HRemoved Spicer 1610 Series U-joints from shaft yesterday - both joints toast. Rear joint (parking brake flange) severe chatter marks in bearing post, needle bearings beginning to disintegrate, the more degraded of the two. Amazing that the amount of degradation presented so little symptoms when driving. Slip joint in perfect shape, no degrade to flange or joint nest. Replaced both joints (Spicer Part #5-279X flange, 5-674X pinion, for Dana Corp axle Part # 818681-0115, differential carrier Meritor Part #3200-H-1864) without problem. Spicer joints include all new mounting hardware including front straps, bolts ("pre-thread-locked"), plates at $180 for 2.
Now on to attempting to tighten pinion nut a few flats to see if lash among pinion yoke - pinion shaft (splines degraded?) caused by nut coming loose (55 mm, 2.125" socket, ~1000 ft-lbs torque for bearing pre-load). Meritor techs believe pinion yoke (Part #16TYS32-86) to be softer than pinion shaft, so maybe replacement of yoke (only) may be possible.
Thks everybody for help on starting with U-joints. OBTW - water intrusion due to inadequate lubrication the original culprit. However, no evidence of rubber seal failure at any of the eight seals.ere are some likely replacements for you drive joints:
2003 40' MDTS
Garden Ridge, Texas