replacing a universal joint

universal sufferage

I finally found the problem with the car, whose worrying squeaking had developed into an even more worrying graunching noise, accompanied by juddering.

Reader, it was the universal joint.

It was quite a relief, because

  1. It’s always much nicer to know what a problem is, than to have a problem and not know what it is
  2. It was something I could fix myself

So I crawled under the car and uncoupled the drive shaft from the rear axle and pulled it off the gear box, and contemplated the Workshop Manual.

In obedience to the instructions, I applied gentle blows to the yoke with a copper mallet.

And then rather less gentle blows.

and then I used the blowtorch.

And soaked it in release oil.

And hit it lots.

And put it on a piece of teak (rescued from a skip some time ago. I knew it would be useful one of these days) and whacked it even more.

And finally it came off.

And then all I had to do was cycle across to the south side of Bristol for a new UJ (as we mechanical types call them)

And put it all back together again.

And now the car is working beautifully. At last.

3 Responses to replacing a universal joint

  1. Federay says:

    What a touching story.
    I would kind of like to know what is a Universal Joint? Is it truly universal?
    And should every handy person have about them a piece of rescue teak? We have some around our sink. It is beautiful stuff – but best off a skip, these days of course, rather than a tree. The provenance of our sink-edging was a stripped science lab.
    Release oil also sounds jolly useful. I shall keep it mind as a metaphor along with the universal joint.

  2. Dru says:

    It’s not wholly universal, but it is v useful. It allows rotational movement to go round corners. In the case of the car, it means that the whizzing-round shaft at the back of the engine can connect to the rear axle, even though the rear axle is rising and falling as the car bounces along the road. There’s a neat animation here

    You can’t really leave a piece of teak in a skip, can you? -mine just lies around waiting to be useful, as it’s so hard that it would take for ever to cut, and it would make my chainsaw blunt. You just happened to be passing a science lab as it was being demolished?

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