driveshaft universal joint failure

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 17, 2003 at 15:41
ThreadID: 6641 Views:3878 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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Hi - just wondering what experience people have had with universal joint failure. I presume the bearings gradually wear out and joints gradually get more play and become noisy rather than just suddenly failing. The reason I ask is that a grease nipple was broken off on one of mine under previous owner's ownership so not sure how long it's gone without grease for...

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Reply By: Kev - (Cairns,QLD) - Sunday, Aug 17, 2003 at 18:38

Sunday, Aug 17, 2003 at 18:38
If there was no grease in the bearings and worn you should defenatly hear the rattle when changing gears ect.
Just jump under and check for any movement in the uni, if no movement grab a small ezi out and remove old nipple and grease her up, you should be right!
AnswerID: 28212

Reply By: Old Jack - Sunday, Aug 17, 2003 at 19:24

Sunday, Aug 17, 2003 at 19:24
If it looks to have been out for a while yes you could fit another grease nipple and cross your fingers, you probably would be ok. on the other hand if the car has had De-greaser sprayed around this area and dirt has got into the joint replacing it could be a good idea.
The relitively low cost of a Uni joint (for most cars, not sure about a pathfinder) to the cost of breaking it somewhere or the vibration damage that can be done to transfer case (off road or for that matter on road) could be money well spent.

Degreaser nicely turns most greases to "soap" that goes dry and chalky and you know what that does to the need roller bearings in the Uni.........or any bearing for that matter.
Just as a bit of general information most of the time items fitted with greasable bearings, uni's, and ball joints tend to get over greased this is often leads to bearing failure due to the increased heat generated with fast moving machinery. also the seals tend to get "POPed" out leading to dirt getting into the bearing area.

Hint to the New DIYS people.wipe the nipples before and after greasing, if the nipple dosn't close off tight replace it, grease nipples are cheap! grease gently & Spearingly on a regular basis. if driving off road some of the time as often as you change your oil, if all the time uni's & splines half way between oil changes jump under & give them a check shot. if you grease something up & water comes out there is prodably dirt in there as well!
AnswerID: 28221

Follow Up By: Old Jack - Sunday, Aug 17, 2003 at 19:30

Sunday, Aug 17, 2003 at 19:30
oh that might have meant to be Disco uni joints... if same as rangie/landie,should be a straight forward job to replace if needed!(wrong pathfinder...)
FollowupID: 19531

Reply By: bruce.h (WA) - Monday, Aug 18, 2003 at 11:20

Monday, Aug 18, 2003 at 11:20
Gday pathfinder
one of the most scary driving experances i have ever had was when the uni decided at 110kmh to shear all 4 bolts at the transfer case end. This allowed the tail shaft to dig into the road ,fortunatly i did not lock the brakes up so the tail shaft kept turning ,it dug into the road lifting the ass of the car off the ground before spining out & coming up between the drivers & passangers seats.
I think had i locked the breaks up it would have rolled us over, in the end we were lucky it only bent the shaft like a banana & left a considerable hole in the floor
So from my point of veiw ithink imight be inclined to have it seen to
Regards Bruce
AnswerID: 28274

Follow Up By: Kev - (Cairns,QLD) - Monday, Aug 18, 2003 at 16:51

Monday, Aug 18, 2003 at 16:51
Or fit a tail shaft loop if worried about it, they come standard on my Nissan work van for some reason.
FollowupID: 19605

Reply By: Steve - Monday, Aug 18, 2003 at 17:53

Monday, Aug 18, 2003 at 17:53
Why not just fit a new Uni Joint and then the worrying stops !!! A unit wont cost you much more than a few beers !!!
AnswerID: 28322

Follow Up By: pathfinder - Tuesday, Aug 19, 2003 at 08:44

Tuesday, Aug 19, 2003 at 08:44
well, that's because it's much more than a few beers... even though older Disco parts are usually much cheaper than equivalent Toyotas (and even Nissans), the uni joints are an anomaly - about $250... so will try and source something from another model that fits (e.g. pathfinder for $40...). No aftermarket available...
FollowupID: 19665

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