Universal Joint Kits

Before we come about to knowing a universal joint kit it is important to know its key purpose. A universal joint kit is the key component of the universal joint, without it the universal joint would not be a joint let alone serve its purpose. It is also known as a cross piece regarding to its cross like shape and also its purpose (serving as a cross connection in completing the Universal Joint) - made of fully graded tough, heat enforced metal with bushings and bearings on all ends of the cross.

What is a Universal Joint?

A universal joint is the joint that grants flexibility to a rigid rod and allows it to be able to bend in almost any way. A universal joint is also more commonly known as a U-joint, Hooke’s joint or Hardy-Spicer joint. Universal joints are commonly used in shafts that undergo rotational movement. It comprises of a couple of closely located hinges that are positioned at a right angle to one another and is usually connected with a cross shaft. Explained more simply, a universal joint is a flexible joint on a driveshaft which is extended to the differential from the transmission. A U joint is more common in rear-wheel drive vehicles. For vehicles that are front wheel drive the operational U joint counterpart is commonly regarded as the CV joint or Constant Velocity joint.

Universal joints basically are of two different types: Types A and B. They are generally same in nature with only one key difference, and that is the difference in the bearing cup retaining clips.

Type A: - consists of a C-clip that is located within the yoke in order to retain the bearing caps in its place. The removal process of a Type A U-joint is fairly easy and can be done with the use of a chisel or a small tip punch to pop out the C-clips.

Type B: - consists of a Spicer Snap Ring that resides in an indentation on the yoke’s outer side in order to hold the caps in place. Removal of Type B U-joints is also quite easy but requires strong fingers, firm grip, a sharp eye and steady hands. The process involves squeezing the e-clip together with a plier and pulling them out. Occasional tapping on the bearing caps can somewhat make it easier to remove a Spicer Snap Ring.

Although U-joints and CV joints are made to be tough and withstand a lot of pressure they still wear out, break and also get damaged very easily. Universal joints and CV joints (depending on the drive wheel configuration of the car) are crucial links of the car driveline, failing of which might leave you stranded in the most unexpected places. Hence occasional maintenance (replacement if required) has to be carried out in order to prevent the joints from failing.

How to detect a Damaged U joint
A damaged U joint can usually be identified by a metallic-clunking kind of noise that can be heard when the car is put in gear. The noise means there is a play in the U-joint and should be observed promptly. Additional symptoms of deteriorating U joints are:

  • Tremendous vibrations coming from the driveshaft, most significant at low speeds of 25 to 35mph.
  • Squeaking noises
  • Shaking while accelerating

How to Detect a Damaged CV joint
Damaged or failing Constant Velocity (CV) Joints can easily be identified by a unique clicking sound in the front wheels which is projected while the car is turning. This indicated that the internal components are coming loose every time you drive.

Repairing a CV or U joint usually involves replacing the Universal Joint Kit of the joint in question.

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