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Old 10-05-2015, 04:24 PM   #1
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Drive shaft joint lubrication - what are those Ford Driveshaft Yoke Bolts

I never did lubrifiate my drive shaft on my Ford F53 1999. I wanted to follow this guide.

There are four Ford Driveshaft Yoke Bolts to remove.

Here a picture of a similar driveshaft (I found on the internet)
but on mine the four bolts are weird, they have a star head.

Here a picture of similar ones I have found on the internet:

How can I lubrifiate this drive shaft joint. Should I simply extract the U-Joint and don't touch those weird nuts?

If I have to remove those nuts, does anybody knows what is the correct size and name of the box I have to purchase?

Should I change the 4 bolts for new ones after; like they say in this webpage?

Here is a picture of a similar drive shaft. This is what I want to lubrifiate:


BTW, my rubber boot around the drive-shaft is missing one of the two tie-wrap (the bigger one), so I expect to find dust and not so much grease in mine.

Thanks in advance.
Carl
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:28 PM   #2
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What you are showing are not serviceable items. If there is no zirk fitting, It is greased for life.

As far As the boot, push It back and take a look. If it's clean, smear some grease on the parts and re-clamp the boot.

If it's dirty, you will need to pull it apart. Mark the parts, so they go back together in alignment.

The bolts are standard 12 point heads. 5/16 or 3/8 box wrench or socket, if I remember correctly.
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:37 PM   #3
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Carl,

The bolts are external torx. Sorry, but I don't know the size. Measure point to point. There are guides on line that will convert the measurement to a specific socket.

Your u-joints should have zerk fittings installed. No need to remove to grease. The carrier bearing (just behind the dust cover) doesn't requires lubrication (sealed).

The dust cover protects a spline that adjusts for the changes in drive shaft length with suspension movement. You will need to remove the drive shaft to replace the dust cover. Mark the shaft so you can keep the splines aligned (as they wear over time). Just be sure to clean and lubricate (good wheel bearing grease)the spline before you put it all back together. Lubrication when you don't have to replace the dust cover can be done by simply loosening the clamp and sliding the dust cover out of the way.

Good luck with the project!

Jim
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Old 10-05-2015, 06:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
What you are showing are not serviceable items. If there is no zirk fitting, It is greased for life.

As far As the boot, push It back and take a look. If it's clean, smear some grease on the parts and re-clamp the boot.

If it's dirty, you will need to pull it apart. Mark the parts, so they go back together in alignment.

The bolts are standard 12 point heads. 5/16 or 3/8 box wrench or socket, if I remember correctly.
Thank you very much. I let the tools under the coach waiting for answers.

I don't see any zirk fitting. But I read on the internet People putting a zirk themself so I bought the drilling bit and everything necessary to install a nipple. But I suppose you don't recommend doing this?
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Old 10-05-2015, 06:52 PM   #5
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Carl,

The bolts are external torx. Sorry, but I don't know the size. Measure point to point. There are guides on line that will convert the measurement to a specific socket.

Your u-joints should have zerk fittings installed. No need to remove to grease. The carrier bearing (just behind the dust cover) doesn't requires lubrication (sealed).

The dust cover protects a spline that adjusts for the changes in drive shaft length with suspension movement. You will need to remove the drive shaft to replace the dust cover. Mark the shaft so you can keep the splines aligned (as they wear over time). Just be sure to clean and lubricate (good wheel bearing grease)the spline before you put it all back together. Lubrication when you don't have to replace the dust cover can be done by simply loosening the clamp and sliding the dust cover out of the way.

Good luck with the project!

Jim
Ok I will remove the clamp to see if it seems dirty. I will try to grease it from this opening.

First time I see external torx screw. I had seen internal torx on brakes. Good to know.

Does anybody knows how to remove the clamp without breaking it? And can just put a normal clamp with a screw to replace the missing one? Will the screw create uneven centrifugal forces? Or could I use a simple plastic tie-wrap?

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Old 10-05-2015, 07:03 PM   #6
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I have seen plugs in some U joints that can be switched for fittings, but I don't know if the grease passages from the center, to the caps, are in yours.

Beside, some of the steal chips, from drilling, could end up in the joint.

Keep an eye on them. Signs of going bad are steal fragments or rust developing around the seals of the caps.

Chock the wheels, parking brake off and in neutral. Check for any movement in the U joints, support bearing or slip joint.

Jump under it after a trip and feel the center bearing. A hot bearing is failing.
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Old 10-05-2015, 07:51 PM   #7
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Carl,

The clamps shown are single use. There is a tool specifically made to tighten the clamp. Looks a little like a pair of pliers. The tool is pretty cheap and most auto parts stores carry the tool and the clamps as they are used on CV joint boots. That said, I have loosened the clamps by spreading the sides of the raised clamp section and then used the tool to tighten.

