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 Universal joint

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Been here a while
Been here a while

Number of posts : 160
Age : 56
Home City : Flinders Park, South Australia
Model and year : 06/94 Toyota Hiace Super Custom 3.0L TD AWD
Registration date : 2012-01-19

PostSubject: Universal joint   Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:44 pm

Hi all,

I have a 1994 4WD SC van with the 1KZ-TE engine.

I suspect that one of my universal joints on the shaft coming out of the rear diff is worn as there is a "rumbling" noise coming from the van. Also my father suggested the same when he was seated in the rear seat recently and noticed the noise.

To replace the universal joint, is it necessary to replace the whole shaft & both joints or can just the joint be replaced? How easy is it to do for someone with very basic mechanical knowledge and limited tools? I think I should be able to remove the shaft from the vehicle but I'm not too sure how I'd go after that.

The reason I ask this is that I previously had a L series Subaru wagon and that had sealed universal joints. I was on holiday when one of the uni joints went. A mechanic in Wyndham managed to remove it I think and replace it with a greaseable uni joint from another vehicle. My memory is a bit sketchy as this happened back in 1996. (I do remember I was prepared to remove the shaft from the vehicle and drive home in 2WD as the car was a front wheel drive.)

Would I need to go through Toyota to get the parts or can they be sourced from an after market parts supplier? Has anyone in Australia needed to replace their uni joints?

Any help would be much appreciated as this noise has been noticeable for a little while and I don't want the joint to s**t itself and leave me stranded. Crying or Very sad


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Hiace Master
Hiace Master

Number of posts : 662
Home City : Netherlands
Model and year : 1994 Toyota Hiace 4x4 DIY camper
Registration date : 2016-02-01

PostSubject: Re: Universal joint   Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:37 am

Hi, you can replace the universal joint, although it is not so easy as replacing the whole shaft.

But replacing the whole shaft is a bit waste of money, when only the universal joint can be replaced too.

But I would suggest to check if the noise is really coming from the shaft and joint itself, it could be from the diff itself.

Just position the car with both wheels on the ground, put transmission in neutral, and go under the vehicle. Try to move the propshaft, and see where you can detect some movement. Maybe in the universal joint, but maybe in the diff itself. It could also be in the propshaft, but that's not so common.

If it fails while driving:
Since you have AWD, I think you can lock the center differential? Or is it rear-wheel drive normally and you engage the 4x4 menually?
Anyway, once centerdifferential (or transfer case) is locked, there is always the same amount of force applied to both rear and front wheels.
This means that if you have an issue with your propshoft (or the universal joints), you can simply remove the propshaft and drive on. That means you turned the car into a front-wheel drive car Smile which will behave differently in corners, just drive carefully.
Just carry some spanners in the car when driving.

I have used this trick with an old Landcruiser, works just fine.
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