The big old green LTD got new U-joints today. I’m not really sure why they’re called U-joints, since they’re more like a + sign, but I do know that they allow the driveshaft to twist and flex in between the transmission and the rear axle (on rear wheel drive vehicles). I also know that when they start to go out, you begin to hear a “clunk” every time you shift gears. And, if you don’t fix them, when they break the car goes nowhere, ‘cause the driveshaft just falls out.
So, the “clunk” was getting bad enough that I didn’t even want to take the car around the corner to Albertson’s. My little brother reminded me that all it would take is removing 4 nuts, and about $25 ($28.87 to be exact), so this morning I jacked up the car, crawled under it with a 1/2” wrench, removed the 4 nuts and yanked the driveshaft out of the transmission end. Took a whole hour, and that included setup and cleanup. Then we brought it down to Six States (1380 So. 300 West) and dropped it off. An hour later they called me to tell me it was done, which gave me just enough time to pick it up and head to Chevron.
I got off work at 10:00, slid the driveshaft back into the transmission, attached the U-bolts and the 4 nuts, took it out for a test drive on the freeway, and was back home by 10:45. No clunks, smooth shifts and smooth as glass on the freeway. Of the 4 LTDs I own, I have to say that this is the one that has the most right-off-the-showroom-floor ride. Not the best looking (the worst for that matter), not even the best running, but definitely the smoothest ride of all 4. Probably going to have to go on one of my “trips to nowhere” tomorrow to celebrate.