A road test today proved that I had indeed successfully replaced
my '91 505 wagon's U-Joint. [While under there finishing up, I
noticed my left steering rack boot was literally in shreds, busted
at every accordion fold. Strange; two rounds of inspectors failed to
notice this. My only explanation: Folz-Ra!] Anyway, as a
public service, I will run down the wagon U-joint replacement
procedure here. Trust me, if I can do this, almost anyone can.
The Haynes manual is a good starting place, but it is only that.
First, have the right tools. You will need at least four stout
jack stands; two extra light duty ones are helpful. You will
also find the job much easier with two hydraulic floor or trolley
jacks, plus one scissors jack (the standard Peugeot tire-changing
jack is ideal), plus boards to put under them for stability.
If you're doing this in your dirt or gravel driveway, get a big
piece of plywood and a big piece of carpet to go over it; on smooth
concrete, use a creeper. A good flashlight, 8mm and 10mm
hex-bolt head sockets (like allen wrenches, only designed to go on a
3/8" drive socket wrench), a 10mm square-drive tool (I ground down
an extra 3/8" extension), a cheater bar about a foot long for your
3/8" ratchet handle, a medium Torx screwdriver, a hand winch, an
18mm socket, and an 18mm box or open-end wrench (box is ideal).
Next, make sure you have the right parts: the U-joint; new
transmission mounts; lube and limited-slip additive for the rear
axle; gaskets for the rear axle-torque tube joint, and cans of
PBBlaster, anti-seize, and rubberized undercoating spray round out
what you will need. Oh, almost forgot, a six of brew or a pint of
whiskey. And a BIG supply of latex mechanic's gloves. And lots of
ibuprofen. In fact, take some now. Prophylactically. Trust me,
you'll need it.
Third, understand that this job cannot be rushed and requires a
LOT of crawling under and out from under the car. Get used to it,
adjust. Now, the procedure:
Jack up the car, as high as you possibly can. Support the
front under the jacking bar on two of the jack stands; support
the rear under the rear jacking points (just in front of the
back wheels) using the other two big jack stands. Let the rear
axle hang down for now. Crawl under there with a flashlight and
soak every nut mentioned below with PB Blaster. Then leave it
for the night.
Remove the rear section of the console between the front
seats; on the '86 and later 505, you do this by prying up the
transmission selector escutcheon, undoing the two torx/phillips
screws securing the front of the rear console section, then pop
off the rear escutcheon and take out those two torx screws. Then
unhook the emergency brake cable ends. Haynes advises you to
slacken the parking brake cable adjusters and then remove the
cables from the equalizing yoke in the console, but it's easier
to remove the three bolts securing the e-brake handle (13mm),
which gives enough slack to wheezle out the cable ferrules and
you won't have to readjust the brake when you reassemble.
Get under the car and unbolt the rear brake compensator
spring from the torque tube, and unbolt the compensator itself
from the car body (13mm bolts). If you are going to remove the
torque tube and driveshaft altogether, also pull the spring clip
holding the brake line to the torque tube at about the midpoint,
unhook the brake line from the flexible hook near the back of
the torque tube, and (optional) unbolt the three-way union from
the top of the differential; if you are only replacing the
U-joint, you only need to do the compensator unhooking. Note
that you do not need to break any rear hydraulic connections,
just remove attachment points to get slack.
Go to the rear axle area and pull the rear wheels. Put a
floor or trolley jack under the differential, oriented
north-south so it can roll forwards and back while holding the
differential; then jack up the rear axle somewhat. Unbolt the
rear anti-sway bar links where they attach to the body (17mm);
unbolt the bottom shock absorber connections (18mm nut, 10mm
allen-head socket for the bolt head); unbolt the Panhard rod at
the lower end (19mm nut, 17mm bolt head, cotter pin). If you're
going to pull the torque tube altogether, you may as well undo
the bolts holding the torque tube to the differential at this
point; if not, don't.
Go back under the centre of the car. Unbolt the c-shaped bar
or bars reinforcing the front seat mounts (they curve under the
torque tube) (13mm; a deep socket is ideal here). Remove the
catalytic converter (note: do not have your face under it when
you do; when it wiggles free, it drops fast and is quite heavy.
Ask me how I know.) (10mm bolts at the front, with the springs,
probably in good shape; 13mm at the back, and probably rusty).
Remove the cat heat shield (4 10mm nuts). Get your scissors jack
and a small flat block of wood to spread the weight (get a
second, larger block if you're doing this on an uneven and/or
soft surface), and run the scissors jack up under the
transmission pan, to take the weight of the transmission. Raise
the transmission ever so slightly.
