Replacing U-Joint Help on 2000 Mountaineer | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Replacing U-Joint Help on 2000 Mountaineer


New Member
August 22, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
LaCrosse, WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Mercury Mountaineer
I just got done following the excellent tutorial on this site for ball-joint replacement and all turned out great. Unfortunately, the front U-joint went bad (the front u-joint has lots of play and I can wiggle it by hand up and down/side to side, in/out.) If I have the tires turned just ever so slightly and drive forwards very very slowly, I hear a grinding and then a "CLUNK". The faster I drive, the more frequent the clunk. If I drive very slowly I can feel when the clunk is coming up, I then stop the vehicle before it clunks, throw it in park and try to move the U-Joint by hand like I could before. Strangely, when I do this it is extremely tight and frozen solid (not moveable in any direction by hand). Then I get back in the Mountaineer, drive a little bit forward, "CLUNK" then put in park, check U-Joint again and it's loose again. I am 95% sure it is the front U-Joint causing this. I tried doing a search on this site for U Joint replacement but it will not let me search for "U" so I apologize if this has been discussed before. Any help is greatly appreciated as tomorrow is my one day off and will be my only opportunity to get this fixed for a while and my 8 month pregnant wife really needs me to have this vehicle working!! :eek: I have the new U-Joint part ready to go and a basic understanding of how this thing is put together but really need some help. Thanks!!

Need More Info.....

We need to know if by "front" you mean the front driveshaft. If so, needing use of the vehicle badly, it is acceptable to remove the entire front driveshaft, and drive using only the rear driveshaft, in order to use the vehicle safely, and without danger of further damage occurring.

This would apply to either an AWD or 4X4 vehicle. imp

Edit: 4-Wheel drives are wonderful! I once lost a U-Joint in my rear shaft, in mountainous Arizona, took the shaft out, locked in front hubs, and continued on the 100 or so miles to our place, using only the front shaft. I was towing a flatbed trailer with a bunk of plywood on it. Long live front-wheel drive pick-ups!!

imp is right, you can remove the front and still drive the truck without issue.

That being said, the job is going to need to get done eventually anyway, and it's not difficult. Do you have the press from doing the ball joints? I just did the u-joint swap this spring. I've linked my thread below. It's a matter of (chocking the truck first) pulling the driveshafts, removing the c-clips on the joints, hammering or pressing out the joints, pressing the new ones in and re-installing everything.

I had never done the job before and I was able to change all of mine out in roughly 2 hours, just to give you an idea. Check out the thread below and let me know if you have any questions. I should be able to help you out.

Yes I mean front drive shaft. I looked over your tutorial and it has helped. I also found another tutorial at this link:
I do not have a special press and I did not use one when putting in my wheel bearing assemblys. I have a regular press I use when pressing my cylinders when changing brake pads that I think will work well. I think I've got the u-joint process down. I guess my only question now is how do I remove the drive shafts? I have never done this before. From the tutorials it doesn't explain how to do this...There would be the inner drive shaft that enters the transfer case and the outer front drive shaft, correct? Sorry, I'm learning this as I go..