How do you replace a universal joint on a 1998 Chevrolet blazer?

The rest is advice for anyone doing this for the first time like me

The front U-joint on a 1999 blazer was the same size as the rear. There was a different size listed for the front but on my blazer was way too small. The caps had a quarter inch of play. Plus the wrong size one had two outter clips. If you did not see outer clips on your present part, you use the same size as the back one.

The fit for the front one leaves no room for error to get the clip to seat properly. Take your time and do a little each side. I did not have the clip seated firmly and ended up on the side of the road with drive shaft hanging. What a different in acceleration, both torque and a quiet ride.

Still thinking of just checking the rear wheel bearings too but if you have a similar problem, this was a $30 repair and well worth every penny.

Have fun trying to pound out the old joint. Take the whole shaft right out and put it in a vise. There were two brackets to unscrew in the back, the front section just slides right out. You do have to get the back section out first to be able to slide out the front. The back side seems wedged in there but will come out.

Once the shaft is off the truck. I did not have to use heat, just a couple sockets. The sockets will get messed up so do not use expensive ones. Like many sites state you have to beat the p!ss out of them. they are not kidding. I used a 3lb sledge and what ever you think hard hitting is, triple it. I did spray some PB blaster and scored the outer area around the caps, plus remember to take the retaining clips out. Each U-joint had four and a couple looked like they were welded in place from build up but are not. Just a punch or screw driver, and a hammer will tap them out.

When installing the new ones. You still need a socket to pound them in and alternate sides doing a few gentler hits, I cracked a bearing cap hitting it directly, probably contribute to my break down. I did not have to take the clips off while under the car. A screw driver and rubber mallet helped pull them off. The rubber mallet was nice to knock them back on without smashing my fingers.

Also when you take out the old ones take the time to clean out the inner ring of the holes. There was lots of built up of something in there.

Hope these tips help any one doing this the first time like me go smoother. I am just a DIY guy learning as I go.