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Servicing a Detroit ball & trunnion joint


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I’m ready to put the drive shaft back on but then I wondered if I should grease the Detroit style u joints I have. A while back I cleaned everything up and put new leather covers on. At the very least what kind of grease would I put in that grease plug ?  Wheel bearing grease ?   I think I remember cleaning and packing grease into these with my dad way back in 1974 so do you think I should leave that grease cover and gasket alone ? Not that many miles on them.  I sense pandora box here.  

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I've never seen one with a plug before. I think I'd go to the parts store and get whatever goes in a CV joint. I used generic CV boots to replace my original and used the grease it came with. 

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Ed, thanks for the reply because something you said made me think 🤔 even deeper. When stuff like this happens it is constant on my mind...the rest of the day, right before I go to sleep, when I wake up.  CV boot.  Then I realized that the drive shaft that was cut dn to accommodate the overdrive is from the D-30 donor car. Ujoints are 1949 dodge coronet. I’m amazed the ujoints are similar throughout the years. I wanted to save the original drive line in case I went back to the original tranny. So triangulation between my dodge truck manual, motors repair manual, and a P-14 shop manual (which had the best info), I am to carefully pull the cap/gasket off and clean-degrease and replace with 1 1/4 oz of higher viscosity grease.  Pandora box as I suspected but it’s the right thing to do.  Gotta keeps the investment healthy, eh.  Again thanks for the memory jog. See, working on these vehicles is as good as learning a foreign language.  Ha

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2 hours ago, Rodney_Hamon said:

Ed, thanks for the reply because something you said made me think 🤔 even deeper. When stuff like this happens it is constant on my mind...the rest of the day, right before I go to sleep, when I wake up.  CV boot.  Then I realized that the drive shaft that was cut dn to accommodate the overdrive is from the D-30 donor car. Ujoints are 1949 dodge coronet. I’m amazed the ujoints are similar throughout the years. I wanted to save the original drive line in case I went back to the original tranny. So triangulation between my dodge truck manual, motors repair manual, and a P-14 shop manual (which had the best info), I am to carefully pull the cap/gasket off and clean-degrease and replace with 1 1/4 oz of higher viscosity grease.  Pandora box as I suspected but it’s the right thing to do.  Gotta keeps the investment healthy, eh.  Again thanks for the memory jog. See, working on these vehicles is as good as learning a foreign language.  Ha

So similar through the years my 64 belvedere still has one at the trans end behind the torqueflite

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Started the process with the correct housing on the left in the vise. The pin, ball, and bearing rollers were so buried back I almost thought they weren’t there. Then I pulled a spare that I got a few years back from a P-20 for comparison.  I think this Detroit unit has never been apart. Then I gently pushed on the housing and thus the pin came forward. I’ll have to make a new gasket.   The blackish grease was kinda fibrous and packed well..but old and dry.  So it’s a good thing to clean and relive for sure.  

AF88738E-0BA0-4CCB-9F94-3617DBE0BC61.jpeg

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Happy to report I finished both ujoints. I think cutting the new gaskets was almost more work than the cleaning and repacking with fresh grease. I chose 1/64” Karropak tan fiber sheet gasket material. Thin enough and resistant.  Permatex #2 form-a-gasket sealant on one side against the housing.  Sta-lube boat trailer wheel bearing grease seemed a good replacement match with the viscosity. Such a good decision to clean these up. 

97A44863-2D6C-4065-9C58-1CAF4C442161.jpeg

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