How to Remove the Rear U-Joints on a 1986 Ford Ranger

Removing the U-joints from the drive shaft of your 1986 Ford Ranger pickup may be necessary if the U-joints are loose, the drive shaft is vibrating or the drive shaft is banging when shifting gears. The U-joints allow the drive shaft to spin while flexing and allow the suspension to travel up and down without binding. A worn U-joint that fails can take the drive shaft, transmission tail shaft or rear differential with it. Replace them at the first sign of wear with new U-joints, available from any auto-parts store.

Tools Used: Jack, Jack stands, Wrench set, Oil drain pan, Pliers, U-joint press, Socket set, Ratchet

Remove Rear U-Joints

Place a jack under the rear of your Ranger and raise the truck off the ground. Position a set of jack stands under the rear axle tube to support the truck and remove the jack.

Locate the four retaining bolts where the drive shaft meets the rear differential. Remove all four bolts with a wrench, then remove the retaining straps from the pinion yoke. Lower the drive shaft out of the yoke.

Place an oil drain pan under the rear of the transmission where the drive shaft slides in. Grasp the drive shaft and pull it straight out of the transmission. Move the drive shaft out from under the truck.

Locate the C-clips on the outside of the U-joint cap and grasp the two tangs on the clip with a pair of pliers. Squeeze the tangs together and lift the clip out of the drive shaft yoke. Discard the clip and move to the next one. Repeat the process to remove all four clips.

Position a U-joint press over the cap of the U-joint on one side and the yoke on the opposite side. Use a socket and ratchet to tighten the press and drive the U-joint cap out of the drive shaft yoke. Flip the press over and repeat to press out the opposite cap.

Move to the remaining two caps on the U-joint and repeat the process. Separate the drive shaft from the yoke and discard the remaining portion of the U-joint. Move to the opposite end of the drive shaft and repeat the process to remove the second U-joint.

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