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front axle joints

Twisted Copper

NAXJA Member #962
I need to replace the front axle U joints on my '00 XJ. It the stock D30 and they are shot.

Is there an upgraded U joint that would be greaseable? I'm not too thrilled about the fact that the stock ones are not greaseable, and I'd like to rectify that if possible.

If not, I'll settle for a stronger replacement, and suggestions?

I searched, and no results about the greaseable U joints. I'm hoping that's not because there are none ;)
Did a bit more searching, and I have another question...

I saw an axle shaft/u joint upgrade (Yukon 4340). They are basically D44 shafts necked down to fit the 27 spline D30 where they enter the differential. This would allow me to have a stronger U joint, but because it is the thinner stock size at the diff is it really just a waste of money or is it worthwhile???

FWIW I am only running 31's right now and don't plan on ever getting larger than a 33x10.50.

(Price is around $350 and includes the larger U joints)
I dont have an answer to your second question but to the first, yes, they do make greasable u-joints for the d30. I think the majority of the aftermarket u-joints are greasable now and dont cost much more than non-greasable. I don't know if they are stronger but they definetely will last longer. Should cost you about $25 from napa or other parts store. I can get you a part number tomorrow if youd like.

No its not a waste of money. Those are Alloy shafts which are stronger that the stock shafts. I know several guys running the same shafts on 37's and lockers without a problem.
aaaahhh. you have been looking on EBAY.
first off, they are not necked down D44 shafts. they are D30 shafts made specifically for Jeep D30's. 4340 CrMo is approximatly 38% stronger than OEM.
add to that the full circle snap rings and you have a very nice setup.
the non srvicable u-joint that you have is a 5-760X which is the strongest joint you can run. (excluding CrMo joints like CTM and Yukon). the greasable version is the Dana spicer 5-297X which can be considered not as strong as the 760.
but in your case, running the 31"s then I simply suggest replacing the u-joints with a new set of 5-760X.
Okay, so the only way to put something stronger in there would be to upgrade the shafts too. I think I'm going to just put the OEM spicer joints in there so I can drive my Jeep this weekend.

So... I need to remove the wheel, remove tha caliper, remove the (3) 13MM 12 pt bolts and that shopuld allow me to slide the axles out. Is that correct or do I need to remove the 36MM nut too or can I leave that all together?

One last thing, I stopped by Advance Auto this afternoon on the way home to get a price for the OEM joints, and he said I need the 297 joints (which, by the way, were not greaseable). They were an off brand (PDO - Neapco). I didn't buy them and plan on hitting NAPA in a little while.
Well, you'll have to take off the 36mm nut if you are going to replace the entire axle shaft assembly and reuse the hubs. If not then no you don't have to take it off.

If you are only replacing u-joints and not the whole shaft assembly then, no you do not have to pull the hub nut.

No experience with the neapco joints but I have a hard time finding spicer stuff.
dyna said:
Some Napas can still get Spicer/Dana Joints which are top quality. ask them specifically for them.
I just called them... they don't. They sell "GMB".

Anybody know who carries Spicer? Please don't tell me I need to go to the Stealership :scared:
I work at NAPA in indiana we carry the GMB (import crap) or we carry Precison the Precison number is 377 thats a greasable super joint. We no longer carry spicer but the number for those is 52971x
Hope this helps
bowhunter said:
I work at NAPA in indiana we carry the GMB (import crap) or we carry Precison the Precison number is 377 thats a greasable super joint. We no longer carry spicer but the number for those is 52971x
Hope this helps
The local Napa said GMB # 369. I'm getting different infor from every direction. Is is possible that Jeep used 2 different U joints?
bowhunter said:
I work at NAPA in indiana we carry the GMB (import crap) or we carry Precison the Precison number is 377 thats a greasable super joint. We no longer carry spicer but the number for those is 52971x
Hope this helps

I've used/abused the NAPA greasable "super strength" for several years in the large (XJ/TJ 297x/760x) size. #377 sounds right... IIRC #371 is either the 260x axle or the driveshaft joint (the DS joints have top "E" clips vs the mid-cap "C"s on the axles) I've seen these in both offshore or USA made..I always hold out for the USA :dunno: might be all offshore made now.

These have a needle fitting in the top of one cap, so you;ll need one of those for your grease gun. I've always flushed the old/OEM grease out of everything with Brakleen or TB spray, and use ONLY Mobil1 synthetic grease to reassemble. Do one cap & set of needles at a time :) then flush & pack the cross. Install the needle-fitting last, after everything is assembled, centered up & smooth. This trick holds for any Ujoint -greasable or not... get the yucky OEM stuff out of there and use good grease.

I've never had one of the NAPA joints OR a stock Spicer axle let go with 33"... but I'm a tenderfoot and out trails are generally slick... YMMV
Well I forgot about a small NAPA right around the corner, bought them this morning and installed them. Went smoothly and quicker than I thought.

Thanks for the advice folks, it's good to be able to drive the XJ again!
Kool twisted may ask what number they gave you im sure it was the 377 just wondering.
Yup, they had Precision #377. Glad I didn't go to the other NAPA.

At first I bought the "PDO" by Neapco from Autozone (it wasn't Advance auto - I made a mistake in my other post) and one of them was bad right out of the box, so rather than exchanging it I took them back. If one was bad right out of the box I didn't want any part of them ;)
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Im glad they hooked you up.Like i said been doing the parts biz for 16 years(7with NAPA) if i can help just ask.
Here is what NAPA online lists:

Precision Ujoints U-Joint - Front Driveshaft - CV at Transfer Case
Usually ships within 3 to 5 days. PUJ 380 $ 18.99


Precision Ujoints U-Joint - Front Axle Shaft - Left & Right Outer
Usually ships within 3 to 5 days. PUJ 377 $ 23.49
Wheel Joint, Greasable Super Strength U-Joint

BIGoffroadXJ said:
for the super strength offroad joints it should be a precision 380 we stock it and thats what precision lists as the stronger ujoint for cherokees
Correct but those are Front driveshaft joints.
The 377 are axle joints