Steering universal joint replacement

Cornishman

Active Member
Site Donor
Messages
414
Reaction score
48
Location
Essex, UK
Does any one have advice on how to replace the lower steering UJ on my RHD csi?
Can't find anything on the forum and the blue book shows it with great access, section 32 11 00 , this is not the situation on the RHD.

I am thinking, center the steering,
Mark the shaft on the steering wheel side and also the box side,
If possible undo and remove both bolts, probably have to rotate steering for this,
Try to slide UJ up the shaft, move to side and then slide down,
Simply refit!
Perhaps also swear a little in the process.

Does anyone know if this is the correct approach? I fear that I have to remove many other parts to gain access and to either raise the steering shaft or lower the box.

Thanks
C
 

Peter Coomaraswamy

Well-Known Member
Site Donor $
Messages
3,458
Reaction score
575
Location
Austin, TX
When I replaced mine I was able to use an aluminum replacement and with both the removal and installation I found the use of a heat gun was invaluable. I have never worked on a RHD vehicle but pretty sure there are no "tricks", just make as much room as you can and use a tap hammer and a long punch to move it around (back and forth) and it should come off and go back on pretty easily. As you mentioned, marking the position is a good idea too and I would try to start with everything straight ahead.

Good luck
 

sfdon

Well-Known Member
Site Donor
Messages
4,752
Reaction score
840
Location
sfbay area
At least on the LHD mark the sides. The shafts are different shapes and so the knuckle only goes on one way. One shaft is grooved and one notched.
I like to use a big long chisel and a mallet in the slot to open things up a bit first.
 

DougE

Member
Messages
255
Reaction score
1
Location
Raleigh, NC
I posted a question a while back about this joint. What symptom do you experience when the joint is bad. I have a knocking sound when a rotate my steering wheel from lock to lock. If the front end is raised and no weight is on the tires I don't hear the knocking sound.

Doug
 

kasbatts

Member
Site Donor
Messages
799
Reaction score
1
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
Did my RHD one earlier this year, and it was a bit painful, went something like this from memory,

You may want a few beers to help make this job easier,

Take all the steering console out of the car, I really don't know if this job is possible without doing this, but if you do it will be a lot easier, you mention "sliding the unit up the shaft, and then down again" if yours is anything like mine I doubt very much you will be able to do this as the joint was well seized onto the shaft with that powdery rust like you get caused by heat on exhaust manifolds.

there is a universal in the steering column that I split leaving the lower part of the sterling shaft going through the firewall to the steering box.

Undo the uni from the steering box, this is a pain in the arse and will require turning the shaft/wheels/steering to get to the bolts on the uni as there's not much room under the exhaust manifold for hands, spanners etc, but it is doable.

Getting the uni of the shaft on mine was also hard as it was a bit seized, I had to tap small steel wedges into the split on the joint to open it up and then lever it up off the splined shaft on the steering box ( don't forget you have to completely remove the joint bolts to allow the joint to come off)

Basically the reverse to put it back on, take note as Don says, the unit only go's on one way ( ask me how I know this !)
Put lots of anti seize compound on the spline and bolts as you reassemble to make it easier for the next guy (which may be you!)

My uni joint was so seized in one direction that I couldn't move it with my hands, I've come to the conclusion that the RHD cars must go through these joints 10 to1 over the LHD as the joint is only just under the exhaust manifold by about 50mm and subject to a lot of heat,
I plan to try and shield or wrap the joint with something to try and give it some sort of heat protection.

Good luck

Steve
 
Last edited:

Ian C

Member
Messages
66
Reaction score
0
Location
Melbourne Australia
I removed mine the way you are thinking. A very small hammer manipulated with fingertips to move it up and down (its tight in here), turning the joint to attack both sides. Soaking the splines in Penetrene may have helped but it still took a while to get it moving even after spreading the joint. I was able to push the shaft to one side to remove/replace. The alloy doesn't look too pretty when you are finished, but a new one won't need the same force to install.
 

DougE

Member
Messages
255
Reaction score
1
Location
Raleigh, NC
Does any one have advice on how to replace the lower steering UJ on my RHD csi?
Can't find anything on the forum and the blue book shows it with great access, section 32 11 00 , this is not the situation on the RHD.

