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U-joints stiff after install--is this normal?

redvette63

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Joined
Mar 1, 2020
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1
Location
tucson
Corvette
1963 Convertible
I recently installed new u-joints on the right half-shaft on my 63 Vette. I noticed they moved freely before install, but once the retaining clips were installed, the joints were pretty stiff. Is this normal? Will they loosen up after a while? Or do I need to redo the job? Appreciate any feedback.
 

Tom Bryant

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Nov 9, 2000
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Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
They will be stiffer than the old ones for awhile but you should be able to move them with your hands.

Tom
 

car-nuts

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Joined
Apr 30, 2014
Messages
7
Location
CA
I recently installed new u-joints on the right half-shaft on my 63 Vette. I noticed they moved freely before install, but once the retaining clips were installed, the joints were pretty stiff. Is this normal? Will they loosen up after a while? Or do I need to redo the job? Appreciate any feedback.

Been a long time since I've done U-joints, but my recollection is that if the U-joints are overly stiff after you've installed the U-joint caps into the shaft, then before bolting the shaft into the car you need to give the shaft a sharp rap or two with a small hammer (with the shaft hand-held free in the air rather than lying on a workbench surface), about in the spot marked with a red "X" (on both sides) to loosen the tension on the bearings:

u-joint.jpeg

The issue is that the caps, as you pressed them in, are not in perfect alignment with the U-joint shafts, causing some binding; the vibration from the hammer rap(s) usually allows them to shift slightly so as to move into better alignment and free the joint.
 
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