How To Remove and Replace GM Plastic U-joints
For the past couple of decades, GM plastic u-joints have donned the drivelines of Chevy, GMC, and Cadillac trucks and SUVs. Ok, they’re not actually plastic u-joints, but the u-joint is secured to the driveshaft and yoke with injected plastic. Two small holes on each end of the driveshaft or yoke, where the shaft/yoke surrounds the u-joint ends, allow for injecting this fibrous plastic, from the GM factory.
You have a few choices for removing these GM Plastic U-joints. Actually, the GM instructions for technicians is to use a shop press and just force the u-joints out. Most shops use a propane or acetylene/oxygen torch to melt the plastic from the U-joint. You can also use induction heat to melt and remove the plastic as well. We reviewed the Induction Innovations Mini Ductor Venom which is a great option.
Using an Open Flame or Torch
It’s pretty self-explanatory that adding extreme heat to plastic is going to melt it. Using a propane torch to remove these plastic locks is plenty of heat, especially with the right tip. You’ll be blown away by our video showing the difference between Propane and MAPP Pro Gas, so don’t miss it. Anyway, using our Berzomatic torch was more than enough heat to extract this plastic; however, you are dealing with an open flame.
Induction Heating Technology
We used our Mini Ductor Venom 120V induction heater to remove these u-joints as well. You can easily mold the induction loops as you desire. On the first use, we only had two loops, which took a little longer than the propane to heat. Next, we re-configured the loops to there were 3-loops surrounding the u-joint. This exponentially cut the time to heat the u-joint and remove the plastic.
Either heating method works just fine for removing the GM plastic u-joints or at least removing the plastic locks from the GM U-joints. Even with removing the plastic, using the shop press afterward was still pretty violent. Just using the shear force method without heating the plastic is not something that we would recommend.