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Old 03-21-2014, 10:09 PM   #1
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Lube the universal joint

I crawled under the coach today (with my new harbor freight jack stands in place), and hit most of the lube points. The universal spline took nearly a full tube as I expected. I have one concern. I could not get the axle side universal to purge from two of the four hubs (not sure what to call them). I was using an air grease gun and tried several times on both fittings but two opposite whatever they are called didn't bleed grease.

My coach has 17,000 miles now, and I put 3,000 of them on in the last year. How serious is this situation? Is it likely that I can drive it for a couple of miles tomorrow and have success? Should I put it in the shop immediately or can it wait. We are leaving next weekend to go to North Carolina and Tennessee.

Wiley
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:24 PM   #2
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drive it, try greasing it again. if the 2 cups wont take grease the universal needs replaced as those are running dry. jmo
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:29 PM   #3
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with the price of u joints and the trouble a failure could cause I would say replace the joint before your trip
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:33 PM   #4
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Roll the coach forward a smidge so that you can easily get to one of the zerk fittings. In theory, filling one should grease all four caps. Try to get to both zerks by moving the coach a little. It will eventually bleed out all four bearing caps.

Did you get the three fittings on the steering column....one underneath, one form the generator bay and one you have to remove the steering column cover inside the coach.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:39 PM   #5
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Before you go to the trouble of u joint replacement, take a 1/4" socket and unscrew the grease zerk or nipple as they commonly are called and clean out the dried up grease from in the hole, then replace the nipple with a new one and give it a try.
I work on equipment and this is common procedure!
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:46 PM   #6
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Although I've never done this myself, (not yet at least) I have been told to place your "fattest" finger at the end of the driveshaft in between the universal joint and the yoke (that end of the driveshaft) and press tightly over a hole that's located in there while pumping grease into the (zerk ?) grease fitting, this will force the grease to go into all 4 (needle pin) universal joint caps. I'm telling you this from memory (which ain't so good anymore) as my manual is not handy right now, but I did read this procedure in my manual. Hope this helps!
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:47 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=Dutch Star Don;1977925]Roll the coach forward a smidge so that you can easily get to one of the zerk fittings. In theory, filling one should grease all four caps. Try to get to both zerks by moving the coach a little. It will eventually bleed out all four bearing caps.

some heavy truck u joints are now made with a solid middle to the cross and hence the four nipples , one on each cap, and the theory is the u joint is now stronger across the mid section and will not deflect under load as much and will make for a longer service life of the u joint, I e:less wear from misalignment.
Hope this helps....
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:57 PM   #8
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U-joints are a machined product made by humans. Not every grease gallery got drilled thru to is delivery objective on every u-joint every time. Could be no gear will travel to the dry caps due to a defective build.
Been known to happen.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laj View Post
drive it, try greasing it again. if the 2 cups wont take grease the universal needs replaced as those are running dry. jmo
I will try this tomorrow.

Hometool, do you have an estimate of what it should cost? Also what kind of shop is most likely to be able to do the job in the shortest time? If I take it to an RV shop it will take a week for them to farm out the work. Would a shop like Margot be able to do it?

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Old 03-21-2014, 11:07 PM   #10
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If you feel ya gotta do it the take it to a driveline shop, they will do it in a heartbeat and not a week !
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
Roll the coach forward a smidge so that you can easily get to one of the zerk fittings. In theory, filling one should grease all four caps. Try to get to both zerks by moving the coach a little. It will eventually bleed out all four bearing caps.

Did you get the three fittings on the steering column....one underneath, one form the generator bay and one you have to remove the steering column cover inside the coach.
I was lucky and could reach both fittings. Applying grease to either one caused the same two to purge but none out of the other two. I have not done the steering yet, but they are on my list for tomorrow.

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Old 03-21-2014, 11:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beebster View Post
Before you go to the trouble of u joint replacement, take a 1/4" socket and unscrew the grease zerk or nipple as they commonly are called and clean out the dried up grease from in the hole, then replace the nipple with a new one and give it a try.
I work on equipment and this is common procedure!
Since both fittings caused the same two cups to purge, is this still a recommendation.

Wiley
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomd85208 View Post
Although I've never done this myself, (not yet at least) I have been told to place your "fattest" finger at the end of the driveshaft in between the universal joint and the yoke (that end of the driveshaft) and press tightly over a hole that's located in there while pumping grease into the (zerk ?) grease fitting, this will force the grease to go into all 4 (needle pin) universal joint caps. I'm telling you this from memory (which ain't so good anymore) as my manual is not handy right now, but I did read this procedure in my manual. Hope this helps!
I think this may be the procedure for the driveshaft spline. I did this to force the grease to go down onto the spline joint. It seemed to work, and took nearly a whole tube of grease.

Wiley
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EngineerMike View Post
U-joints are a machined product made by humans. Not every grease gallery got drilled thru to is delivery objective on every u-joint every time. Could be no gear will travel to the dry caps due to a defective build.
Been known to happen.
Thanks for the comment. This would be a good reason to just get it replaced.

Wiley
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