The driveline components — universal joints are built to deliver peak performance. Transmitting torque from your truck's transmission to its axles while adjusting to changes in driveshaft length is a tough balance. Properly functioning u-joints smooth things out by providing flexibility between your prop shaft and axles, even in the most grueling road conditions.
Rising to such a difficult challenge is a full-time job. Your u-joints work non-stop while your truck is on the road, and this constant movement and stress can cause wear and tear. U-joint problems can lead to driveline failure and thousands of dollars in repairs.
Good news. With proper preventive maintenance, most u-joint issues can be averted. Most of the time, u-joints fail due to inadequate lubrication.
Following a multi-point lube check at your truck dealership, factory-trained technicians will use lubricants that are pure truck – designed to keep your u-joints and other critical components doing their job.
If you want to install maintenance-free u-joints as an alternative to greasing, you'll need components that meet Mack's high performance standards. For example, select genuine heavy-duty u-joints are offered with service-free options, in addition to the standard reliable options.
Both are engineered to closely control tolerances, creating a tighter fit, better balance capability and reduced driveline vibration.
Operating your heavy-duty truck with excessive driveshaft angles could also contribute to premature u-joint failure.
It is recommended that u-joint angles should be no greater than 3 degrees, and the difference in angles between front and rear u-joints on the same driveshaft should not exceed 1 degree.
The higher the u-joint angle, the shorter the life of the joint.
Here are four signs your u-joints may be damaged or going bad:
1.Loud clunks in the driveshaft when shifting gears 2.Vibrations/roughness/shudders during acceleration or deceleration 3.Grease leaking out of end caps 4.Play in the driveshaft
All driveline components should be closely examined at regular service intervals to ensure maximum longevity.