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Old 03-16-2019, 11:04 PM   #1
AGBill
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Default Removing the C Clips on a Universal Joint

I am rebuilding the drivetrain on my 1930 Sport Coupe. I wanted to replace/rebuild the universal joint. The current joint on my car is the earlier riveted type which cannot be rebuilt. I found a later original joint that could be rebuilt and wanted to disassemble it for a rebuild.

The first thing that needs to be done is to remove the C Clips that hold in the bearing caps. I read in several forums that you should use a thin blade screwdriver to pry up on the clip and remove it. This is impossible! The clip is too strong and fits too tightly in the grove. I decided to cut the clip with a cutoff wheel and was successful in removing the clips.

The other issue is removing the bearing caps from the yoke. On a modern U Joint, you use a hydraulic press to press out the joint. The Model A joint is designed such that the caps must be driven out of the yoke with a punch. If the cutoff wheel is used to cut through the cap completely, the cap can be punched out easily.

Just thought I would pass along what I have learned.....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Riveted U Joint.JPG (27.4 KB, 105 views)
File Type: jpg C Clip on U Joint.JPG (25.9 KB, 110 views)
File Type: jpg Your Friend.JPG (21.1 KB, 90 views)
File Type: jpg Cut C Clip.JPG (31.8 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg Remove Cap with Punch.JPG (23.3 KB, 99 views)
File Type: jpg Done.JPG (30.9 KB, 110 views)
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:13 PM   #2
Magicbox51
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Default Re: Removing the C Clips on a Universal Joint

I recently did mine, and while the clip was difficult, I was able to get it off with a small screwdriver. It was difficult, but I got it done. Interesting idea of cutting them off.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:15 PM   #3
ursus
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Default Re: Removing the C Clips on a Universal Joint

The old Ford shop procedure was to firmly strike the clip dead center with a hammer and dull chisel. This relieves the tension in the clip, which is made of spring steel. The slightly deformed clip is thereby "relaxed" in the groove and much easier to remove.

The tricky part is installing the new clips without them slipping away and off to a remote corner of the shop or your eye. Wear eye protection for this procedure!!

Also, mark the U-joint halves before disassembly and reassemble them in the same position, otherwise an unbalance may result in the rebuilt unit. A U-joint vibration will mimic all kinds of other problems and may be difficult to diagnose. The job to replace a U-joint in these old Fords is a long way in and a long way out so you'll want to avoid doing it twice.
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:30 PM   #4
AGBill
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Default Re: Removing the C Clips on a Universal Joint

After disassembling the used u-joint, I started to install the new rebuild kit.
The new ring "Bearings" were a very tight fit into the u-joint body - I measured a 0.004 - 006 interference fit. I installed one ring in the body to check and the interference fit caused the u-joint pin to bind.

I ended up carefully grinding out the u-joint body holes so there was only about a 0.002 interference fit and the u-joint worked fine. I checked each pin fit by temporarily installing the ring into the enlarged hole before reassembly.

One more reason to measure all repro parts for fit before you install them!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 0.004 Interference Fit.jpg (40.0 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg Opened Hole with Sanding Roll.jpg (39.3 KB, 60 views)
File Type: jpg Check Fit.jpg (47.3 KB, 59 views)
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:53 PM   #5
ursus
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Default Re: Removing the C Clips on a Universal Joint

Nice work and too bad you didn't have an NOS Ford or Spicer rebuild kit for the process. I have heard that the currently available rebuild kits are of widely varying tolerances and problematic to work with. I was fortunate to buy a number of original NOS Ford kits on Ebay and they go together like butter.
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