It is important that there is sufficient grease in the new joint to hold the needle rollers in place.

In last week’s column I described dismantling the propshaft; now for the rebuild. It’s easy to drop and lose things, especially tiny parts, so put plenty of paper down.

You will need a rebuild kit and some lithium-based grease. It is important that there is sufficient grease in the new joint to hold the needle rollers in place.

Now, with everything clean and free from burrs, insert one of the new cups dead square into the flange. Use the vice to squeeze it in about 3mm, then, being careful not to displace any needle rollers, insert the spider.

Press the cup in as fully as the vice jaws will allow and with a spacer, push the cap fully home. Fit the second bearing cap to the exposed end of the spider to hold the rollers in place while the whole lot is pushed back the other way. With the second cap flush with the flange the circlip for the first cap must be fitted. Push the second cap fully home and fit its circlip.

The procedure is repeated when fitting the flange to the main body.

The universal joints must be checked for smoothness and ease of movement. If they are a little tight, support the shaft on the vice and tap the caps very gently in the direction of the circlips. This should get rid of any tightness - provided the joint has been correctly assembled.

If there is still roughness or tightness, recheck everything, or seek professional advice.

After disturbing the shaft always renew the seal in the extension housing. A very slight seepage here is normal, but very slight. These seals are tough, but obviously must have a smooth surface on which to work, so examine the slip yoke for burrs or roughness. Lightly lubricate the yoke internally and externally before slipping it into the housing.

Now with the aid of the alignment marks you made while dismantling, fit the new nuts and bolts to the flange and torque to the recommended settings.

You will probably have lost a little transmission oil, so top up if necessary.

Universal joints are sensitive to incorrect operating angles and if you find roughness between perhaps 25 and 50km/h the angle is possibly too large for the rear joint.

You must then obtain the correct specifications for vehicle ride height and operating angle and check. It is sometimes possible to correct this by inserting a wedge between the leaf spring and rear axle housing.

When the front angle is incorrect, the transmission support housing may be shimmed, or renewed.

Front angle faults may show similar symptoms to rear or bring low speed judder under power. - Star Motoring