I started on the shorter axle half-shaft. I quickly learned, after destroying the ends of the U-joint, that you have to take the retaining clips off first (I knew about, but forgot, that step).
But even after removing the retaining clips, it was no easier. The press makes the ends of the U-joint (which are very old, maybe the originals) just explode. It’s terrifying.
And then, after I got the fourth U-joint cap to go, I got an impact socket stuck on the end of the U-joint. Couldn’t get it off for anything.
I elected to take the driveshafts and axle shafts to Albuquerque Driveshaft on 5th St., which I ride by every morning on my bike. That’s not going to be cheap (around $800 for everything). But they told me I picked good U-joints. Also, they said that the support bearing for the rear driveshaft is completely shot and needs to be replaced as well. I wasn’t going to do that, so I’m glad they caught it. Also, they’ll balance everything after the U-joints are replaced. I hope things will be ready by the end of the day tomorrow.
Last night I installed the stabilizer/sway bar end links and cleaned the caked ATF/dirt off the bottom of the truck. What a filthy job.
Tonight I’ll reinstall the transfer case and fill it with oil, and I’ll take the torsion bar off and use the press to replace its bushings.