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Old 04-19-2010, 10:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Reliability and preventative maintenance

I'm reading about U-Joints and it got me to thinking I should probably replace mine since I don't know the history of this truck very well.

That set me to thinking (dangerous!) about what else I should do to make Sammy reasonably reliable. I have a new fuel pump, the engine oil looks (and smells) great so no gas in there, I've fixed a few things in the carb, etc. I don't have any major oil leaks- the oil pans drips, but doesn't leak, and there's some congealed dirt around the front ball joints, but that's about it.

After I pay some attention to the U-joints, what's next?

One thing that I do get is a slight jolt when taking off, esp in reverse. Does that raise red flags?
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd actually be interested in hearing suggestions on this topic too. Overall, my Sammi is in good shape, drivetrain wise.. but I noticed my knuckles drip. Don't know much about the u-joint "problem" that people talk about. What do I look for?
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You could clean and regrease the sliders on the front brake calipers and clean out the rear drums too. Also run some oil down the handbrake, speedo cables and anywhere that needs lubing.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chibi_Chaingun View Post
but I noticed my knuckles drip.
front steering knuckles? sounds like front diff seals are starting to go. its either an expensive job, or a messy and time consuming job...
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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second the U-joints. replacing an entire transmission because of the failure of 1 joint. wish i would have asked first....
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by whincup View Post
front steering knuckles? sounds like front diff seals are starting to go. its either an expensive job, or a messy and time consuming job...
Yeah, front steering knuckles. How much to get it done, and roughly what does it involve to do myself?

The Haynes manual makes it look like its not a big deal, but maybe I didn't read it all the way through. :P
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I got to wrenchin on mine the first time I had a long weekend... since that time (back about 16 years ago) I have completely disassembled it twice and the second Zook got the treatment once. You start with the broken parts and then keep going.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you're just replacing the axleshaft oil seal then it's not big thing. Usually though when that seal goes and diff oil gets into the seals on your knuckle, Those seals break down with gear oil and need to be replaced. It's not a hard job, just time consuming. Make sure that the drip is coming from your knuckle and that it's not just brake fluid running down the knuckle. The congealed crud around the balls is grease. Everyones got it, and dirt and brake dust stick to it and make it all black and nasty. You won't hurt anything wiping the globs off, but it will re-form eventually.
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ujoints are simple to check and change... I've got a few that are the originals with many, many miles on them, then I've got others that I need to change about every 50,000 or so... the wiggle test works... some of the replacements have grease fittings, some don't. I honestly don't think it matters. And yea, they can screw up things. On another car years ago, I had one do some real damage to a rear seal, bearing, and wear the R&P.
Fix the oil leak. If oil can leak out water and dirt can get sucked in. Knuckle seals are pretty simple to change too. The Haynes manual isn't bad. Just like anything else, do one side at a time. I started taking picts at each step on different things... along with wrench sizes and such. (I'm getting old. Memory going and tired of getting up and down for the right size. Plus I owned too many different vehicles.)

Reliability and preventative maintenance-
All this stuff comes down to basically what is in the back of the owners manual, Haynes book, and common sense. If you do water crossings, change all your oils. I extended my vents years ago and don't get water sucked in. I also buy WD40 by the gallon (honest) and spray it on everything. I also buy gear oil in 5 gal buckets. Once you change the oil in both axle housings, trans case, tranny you will start to do the same.
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