26 Nov 2019

Universal Joints: Important Information and Tips You Ought to Know

Universal joints (also called U-joints) connect two rotating shafts inside an engine. In vehicles, universal joint coupling suppliers connect the driveshaft to the gearbox from one side and to the axle from the other side. By doing this, universal joints enable vehicle movement in all possible directions.

Used in rear-wheel-drive vehicles, universal joints are used to compensate for angular misalignment and facilitate the effective delivery of rotary motion or torque. Comprising a cross-shaped spider and roller bearings on either side, the universal joints are secured by caps.

High-quality universal joints stop shaft damage as they adjust to the upward and downward motion of the axle in connection with the gearbox. For the best results and to avert untimely failure of the built-in needle roller bearings, proper lubrication is needed before installation.

To learn more, keep reading through this article for important information and tips you ought to know about universal joints:

1. There are various types of universal joints.

Out on the market, there is a wide array of universal joints available. There are those with four plain round bearings and those with four grooved round bearings. Some vehicles require ones with two grooved and two plain round bearings, while others need two welded plate round bearings and two wing bearings; or, four welded plate round bearings and one wing bearings. In other words, there are a lot of different options.

The type of universal joints your vehicle requires is based on the measurements of your vehicle components (such as the bearing cap diameter and the outside lockup measurement). Usually, by providing your vehicle make, model, and year, you will be able to ascertain what type of universal joints you require.

It is only in cases where the manufacturer revised your model during the production period, that there may be a discrepancy. Keep in mind that grease fittings or also called as zerk fittings, are not fitted on all universal replacement joints for every make and model. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you speak with bearing suppliers in Dubai who have profound expertise in this topic.

2. There are observable symptoms of failing universal joints.

As universal joints are subjected to extreme loads of stress and friction, they are at a high risk of wearing out and failing. Usually, this happens because of inadequate lubrication or unusual operating circumstances such as overloading or wrong operating angles.

When a universal joint is failing, there are some symptoms that you may notice. In approximate order of severity, these include a squeaking noise when starting to move, a “clunk” noise when shifting from drive to reverse, a vibration felt throughout the vehicle while moving forward at speed, and transmission fluid leaks from the rear of the transmission.

If you start to hear squeaking or clunking noises, you should immediately take your vehicle to be serviced by a professional mechanic or to have it checked by your trusted technical service provider. Generally, by doing this, they can save your universal joints and extend their lifespan.

Once you start to feel a vibration, this is a sign that the joint is damaged enough that it is beginning to affect other components of the vehicle. Therefore, a professional mechanic will need to replace the universal joint to prevent further damage. Similarly, transmission fluid leaks demonstrate that a badly worn universal joint has damaged the transmission output shaft seal. Therefore, the transmission also needs to be inspected and appropriate repairs be conducted.

Finally, the ultimate failure mode for a universal joint is when a vehicle cannot move under its own power, and the driver shaft is dislocated. At this point, your vehicle may require full driveshaft replacement or more.

3. Quality makes a difference.

When it comes to universal joints, you don’t want to skimp on quality. Whenever selecting or replacing this part, you want to ensure that your chosen mechanic is utilizing quality replacement U-joints with a grease fitting. This way, they are enabling long-term preventative maintenance and and it will allow to extend the life of the universal joint.

When choosing for a new universal joint, make sure to consider the warranty, as you want one that has a warranty available. Additionally, consider the various inserts. As there are different inserts for universal joints, you want to ensure that you are getting the right one based on your application.

Some universal joints use a removable spring lock clip while others have plastic inserts. Keep in mind that those with plastic inserts are generally more labor-intensive when it comes to replacing them.

Find the U-joints you need at MCB

Founded in 2002, MCB offers a wide range of quality and cost-effective bearings, grease, as well as universal joints for the automotive, industrial, and agricultural sectors.

MCB prides itself on continuously improving its aftermarket solutions by using the latest manufacturing technology and the technical know-how of their Swedish engineers. With one year warranty, customers can expect machine efficiency, workforce safety, and value for money.

If you are in need of high-quality universal joints, reach out to MCB to discuss the best option for you with unparalleled technical insights from In-House Engineers.