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Drive shaft UJs, non-roto.

I bought the GKN OE spec UJ joints, as I like to be able to grease them.  I've now fitted them, and there's no room for the grease nipple.  What's the answer, please?  Do I need to make up a blanking plug or something?   I've assembled them both ways round, makes no difference.

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They MAY rotate to one position where the grease nipple can be fitted, provided they're facing the correct direction. I put mine the wrong way round on the Herald Estate and it took a lot of headscratching before I realised they were back to front. 

I hope this pic I found from that time is correct, but it shows the nipple pointing away from the flange and in the one orientation of rotation that it would fit, could be greased, and removed again without fouling.

DSCF4088.jpg.f7b738b7ea8c8176706fbbc40c945450.jpg

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This is on the spline end of a '69 GT6 drive shaft.  Of the eight ways to assemble the joint, seven of them are wrong. There was a cutout on one of the arms to clear the zerk.

Ed

DSC00675a.JPG

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Sorry Ed, that looks like a propshaft, not a driveshaft.  It has a spline grease nipple on the shaft.

That said, I know from my Mustang experiences that the American for propshaft is driveshaft...

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Roger, it seems blanking plugs are no longer supplied, so yes, you need to make your own. Metric I think.

Not wanting to teach you to suck eggs etc, but you often need to use thicker circlips (1, 2, 3 or 4) to make sure the UJ's are tight, otherwise they click away in use. Easy enough to swap once in use though.

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pretty much any drive shaft uj with a greaser available wont accept a grease gun nozzle anyway has to be an extended nipple 

which cant be left in place 

all the club ones have a blanking plug supplied to fit ( there used to be a note on the parts bin  ' dont forget the plug )

 

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I’ve had a look at the club ones and it looks to me as though the plug is a push-in plastic thing on the end of one cup - may be wrong, but that’s what I think I’m looking at. Therefore I think I’ll stick with my heavy-duty GKN ones, and fit threaded blanking plugs. I have long-reach grease nipples which should fit at service time. ¼ UNF blanking plugs are either easily made, or cheap to buy as hex-socket plugs. 

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8 hours ago, Roger K said:

Sorry Ed, that looks like a propshaft, not a driveshaft.  It has a spline grease nipple on the shaft.

That said, I know from my Mustang experiences that the American for propshaft is driveshaft...

Sorry, Roger, I neglected to translate from King's to American English.  We tend to call the prop shaft a drive shaft, and drive shafts axle shafts.

Ed

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Not a problem, I really appreciate the advice.  I should have been a bit clearer.  I have long conversations on the Vintage Mustang forum about bonnets, hoods, sills, wings, tyres..... and driveshafts!

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13 hours ago, clive said:

Roger, it seems blanking plugs are no longer supplied, so yes, you need to make your own. Metric I think.

Not wanting to teach you to suck eggs etc, but you often need to use thicker circlips (1, 2, 3 or 4) to make sure the UJ's are tight, otherwise they click away in use. Easy enough to swap once in use though.

I have done this in the past, Clive, with larger sizes.  Do you know a source for different thickness clips for the small Triumph cups?  These days selective assembly doesn't really work with modern production tolerances, I find!

I'm going to give the Club joints a try.  The GKN ones I've bought have such a large boss for the nipple that movement is restricted in one plane even without the grease nipple fitted.

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11 hours ago, Roger K said:

push-in plastic thing

no  from club its a threaded grub screw   might be plastic , it doesnt matter 

many drive shaft UJ can only be angled enough off car to get on a nipple  

a long extended is the only way its a fit,  use and remove then plug job unless you have a nasty cheap skinny cross pin 

the better the spec the less room ,  if sealed for life with the mileages most cover they don't really need any servicing anyway 

 

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This has prompted my memory.  In 1976 I was driving my £12 MkI 2lt Vitesse home from university in London for the weekend.  Once home, I drove some mates to the pub.  At around 11.30pm I was pulling out of the pub car park at walking speed when there was a loud bang and the rear N/S corner of the car dropped onto the road.  In the dark, I couldn't see what had happened but the rear wheel was up in the wheelarch.  We went back into the pub and phoned the police, who turned up and stuck a single traffic cone next to it as it was sticking out into the main road and we couldn't move it.

The next morning I went back with my brother, with a spare LH rear axle assembly I had kicking around.  We managed to get a jack under and disconnected the old assembly, and got the 'new' knackered one in.  All this with traffic taking avoiding action in the rain... I then drove it home carefully with only the handbrake.  Those were the days... but what a way to spend your 21st birthday!!

The photo shows what we found.  It's the same style as the ones I have, although marked as 'Hardy Spicer' not GKN.  I don't think the failure started at the grease nipple hole, but it's hard to say for sure.  I reckon I was lucky - two hours before it failed, I was checking the old Vitesse could still do over a ton on the A1.  RLP3E, where are you now?

IMG_9823.jpg

IMG_9824.jpg

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14 hours ago, Roger K said:

Not on mine. There’s a definite relief for a grease nipple in one place only on my car’s prop, but none on either driveshaft. 

The theory is still the same; there are only one or two places during the rotation of the half shafts where the grease nipple will fit, and can be accessed, on the car. It may be marked with a recess on the propshaft but unless you ascertain the same correct orientation on the halfshaft, it won't be accessible. Assuming you have the angled grease nipple (some come with a straight out version, and some have the nipple on the end of one cup, which I personally never liked) then by rotating the halfshaft and flange you'll see where it widens to it's greatest during rotation, and this is the spot where the grease nipple can be accessed - assuming the UJ has been fitted in the proper orientation.

