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eugene

1997 Sportsman 500

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Can someone tell me how to get the u joints loose on the rear drive shaft. I can not find the keepers they are not on the outside. Also can you pull the whole driveshaft out from the gear box without any trouble. There is one bolt holding it but i don't know what all is going to come out with it?

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smile

Just did mine this year and I understand what you're talking about.

The keepers are on the inside. Just C-clips you can get out with a screw driver. You may not see them because of grease and dirt, but they are in there.

Hammer on the yoke, not the joint, to get them free.

The bolts attaching the shafts to the gear box are threaded into a double sided nut in the gear box. Take one side off, re-install the bolt after you get the inner joint off (you have to to get the bolt out).

With the bolt re-threaded into the nut, start beating on it until it breaks free and goes out the other side. Really. I had to go to pipe and 3 lb sledge to get mine out.

Some pre-spray with penetrating oil might help.

Clean everything, including your bearings in your hubs. You can do that without having to change the seals - just be careful. I have a parts washer so that helped quite a bit.

If you don't, this is the best tip I can give you:

Take the assembly to your dealer and pay them to re-install your new joints and clean and repack your hub bearings. After ruining two new joints, I did this and it was well worth the $50 labor fee.

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Many thanks Wanderer. Just got my new ones today and will give it a try tomorrow. When you say hammer the yoke you mean the cap of the u joint? I am only changing the left rear the right side has very little slack. One more question my transmission oil leaks around the shifter. I bought a new o ring but the shifter will not come up far enough out of the transmission to put it in. Do you know if this has to be put in from the inside of the transmission?

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eugene, Absolutely, If you do need to hammer, hammer on the yolk. Better yet, if you have a 6" vise available, remove the 'C' clips, get a socket that fits inside of the yolk on one side, and another socket that the opposite bearing cap will fit into loosely, and use the vice as a press. You'll have better control pushing the caps out slowly than pounding on the yolk and possibly denting and unbalancing your driveshaft. This technique works VERY well on automobile U- joints there's no reason it won't do the trick on a wheeler U-joint! Phred52

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Phred does have the better plan with the sockets and vise.

I jumped into mine in a hurry, got frustrated and started beating. wink I didn't have anyone's previous experience to go off and thought, "Well, it can't be that hard". whistle

By the time I got to the vise, my inner yokes were tweaked just enough to not allow the caps to go on straight and I crushed a couple needle bearings. The lead tech at the dealer said tweaked yokes were not uncommon for those units. So if they don't press on straight, you'll know why.

If you're only taking one side off, you won't need to do more than back that inner bolt out and you should be good to go. I would think about doing them all though if you have any slop in the other side.

As far as the gear shift seal goes - sorry - I haven't done that one. confused

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Phred52 I have taken out the screw holding the yoke on the left rear driveshaft. I have pulled and hammered and yanked and cannot get the yoke and driveshaft to come out of the transmission. Did you have problems getting your shaft out?

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Eugene,

You'll have to get your right side disconnected so you can pound from that side to pop the left out. This is why it might be a good idea to change all the joints since you have to basically disassemble both sides anyway. Your choice though.

The yokes rust into the rear differential splines and the best way to break them free is with a beating from the opposite side (directions from the mechanic).

So thread that bolt back in partially and drive the right side loose and clear of the diff. Then beat the inner nut back out the left side from the right.

If you care to, email me and I can give you my phone # to call and I can walk you through it. It might be better than my typed directions. tsac 4 @ hotmail.com.

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eugene, Sorry for the late response. I haven't had the need to remove mine....yet. I spent 20+ years in the auto salvage business dealing with the same U-joint designs on different equipment. Phred52

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