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Old 11-28-2011, 10:40 PM   #1
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Driveshaft U-Joint Servicing

I was reading another post where somebody was talking about their driveshaft falling out. Rather that steal that thread I thought I would start a new one here on the correct way to grease a driveshaft U-joint. On the DPs almost all of the driveshafts are made by Dana Spicer and they also make the U-Joints that go in them. For my MH I use 1710 full round U-joints which are pretty big and I would guess most of the DPs probably use 1710 joints. These are also called 10 Series U-joints and can be 1610, 1710 and 1810 joints. If the joint is held in place with a U shaped strap then they are considered to be a half round joint. If there are no straps to hold half the U-Joint in place then they are full round joints.

I have several Dana Spicer Manuals. One is just on how to lubricate their U-joints then I have others that are Drive Shaft Service Manuals so what I am going to tell you is what Dana Spicer recommends. One thing I have never understood is where the requirement came from to grease the joints every 5000 miles. According to Dana Spicer if the vehicle spends 90% of its time on hard road surface such as a highway then they only require to be greased every 10,000 miles. If you spend 90% of the time in city stop and go or on gravel roads then they need to be greased every 5000 miles. I guess greasing a DP driveshaft every 5000 miles is not going to hurt anything.

Ok this is right out of the Dana Spicer manual. The most important thing is to purge all that old grease out of that joint and it HAS TO COME OUT ALL FOUR BEARING CUPS. Those seals on the bearings are designed to let the old grease out and you will not damage them doing this. Failure to purge out all that old grease and grit out of those joints will result in early joint failure. Dana Spicer shows a pneumatic grease gun being used for this because it is easier to purge all that old grease out.

This is out of their manual

Apply grease gun pressure and purge all four bearings until fresh grease is seen at all four bearing seals.


1. If a bearing will not purge, apply pressure to yoke lug ear opposite of non-purging bearing while grease gun pressure is being applied. This should firmly seat the ujoint against the cup seal and relieve seal tension of nonpurging bearing.
Repeat procedure for any other non purging bearings

2. If this procedure does not allow purging from targeted cups, attempt to relieve seal tension by one of the following procedures:
For full round or inboard bearings, remove spring tab from non purging cup and apply pressure in opposing direction to cup that will not purge to attempt to relieve seal pressure while grease gun pressure is being applied.
For round or outboard bearings loosen bearing retainer from non-purging cup, insuring cup will not disengage from u-joint cross, while grease gun pressure is being applied.
If all four bearings, purge fresh grease, replace removed spring tab and spring bolts and any loosened retainer bolts with new.
3. If the bearings still do not purge, complete removal of the universal joint kit is needed to determine cause of blockage.



Now what I do if I do not get a good purge out of a cup is to mark the cup with a Sharpie then drive it around the block and come back and try it again. If that doesn't work then I will plave a piece of wood against the driveshaft and using a heavy hammer or mallet against the wood I knock the driveshaft into the direction of the non purging cup as to open up the clearance around that seal and get it to purge. I cannot strees enough how important it is to get all four cups to purge until fresh grease comes out.


Now for the Slip Joints Dan Spicer recommend this:

Relube slip assemblies at the same intervals as universal joint kits. Apply grease gun pressure until grease appears at the pressure relief hole in the slip yoke plug.


Cover the hole in the plug with your finger and continue pressure until grease appears at the slip yoke seal.


The big caution here is I have found that if you pump that slip yoke joint full so it comes out the slip yoke seal then if you have a tag axle the grease is thrown against the tag axle brakes when driving and there is no protective cover on the back of those brakes. Wipe off all excess grease off those U-Joints and Slip Yoke before you drive it.


I have attached both Dana Spicer Manuals for those who desire to read more.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Driveshaft Lubrication.pdf (624.5 KB, 532 views)
File Type: pdf Driveshaft Service Manual.pdf (450.3 KB, 211 views)
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:45 PM   #2
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Thanks Mike, good post.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:49 PM   #3
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The info I have found says it's the slip joint that requires lubing at 5,000 mile intervals, not the U-joints. But, while I'm under there I do them too. Can't hurt, might help!
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:53 PM   #4
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Great information.
Thanks, Don
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:20 PM   #5
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Good info. I was never sure about how much new grease to pump in. Now I know.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:06 AM   #6
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Thanks for the manuals, should be a big help.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:18 AM   #7
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MR_D the manuals state that the slip joints and the ujoints are 10,000 miles for vehicles 90% on hard road surfaces. Don't get me wrong here because there is nothing wrong with doing them both at 5000 miles but if you miss doing it until 10,000 miles it is not the end of the world.

You can never pump in too much grease into a ujoint because you are flushing it out. I use a pneumatic grease gun from Lowes and I pump until I have brand new grease flowing out of all four cups. It is messy but good.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:20 AM   #8
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I have also been told, by Spartan, that in order for the greasing process to really provide maximum benefit, the weight of the Coach should be on the tires while lubricating? So, a drive pit seems to be the best way to have our Coaches effectively lubricated? I tried a little experiment on of my front wheel assemblies ... greased fittings with wheel raised, using my leveling jack(s) then re*greased with full weight on tire. There was more pressure required to push grease into fittings and some more "old" grease was squeezed out of the joint even though I had previously greased it while raised. Thoughts?
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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I believe that they want weight off the front axle to lube the kingpins only. I do not do that because I don't have jacks on the MH. I do turn the front wheels all the way left and pump in grease until it is purged out then all the way right until it is purged out. I may have to by a 20 ton jack and lift one side at a time and see if it makes a difference to the kingpins. As far as all the tie rod ends my rubber boots are open at one end so they cannot be split if too much grease is pumped in and again I pump grease in until I purge out all the old dirty grease. I only use Mobil 1 synthetic grease and I bet I use close to 2.5 to 3 tubes each time I grease the driveshaft and front suspension.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:23 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=Mike Canter;1020171]The big caution here is I have found that if you pump that slip yoke joint full so it comes out the slip yoke seal then if you have a tag axle the grease is thrown against the tag axle brakes when driving and there is no protective cover on the back of those brakes. Wipe off all excess grease off those U-Joints and Slip Yoke before you drive it.



This might help with the excess grease.
Wrap a length of Saran wrap around the greased parts in the direction of travel. This will contain the grease and prevent it getting all over the place.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:38 AM   #11
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Chuck, that is a great idea. I shall try it next time. Thanks
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:16 PM   #12
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Good info Mike Thanks!
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:02 PM   #13
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Thanks Mike!
This service will be on my list in the spring, will be my first time with something this big.
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