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Thread: Passenger Side Universal Joint

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Passenger Side Universal Joint

    The passenger side universal joint on my 96 TJ needs to be replaced. My questions are:
    • how difficult of a job is it to do this myself? I understand the process of changing the joint itself, but for someone with not a lot of experience and not much in the way of tools (basic stuff only) how hard is it to remove the hub in order to slide the axle shaft out? Is it worth trying?
    • If I decide to have a shop do it, what kind of price range should I expect for a job like that?
    • Do I need to replace both sides or is just replacing the one that is bad sufficient? (working on a very tight budget here)

    Thanks in advance
    -You should spend 10 minutes in a hammock everyday , unless you are busy, then you should spend an hour.

    2006 Jeep Wrangler X (TJ) - Stock.... except the 31" tires... just stock...
    ...oh no, wait, I bought a new top for it and also put up a sticky led light on the interior roof as a dome light and i put my first sticker on the body.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dgagne View Post
    I understand the process of changing the joint itself, (working on a very tight budget here)
    Do it yourself, its not a hard job. After your done you will have saved money, and gained some knowledge about your Jeep. Not to mention all the how to videos out there.

    I work often on the older stuff however, I did both front axle shaft u-joints, ball joints, and axle inner seals on a '12 jk just last month which I'm assuming is somewhat similar to your tj.
    A couple things you want to take your time with, removing the wheel abs sensor, and installing the axle shaft as not to damage the inner seal. The "12 jk have plastic axle shaft guides so its pretty hard to screw up. The abs sensor has 1 fastener, once out you have to slowly remove the sensor so it doesn't break. If it breaks their around $20.
    Last edited by Posimoto; 06-27-2019 at 01:26 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default

    TJs don't have ABS either, so one less pitfall to worry about.

    As long as the bolts holding the unit bearing onto the knuckle come out, it's not a hard job at all. And those are exposed on the backside so you can get penetrating oil on them and hit them with a little heat if you have to.
    '99 TJ, 5.9L Magnum V8 swap, Atlas-4, Waggy 44s, Custom link susp F/R, 37" Pitbulls, etc etc etc, OMG what happened to all of my money?
    She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.

    '06 Dodge 2500,
    5.7, LT315/70/17 Nittos

    '97 ZJ, 2" spacer lift on 30's, 'The Beater' - SOLD

    KC1KAX

  4. #4
    Rubicon's Avatar
    Rubicon is offline Ex-Coordinator & Ex-Mod Certified Trail Leader
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    Red face

    Hi Dean,

    First, they never made a 1996 model year Wrangler ;p
    But your 2006 will be the same as all stock TJ's and very similar to the JK described above ^

    The biggest thing is to "center" the axle joint after the install, plus keep things clean/crud out of the bearing and grease.

    Erin is away this weekend if you wanted to make the trip up. I don't have a hammock, however there are plenty of trees :)
    Please feel free to let me know.

    Or another option is to get a used shaft for a quicker/easier swap, then rebuild your bad one once you have the time for a backup. I always carry spare shafts with good universal joints ;)

    Not so common tools that you will need are: 36mm axle nut socket, a 12-point 13mm for the unit bearing bolts, and a vice/anvil(preferred method) or a u-joint press(less desirable in my opinion, as it can quickly ruin things).
    There is also a trick I do to get the unit bearing out of the outer steering knuckle, as they get pretty rusted in :(

    Hope I can help or that this helps you a little.
    Traction, articulation, and gearing make a good off-road rig. Just a big lift, wide mud tires, and a winch simply do not.
    ~Shawn(the correct spelling ;)

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FreakinJeep View Post
    TJs don't have ABS either, so one less pitfall to worry about.

    As long as the bolts holding the unit bearing onto the knuckle come out, it's not a hard job at all. And those are exposed on the backside so you can get penetrating oil on them and hit them with a little heat if you have to.
    My 2000 Sahara had ABS

    Sent from my SM-T380 using Tapatalk
    Gone now :( -2000 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, 2" BB, 4.88's, TT F&R, 33x10.5 km2's, xrc8 winch, uniden pro xl520 cb, 4' wilson
    Gone now too :( -2008 Rubicon, uniden pro xl520 cb, 5' wilson Silver Load, JCR engine skid, JCR evap skid
    Present-2012 JK Sahara-KO2's plus neat stock stuff

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  6. #6
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    I used the ball joint tool from Autozone to change the ujoint on my tj. Worked slick.

