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Old 04-13-2013, 07:20 PM   #1
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U-Joint part number

Was traveling up 101 in Oregon last week, heading home from Phoenix area one Seafood Restaurant at a time. About 50 miles south of Lincoln City I noted that tell-tale vibration when I put the coach under power. So I took it easy and made it to the Premier RV Park in Lincoln City.....it was a Saturday. Found a tire store who gave me the name of a trucking company that also can work on RVs, but not till Monday. On Monday, James Drayton Trucking (541-994-2054)sent a serviceman to our RV site who changed the u-joint right there. Took about an hour. I had given them the part number (5-279X) which they had in stock as 5-279XRM but which had to be modified slightly, but it worked just fine. Seems the 279 series is used on many dump trucks and similar vehicles. I have just short of 50K miles on the coach. The other u-joint had gone out at under 10K. This one was way cheaper; only $160 for part and labor. Plus we had some great seafood over the weekend.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:48 PM   #2
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Hi, my name is Joe and I just retire 6 months ago, I'm a certify Drive Line specialise and had operate a drive line Shop for 22 years. A 5-279X is a Spicer 1610 series that cost around $ 40.00 at a truck shop and the 5-279XRM is a aftermarket that cost around $ 25.00 and there no modification that have to be done, it just a aftermarket replacement parts to replace the OEM. Now a far as quality of the material, the Spicer one is better made with better steel. The aftermarket one are made oversea and some of them are off very poor quality steel. Now that U-Joint should last more the 10K I have seen them run up to 200,000 miles on highway truck, but it a grease type u-joint that have to be re-grease every 4 to 5,000. miles. If you done grease it, it will not last.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:14 PM   #3
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Hello Terry; the Alpine owner’s manual recommends that the Universal Joints be lubed every 3000 miles. The U-Joints are crossed drilled with two zert fittings and only one needs to be greased. I also lube the slip joint when I lube the U-Joints. In 80,000 miles I have had no problems with them. It is an easy procedure to lube them. Joe thanks for the part number.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:32 PM   #4
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In my case, the failed ujoint got regular lubing, less than 3,000 since the last time. Inside, it showed some grease still, but not as much as one would expect. I think this is a particular case relating to a bad batch of ujoints that WRV used back in 05 or 06 with quick failures so they put the box aside. Then, at the end WRV was using all the parts they could find to finish the last 08 and 09 coaches, and there was a rash of failures again. Many 08-09 owners have posted here already. Seems I was able to keep the second ujoint going for almost 50k instead of 10K or less by good lubing, but in the end it was still an early death. The XRM ujoint has the two-bolt hole ears on all four legs, where my Alpine uses only two of the two-bolt ears and the other two legs slide into place. The ears are spot welded on and two were popped off easily with a sharp pop with a hammer and chisel. Lots of grease is the key to a long and healthy life. At least we got info on the part numbers on IRV2 now. Happy travels.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:06 AM   #5
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Replacement U-Joint

Hi Terry The replacement U-Joint on your unit should have been a 5-674X made by Spicer. By using a 5-279X U-Joint and knocking off two of the mounting plate off the cup tell me that your unit have a 1610 series Drive Line. And also tell me that you a more likely created yourself more problem down the run, and I will try to explain why.

1610 series have two type of U-Joint, the first one that was made in that 1610 series the 5-279X. This U-Joint is what we call a Full Round u-joint, meaning that all four cup have all the same mounting plate.

Then someone taught of a type of 1610 u-joint that would be more user friendly and they created a 5-674X that we call a Half Round u-joint and some also call them Easy Service U-Joint. This U-Joint have two Full Round end cap like the 5-279X and two cup with no mounting plate on it that we call Half Round mounting cup. Because they fix on and end yoke on the Rear End or Transmission that have a U shape saddle and is held in place by two straps and four small bolts.

Now Terry to come back to why down the road you could still could have problem! Went the mechanic use a 5-279X intend of a 5-674X, he had to knock off two of the cup mounting plate so the u-joint would fit the saddle, that by itself went you are in a bine you can do, however that 5-279X kit did not come with a new strap kit and four new bolts!!!! So the Mechanic probably re-use the old strap and old bolts, and that where the problem start. The old strap were already stretch out and are not suppose to be re-use, what will happen is that down the road the cup will start spinning in the yoke saddle and will where it out and give you another pre mature failure. Also this failure will not only cost you a U-Joint but also a End Yoke.

Now this is what I subject you do to fix it before this happen. Go at your local Truck Parts store and buy yourself a 5-674X Strap Kit, you can buy the strap kit by itself if that store carry it. If they don't have it, buy a 5-674X U-Joint kit and take the strap kit in it and replace the strap under your Motorhome u-joint that you just replace. Now if for some raison you can not do this yourself, get someone that have replace u-joint before to do it for you, because this will save you a lots of grief down the road. Also since you been having problem with u-joint, I would subject that you carry a spare 5-674X made by SPICER with a new Strap Kit with you at all time. Joe

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Old 04-15-2013, 10:00 AM   #6
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Joe- sounds like good advice on carrying the spare set of u-joints. I have an 08 that has some sat-around-the-shop parts on it, so whether the u-joints are likewise is anybody's guess. Finding the right spare & carrying it is good peace of mind. And pretty cheap if ordered at the prices you quote above.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:41 PM   #7
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Here is some good info on the U-joints that will help identify which you have Spicer 5-674X Ujoint
http://www.mdsdriveshaft.com/ujoints/spicer_5-279X.htm
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:14 PM   #8
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Joe,

Thanks for some great info. Now that I'm home I will take some time and see what I have down there. Seems like nothing is ever simple on these things. At least now I have the knowledge. Thanks.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:52 PM   #9
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I ordered new U-joints yesterday. Joe is correct on the part numbers. The transmission end uses the 5-279X Full Round u-joint and the rear-end joint uses the 5-674X Half Round u-joint. It appears the half round is used to make it easier to disconnect the drive shaft for towing.

After greasing the u-joints (I have a new to me 2006 coach) I found one cap that would not accept any grease. The coach has 60,000 miles and not knowing how long this may have been going on I will replace both this weekend.

Preventative maintenance!
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:08 AM   #10
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"wouldn't accept any grease" meaning you couldn't get any grease to ooooooze beyond the rubber seals? Think I would also be concerned but wonder if it means that one or more of the other three seals is/are simply more pliable. Will be curious to see if once you get the old joints open, whether all four caps were actually getting grease--better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:32 AM   #11
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Just to close out this thread, the Spicer part number for the Strap Kit I needed is # 5-70-28X. It should cost less than $12 or so. Now we all know everything about the u-joints on these Alpines. Happy travels. And a real thanks to Joe for helping us out.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:54 PM   #12
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I greased my u joints and found the straps were not holding the u joint cups firmly in the yoke. Bottom line the Yoke (5-4-8571-1x) is worn and not useable. The u joint moves sideways in the saddle about 1/16 inch.
Part is for a Monaco Knight 2001 and is obsolete as of 2010. Finally found one in Chicago for $295 plus overnight air to eastern Washington.
Keep your u joints greased and inspected.
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