I doubt the weight of a screw clamp will be noticeable given the weight of the drive shaft and how close the clamp will be to the center line. At worst, if the clamp does cause a vibration, you can always go get the tool and clamps as a fix.

I'm surprised your u joints don't have a zerk fitting. I have the same year f53 chassis and mine came that way. Don't know if its a cost issue or the auto manufacturers realized too few owners were having their cars lubed, but I haven't bought a car with grease fittings on the suspension or steering components in 20 years - go figure!
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:10 PM   #8
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Those are not external TORX bolts. They are simply a 12 point instead of a 6 point or hex bolt. A regular 12 point instead of a 6 point socket fits them as stated already. Yes they may look like a TORX but they are not.

For the age of the coach just replace the center support bearing. Don't try to lube it or put a zerk fitting in it. More than likely it needs to be replaced anyway. When you do then you will have a greasable fitting. Most U-joints do not come from the factory with a zerk in them.

TeJay
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbilodeau View Post
Thank you very much. I let the tools under the coach waiting for answers.

I don't see any zirk fitting. But I read on the internet People putting a zirk themself so I bought the drilling bit and everything necessary to install a nipple. But I suppose you don't recommend doing this?
Carl,

As someone posted before, if they do not have a zerk fitting already, then they are NON serviceable u joints.

If you really are concerned, and it keeps you up at night, then replace the u joint.

Not sure how many miles on your RV, but they last a long time.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:16 PM   #10
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.......
The bolts are standard 12 point heads. 5/16 or 3/8 box wrench or socket, if I remember correctly.
Any (correct size) standard 12 point wrench or socket will fit those bolts.

My F700 has them as well.
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:57 PM   #11
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Carl,
I'm surprised your u joints don't have a zerk fitting. I have the same year f53 chassis and mine came that way. Don't know if its a cost issue or the auto manufacturers realized too few owners were having their cars lubed, but I haven't bought a car with grease fittings on the suspension or steering components in 20 years - go figure!
In fact my 4 U-joints have zerk fittings and I put grease on them each year. It is my "slip joint" that has no zerk fitting. I was on the impression I was suppose to open it each year to put grease into it. This is why I wanted to remove the drive-shaft, to be able to separate the slip-joint. Did you ever open yours?

I am a newbie at drive shaft so all those terms are new to me.

Thanks
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Old 10-06-2015, 12:05 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
Those are not external TORX bolts. They are simply a 12 point instead of a 6 point or hex bolt. A regular 12 point instead of a 6 point socket fits them as stated already. Yes they may look like a TORX but they are not.

For the age of the coach just replace the center support bearing. Don't try to lube it or put a zerk fitting in it. More than likely it needs to be replaced anyway. When you do then you will have a greasable fitting. Most U-joints do not come from the factory with a zerk in them.

TeJay
In rebuilding transmissions for ford for years the bolts are 12mm 12 point. Most ford techs have an impact wably socket 3/8 drive just for such bolts Tejay has this one!
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Old 10-06-2015, 12:09 AM   #13
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In my initial post I should have use the expression "Slip joint" but I did not know how to call it? Sorry everybody for this newbie mistake.



Quote:
Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
Those are not external TORX bolts. They are simply a 12 point instead of a 6 point or hex bolt. A regular 12 point instead of a 6 point socket fits them as stated already. Yes they may look like a TORX but they are not.

For the age of the coach just replace the center support bearing. Don't try to lube it or put a zerk fitting in it. More than likely it needs to be replaced anyway. When you do then you will have a greasable fitting. Most U-joints do not come from the factory with a zerk in them.

TeJay

Tejay,

1 - In fact I was planning to put a zerk fitting on the slip joint (my first picture on 1st post) because I saw on the internet people doing it. I thought I had to remove the slip joint each year to grease it and then I told myself lets put a nipple like other people do. But now I realize that you guys never grease the slip-joint? Is that true?

2 - You talk about the Center Support Bearing. Mine is 16 years old with 82 000 miles. Should I really replace it or should I do like explained in a previous post: check if there is heat? I can imagine that this bearing will wear over time since there is always weight on it. I did not see any zerk fitting on my Center support bearing. I suppose I can change this bearing at home with my basic tools?

3 - What about the 4 U-Joints? Should I just check if they overheat or should I change them since they are 16 years old?

4 - What about the slip joint? Does it age as fast as the center support bearing?

Thanks

N.B.: On ebay for 87$Can I see a Center support bearing, part number OEM E4TZ-4800-A.
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Old 10-06-2015, 12:20 AM   #14
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In rebuilding transmissions for ford for years the bolts are 12mm 12 point. Most ford techs have an impact wably socket 3/8 drive just for such bolts Tejay has this one!
Thank you for the information. I will buy it on eBay.

I have found this one:



The price is about 5.76$Can (here is the link). For a complete set, 14$Can see this link.
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