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How tight should U joints be?


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I pulled my Center bearing and swapped it out, and figured I would put new U joints in while the shafts were out. But the yokes of the shafts seem too tight. The first one (front) wasn't too bad. For the middle one I was able to get three of the C clips in but even with a C clamp on it as tight as I can get it I can only clear about half the thickness of the C clip so I can't get the last clip in.


Even if I was able to pound the C clip into the groove I feel that this would be causing excessive drag on the (head?) of the bearing. I already feel like the front one is too tight but I did get the last clip tapped in.


Should these clips be hard to get in? Obviously there needs to be no slop axially so the rollers need to be tight on the U joint axles, but it does not seem that the tightness of the C clips would be critical.


Do I just need to find slightly thinner C clips?

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Did you accidentally drop a needle bearing into the cup? They are so small that sometimes you can still get the cups all clipped in and then find out that you've smashed a needle bearing. If it's going together tight, don't force it. Stop and remove the tight cup and double check for a crossed up needle bearing.


If they are fine, then yes, sometimes the clips can be tough to get in. Once you get the cups close, use a soft drift and tap the cups in until there's enough room to get the clips in. Then knock the yokes with a hammer to loosen them back up and set the clips against the yokes.


Also, obviously you need to make sure the yokes are clean because the grit will make a difference. You may even double check for rust or burrs and file the inner portions of the yokes smooth to knock down the rust or burrs.

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Did you accidentally drop a needle bearing into the cup?...


That's a good question. I checked them before sliding them on. But that possibility hadn't occurred to me. I will double check.


Nissan also sells about 8 select fit C clips in varying thickness. This is for helping balance the shaft but could be used if the U joint is cheap or out of spec.


I thought I bought good ones (Beck/Arnley) But I'm hardly an expert on bearing brands.

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They shouldn't go in easy.  If they do, the cup may have been spinning in the yolk, which is BAD.  I had to have 2 yolks replaced when I set up a driveshaft for the Bonneville truck.  Plain worn out.  


I see why the cups would need to be tight in the bores. Is that what you are referring to when you say "they shouldn't go in easy"


Or do you mean the C rings should not go in easy? this seems less critical.

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