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3,541 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any resaults from a manufacturer or 3rd party test that shows the difference in strength between serviceable and non-serviceable universal joints?

Your opinion don't count because everybody has their own. I'm looking for actual proof of strength and longevity testing information to end this constant debate.

FYI- here's the other thread if you're interested.

Stuck like a MoFo
3,450 Posts
what about that u-joint thread on pirate, i thought in the dana video they said the non servicable were stronger.......i'm looking so i will post if i can finder it

err it was a tech article on the driveshaft


(-) They have to be religiously re-lubed, a PITA
(-) They generally are not as strong, due to the grease channels in the cross
(-) If you lose or break a grease zerk (not uncommon) the joint is useless (you could just replace it, but it it's been out for a while, way more contaminant will have ingressed into the joint than can even be flushed out by proper lubrication
(-) Slightly more of a pin to install, as you have to get the grease zerks in the right place and all lined up
(+) They are generally cheaper
(+) Depending on environment, they may last longer (if conditions are wet and muddy, the ability to purge the joint and relubricate it, may well extend the life of the joint beyond that of a joint that cannot be relubricated. However, in dry condition, this will likely be much less of a factor.

(-) Depending on environment, may have a reduced service life than a relubable, since nothing is ever really 100% sealed, so that if contaminants do get in, there is no way to flush them out
(-) More expensive
(-) A bit more of a PITA to install, as you have to make sure you have sufficient lubricant in the caps before you install the joint, since you cannot add any afterwards.
(+) Stronger, due to absence of through-cross grease channels
(+) Less to worry about - don't require any maintenance.
from HOTROD magazine
All U-joints are not created equal. Even U-joints without grease fittings may still retain the center grease channel. The larger this hole is, the weaker the U-joint. Note the difference in these U-joints and the size of the grease channel. Spicer builds a special U-joint for M-W without the internal grease channel (right) that dramatically increases joint strength. These U-joints are not intended for street use as they would require frequent disassembly for lubrication.
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