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Universal joint gone bad

10-16-2007, 06:50 PM
I have a 99 tahoe (yukon actually) and the rear u-joint went out at 144000 miles. I am having it fixed. I have never seen a u-joint fail like this one has.
I don't tow with the vehicle or drive it hard.

Nonetheless, this vehicle seems to be plagued with problems. I find it odd since it is the last model year it was produced. I would think that it would be the best model year since by this time GM should have perfected it's manufacture as much as possible.

Other model years don't appear to have the same number of problems.
Does anyone else agree with this?

10-17-2007, 07:48 AM
My experience has been different with my '99 Tahoe. With 131,000 miles I've had to do a water pump, an alternator, and a DRL diode, all of which I consider consummables. Oh, and the damned intake manifold gasket. The vehicle has been very reliable, and I have done all of the maintenance myself, especially oil, trans fluid and rear axle (2WD) changes regularly. I change the fuel filter every 30,000 or so, and keep the tank at least above the 1/4 mark. I read some of the problems that the other folks are having on this forum, but you've got to remember that for each one of those there are probably 100 who haven't had that problem. Most guys won't post that they're happy, only that they've got a problem and need help. And mine was a very late '99....bought it in August, 1999.

10-20-2007, 06:00 AM
Why are you complaining, 144k and the u-joint went bad. Remember, it's a moving part and moving parts break or wear out.
Got a 99 SUb with 120k, intake and alt are all that have ever been replaced.

10-22-2007, 05:42 AM
I replaced both rear u joints at under 130k on my 96 k1500 and replaced the front ones this spring at 210k. Pretty good for a $20 part

10-28-2007, 11:28 AM
At first it may seem that my post was unreasonable, especially since all I mentioned was the u-joint. The u-joint in itself is not a big deal, it just was the last drop that caused my cup to overflow. So that some of you may better understand, let me provide a little more of my history with the vehicle.

I bought the vehicle at 103,000 miles. It had two owners before that I know of. I perform the majority of my own mechanic work because my experience with most mechanics (I know a few exceptions in UT that I will recommend to anyone) is that they guess when fixing cars and each guess costs me way to much money.

So, this is what I've done that I don't consider routine maintenance:
1. Replaced water pump
2. Replaced intake manifold gasket
3. Replaced fuel pump (3 times now)
4. Replaced transmission cooling lines
5. Replaced radiator
6. Rebuilt transfer case
7. Replaced both rear driveline u-joints
8. Replaced both front CV axle boots
9. Replaced front differential input seal
10. Replaced fuel pressure sending unit on fuel tank

I do all the regular items routinely: oil & filter, fuel filter, spark plugs & wires, differential gear oils, transmission oil, brake fluid, serpentine belt.

Now that I list it, maybe it isn't so bad, but here are some other items that have broken or worn out:
1. Barn door handle (left side) has broken.
2. Both front heated seats no longer work.
3. Barn door hinge pins are tough to move.
4. The variable steering assist doesn't work correctly.
5. The sector shaft on the power steering gear is worn.

Seriously, I hope to get another 100,000 miles out of the vehicle. I just went thru my records and have the following figures:
1999 GMC Yukon: $3,350 in repairs in 44,000 miles = 13.1 miles per dollar
1993 Ford Probe: $5,350 in repairs in 278,000 mile = 51.9 miles per dollar
1999 Dodge Ram 3/4 4x4 diesel: $3,900 in repairs in 138,000 miles = 35.4 miles per dollar.

All three vehicles are in good running condition and I continue to drive them.
I have owned the Probe and Ram since they were brand new. The Yukon I obviously picked up used. I don't know what was spent on the Yukon before I bought it, so I didn't include the mileage from before. If you did and assumed zero was spent it would be 42.9 miles per dollar, but that seems unreasonable to me. By the way, I use the Ram to plow snow, tow my RV trailer, haul wood and tools, and hunt in. I don't know if anyone else will find this of value, but it points out which of my vehicles is the cheaper one to maintain. Costs include all money spent on the vehicle except fuel, the initital purchase price, and state taxes and fees.

10-30-2007, 01:28 AM
Hey GMMerlin, what have you done to that thing to only have replaced the intake and alternator? I know that alot of things can be prevented from going bad with maintenance habits and driving habits. I'm just kinda wondering what habits you have that helped the vehicle last so well.

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