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Discussion Starter #1
The U-joint on my 97 XJ has a lot of play in it. I had it in last week for another issue and when it was up, my mechanic pointed it out to me. He warned that putting it in 4WD would be bad news and said it needed to be replaced.

Has anyone done this themself? Or should I leave it to a mechanic?

Happy New Year!
 

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easy
you should go to the junk yard get some 98+ yr xj axle shafts bigger u joints there is 3 or 4 13mm 12 point socket bolts behind ur unit bearing whack with a bfh pops the whole assembly out then take the snap ring off and get a socket that fits down in the ujoint cap hole and whack until it goes threw. On the trail its easier to keep whole unit bearing and axle shaft combos to slip in.
hope this helps
 

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easy
you should go to the junk yard get some 98+ yr xj axle shafts bigger u joints there is 3 or 4 13mm 12 point socket bolts behind ur unit bearing whack with a bfh pops the whole assembly out then take the snap ring off and get a socket that fits down in the ujoint cap hole and whack until it goes threw. On the trail its easier to keep whole unit bearing and axle shaft combos to slip in.
hope this helps
 

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easy
you should go to the junk yard get some 98+ yr xj axle shafts bigger u joints there is 3 or 4 13mm 12 point socket bolts behind ur unit bearing whack with a bfh pops the whole assembly out then take the snap ring off and get a socket that fits down in the ujoint cap hole and whack until it goes threw. On the trail its easier to keep whole unit bearing and axle shaft combos to slip in.
hope this helps
The bigger u-joints have been offered since the early '90s. Not quite sure, but I want to say that they started using the 297 size in 1992 (someone correct that if I'm wrong).

U-joints are very easy to do, just make sure you take your time, and that you don't drop any of the caps. The worst thing is having to gather up the needle bearings that fell all over the place because you weren't being careful. Stu's write-up is actually pretty good, and if you read it through a few times the replacement shouldn't take more than a couple hours to do both.
 

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That is actually an easy job... just take your time, and things should go fine...
Only thing, in addition to taking your time, keep a propane torch, a BFH and some pene-fluid handy, depending how long its been since they were changed (if ever) they sometimes don't really want to come out easy at first. You can also go to Harbor Freight and get the u-joint press, you can even usually rent them at the local parts store.
A nice little trick is to never-sleaze the inside of the yokes (just a lil with your finger, just to coat the yoke) and it will make things a bit easier if you have to do them again.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I hate to be the pain, but Stu's write-up starts from having the axles in hand. I am not sure how to get to that point. I have seem other write-ups that require marking the position of parts to make sure they go back in the same position...Is all this required? Or can I just start taking parts off until I get to the shaft and pull? (All kinds of jokes come to mind here)?

We are also thinking of installing a lunchbox locker...is this the time to do this as well?
 
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