How to Replace an S-10 U Jointby Christian Killian
Replacing the U-joints in your S-10 may be necessary if the old ones are loose or very worn. The U-joints connect the driveshaft to the transmission and differential, allowing the driveshaft to spin while traveling up and down with the suspension. If the U-joints become worn, they may fail, damaging the driveshaft, differential or transmission in your S-10 pickup. Replacement U-joints are available from any auto parts store or through your local Chevy dealer.
Raise the rear of your S-10 with a jack then position a set of jack stands under the rear axle to support the truck. Lower the jack until the truck is resting on the stands securely.
Locate the four retaining bolts where the driveshaft meets the rear differential then remove them with a wrench. Set the bolts and retaining straps aside and carefully pull the driveshaft away from the differential.
Position a drain pan or bucket under the tail shaft housing of the transmission then slide the driveshaft out of the transmission. Remove the driveshaft from under the truck, allowing you better access to the U-joints.
Locate the retaining rings on the outside of the U-joint caps and use a pair of pliers to squeeze the two tangs together then lift the clip out of the cap. Discard the clips then position a U-joint press on the driveshaft. A U-joint press looks like a big C-clamp and pushes the U-joints out of the shaft. If you do not have one, you can rent one at most auto part stores.
Turn the screw on the U-joint press with a socket and ratchet to force the U-joint out of the driveshaft. Remove the press and position it on the next U-joint cap, repeating the process until all four caps have been pressed out. Remove the joint from the driveshaft and discard it.
Remove the U-joint caps from the new U-joint and position it in the driveshaft. Push the new caps into the driveshaft from the outside then use the U-joint press to seat the caps onto the joint. Install the new locking rings on the outside of the caps, making sure they lock into the groove on the driveshaft yoke.
Repeat the process, replacing the second joint then move the driveshaft under the truck. Slide the driveshaft into the tail shaft of the transmission then raise the opposite end up and place the U-joint in the yoke at the rear differential.
Install the retaining straps over the U-joint caps then insert the four retaining bolts. Tighten the bolts with a wrench until they are snug. Do not over-tighten them or they will break off in the yoke.
Raise the rear of the truck off the jack stands with the jack, remove the jack stands from under the truck then lower the jack and set the truck on the ground.
- "Chevy S-10 Factory Service Manual;" General Motors Corp.; 2001
Things You'll Need
- Jack stands
- Drain pan
- Wrench set
- U-joint press
- Socket set
Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.