Spicer U joint problems?

Joined
Apr 9, 2008
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15,862
Location
Central NY
Here's a weird one. Wondering if anyone else has been having u joint problems with spicer or heard anything?

I pretty much run spicer non greasable u joints exclusively in my Jeep. Greaseable u joints just don't work for me. With cap seals that are made to let excess grease OUT, they let water in and that leads to premature failure. Or one passage clogs up and that cap goes dry and the bearings fail.

Back in 2016, I put Spicer 5-760X u joints in the front of the Cherokee. According to my records they have 20000 miles on them (possibly more since for most of that, the speedometer/odometer were reading 20% slow). They have been through MANY rock crawling trips, water crossings and even submerged for an hour or two while the Jeep had to get abandon in a water or mud puddle.

When I was doing some work on the Jeep earlier this year, I decided to buy another set of Spicer 5-760 joints. My plan was to just replace them. The problem is , the ones from 2016 were perfect. I ended up putting the new joints in another set of shafts with (also good) cheap joints that were spares.

The caps immediately broke on both new spicers. Cost me a set of axle shafts! Very disappointed. They didn't give me any trouble installing. I went back on Amazon to see reviews and found 2 or 3 reviews, right around the same time where people had the caps shatter on them . One of which was during installation?

Anyone else having this issue? I'm tempted to reuse the caps from my original. I like the beefy bodies on these joints and have never had a problem with them before!

I bought two more hoping these are from a different batch.
 
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Joined
Jan 3, 2004
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northern Alabama
Were they counterfeit? You mention Amazon but not sure if that is where you bought your failed parts, and, if so, did you actually buy from Amazon or a 3rd party?
 

SwampSurvivor

Thread starter
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
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Central NY
Were they counterfeit? You mention Amazon but not sure if that is where you bought your failed parts, and, if so, did you actually buy from Amazon or a 3rd party?

I bought direct from amazon as far as I could tell on that order. I usually won't buy 3rd party from Amazon.

A few years back I bought moog ball joints for the Cherokee. I received very used ball joints in a moog box. Someone returned them. The spicer u joints were definitely brand new but it is a possibility that they were counterfeit.
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
274
Location
Colorado springs CO, USA
Here's a weird one. Wondering if anyone else has been having u joint problems with spicer or heard anything?

I pretty much run spicer non greasable u joints exclusively in my Jeep. Greaseable u joints just don't work for me. With cap seals that are made to let excess grease OUT, they let water in and that leads to premature failure. Or one passage clogs up and that cap goes dry and the bearings fail.

Back in 2016, I put Spicer 5-760X u joints in the front of the Cherokee. According to my records they have 20000 miles on them (possibly more since for most of that, the speedometer/odometer were reading 20% slow). They have been through MANY rock crawling trips, water crossings and even submerged for an hour or two while the Jeep had to get abandon in a water or mud puddle.

When I was doing some work on the Jeep earlier this year, I decided to buy another set of Spicer 5-760 joints. My plan was to just replace them. The problem is , the ones from 2016 were perfect. I ended up putting the new joints in another set of shafts with (also good) cheap joints that were spares.

The caps immediately broke on both new spicers. Cost me a set of axle shafts! Very disappointed. They didn't give me any trouble installing. I went back on Amazon to see reviews and found 2 or 3 reviews, right around the same time where people had the caps shatter on them . One of which was during installation?

Anyone else having this issue? I'm tempted to reuse the caps from my original. I like the beefy bodies on these joints and have never had a problem with them before!

I bought two more hoping these are from a different batch.
There are Counterfeits that end up being sold as "Direct from Amazon" as the seller. It's based on how they fulfill orders from the local warehouses. It can happen with anything these days..
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2012
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Caldwell Idaho
The seals on my Sons 2006 Toyota failed at 17 years It infuriated me because I had to put out the effort to change them.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2022
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754
Two thoughts. First, anything built during the pandemic is suspect of quality. Corners got cut, material sourced from new suppliers without proper testing, etc.

Second is the counterfeit angle. Amazon sources auto parts from wholesalers more than likely, unless there selling thousands - which I doubt, so its possible the wholesaler shipped a counterfeit.

I lean towards the quality side. Even a crappy joint shouldn't do that. Sounds like someone over hardened the caps making them brittle.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2022
Messages
5
I had the same issues with greaseable u-joints vs sealed U-Joints when I had a custom Jeep in 1998. Sealed works better and lasts longer. At that time Moog was the go to joint of choice.

Years earlier, while working as an engineer for a maintenance contractor we had fan pillow block bearings (roller, ball and drum style) and fan shafts (3" diameter) fail at a rate of one every three weeks on 72 large commercial fans between 35 and 125 hp. The cause was that the previous maintenance contractor greased the bearings until grease was pushed out of the seal which was documented as 97 pumps out of the grease gun. Over greasing is one of the easiest ways to kill bearings and spin them on the connected shafts (think of the over greased bearings as acting like a torque converter).

Proper grease fill is 20% grease with 80% air so that the rollers pass through air with just enough grease to cover the contact surfaces. If you grease a bearing and it gets hot directly afterward during use or it spits out grease, then you put too much in. Pump in less the next time. For the above, changing from 97 to 3 pumps of grease in these large bearings reduced bearing failures to one every 2-1/2 years. Fan shaft failures were eliminated.

The only reason this is relevant is that U-Joints are typically over greased causing seal failures.
 
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