How loose is to loose for u-joint rivets? I can squeeze the joint halves with pliers and see a little grease come out. If needed, does anyone replace rivets for a fee?
My opinion; ANY perceptible motion is too much. The idea behind solid rivets is they expand circumferentially to fill the holes and remove ALL play. Solid rivets are available at any GOOD bolt supplier ( industrial and probably agricultural). A air hammer works great with a good solid back up on the rivet but it can be done by hand using a hammer and customized piece of 1/2" round bar with a recess drilled in it. Drill out one rivet, replace. Then do the opposite one. If you are unhappy with one, do it again. You will gain skill
And yes sure I will do it for you but you can learn to do it yourself
What size/length rivets?
I agree with Les S "ANY perceptible motion is too much." A U-joint is under tremendous pressure while driving. Once the rivets begin to get loose, it starts to hammer itself apart. However, I would take it apart and clean it before putting in the new rivets. The oil squeezing out indicates contamination that could allow it start working loose again otherwise.
Important! First first, carefully mark all parts so that all pieces will go back together fit exactly as they were. Mark them with a center-punch or permanent marker (but do not wash that off). When the U-joint was run before, it wears, not exactly evenly. One area will wear more on one piece due to hardness, another area will wear differently. This will result in microscopic highs and lows. If the parts are put together differently, high spots will wind up on high spots which will make the U-joint seem tighter at first. But it will then wear one of the high spots down ending up looser faster than if it was put back exactly as before.
This has been my opinion. It is one I wrestled with for years before deciding which way was best overall. There are advantages to "mixing things up a bit". Wrangling a few more miles out of marginal parts is one of them. High spot to high spot wear is a reality one may have to live with if you try to make one good U-joint out of two bad ones. But in the long run, a good U-joint put back together as it was will wear more slowly than mixing up the high spots.
Of course, one could also build a U-joint back up and re-machine it. That might be even better.
Drive carefully, and enjoy
I have rebuilt a few T U-joints. I have found that the 2 "ring" pieces seem to never wear (they are REALLY REALLY hard). The ends of the crosses wear. As they have lathe "centres" in them. I have simply welded them up, put them between centres in the lathe and machined them to fit nicely (about .002-.003" clearance) back in the ring halves.
Jim I am not up to going to the shop at the moment, but I believe they are 1/4" diameter. As I said before, they will expand to be tight in the hole. Remove one and measure. Rivets are SOFT iron. Probably buy them 1" long and buy at least a dozen (they should be cheap). They are easy to trim to length.
Probably good practice would be to drill a hole in a couple of pieces of scrap iron and practice riveting them together. A new skill comes from practice and is NOT rocket science.
Thanks for the inputs. Next week I will look for rivets.
U-joints are still pretty easy to find ,in good shape. One heck of a lot easier than messing with an old worn one. Les is right,they are harder than heck!
Their used to be a guy rebuilding u-joints somewhere back east. He would cut thr rivets and weld up the rounds and machine them down then use aircraft bolts and nuts to put together instead of rivets
I would not use bolts for this application. Besides they cost more than rivets