Remove the transmission mount. Simple to say, not so simple
to do. For the later model cars, it goes like this: First,
remove the big bolts holding either end of the mount links. One
end is high and forward, just under the ball socket at the front
of the torque tube; to remove that bolt, you work your 18mm
box-end through the second access hole from the front, and put
it over the nut; then assemble an 18mm socket, u-joint, longish
extension, and ratchet handle, and loosen the bolt. Note that
you won't have to hold the box-end wrench over the nut, which is
good because you'll need both hands to hold the socket extension
in position to apply torque, and apply torque. You may need your
Once you ease out the front link bolts, you need to get the
rear link bolts out; they're easier, but the procedure is
more or less the same. You may need various pry bars to ease
the process here. Once the link bolts are out, wrestle/tap
the links themselves out the rear of the transmission mount.
Then unbolt all twelve bolts holding in the mount itself
(17mm, plus you'll need your extension) and wiggle the mount
out. It'll be hard to get out, and it won't be obvious why,
but it will come out. Have a hard look at the transmission
rubber mounts, which are pressed in from either side;
chances are they are cracked or worse. Don't futz around
with them; get new ones and pay the $15 to have a machine
shop press out the old ones and press in new ones.
Now crank the jack under the transmission to lower it a few
inches; the front of the torque tube will drop a few inches
also. This makes the four 10mm allen-socket head bolts holding
the ball joint to the transmission somewhat easier to access.
Using your 10mm allen-head socket, a u-joint and a long
extension, remove all four bolts. Recover the lock washers also.
Put your second hydraulic jack under the torque tube,
positioned to take the weight. Go to the back of the car and
drop the rear axle as far as you can, or at least far enough so
that the rear axle will clear the bend in the exhaust pipe as
you pull the axle backwards. Now pull the rear axle assembly
rearwards a few inches. If it doesn't go easily (and you've not
forgotten to remove all securing bolts), then attach your
hand-winch to the car's body and the torque tube; I did this by
wrapping a cable around the torque tube midsection and then
hooking the winch to that and to the rear spare tire clamp,
which is in a straight line with the torque tube.
Note that you can only pull the torque tube back a few
inches before the ball joint hangs up in the body recess.
Next, drop the centre jack a few inches, so that the ball
joint can clear the body recess, and winch the axle back
another few inches. Repeat until you have enough clearance
for the front of the torque tube to clear the rear of the
transmission. Then drop the middle jack (and the front of
the torque tube) about half a foot. To accomplish this drop,
you'll have to wrestle the torque tube left, to clear the
front and rear exhaust pipes.
The U-joint is now exposed. Shine a flashlight into the rear
socket, and you should see an 8mm allen-head bolt. Reach in with
an 8mm allen-head socket and an extension (with a u-joint or
wobble connection if necessary) and remove that bolt (it
unscrews normally, i.e., counter clockwise). Then slide the
U-joint off the transmission tail shaft. Make sure you recover
the thin but large copper washer between the front of the
u-joint and the rear of the transmission.
If you intend to remove the torque tube and driveshaft, at
this point prop the rear axle/torque tube stays so they cannot
flop downwards, then undo the attachment point where the rear
axle stays come together at about the midpoint of the torque
tube (either a single long bolt or two 10mm allen-head socket
bolts, depending on model), and then pull the torque tube
forward, off the differential. Do not pry the torque tube off
the differential; the spacer used back there is aluminium, and
likely easily damaged; use the winch if need be. Extract the
driveshaft rearwards from the torque tube; watch out, there is a
rubber gaiter over the back end, and a spring stuck inside the
rear of the driveshaft; don't damage or lose either. The ball
joint cover up front clamps over the ball joint with two bolts;
remove them, undo the clamshell, and recover the rubber O-ring.
Clean, inspect, lubricate thoroughly.
At this point, test the fit of the U-joint over the front of
the driveshaft; it should slide easily. Ram a cleaning rag
repeatedly through the torque tube until the inside is as
clean as you can make it. Grease the centre bearing surface
of the driveshaft well, then reinsert the driveshaft into
the torque tube. Put the spring and gaiter back if you
removed them. Grease the splines, generously grease the
inside and outside of the ball joint, reassemble the ball
joint clamshell (be careful to reposition the O-ring in the
slot in the clamshell while reassembling. To keep everything
clean, at this point cover both ends of the torque tube in
plastic bags, like the ones that they use to put newspapers
in, and then cover the bags with stretched latex gloves, to
hold everything tight and neat.
If you took out the driveshaft and did step 12, now do this
step. Replace the gaskets at the front of the rear differential.
Put the torque tube on your centre jack and align it with the
differential splined shaft and studs. Make sure the torque tube
is oriented right (hint: the grease fitting in the middle of the
torque tube faces more or less down, the pentagon point of the
rear of the torque tube (the only corner of the flat plate back
there which is not drilled for a stud) faces down, and the
centre clamp point is positioned to re-clamp to the rear axle
stays). Remove the dirt protection at the back of the torque
tube. Pull the drive shaft some distance out of the torque tube
and slip it over the differential splines. Then slide the torque
tube itself rearwards, over the driveshaft, until it mates up
with the differential studs. Bolt it into place. Bolt the front
of the torque tube stays to the torque tube.
