Most universal joint bearings are a light press fit in the yokes, and are retained by a snap ring. The paint, dirt and burrs should be removed from the holes in the yokes to ensure easy extraction of the bearings.
- Remove the snap rings, which keep the bearings in the yokes. The snap rings may be located in grooves in the yokes or in grooves in the bearings. If the snap rings do not remove easily, tap the bearing face lightly to relieve the pressure from the snap ring.
- While supporting the splined yoke in one hand, tap the radius of the yoke adjacent to the bearing with a copper or soft faced hammer as shown in Figure 1. This should cause the upper bearing cup to emerge from the yoke. This should be done with the joint held in such a position that the needle bearings will not fall from the bearing cup. The bearing cup can finally be extracted with your fingers as shown in Figure 2.
- If difficulty is experienced with the above method, then the bearing may be carefully tapped inward using a suitable size punch. This will cause the cross to force the opposite bearing cup from the bottom of the yoke.
- The yoke can be rested on the open jaws of a vice during this operation, or on a suitable supporting tool.
- Using a similar procedure to point 2, tap the opposite side of the yoke adjacent to the other bearing until the bearing cup is extracted far enough to separate the yokes as shown in Figure 3 leaving the cross in one of the yokes.
- With the yoke resting on a suitable support to allow the lower bearing cup to be removed, lightly drive the uppermost bearing so that the cross forces the lower bearing from the supported end of the yoke as shown in Figure 4. Reverse the yoke on the support and lightly punch the end of the cross to extract the final bearing cup, allowing the cross to be removed.