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  1. #1
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    Default U-joints stiff after install--is this normal?

    I recently installed new u-joints on the right half-shaft on my 63 Vette. I noticed they moved freely before install, but once the retaining clips were installed, the joints were pretty stiff. Is this normal? Will they loosen up after a while? Or do I need to redo the job? Appreciate any feedback.

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    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    They will be stiffer than the old ones for awhile but you should be able to move them with your hands.

    Tom
    NCRS 1360.............SACC 2082.............C1 Registry..............L81 Registry
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    1959 Chevrolet Corvette 1981 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 L81 automatic Frost Beige

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    Quote Originally Posted by redvette63 View Post
    I recently installed new u-joints on the right half-shaft on my 63 Vette. I noticed they moved freely before install, but once the retaining clips were installed, the joints were pretty stiff. Is this normal? Will they loosen up after a while? Or do I need to redo the job? Appreciate any feedback.
    Been a long time since I've done U-joints, but my recollection is that if the U-joints are overly stiff after you've installed the U-joint caps into the shaft, then before bolting the shaft into the car you need to give the shaft a sharp rap or two with a small hammer (with the shaft hand-held free in the air rather than lying on a workbench surface), about in the spot marked with a red "X" (on both sides) to loosen the tension on the bearings:

    u-joint-jpeg

    The issue is that the caps, as you pressed them in, are not in perfect alignment with the U-joint shafts, causing some binding; the vibration from the hammer rap(s) usually allows them to shift slightly so as to move into better alignment and free the joint.
    Last edited by car-nuts; 03-10-20 at 05:06 AM. Reason: clarification as to why & when to rap the shaft
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