02-24-2012, 10:54 PM
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How To Change U-Joint on a 98 Ranger
This is how to change the rear ujoint on a 98 ranger 2 wheel drive.
First you will need-
1. a new u-joint
2. a heavy duty hammer
3. a 12mm wrench
4. some PB Blaster
5. one socket just the same size as the ujoint cap, no bigger
6. one socket large enough for the ujoint cap to slide into
7. a socket extension 5-7" about
8. needle nose plyers
9. flat head screw driver
10. Chalk or Marker
This job was much more intimidating than it actually was.
First get the truck on a flat level serface, this is something that I did not do and really should have. Put the parking brake on and make sure its in gear! You dont need to jack it up but it may make it a little easier.
Next get under your truck and locate where the rear of the driveshaft bolts up to the rear end.
IMPORTANT- Take your marker or chalk and make a good solid line on the driveshaft all the way to the rear housing. This needs to be done to make sure that you put all the pieces back in the exact same way they came out. I guess the driveshaft is weighted or something, blah blah blah, look it up if you wanna know more. Anyways there should be 4 12mm bolts holding the rear part of the driveshaft up. Spray those 4 bolts with PB Blaster.
Then after you let the PB Blaster do its majic then take the 4 12mm bolts an loosen them off.
CAUTION- when you removed the last bolt, be carefull not to have the rear of the driveshaft fall down on to you. The PB Blaster that you sprayed on there earlier should make it pretty easy to pull off, if not grab ur hammer and give it a couple even whacks around the sides.
Once the back part is down then just slide the entire driveshaft towards the rear of the truck. Make sure you are grabbing the driveshaft in the middle and the weight is evenly distributed so that the front of the driveshaft doesnt go crashing to the ground. When you have it out take it and set it on a stable work bench or a vice if you have one.
Take a pair of needle nose pliers and pinch the c-clip, it helps to use a flat head screw driver to help pry it out at the same time. Do that for all four sides. Now with the 2 sockets, place the larger one on the ground or surface with one end of the ujoint over it, so that once punched through, the old cap will be sticking in the larger socket. And take the smaller socket with the extension on it and place it on the top ujoint cap. this socket should be just as big as the ujoint cap but no bigger. Then while holding it steady tap on the end of the extension to start driving the old caps down.
Once you have the cap tapped down about 1/2" or so you may be able to grab the bottom cap that is now sticking out with a pair of pliers and pull it the rest of the way off. With one cap off its down hill from here, just do the same for each of the 4 caps and its off!
Now with it all apart make sure you can still see your chalk marks and know which piece goes in which way. Also inspect the c-clip grooves and make sure they are free of any rust or debre.
Now take the new ujoint and remove the caps. Be CAREFULL not to disturb any of the pin bearing in each one, especially when you start tapping on them. Take the ujoint and cap and line it up on one side, doesnt matter which one you do first. The ujoint will be in the middle and the cap will slide in from the outside. Try to get the cap and ujoint lined up and then set it on the ground with the cap on the bottom and tap on the housing to drive the housing down and the cap inward. for the moment the ujoint will be still loose.
Now repeat the process for the opposite side, again being carefull to have it lined up so none of the pin bearing come out of place in the caps. Once the cap is seated you still need to get it in another 1/4" or so in order to put in the new c-clips. To do this take the smaller socket with extention again and tap, tap, tap just enough to get the groove for the c-clip exposed. Then take your needle nose pliers and flat head screwdriver and install the c-clip. repeat this process for all 4 sides and your almost done.
Take the driveshaft with newly installed ujoint and gently slide in the end into the rear of the transmission and make sure it is lined up in the same direction as when it was removed according to your lines that you had drew. once it is in place go ahead and insert the 4 12mm bolts back in and tighten them down.
Congrats you have installed a new ujoint in your ranger!
98 Ranger 2.5L 5spd