Replacing driveshaft u-joint on 3rd gen 4x4 heavy duty (2500/3500) Dodge Rams
On a 3rd gen 4x4 "salt belt" Dodge Ram with a broken driveshaft u-joint, the tolerence between the rotor, hub and knuckle is so tight that they will all fuse together. They are for all intents and purposes welded together. They are supposed to just "fall apart" when you take off the wheel stud rotor clips but they won't! We borrowed an extractor/seperator from a Dodge mechanic. NOTE that this tool is going to wreck your hub bearing assembly that is 1 piece and is not meant to be seperated. They might sell or loan this tool at AutoZone. The hub bearing assembly is a $260 part (www.dodgeparts.com) and the u-joint is about $60.

Someone suggested using a nut and bolt through the caliper pin hole in the knuckle to use it to "press" the rotor off. I bent two grade 8 bolts within about 5 minutes. Also, you can spend 2 days hammering the crap out of your rotor and it still may not come off. For us using this method, it took just a few hours start to finish.

A TDR member adds:
Generous amounts of penetrating oil, combined with a little common sense, has always allowed me to remove these without destroying them. Loosen, but do not remove, the four hub-to-knuckle bolts from the back side of the hub/rotor. Leave about 1/8" gap between the bolt shoulder and the knuckle surface. Apply some tension with the hub puller, and strike the hub bolts with a hammer, each one in succession. This will almost always free up the hub from the knuckle. You can then remove the bolts, and remove the hub/rotor assembly with the puller alone.


^- Step 1 - With caliper set aside crank (note 3/4" drive ratchet... badass).


^- Step 2 - Hub bearing split in half... great.


^- Step 3 - Other half of the hub bearing stuck to the rotor. You can just hammer this out by the wheel studs.


Don't worry, The new hub bearing assembly comes with new ones.


^- Step 4 - Another piece of the hub bearing... paper weighted.


^- Step 5 - Naked knuckle. please don't forget to apply anti-seize when reinstalling.

Suggestions on how to fix this more easily? ujoint@cdevco.net