yeah... the pounding/U Joint forced the clip to snap the channel it sits on! 😑 Just an epic fail today.

In addition to another U Joint, (looking at Dana Spicer 5-1330X), does anyone know what the bracket part number is for the piece that connects the rear driveshaft to the rear differential? I believe it's the driveshaft flange yoke. I know the importance of marking everything, but hoping a new one won't bring imbalance issues.
 
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19Walt93

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It's called a companion flange.
 

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sand/grind/scrape the rust out of the holes the caps press into. still has to be a press fit, but not a rusted one. rust actually causes metal to swell first.
if one of the needle bearings falls out of place and lands in the bottom of the cap no amount of pounding will push the cap in far enough, so keep the hammering to a minimum. C clamps or ball joint presses work better than hammers. parts stores rent/loan ball joint presses.
 

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Thanks all! And I think I found it: Spicer 2-2-1379. Going to get that and a Spicer 5-1330X U-Joint.

So I'm thinking - and granted I should put out there that there's a huge possibility of first-time error on my part - that one of the bearings fell in, (I was super careful when capping), or I received the wrong part number. The stamp on the U Joint, (353F), doesn't show much online, but Moog 353 seems to be a greasable joint for a F-F150. When i get the new companion flange, I'm going to carefully and slowly see if I can press the Moog in. If that works, I'll return the Spicer. If it gets to the same [tough] resistance again, (about a 1/4" of cap still revealed on each side), I'm going to stop and give the Spicer a go.

Thanks so much for the help! And last random question: the area where the rear companion flange bolts to the rear differential: should I spray that baby down with some brake clean and wire brush or is that too sensitive an area that could throw off balance?
 

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Thanks all! And I think I found it: Spicer 2-2-1379. Going to get that and a Spicer 5-1330X U-Joint.

So I'm thinking - and granted I should put out there that there's a huge possibility of first-time error on my part - that one of the bearings fell in, (I was super careful when capping), or I received the wrong part number. The stamp on the U Joint, (353F), doesn't show much online, but Moog 353 seems to be a greasable joint for a F-F150. When i get the new companion flange, I'm going to carefully and slowly see if I can press the Moog in. If that works, I'll return the Spicer. If it gets to the same [tough] resistance again, (about a 1/4" of cap still revealed on each side), I'm going to stop and give the Spicer a go.

Thanks so much for the help! And last random question: the area where the rear companion flange bolts to the rear differential: should I spray that baby down with some brake clean and wire brush or is that too sensitive an area that could throw off balance?
You can clean that. Brake cleaner and wire brush should be fine.
 

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Firstly, STOP HAMMERING/POUNDING on this stuff. Use a vice or a ball joint press, etc..
 

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Firstly, STOP HAMMERING/POUNDING on this stuff. Use a vice or a ball joint press, etc..
In hindsight, I should've invested in a press tool. I did a vise to get the caps to level and just used a 17mm socket to get the caps below the retainer line. Front was no problem. But rear was a hole other story.
 

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I bet you have a roller fall over. I've done that numerous times doesn't seem to matter how careful I am.
 

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I've done it with hammers, c clamps, hydraulic presses, ball joint press, ect. Just add a little more grease to the bearing caps and press 1 at a time and press the first one in a little too far towards the center of yoke without pressing it all the way through then put second cap on and get it started (this will keep bearings in place in cap) once second cap is started put clip in the other side then proceed to press second cap in the rest of the way and install second clip.

Btw the hammer is my preferred method for doing this
 

RangerJoey

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Hi Guys!

Just wanted to follow up. Not great news, but hopefully someone else can use this as reference in case the run into the same issue.

To recap, it's a 99, (98 build year), 4WD A/T. According to several sites like Moog, RockAuto, & Amazon, the front U-Joint that goes to the Transmission is Moog 269. The rear is Moog 254. (These are both the Super Duty non-greasable series). After taking off the front, the 269 went in like butter. But the rear 254 was already tricky to get in without the caps. Then the caps made it impossible. With one firmly seated and retainer clip securely in, the opposite side wouldn't go in the flange no matter how much force I used. After several blows, the seated end broke both the retainer clip and the lip/channel it seats in. Buzz kill. Referring back to my Ford Service manual, I noticed the "Rear" 4x4 listed the same part numbers for both the U-Joints and the flanges.
27390

I'd have given this a lot more attention if not for the fact that my flanges are different. The one in the front kind of has a circle hole in the middle and the one in the rear to the differential uses a rounded square center hole. So I figure, yep, the websites are the way to go. Today I dug out the old U-Joints, tried to wire brush the best I could and noticed the Spicer stamps:


No way to spin it. They really are identical. And those SPR 529 stamps translate to the Spicer 1310 series - not the 1330. So as of now, I have a new rear companion flange and 1310 joint on the way. I really should've given more credit to the service manual, but the fact the front & rear flanges differed led me to think the manual was a little off. At any rate, wish me luck with the reinstall and thanks to all! Oh, btw, I can definitely confirm it wasn't a dropped bearing. If I did all this and found out I wasn't careful at that step, I'd be taking the sledgehammer to myself!
 


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