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I have a 1980 fullsize bronco-bone stock. When I put it in 4 wheel drive and crank the wheels to the left it sometimes makes a fairly loud snapping noise. Is this my u joint? If so I have never replaced one; how hard will it be for me to do it?. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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81 Bronco-Stock (for now)
 

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yep sounds like a U-joint to me ... fairly straight forward but you will have to disassemble the knuckle ... first determine which one is gone, unlock hubs, put in 2hi, turn wheels straight, grab the axle shaft where it meets the stub shaft (where the u-joint is) and wiglle it side to side, front to back, etc ... any movement/play in the u-joint warrants replacement.
remove the wheel, remove the caliper and hang with wire, remove hub locks, lock nuts, and hub/rotor assembly, undo all the spindle nuts (6), tap spindle with a soft hammer to loosen then remove. pull the axle shaft assembly out (on the passenger side you may have to remove a clamp (or zap strap) from the dust boot making sure to match mark the shaft), replace the u-joint in the usual manner ( a vice/balljoint press work the best, but a hammer and appropriately sized sockets work too, remove snap rings (internal or external) press from one side to push out the other cap, do the other side) after replacement strike the yoke btween shaft and yoke (halfway up yoke) to relieve stress/align needle bearings. then reverse the disassembly procedure to assemble.
these are really simplified instructions so pick up a Manual for the truck and all the procedures will be there in greater detail. it is really not as complicated as it may sound (more time consuming than anything) it is a good idea to replace the hud and spindle bearing grease seals and repack the wheel bearings as well. if you are really not sure about it maybe ask one of the other mainlanders if they will help.
good luck and happy wheeling.
 

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Originally posted by RevMan:
I have a 1980 fullsize bronco-bone stock. When I put it in 4 wheel drive and crank the wheels to the left it sometimes makes a fairly loud snapping noise. Is this my u joint? If so I have never replaced one; how hard will it be for me to do it?. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
That is normal on a 4 wheel drive that has u joint thay will make noises if you crank the weel all the way.
 

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I have a 96 F-150 4x4 and I have the same problem. I have changed my ujoints and my ball joints and I still get the same nocking sound when I turn left sharply, so I have been repositioning my front coil and this seems to be helping. Just jack up your truck by your bumper and kick the coil spring around till it seats properly. Hope this helps.
Can't wait to go to straight axle!

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96 F-150 HULK
 
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