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U-joints, 78 suburban

Subject: U-joints, 78 suburban
From: Matt Wehland <>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 12:46:11 -0500
I just replaced the ujoints in my 78 suburban (front & rear, 1 piece shaft).
I now have a  noise, sounds like grinding metal from the rear.
It is most pronounced from 10-25mph, above 25 the frequency becomes higher and 
the rest of the truck makes so much noise that I don't notice it.
I checked the shop manual (after reinstalling the shaft) and noticed that it 
calls for around 20ft-lbs on the rear strap bolts (4 bolts that hold the 
joint to the rear axle).  I had torqued the heck out of them.  So I loosened 
them up, lock-tited them and retourqued them to a guesstimated 20-25 ft-lbs 
(much less than I had them before).
I also had one of the rear bearing caps fly off of the shaft and roller 
bearings go all over while installing the joint, I cleaned them up real good 
and got them all back in place.
Also the pinion seal has been leaking for some time now, I haven't even looked 
at it yet.
The truck sat for 4-6 weeks, only driven once before I got around to replacing 
the u-joints.

What is the best guess on what is making the noise?
Did I screw up the u-joint by over-torqueing? 
Dirt in the bearings from when I replaced everything?
Something with the pinion bearing that became worse after replacing the 
Bad u-joint from the factory? It was real tight when moving by hand, but it is 
brand new so?

I have no problem replacing the u-joint again if that really is the problems, 
but I'd hate to do it and then find out it was something else stupid.


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