Look at your new U-joint. It has a front end and a back end;
the front end's socket is closed, with a small hole in the
middle for a bolt; the rear end's splines are more or less open
to the U-joint. Check the fit of the new U-joint over the tail
shaft splines. If all appears correct, grease the U-joint
thoroughly, place the thin washer over the transmission tail
shaft, then slide the front of the U-joint over the rear of the
tail shaft and slide it home. Take the 8mm allen-head bolt and
run it home. If you've done this part right, the U-joint should
flop freely to a limited extent in any direction; if it's rigid,
you put the U-joint in backwards.
Pause here and drink a few beers. You're about to earn them.
Place the centre jack under where the torque tube stays meet
the torque tube; orient the centre jack so that it can roll
forwards while holding up the torque tube; and jack the torque
tube up slightly. Pierce the front of your plastic/latex dirt
protection, reach in to the front of the ball joint and pull the
driveshaft as far forwards as you can. Jack the front of the
torque tube upwards while wrestling it left, to clear the
exhaust pipes, until it is more or less even with the rear of
the transmission. Then align the torque tube with the centre of
the driveline left-right. Remove your ball joint dirt protection
completely. Now, ease the torque tube forwards (use the
hand-winch here) until the rear of the u-joint is close to the
front of the driveshaft. Readjust the centre jack and/or the
jack under the transmission until the alignment between the
u-joint and the driveshaft is as good as you can possibly get
it. You'll have to guesstimate this by eyeballing the outside of
the torque tube and by curling your fingers around the edge of
the ball joint and touching the end of the u-joint; you cannot
even see where the u-joint actually mates with the driveshaft,
and can't really horse around the components. Ease the torque
tube forwards some more, and repeat adjustments. At some point,
you will (barely) feel the ends of the u-joint socket and the
driveshaft splines starting to come together, such that you can
no longer push the u-joint socket out of the way of the
driveshaft, but you won't be able to tell if they are really
aligned, and you'll have to remove your fingers at this point to
avoid losing them (the ball joint edge is very sharp). Ease the
torque tube forward some more, while wiggling the front of the
torque tube slightly to facilitate engagement. You can also try
jiggling the rear axle brake drum with your foot to rotate the
driveshaft to ease spline alignment problems. If Folz-Ra is
smiling on you, the U-joint female receptacle will slide over
the driveshaft. You may have to do this procedure repeatedly
(and I do mean REPEATEDLY) until Folz-Ra does smile upon you. I
had a LOT of trouble with this; others do it so easily that they
never thought of this as a trouble spot. I repeat that using two
jacks, including a fine-adjusting hydraulic one under the torque
tube, eases alignment problems considerably.
Manipulate the ball joint until it aligns with the rear of
the transmission, then winch the entire driveline tightly home.
Put in the 10mm allen-head bolts which secure the ball joint to
the transmission. Using the jack under the transmission, jack
the transmission back up, then replace the transmission mount
(easier said than done, I know). You will probably have to use a
ball-peen hammer and some creative gymnastics to drive home the
bolts holding the front of the transmission mount links. Secure
all 12 nuts, then replace the heat shield and the catalytic
converter. Now you can drop and remove all centre jacks.
Resecure the brake line components while you are under there.
Make sure the handbrake cables are slid forwards into the car
body, and the handbrake adjuster barrels are properly seated in
Go to the back of the car and raise the rear axle slightly.
Rebolt the sway bar links, the bottoms of the shock absorbers,
and the panhard rod end. Make sure the springs are properly
seated top and bottom; if not, drop the offending side and
reposition the springs, then re-raise the rear axle. Using the
10mm square drive, undo the fill plug and refill the
differential. You may find it a good time to change the rear
axle fluid altogether; make sure you use the proper additive for
limited slip differentials.
Get back in the car and re-hook the cable ends to the
handbrake equalizing yoke. To get the proper slack for the next
step, simply pull up hard on the handbrake handle. Don't worry
that it isn't bolted in place, you're just taking out the slack.
Now place the front of the e-brake handle mount back on its stud
and put the nut in place, then put the rear bolts (2) in place
and tighten everything. Reassemble the console.
Put the wheels back on. Drop the car as seems best. In the
process of doing so, use rubberized spray undercoating to repair
the parts of the undercoating you damaged doing this job (and
there will be quite a few of them). That's it. You're done.
Others will no doubt sneer at me, but I figure this at about a
5-6 hour job for the average Joe/Jolene. Considering that a shop
will charge you about a grand US for the job, and the parts are
maybe $250 from The Usual Suspects, it's not a bad job to DIY.
10 September 2001
(originally from the Yahoo Peugeot List)