If you own a Chevrolet Silverado 4×4, you might come across a lot of discussion regarding the number of U joints the vehicle has. This is because, it is almost impossible to tell the differences in joints, including the U and non-U ones just by taking a look at the vehicle.
So, you will come across different opinions in the automobile forum when it concerns the number of U joints in the truck.
Now, you might be wondering about the sheer necessity to know this number. Well, knowing the number of these joints in your truck is imperative, since they have an impact on the vehicle’s suspension system and axles.
The reason for the controversy arising regarding the number of U joints is the fact that Chevrolet altered this number later on after first launching the amazing trucks.
They did this to ensure stronger axles in the trucks. So, it’s time to know how many U joints you would have on a Silverado truck. We have also highlighted some problems with bad U joints.
What are U-joints on a Silverado?
In your Chevrolet Silverado, a U joint refers to the junction between the two separate segments or halves of the truck’s axles.
When you complete this U joint, it would resemble a ball and socket. However, it is not typically like a ball and socket joint. Rather, the mechanism has a structure like the alphabet ‘U’, that keeps it operational.
How many U joints on a Silverado 4×4?
The exact number of U joints that your Silverado might have depends on the specific trim you own. Based on the model and trim, the number of U joints would vary between 2 and 3.
Typically, these trucks come with 2 joints. However, in some models, you will come across a two-piece driveshaft. In most models, there would be a single-piece driveshaft. So, you would have an additional U joint attaching both the drive shafts.
While determining the number of U joints you have on your Silverado truck, you need to check the axle. When you take an account of the number of U joints present on this axle, you can add them up.
The number would largely depend on the nature of the axle, given that Chevrolet has made significant efforts to strengthen these parts. For instance, you would always come across a U joint on the left wheel axle in the front. We typically refer to the right wheel axle at the rear as the vehicle’s right wheel tire.
Considering a Silverado truck, the U joints present in the front and rear axles are typically the same. They serve the same purpose, and come exactly in the same size.
The only difference you would notice in these U joints is their placement, which is quite obvious. The manufacturers design each of these U joints for the respective axles they would serve.
Where to find the U-joints on a Chevy Silverado?
When you closely examine the axles of a Chevrolet Silverado truck, you will come across three U joints. The front side of the truck would have the first U joint. Likewise, the second one would be present at its rear end.
Now, the middle joint of this category would be present where the front right tire and the front left tire remain secured to the axle. Generally, you will come across these joints on the vehicle’s axle.
However, in some trucks, they might also be present on the driveshaft. Therefore, the location or placement of the U joints largely depends on the manufacturer’s design plans.
Often, the owners confuse U joints with the ones that operate on the basis of a ball and socket mechanism. The function of ball joints is to help the axle rotate and move. However, you will not find the U joint at the ends, but in the center. This way, they help the components remain in their respective places.
What are the signs of a bad u-joint?
In case your Chevrolet Silverado has an issue with its U-joint, it wouldn’t be able to perform the desired task. When you apply the throttle or turn the wheel, you would hear a strange noise.
Besides, you have other symptoms pointing to a damaged or malfunctioning U joint. Commonly, you will hear a squeaking noise while applying the throttle or turning the wheel. Besides, drivers might notice a lack of acceleration power and a lack of traction.
How long does it take to change U joints on a Silverado 4×4?
The number of U joints in the axle of your Chevrolet Silverado largely determines the respective time you would need to get these components replaced.
Besides, the time also depends on whether the truck has a three-piece or two-piece driveshaft. The number of pieces with the center bearing would have an effect on the time you need to get the U joints replaced.
In case the truck has a two-piece driveshaft, you need more time to get the joints replaced. The reason is that the truck’s axle will have more of these components.
On the other hand, if the center bearing has a three-piece driveshaft at the center, the required time might be long at times. In these cases, too, you would have several of these parts on the truck’s axle.
Typically, the Chevrolet Silverado comes with two or three U joints. The number depends on the truck’s driveshaft configuration. In case you have bad U joints in the truck, you can continue driving with them.
However, you need to get the joints replaced under poor conditions. Replacing the U joints can involve significant expenses.
To mitigate possible risks of driving with a bad driveshaft, it would be wise to get them replaced at the earliest. Make sure not to exert unnecessary strain on your Chevrolet Silverado truck. This way, you can prolong the durability of the U joints on its axles.