How to Replace the Front U Joints on a Jeep Cherokee

Written by christian killian Google
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Replacing the front U joints on your Jeep Cherokee is an easy task that can be done with basic hand tools and can be completed in just a few minutes. You will need to remove the front driveshaft from your Jeep before you can remove the joints from the shaft. The joints are pressed into the shaft and retained with clips, but you do not need a press to replace them. Follow the steps here and you will complete the job quickly and easily.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Paint pen
  • Metric wrench set
  • Metric socket set
  • Pliers
  • Short piece of steel rod
  • Hammer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Raise the front of the Jeep with a floor jack and support the vehicle on a set of jack stands. Make sure that the Jeep is stable before working under it.

  2. 2

    Locate the eight bolts that hold the driveshaft in the Jeep There are four at the front differential and four at the transfer case on the mounting flange. Mark the relationship of the shaft to the axle yoke and output flange with a paint marker.

  3. 3

    Remove the four bolts at the front differential, using a wrench or socket and ratchet. The bolts may be obscured by the driveshaft on the top but turning the shaft is an easy way to get at them. Set the bolts aside, as you will need them to reassemble the driveshaft.

  4. 4

    Remove the four bolts that attach the driveshaft to the output flange on the transfer case. Again, you may need to spin the shaft to get at all the bolts. Put the transfer case in neutral to allow the driveshaft to turn freely.

  5. 5

    Slide the driveshaft out from under the Jeep so that you can remove the U joints at both ends of the driveshaft. Remove the retaining clips from the U joint using a pair of pliers to squeeze the ends together and lift out the clips on all four caps. You will need to do this for both U joints, but work on one end of the driveshaft at a time.

  6. 6

    Place a large socket under the ear of the yoke and under the U joint cap. Choose one that is bigger than the cap of the U joint so that it can drop out of the yoke into the socket.

  7. 7

    Drive the U joint through the yoke, using a piece of steel bar and a hammer. Once you have the first cap out, turn the driveshaft over and drive the joint back to push the opposite cap out of the yoke. You will need to do this for all four caps on both ends of the driveshaft.

  8. 8

    Remove the caps from the new U joint and insert it into the yoke. Place the new caps in the holes on the yoke and carefully drive them in with a hammer. Insert the new retaining clips on the outside of the cap, making sure that it snaps into the groove on the yoke. Repeat this for each cap on both ends of the driveshaft.

  9. 9

    Reinstall the driveshaft in the Jeep by lining up the marks that you made earlier on the yoke and driveshaft. Install all eight bolts and torque them to manufacturer's specifications.

  10. 10

    Remove the jack stands and lower the Jeep to the ground.

Tips and warnings

  • Put the transfer case in neutral to make accessing the bolts on the yokes easier. Turn the shaft as needed to get to each bolt.

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