Universals

Updated: Nov 7

by Norman Nock

Originally published in the Austin-Healey Magazine, December 1998


The front universal on Healeys is usually neglected due to its location, but there is another problem that is also common on most British cars.


Due to the short grease fittings found on these cars, the grease gun coupling will not snap onto the universal fitting causing the grease to bypass its intended destination.


If this problem continues, the universal will wear out quickly causing a clunking sound when you accelerate or take your foot of the gas. Another symptom is a bad vibration at low speeds.


To avoid this kind of problem replace both drive shaft universal joint grease fittings with the longer 1 5/8 grease fitting.


The front universal can now be greased from under the car slightly forward of the center frame crucifix. When you apply grease to the new fitting, you should be able to hear the familiar "squirt" as the grease exits after passing through the rollers inside the universal joint.

The grease fitting can be replaced from under the car with a 1/4” drive long extension. The rear fitting is easily replaced under the car while on four stands. I don't recommend trying to replace the forward grease fitting via the access hole between the seats. You could easily lose your new fitting in all the grease next to the drive shaft.


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