Automotive Universal joint replacement technology for Spicer Uni joints, SKF, Neapco and

all universal joints

The Automotive Universal Joint or U joint has been around longer than the Automotive industry, whether Car, SUV, Truck or Bus are all affected by the coupling technology after the gearbox and steering.

Clarence Spicer patented the U Joint back in 1904,  As the oldest in the market, the Spicer U joints have been the industry standard for 100+ years but

Latest technology engines, fuel management systems, multi speed gearboxes are all at the mercy of the couplings in the powertrain, in the steering and the wheels. The Automotive universal joint is the oldest technology on any modern automobile.

Greaseable automotive universal joint

Greaseable universal joint is standard universal joint central cross kit.

Greaseable Advantages – By being able to grease a universal joint, this allows the internal bearings to run for a longer period before needing to be replaced.

Greaseable Disadvantages – The ability to grease the bearings in a universal joint is crucial to their performance and long term use, the bearings still need to be replaced due to wear and tear, friction and galling. The angle of use will also determine how often the central bearing cross will need to be replaced. The cheaper Spicer U joints are greaseable but they are not recommended for any more than light duty and even then any regular usage will reduce the lifespan of the bearings considerably. The same can also be said if they are used at any angle exceeding 4°.

Permanent greased automotive universal joint

Permanently greased universal joints are a more expensive version of the greaseable u joint, the bearings are pre greased to last longer. That being said angle of use speed used and amount of torque applied all are contributing factors for how long these more expensive bearings last.

Pregreased bearing Advantages –  The advantages are two fold, an increase in angle of misalignment and an increase in speed of operation. These bearings mean the angle of misalignment can increase to 25 degrees with less heat and more importantly no real increase in vibration due to thrust washers and other components. The maximum speed is 6000RPM with these bearings so the applications at this high end of the RPM rating may nullify the warranty or just mean increased bearing replacement. The improved components and better quality grease used in all means the bearings last far longer and dont require as much maintenance such as greasing and inspection to ensure the u joint wont fail.

The other advantage of using the needle bearings is that the joint itself is able to be used at a higher angle of misalignment due to the bearings allowing a great range of misalignment verses the greaseable design. This means both higher speed and larger angle of misalignment which makes it useable in far more industries and different applications.

Pregreased Bearing Disadvantages – The disadvantages are also two fold with the improved performance also means increased maintenance and increased replacement of wear parts, being the bearings. With the bearings now included inside the coupling the increased speed increases the friction so these pregreased bearings still have the same issue, expanding with the heat and seizing inside the race, thrust washer will tend to absorb more heat and take more of the increased torque . This means that while the bearing is pre greased it will still tend to dry out with use and will need to be replaced eventually, this increases the overall cost of the coupling, even with the more expensive bearings as it still increases the maintenance costs and lowers the ROI of the couplings.

Another disadvantage with the inclusion of the pregreased bearings is, while they improve the flexibility of the coupling they still wear out as the misalignment angle during use being used outside a 1-8°, so the bigger the angle of misalignment they are used at, especially when you add increased torque and increased speed. Even with a thrust washer to absorb some of that torque and misalignment, the increased rate of wear the bearings encounter since the ball bearings are being forced against the side of the bearing cage. This force wears the bearing cage so the more force applied (ie bigger misalignment angle and increased torque) means the bearings wear the race as the balls are pushed out into the sides of the bearings making the race wider and wider allowing the balls to get loose until they can get forced out of the bearings cage.

Universal joints are made up of three pieces, a pair of input and output shaft connectors or “yokes” and a center universal joint sometimes also called a cross joint.

These components have their own failure points. The cross has to be constantly lubricated or the bearings at each of the 4 connection points to the yokes, can seize and fail. These same bearings cannot be run at large angles of misalignment or the bearings will wear the race out and again this leads to bearing failure. Bearing because they need to keep the internal ball bearing moving, any outside contaminants like water dust etc will cause the balls to seize and this leads to bearing failure and therefore replacement.

The yokes while large on their exterior, where they attached to the cross are alot smaller and this is an area where failure due to cracking, either by external damage or using a seized universal joint. This failure means the yoke needs to be replaced. All of this costs money, both for product replacement but also the cost of labor and machinery down time.

A standard universal joint cannot run over 8° without causing significant vibration, effecting either the handling and ride of the car to actual damage to the vehicle. All driveshafts have to be balanced to take into account this movement of 8°, otherwise damage to gearbox, the axle and its bearings will occur.

The number of moving parts means anything happens to one component will mean a failure of the whole part

Constantly being re lubricated and covered in a protective parts is required otherwise water, dirt and debris will mean premature wear and failure

Twin Spring offers one solution to both products, a set of counter wound springs means zero moving parts and being lubricated and encased in vulcanised neoprene means no water, dust or debris can enter the joint to cause failure

Being the first coupling that can take full thrust means improved efficiency, as no losses are recorded.

Is not subject to vibration as the surfaces are constantly in contact.

It can be made in any size/torque configuration, so sized up or down to suit specifications.

Replace Automotive universal joints in steering applications, smaller maintenance free and works in most steering boxes. Drivetrain and axles are also another area to replace u joints with Twin Spring Couplings. A 1 piece design replaces the 3 of a universal joint, meaning less chance of failure.

Automotive universal joint replacements

Spicer1000, 1140, 1240, 1310, 5-103X, 5-110X, 5-170X, 5-101X, 5-105X, 5-443X, 5-3215X, 5-3214X, 5-153X, 5-3254X, 5-419X, 5-3213X, 5-260X, 5-3226X, 5-1203X, 5-264X (Rockwell 1fr-AG) u joint series

Moog -1500 PTO replaces Domestic Standard Series 1000, 1800 series @1000RPM Replaces Domestic Standard series 35, 1300 series replaces Domestic Standard series 14,  1200 series replaces Domestic  Standard series 12

Neapco – 1-1001 ASAE Cat 1 L600, 1-1475 ASAE Cat 2 1200, 1-1275, ASAE Cat 3 1800,1-1875 2000, 1-2075, Metric Cat 3 Series 4,2300 1-10421,1-0321, 1-0221,1-0170, 1-0298, 2-4805

SKF – 1000 series (UJ338 UJ838) UJ340 UJ341, UJ452, UJ952, UJ454, 12 Series (UJ994, UJ453, UJ951, UJ237, UJ240, UJ437, UJ437G, Walterscheid 2200 series UJ341AG, UJ341BL, UJ813, Cat 3 (UJ 880), PHE UJMA32

Belden – UJ-HD UJ-HS series UJ-NB MIL-DTL-6193D MS20270 (Military specs)

Boston Gear –  J/JS universal joints J200, J175, J150, JS200, JS250, JS300, UJAS/UJNL

SIT – GU series

GMB – GU series, ST1XXXX steering series, MC Series

Altra Motion Control

Product Range

Automotive - Universal Joint replacement (Driveline, Steering & PTO)

TSC500 Auto


Automotive - Universal Joint replacement (Driveline, Steering & PTO)

TSC300 Auto


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