Trouble greasing u-joint

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by on3i11s, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. on3i11s

    on3i11s

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    Hey guys, I didn't really feel this was post worthy but after searching online and on the forum I wasn't able to find anything relevant to my problem.

    Problem: Today I greased my u-joints using a grease gun I purchased from NAPA but I was unable to grease the "2nd from the rear" u-joint. My grease gun nozzle seemed to be too thick to squeeze onto the zerk/grease nipple so I had to skip it.

    Maybe I'm starting to develop the OCD associated with LC's but I would really like to be able to grease that u-joint. This is my 2nd attempt that I have been unsuccessful at. I tried a while back and would guess that this specific joint hasn't been greased in over 10000 miles.

    Is there an adapter that I can use to attach to my grease gun tip/nozzle or do I need to look into removing the drive shaft to grease that joint. I have cruisin off-road skid plates so removing the drive shafts would be a pain. The other 3 joints were able to be greased with no problems at all.

    I did find this post about installing u-joints that mentioned if the u-joint isn't installed with care the zerk fitting will not be able to reached. Do you guys think this could be my case? First post, step #3

    Thanks,
    O'Neill
     
  2. canman

    canman

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    Yes, probably the fitting was not installed correctly if u-joint was changed, but I would keep trying to see if there is another way to access the fitting by moving the u-joint. Do you have a hose on your grease gun? If, not that may help also.
     
  3. 1MAC

    1MAC SILVER Star

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    I had the same problem. Ended up taking the tip off of the grease gun and was able to slip it into the U-joint.
     
  4. bloc

    bloc SILVER Star

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    Alternatively you should be able to detach that end of the shaft from the output flange and that will allow you to open the bottom of the joint enough to get the gun in.

    The bolts are tight.. and I wouldn't want to do this for the life of the driveshaft.. but it'll get some fresh grease in there until you can find an alternative.
     
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  5. jfz80

    jfz80 20 grit SILVER Star

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    +1 on the flexible hose for gun

    So this is the tcase end of the rear shaft. Have seen the cruisin skids but not worked around much

    Can you remove diff end of shaft and swing and spin the back as needed to open up the front joint for access?

    Or remove the rear yoke from diff and then lift to horizontal and use some long extensions to get to the tcase nuts for shaft removal if needed?


    If it does come out might be the time to orient it so you can regularly service in the future but im with you on trying to find a way to avoid the disassembly
     
  6. 98 SNAKE EATER

    98 SNAKE EATER

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    Did you jack up the truck from the axle or the frame?

    Mine usually gives me a little hell cause I use a lift and the axles are hanging, but when I use my alignment lift (which has slide jacks that lift from the axles), the shaft geometry is a bit more straight and I'm able to get to the fitting easier.
     
  7. IanB

    IanB SILVER Star

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    Put the trans in N, so you can roll the truck forward and back from underneath (foot on a tire works best it seems for leverage), as the driveshaft rotates the area you need to get your greasegun into should open up a bit so you can get to that nipple.
     
  8. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

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  9. Marine7

    Marine7

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    I took the end of my grease gun, and turned it on my bench grinder very lightly. By doing that I made the end "thinner" and able to squeeze into tight spaces. *and using a flexible hose like mentioned earlier is a no-brainer..... Have to have rubber hose to manuver!
     
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  10. SUMMIT CRUISERS

    SUMMIT CRUISERS SILVER Star

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    My grease gun tip was also too wide. I ground it down (made it thinner) and now it works on most zerks. I have also used the needle adapter as Tools mentioned above with reasonable success. If all else fails, drop the drive shafts and apply grease. On a side note, I recently picked up a Premium Napa U-Joint that had the zerk fitting on the end of one of the caps. That sure makes it easy to grease and easier to grind off on rocks.
     
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  11. cartercd

    cartercd SILVER Star

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    X2 on the needle adapter. It's the only way I can get to some of my zerks.
     
  12. inkpot

    inkpot SILVER Star

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    Some brands of grease gun nipples are narrower than others.
     
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  13. bloc

    bloc SILVER Star

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    Small nipples for the win.

    Whatever cheap one I got at the local parts place works fine for all of the driveshaft zerks.. though I'm only 2" lifted too.
     
  14. Chris Wilcox

    Chris Wilcox

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    What IanB said above. I can't get my regular size gun tip in unless the shaft is at just the right rotation angle.
     
  15. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    I use a grease gun with a flexible hose (actually two put together so I let the gun lay on the ground while connecting the tip to a zerk fitting).

    Many of the tips are too large to fit easily into the u-joint area. Easy solution is to grind a flat on each side (180 degrees apart) in order to make it thin enough to attach to the zerk fitting. Don't be afraid to grind it, there is plenty of metal there.

    No need to go around the circumference, just put a nice 'flat' on each side (opposite one another).

    Grease Gun Fitting.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
    Marine7 and cruisercesar like this.
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