Question about 1989 Jeep Cherokee

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Driveshaft repair '89 Laredo

I have a 1989 Jeep Cherokee Laredo 4.0L.

My rear driveshaft dropped out of it (I have recovered it) and I determined that the U-Joint that connects to the transfercase failed and broke.

I have already purchased the new U-Joint.

What I need to know is the procedure for replacing the U-Joint

And if driving it with only the front drive shaft in place is safe. Or if I could damage the vehicle by doing so.

All help is appreciated

Posted by on

  • David Preston
    David Preston Nov 21, 2008


    Thanks for the quick response,

    I must confess I already knew pretty much how to do it. I really was lookin for the answer about diving on the front Driveshaft alone. My brother INSISTS it's OK and I thought otherwise, so I've left it sist since I got it home.

    This was a clear concise and thorough answer, well thought out and complete BTW its the half moon clips holding it in place. I haven't done the repair yet, planning that for this weekend.

    I would've voted earliar but I was trying to wait to see what OTHER responses I would get.

    Thanks again and Welcome to FixYa!


  • David Preston
    David Preston Nov 23, 2008


    Driveshafts installed now, and working great.

    Thanks again for your help.




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1. Driving with just the front shaft is NOT adviseable. I would consider that choice as emergency only.

You are going to need a bench vise, a medium weight hammer, emery cloth, axle grease and a good amount of patience. You will first want to press out the old cups, done by clamping the drive shaft in the vise, next to the yoke. You must first decide what style of locks are used on the cups, either half moon rings, that lock from the inside, undereath the yoke, or the expansion type that lock from the top of the cup. Remove these old rings before removing the cups.

Either way these have to be removed. New locks will come with the new u-joints, and usually both types. After removing the old cups, it is important to clean all rust out of the area that holds the cups in the yoke. Also, remove any burrs that you might find there with a small, half moon file.. Key here is to clean, clean.

Next, before installing u-joint you must be sure that the new u-joint is installed 180 degrees out from the u-joint on the opposite end. This is called driveline timing. If this isn't done you will experience a serevre vibration while driving.

Next, apply extra grease in each of the new cups, which will hold the needle bearings in place while you install the cups. Before installing the new cups in the yoke, spray the cup area in the yoke with WD-40. This will aid in installation.

Now, carefully install a cup in yoke, gentle pushing or taping to get it started. Then insert the cross of the u-joint into the new cup. As the shaft is being held in the vise, install the second cup, and bring the cross into alignment between both cups in the yoke. Now tap gently on both cups, alternating from one side to the other, watching as the cups close over the cross ends.

Once you are satified they are in sufficently enough, you can use the vise to press the cups in the rest of the way. I always kept and used several sockets for this part. They were the right size to pass into the cups. Once the cups are seated all the way in, you can install the clips. If you find that the cups or cup won't seat all the way, you have managed to dislodge one of the needle bearings, (the reason for the extra grease), and you will have to disassemble and start the process all over again.

Once you have the u-joint installed properly, move it back and forth. There should be no binding. If there is, it means that a needle has dropped and the proceedure will have to be done all over again.

Hope this helps.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008

  • mike dirt Nov 23, 2008

    I glad to hear you are back on the road again so soon and that in some small way I have helped.

    Ga-day, Bill



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