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Discussion Starter #1
I noticed this evening my truck was making a weird noise from somewhere in the drivetrain. I say weird but it was somewhat familiar to other silverados I've had through the years. At first I thought it was coming from the front end but as my wife was listening she thought it was coming from the rear. I immediately stopped and turned around and headed home fearing it was the worse and hoping for something not to bad. When I got under the truck with a light I check everything in the front end and it was tight so I shifted my focus to the rear of the truck to find what I believe to be the front u-joint on the rear drive shaft had quite a bit of play. So tomorrow I plan on getting u-joints for the front and the rear of the drive shaft.

Only problem is I have had 0 luck with removing u-joints from the aluminum drive shafts on the silverados. It never fails that I end up messing up the end of it (ears) and having to get a new drive shaft made. I have attempted to take the u joints out of 2 different silverados equipped with aluminum drive shafts and failed miserably with both. This time I absolutely have no room for error. I start an internship out of state on tuesday and will be leaving tomorrow evening or monday morning. So I need to get the old ones out and new ones in without messing them up.

In the past I have always used a c clamp with a socket that is bigger than the head of the u-joint to press them out but I cant remember if I used heat or not. I know with these drive shafts being aluminum it would make sense their susceptible to bending easily if heat is applied. I have read however that if they are the stock u-joints then they have a nylon retainer that needs melted out and I may have missed this key piece of information on the first truck I did this on, however, the second had 16x,xxx miles so I'm almost positive this wasn't the case. Is there anyway to tell if it is the stock u-joint (I'm assuming if it still has the little hole with nylon in it then it is a stock u-joint). The truck has 116,xxx miles so there maybe a chance they are still stock.


TL;DR
So long of the short of it. What is the best way to get u-joints out of the stock aluminum drive shaft.

in the past I've had zero luck and have no room for error this go around.

I usually use a c-clamp and socket to press them out is there a better way.

Thank you so much to any one who can help,
Andrew

edit; I was watching a video where they used a press to push on the edges of the u-joint and socket beneath the drive shaft to press out the u-joint instead pressing directly on the cap. Would this be a safer route?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Got it figured out. It's been a few years (23 now 18 and 16 for the two attempts where I failed) Took my time made sure everything was straight coming out and then super clean and lubed going back in and it was a snap. It turned out the clicking/clanking noise was coming from the passenger side cv shaft or wheel bearing so I went ahead and replaced both cv shafts and passenger side wheel bearing. I did learn getting the shocks in and out of my truck(2007.5 denali) was a p.i.t.a
 
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