Mechanics

UNIVERSAL JOINT BREAKAGE

1987 Plymouth Voyager

Drive Train Axles Bearings problem
1987 Plymouth Voyager 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic

the joint where the axial meets the wheel broke and I was wondering if parts off of a 95 dodge caravan would work to replace it
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Paulbuyon
April 28, 2009.



I doubt it. I have a '95 and an '88 which is identical to an '87. Your '87 has a three speed transmission; the '95 has a four speed if it has a 6 cylinder engine.

The spindles are different, the transmissions are different, and the size of the vehicles are different, so I'd expect to find different length half shafts.

You might get away with using just the cv joint and boot, but be aware that there's probably more than a hundred different part number half shafts. Chrysler used a number of suppliers so when one couldn't produce enough of them, they could get parts from another source. I can't tell you if the '95 joint will fit on the '87 shaft, but I can share one tidbit I learned a few years ago about wheel bearings.

If your '87 has 14" wheels, it has the common pressed in wheel bearing. I was going to do a demonstration for my students on replacing it on my '88, but when I took it apart, I found a bolt-on bearing like the '91 - '95 has. After some research and after having the wrong bearing delivered three times, what I found was this bolt-on bearing was only used in 1987 and 1988, only on the minivans, only the Grand (long wheel base), and only if it had 15" wheels. They kept bringing me bearings for the '91 and newer. I found that it fit perfectly, but in my van, the bolt holes were threaded in the spindle; on the newer bearing, the bolt holes were threaded in the bearing. Everything else was the same, ... Except the price. My bearing is 30 bucks more to have non-threaded holes!

On a recent 3100 mile trip, I roasted a wheel bearing about as far away from home as I could get. Lived with the howl, but since we were on a salvage yard expedition, I searched for a used bearing. Never found even one in 11 huge yards, but I did get a newer style bearing. When I got home, I drilled out the threads in the bearing's bolt holes and drilled a large access hole in the hub for the socket and bolts to pass through. It has been working perfectly and only cost $6.50 for the used bearing assembly instead of $130.00 for a new one. The point of the whole story is that this newer-style bearing has the same splines as my older half-shaft. I don't know if that would hold true with a four cylinder van, but Chrysler is famous for its parts interchangeability.

You might try asking for the part numbers of the half-shafts for the two vehicles. If they're the same, the '95 should work in the '87 even though they will look different. That's because they will likely be from different suppliers. All that's important is the length is the same and the splines on each end are the same.

Remanufactured half shafts are real inexpensive now so you might consider just replacing the whole thing. Many are under 80 bucks. You could also find a used one at the salvage yard. Other than the occasional boot, they give very little trouble from that era. The '91 and newer does have some trouble with the inner joints causing a steering wheel shimmy under acceleration. I've replaced both of my outer boots twice, but the joints are original and have 211,000 miles on them.

Sorry I couldn't answer your question directly, but maybe some of this information will help.

Caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Apr 29, 2009.
Hello,

Great info caradiodoc.

I found that the easiest way to find out is to call your local parts store and have them look up the shafts for each vehicle. And of course if part numbers match then you're in business.

.

Obxautomedic
Apr 29, 2009.