I am thinking, center the steering,
Mark the shaft on the steering wheel side and also the box side,
If possible undo and remove both bolts, probably have to rotate steering for this,
Try to slide UJ up the shaft, move to side and then slide down,
Simply refit!
Perhaps also swear a little in the process.

Does anyone know if this is the correct approach? I fear that I have to remove many other parts to gain access and to either raise the steering shaft or lower the box.

Thanks
C
What symptom brought you to replace the joint in your car?
 

Cornishman

Active Member
Site Donor
Messages
414
Reaction score
48
Location
Essex, UK
All fixed

Thanks for the advice, it all went to plan as described by many below, no need to remove the steering Console or heat on my one. Probably helped with a long bar to tap the fitting up the shaft, that way I could use a large hammer, a small one seem to have no effect. Plenty of cooper slip used on reassembly.

Doug
I changed it as it was an advisory on the MOT, road safety test. The symptoms are slight play in the steering and I have already changed all bushes, track rods etc. once the part was removed it was hard to feel much play at all, but the car drives very slightly better.

Could your issue be the top mount bearing on one of the front struts, ie the bearing clogged up or dry?

Best wishes and thanks to all

C
 

Honolulu

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,585
Reaction score
93
Location
Honolulu Hawaii
Symptoms of a bad steering ujoint

I've had this happen twice on my LH drive '73. The steering wheel binds at some rotational points. You can still drive, but centering out of a turn is gone, and it's at least disconcerting.

In both cases I got the joint off after loosening the bolts and spreading the split bit. The second time I took it off, since the issue was lack of lubrication (or corrosion) in the bearings, I boiled it in a tin can full of ATF, and worked it in both directions until everything was smooth again, then reinstalled.

Four or so years later, no recurrence of the problem, which is good b/c it's not much fun to get it in and out.
 

Bmachine

Well-Known Member
Site Donor $$
Messages
2,083
Reaction score
465
Location
Northern California coast
I want to make sure I am doing this right... I need to separate the steering box from the U joint so I can drop the engine and front subframe.
The blue workshop book talks about removing the U joint near the steering wheel first so that the whole column can slide out of the shaft at the steering box.
But from what I read up here, that is not necessary and all I need to do is undo the two 13mm bolts on each side of the lower UJ and then, using a long screwdriver or equivalent, bang the thing so it slides up towards the back of the car until it slips out of the steering box shaft. See photo. Is that correct?
Some people mention tapping it to go back and forth but there is no room between the UJ and the firewall to insert a hammer to bang the thing down towards the front of the car...
Thank you.
 

Attachments

HB Chris

Moderator
Site Donor $$
Messages
11,459
Reaction score
1,733
Location
Huntington Beach, CA
Bo,

When we lowered Mike's coupe onto the subframe, the steering column was loose so we could line it up and it was still hard to do.
 

deQuincey

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,066
Reaction score
625
Location
bilbao
my advise, remove the bolts completely before pulling the joint from its place
 

deQuincey

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,066
Reaction score
625
Location
bilbao
DQ, my blot are loose enough that there is plenty of room for the jaws to open up more. Is there a benefit to having them completely off?
it will be difficult for me to explain, there is a big transversal Groove in the shaft, if you do not remove the bolt the bolt gets stuck in that Groove, that was my case, just be careful
 

Bmachine

Well-Known Member
Site Donor $$
Messages
2,083
Reaction score
465
Location
Northern California coast
That worked! Thank you Jesus, that is indeed a key part of the process. The bolt closest to the steering box goes into a depression in the main shaft and it is not enough to loosen it so the "jaws" of the UJ can be spread open. It needs to fully comes out. Photo below shows the groove.

I also sprayed a good amount of Kroil penetrating oil last night and this morning and after removing that bolt, banging upwards on it with a large screwdriver made it all come out relatively easy I must say.

The strange thing, however, is that I did not see the steering wheel move up so I wonder where the slack created when I pushed that UJ up went???

Thank you all for your invaluable help.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Top