On initial fitting I fill each cup with fresh grease and then as the cups are pressed into place the grease comes out of the grease nipple aperture; that way I know they've all been greased. After that it's a screw-in blank, which you can make from a short length of bolt, cut and grooved with a hacksaw. 

DSCF0047.jpg.0467ca830057b73e1b21b5240a2a148c.jpg  DSCF4085.jpg.d0fc4771ca8d70d30b28ffda2eb9ef80.jpg

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I always had trouble fitting the slot head grub screw, so I'd use an allen headed grub screw as the allen socket holds the grub screw whilst you locate and screw in, no frustration..

Nowerdays allen headed grub screws come in all different threads and lengths.

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It's possible my issue has the added complexity of replacement driveshafts, brand new from Rimmers.  With the grease nipple on the shaft side, i.e. pointing away from the flange, neither of the two options allows easy clearance for a long-reach nipple (the one supplied with the joint by GKN).  I little gentle relieving of the casting of the drive shaft yoke allows this.  I can then replace the grub screw, which I've cut and slotted from a 1/4UNF screw.  I've also ordered some hex head grub screws for the reason Peter mentions above.

I first installed the joint the other way around, with the nipple facing the flange, but the bulge in the joint X-casting for the nipple stops the shaft pivoting fully in one direction when assembled, so this is not safe.

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2 minutes ago, Pete Lewis said:

the dvla mot/tax does not recognise RLP 3E so looks its in the happy  rusting grounds 

Pete

Yes Pete, that's what I suspect.  Shame - dark blue with black trim and a full-length Webasto, what a waste.  Oh well, it cost me £12 and I got £525 for it two years later.

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"Allen" type UNF ones are available on Flea bay reasonably priced. I bought some for the 13/60 Window Frame Top fastener. I found some BSW ones from 19?? recently in a tin.

Back in the 60`s I replaced all the Slotted screws in the Crank, Cam, Timing/Gear cases etc on a Norton Dominator with some which had been Nickle plated, courtesy of a friend working in an Aicraft Factory. Looked a lot better, and started a local "trend".

Pete

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1 hour ago, Roger K said:

little gentle relieving of the casting of the drive shaft yoke allows this.  I can then replace the grub screw, which I've cut and slotted from a 1/4UNF screw.  

I'm sure you know what you're doing and the tolerances of the drive train, but I'd rather pregrease the UJ and seal it with the blank after it's been fitted than trim the yokes to give access. Personal preference only, but I've had two driveshafts shear on me over the years (not yoke-related, tho) and I'm not giving them any other excuse to do it again.

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I find the hydraulic locking nozzle/fitting of the grease gun just to big to fit onto the GKN extended nipple so I have a special removable grease nipple for UJ’s it’s the GKN supplied long one cut in half and a thin brass tube slid into the cut 2 halves then soldered the whole extended nipple would be around 1.25in long and the connecting end of the nipple is just free on the UJ so easily connected with the grease gun hydraulic nozzle also being longer easily screwed in and out.

Being thin brass the nipple is fragile so care in connecting and disconnecting is needed, but it’s lasted 40 years, every time I use it I think I must make a better one.

just used it last week on the Vitesse on its annual oil change, grease up, and oil the trunnions. Next week or so the Spit gets done plus brake fluid change the tester shows the moisture level at the upper limit, fortunately it’s the daughters car and she helps and understands the sequence of brake bleeding, I’ve checked I have a spare set of 3/4in slaves in case.

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6 hours ago, Colin Lindsay said:

I'm sure you know what you're doing and the tolerances of the drive train, but I'd rather pregrease the UJ and seal it with the blank after it's been fitted than trim the yokes to give access. Personal preference only, but I've had two driveshafts shear on me over the years (not yoke-related, tho) and I'm not giving them any other excuse to do it again.

I only removed enough to allow fitment of an extended grease nipple with the flange disconnected and folded out of the way.  I've taken barely 20thou off the meatiest area in one position, Colin - it's really just a mould line on the inner aspect that's been cleaned up.  I don't think it'll be a problem.

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9 hours ago, Roger K said:

it's really just a mould line on the inner aspect that's been cleaned up.  I don't think it'll be a problem.

Hi

Gentle cleanup and smoothing of the mould lines will not affect the strength of the U-J. In fact removing what could be regarded as a "notch" could actually contribute to the resitance of the material to cracking. Most failures involving such material propagate from a defect in the item, in my experience.

Pete

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22 hours ago, Roger K said:

I have done this in the past, Clive, with larger sizes.  Do you know a source for different thickness clips for the small Triumph cups?  These days selective assembly doesn't really work with modern production tolerances, I find!

I'm going to give the Club joints a try.  The GKN ones I've bought have such a large boss for the nipple that movement is restricted in one plane even without the grease nipple fitted.

Canley classic (used?) to sell them in a few thicknesses. 

almost 2 years ago I had a UJ seize on my spitfire, 600 miles from home. 

I did a lot of research into UJs. About the strongest are the proper GKN Freelander type. Some people falsely think they are a different size, they are not. But they are (a) more expensive and (b) no grease nipple. But fitted to 1000's of freelanders from the factory.

At the time, a friend attended the TSSC leatherhead show while we were on the backs of 6 recovery trucks. He kindly grabbed 2 of the Club GKN ujs (they are the mid-range version) and popped then through my letter box ready for us to get home. We did get home in the early hours after a 20hr journey, but by mid day the UJ's were in. That is when I started digging for info. Apart from buying the stronger UJs, and fitting a few weeks later, followed by a balance, I also re-jigged the gearbox mount and indeed the diff to reduce the prop angles to within 3 degrees movement. Well, one is about 3.2, the other just under. This is on a car with a T9 gearbox and a subary diff, which means the prop is about 600mm long...

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