    Sent from my SM-T380 using Tapatalk
    Gone now :( -2000 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, 2" BB, 4.88's, TT F&R, 33x10.5 km2's, xrc8 winch, uniden pro xl520 cb, 4' wilson
    Gone now too :( -2008 Rubicon, uniden pro xl520 cb, 5' wilson Silver Load, JCR engine skid, JCR evap skid
    Present-2012 JK Sahara-KO2's plus neat stock stuff

    Buy a Gazetteer

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreakinJeep View Post
    TJs don't have ABS either, so one less pitfall to worry about.
    Quote Originally Posted by bob View Post
    My 2000 Sahara had ABS

    Sent from my SM-T380 using Tapatalk
    ABS was offered in a 1997 tj as well.

  8. #8
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    Thanks eveyone. To clarify, yes it is an 06. I was dealing with some things for my sonís 99 Camry, so I had the 90ís on my brain. I donít have ABS either whether it was available or not, so I donít have to worry about that.

    Shawn, I had some hiking planned for this weekend but that is not an offer easily turned down. I will let you know as soon as I can. Thank you as always. You have always been such a big help.
    -You should spend 10 minutes in a hammock everyday , unless you are busy, then you should spend an hour.

    2006 Jeep Wrangler X (TJ) - Stock.... except the 31" tires... just stock...
    ...oh no, wait, I bought a new top for it and also put up a sticky led light on the interior roof as a dome light and i put my first sticker on the body.

  9. #9
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    Location
    Uxbridge MA
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    Default

    This is a great job to do yourself fairly easy if rust isn't horrible and you will gain confidence in doing more work yourself. TJ's are very easy/basic to work on. Couple other tools you should have on hand a 1/2" torque wrench that hub nut needs 175 ft lbs and long pry bar to stick in wheel studs when tightening. Good luck

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    2005 LJ Rubicon Metal Cloak GC fully adjustable 3.5" SA with MC Track Bars OME Shocks/Stabilizer, 1" Alum BL, 1" MML, JCR 1 Ton Steering, Savvy T Case Cable Shifter, Currie Anti Rock, UC Fab LoPro Skid Plates, TW Driveshafts F/R, US Alloy Axle Shafts Front Revolution Gears rear axle shafts, MC F/R Fenders, MC Sliders, JCR Stubby Mauler Bumper MC rear w/tire carrier, Superwinch 9.5 Synthetic Line. Revolution Gears 5.38 35" Goodyear MTR's Pro Comp Steel Wheels, Mastercraft Seats

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Posimoto View Post
    ABS was offered in a 1997 tj as well.
    Well my 99 doesn't and I'm glad! Look at me trying to be an authority.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
    '99 TJ, 5.9L Magnum V8 swap, Atlas-4, Waggy 44s, Custom link susp F/R, 37" Pitbulls, etc etc etc, OMG what happened to all of my money?
    She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.

    '06 Dodge 2500,
    5.7, LT315/70/17 Nittos

    '97 ZJ, 2" spacer lift on 30's, 'The Beater' - SOLD

    KC1KAX

  11. #11
    Rubicon's Avatar
    Rubicon is offline Ex-Coordinator & Ex-Mod Certified Trail Leader
    MappingNH Trail Scout
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dgagne View Post
    ...Shawn, I had some hiking planned for this weekend but that is not an offer easily turned down. I will let you know as soon as I can. Thank you as always. You have always been such a big help.
    Thank you! I have always supported and helped people on this forum for over 10 years now, and when tragedy struck, some of you that could stepped up to help me, so I am just trying to keep giving back when/if I can.
    Traction, articulation, and gearing make a good off-road rig. Just a big lift, wide mud tires, and a winch simply do not.
    ~Shawn(the correct spelling ;)

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