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Thread: Ring & Pinion Pre-Load Shimming

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  1. #11
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Northwestern Ohio
    This is a tough one. Only because a high quality part may be hard to find. I had the same issue with my right front axle shaft. First, you are missing the INTERNAL snap rings. The bearing caps are retained by the snap ring on the inside of the yoke ears. See the photo. The U-Joint I purchased from KW was also missing the snap rings. A phone call and I had them the next day.

    Now as for the fit. Unfortunately you are correct. A pres fit is the way it was designed. It is a light press fit, as a high interference fit would cause the yoke to distort on assembly. That all being said, Depending on how hard you run the front it may be OK. Not totally correct but OK. I say this because there are a lot of them running around this way. As long as they have some resistance when you push them in. Usually the U-Joint cap gets a little rusty and freezes up in the yoke ear anyway. If you've disassembled one that was "frozen in" you know what I mean!

    Here is the failure mode that could occur. Under load the bearing caps could begin to creep extensively. This would wear the yoke ear holes and things will get sloppy. It will make noise and exhibit signs of a worn U-Joint if it ever gets that loose, eventually fracturing the yoke ear. Unless you are running it hard and/or many miles in Four Wheel, I don't think it will ever cause you trouble. If you are going to run it for a lot of miles with the front axles locked in (no hub locks free wheeling) I would shop for a Genuine Spicer Shaft and U-Joints.

    I can tell you the shaft I received from KW was incorrectly machined and had to be modified by me before I could even install it. I used it because I was able to make it fit, and Larry needed a ride. The U-Joint fit is less than optimal. There is insufficient press on the bearing caps just like yours. The outside of the yoke had to be machined so it would fit through the hub. The U-Joints they supply are the cheapest I have seen in a long time. I have no idea where this stuff was made. I smell China, India, perhaps the Philippines? They are fine for a parade vehicle that accumulates little miles. They are not for a hard working rig. They are inexpensive however. As I said, I ran it because LarrBeard needed a ride. When the Jeep comes out of storage next year, there are a few little things to fix. The shaft will be replaced with a Genuine Spicer.

    For a high quality high strength U-Joint use these

    These U-Joints are sealed. No grease zerk. They are designed to seal forever, They work excellent. They are not cross drilled which gives them better strength than a grease-able U-Joint. Remember this is a change in design. The original joint ran in a bath off grease in the closed knuckle. The seals were removed from the U-Joint. This "bath" lubed the pivot bearings as well as the U-Joint. I do not use the "bath" design. I use sealed U-Joints and periodically re-pack the pivot bearings. Filling the knuckle with lube is a messy, leaky old fashioned way of doing it. It does work. Eventually the Knuckles will drip lube on the floor. I like it a bit neater.
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    Last edited by bmorgil; 04-09-2023 at 08:23 AM.

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