For years we have been lubricating bearings and bushings by packing them with grease or pressure feeding grease into them.
I have just replaced a U joint and packed the joint as well as I could but centrifugal force will attempt to throw that grease out. (yes I did pack the bell).
Screwing down on the grease cup will dribble a little grease on the U joint. But is that really an adaquate way to keep the U joint lubed?
Unless there is "considerable" wear in and around the outer ball area, the receiving portion of the "fourth main" and/or the collar doesn't bolt down the unit together securely, there really is no place for the grease to be "thrown out". Packing the u-joint & bell is all one can do as you have and continue to grease the area as recommended in the service information.
It seems to find a way!
It has worked for more than a hundred years. I haven't figured out quite how it works, and I have spent my entire life trying to understand how everything works. But it does.
A U-joint running fairly straight doesn't require a lot of lubrication. It really doesn't wear against anything much. However a full ball/bell is best.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I have always packed CV joint grease in mine.
I figure when it gets thrown around and up some will fall down when stopped and work into the joint.
There is also a little motor oil that gets past the 4th main and helps lube the universal joint.
The oil also thins out the chassis grease that has been pumped in. There is not much clearance in there as the joint rotates so it has to be dipping into the lube and slinging it around.
At any rate, they do last a long time.
Are you filling the grease cup just one time to "dribble a little grease on the U-Joint"? If so, that is not enough. You must fill the cup and screw it down multiple times in order to get enough grease into the U-Joint ball to properly pack it. Jim Patrick
I took an extra grease cup cap and put a grease fitting in it. I just screw that on and use a grease gun when I grease my cars. I did that for the other grease cups as well.
Has anyone ever considered retrofitting one of the original u-joints with a modern one instead? Might require some searching for the correct one and some machining. Certainly a modern joint assy with its rollers would last a long time, require minimal maintenance, and really not detract much from authenticity.
Other thing I'm wondering about it why does one roller of the u-joint always seem to wear more than the others? If it is in motion all the joints should wear evenly.
Kevin, when you look at the surface contact area of a modern joint, there is no where near as much contact as a T joint. It may not last as long?
As I look at my old u-joint from my "T" I don't see anything other than surface-to-surface contact on the bearing faces. About the only thing to cut friction and reduce wear would be a film of grease that you'd hope would stay put on those surfaces. Modern u-joint have needle bearings within the caps that roll as the unit flexes to reduce friction. Even the grease-able ones seldom wear out for 100K miles or better (unless the drive train angles are really steep). I need to replace my "T" u-joint anyways, so I think I'll experiment some with the old one and see what I can come up with.
Kevin, maybe you ought to look at a different hobby. Fords model T U-Joints seem to be around after over a hundred years.(with a few failures)
The T u-joint has play to the side. A modern one does not.
There have been roller bearing (needle bearing) Universal joins available for the T.
Making a better universal joint for the Model T is like making a better gas cap. You don't need it.
Just be glad the model T has only one U-joint and it is enclosed.
C'mon Willie! It's always fun to experiment. My old u-joint is junk anyways. Who knows what you can come up with? Never know until you try.
A U-joint running fairly straight doesn't require a lot of lubrication. It really doesn't wear against anything much.
A variable velocity ujoint with zero mis alignment will beat itself to death with harmonic vibration. INTENTIONAL MISALIGNMENT is built into the drive shaft/trans/pinion angle. 15 degrees total on a late style is 7-1/2 per joint (curb setting). Whats the Model Ts? The concept of a CONSTANT VELOCITY type joint is that all the needle bearings are running at the same speed continually. Front and rear are still 7-1/2 degrees but the roller speed is cut by half.
Hers some info from Dana/Spicer if yer interested... ws
Great document, thanks for posting the link!
If you were to grind the end pieces to fit modern roller cups on them and the riveted halves machined to fit the cups tightly or a lip to retain the cups then rivet them back together it might work. Something to try for fun i guess. Might have to get the ground worn parts case hardened.
I have replaced the U joints on my T's if they are worn. I only had to do it once per car. They last many more miles than I have driven them.
I tend to agree with Aaron.
Perhaps someone will make an E-U-Joint. It could work like an eddy current clutch...... Free neutral.......No wear parts.......fits in the original u-joint ball so you can't tell from outside......
Needle bearing joints are no good running straight line. They need to be offset a bit so the needles roll a little.
We made plenty of automotive driveshafts over the years, mostly for trucks.
School buses always have three shaft zigzag drive lines for that reason.
For the small bit of torque a Model T drive line handles there is no point to reinventing it.
Reinventing? Simple improvement is all.
Not unlike adding a transmission or two-speed rear end, overhead valve heads, pressure feed oil, oil filter, gas filter, air filter, speedometer, clock, turbo clutch, after market carburetor, brake lights, turn signals and on and on.
In any case, when I put my rear axle back together I'll need to order a standard T u-joint from one of the vendors. Any differences or preferences in the ones that offered, or are they all about the same? I'll contemplate improvements on the old one if there's time after hunting, fall fishing, and yard chores...which means it won't happen any time soon, if at all.