How to Change Axle U Joints of Jeep Wrangler

How to Store Jeep Wrangler Doors

If your Jeep spends significant time in 4×4 mode, you’ll almost certainly need to replace the front axle u-joints at some point. If your axle u-joints are severely worn, you will notice some slop as you spin your tyre forward and backward. I’ve recently noticed a new squeaking noise from the front of my Jeep Wrangler. It began when I got into the Jeep to head to work in the morning. After a few kilometers of driving and reaching higher speeds, the squeaking stopped. Then, a few days later, I began to experience a vibration when making gradual turns, comparable to what I would experience if I were in 4WD.


1. Disconnect the straps that secure the drive shaft to the transfer case and pinion.

2. Remove the shaft carefully, being careful not to damage the exposed ends’ caps.

3. Secure the caps on the end that will not be worked on with duct tape or electrical tape.

4. If using greaseable U-Joints, use tape to indicate the location of the zirk fitting in the yoke. This is critical because if you do not, you risk installing the replacement U-Joint in the incorrect location, preventing it from being greased or knocking it off when the yoke strikes while spinning.

5. Insert the zirk fitting into the newly constructed U-Joint. This is accomplished by using a 5/16′′ deep hole socket.

6. Discard any opened caps. Simply pull on them and they’ll slide right off.

 7. Lean the yoke against something firm, orienting one of the remaining caps upward. Use a rock found on the trail or the back end of a vice found in the garage.

8. Using snap ring pliers or a needle nose plier, pry apart the snap ring that secures the cap to the yoke. Assemble both sides in this manner.

9. Attach a 3/4′′ socket to one of the caps and use the BFH to strike the socket. Before proceeding, ensure that the yoke is reattached to the solid item and that the other cap has room to exit the yoke on the opposite side.

10. Continue pounding on the cap until it penetrates the yoke’s inside. This will also cause the opposing cap to disengage from the yoke, but only partially.

 11. Twist the U-Joint until the cap is readily removed from the interior of the yoke, then remove the cap that you just banged on.

12. Continue moving the U-joint around until it fully disintegrates. Remove the remaining cap using your fingers or a pair of pliers.

13. Use carb or brake cleaner to clean the yoke and inspect it to ensure it is in good condition.

14. Align the new U-Joint in the yoke, ensuring that the zirk fitting is positioned correctly.

15. Carefully remove the corresponding caps, taking care not to damage the needle bearings.

16. Align the U-Joint with the yoke.

17. Attach one cap to one end and insert the U-Joint into it so that the needle bearings do not shift or fall out.

18. Reattach the Yoke to the solid item and tap the new cap with the BFH, ensuring that the U-Joint remains contained within the cap being tapped.

19. Flip the yoke over and insert the opposite cap, lightly tapping it with the hammer to ensure that the needle bearing on this side does not fall out.

21. Use the socket and hammer to correctly seat them so that the new snap rings can be installed.

22. Glue the snap rings into place. A flat head screwdriver assists in positioning them properly. 23. Replace the drive shaft in the reverse order of removal.

Replacing an axle

According to my recollection, the issue stemmed from a modification to the d30 axle yoke. The Rubicon features a d44 yoke, which has never changed in my knowledge. If you purchased through a dealer, it is possible that the dealer prefers to swap axle shafts rather than merely joints. It is more expeditious. If axle joints are being replaced, axle seals should also be replaced. Otherwise, you would almost surely return with at least one leak from one side. At that age, the chances are excellent.

How do you replace an axle shaft u-joint?

A 1ft length of pipe, a pipe cap, and a flange can all be used to build a seal driver. Conduct a search for “make your own seal driver.” You will need to grind the flange a little bit. I sanded the flange’s face flat and examined it on our anvil. It was fantastic. Alternatively, you can purchase a seal driver designed for OTC use. I drove it in for the first time according to the instructions and it went in too far. To put the retainer clip on the axle, I had to pull it out using a pry bar on the back of the axle u-joint flanges. I followed these instructions exactly the second time and had no issues installing the retainer clips. Nothing was out of place.

Can you change U-joints without a press?

Certain individuals will assert that you will require a hydraulic press to replace U-joints; nonetheless, those individuals are incorrect. The truth is that with a few sockets from your toolbox, a hammer, and a simple bench vise, you can simply remove worn U-joints and do the repair in an afternoon.

How do you know if your axle U-joints is bad?

A faulty u-joint can produce a clunking noise or jerkiness when driving, most notably when releasing and pressing the accelerator. At certain speeds, a defective u-joint can also cause vibration to emanate from the vehicle’s center or rear.