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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone know the size/thread of the zerk fitting located in the u-joint?

Mine is damaged to the degree where I can't even get a needle nosed injector into it. I need to replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't, it's pretty short to fit in a die, but a thought is to pull it, take it to AutoZone (or your favorite parts store), and match it up.
Yes, that would be my preference - but like most things in my life, things are more complicated that they need to be...

I'm not home and don't have access to tools, jack/stands, etc. for a DIY job. I will be taking it to a dealer to work on, and I seriously doubt even they have a replacement zerk in stock. I wanted to have a correct zerk with me to give to the dealer's mechanic.

I feel it needs to be lubed NOW because I will be on the road for several thousand miles (not around any US dealers) - AND based on the damaged zerk I don't believe my dealer has EVER lubed it since it was new!

I don't know how long the u-joint can go without re-lubing since maintenance calls for every 5k miles.
 

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Okay, makes sense. From my experience, it needs to be lubed every 3K or so, depending on the unit. The good part is you should be able to pull the zerk by removing the cup holders, the bad part is these things usually aren't as easy as they should be. Then again, warranty!! If they pull it you can use a smart phone to take a picture in the palm of your hand, then put it back in (gently). Take the picture to the store...

And while the zerk is out, use the needle greaser to fill the cavity w/grease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, makes sense. From my experience, it needs to be lubed every 3K or so, depending on the unit. The good part is you should be able to pull the zerk by removing the cup holders, the bad part is these things usually aren't as easy as they should be. Then again, warranty!! If they pull it you can use a smart phone to take a picture in the palm of your hand, then put it back in (gently). Take the picture to the store...

And while the zerk is out, use the needle greaser to fill the cavity w/grease.
I had the same thoughts.

A few days ago before I left home I tried to get sockets and various wrenches on the zerk (access thru the cup holder holes). Tried standard and metric - nothing fit. Didn't make sense to me at all. But, thought if I knew the proper thread I could buy one - have the dealer's mechanic drop the drive shaft and replace the damaged one with my supplied new one.
 

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I had the same thoughts.

A few days ago before I left home I tried to get sockets and various wrenches on the zerk (access thru the cup holder holes). Tried standard and metric - nothing fit. Didn't make sense to me at all. But, thought if I knew the proper thread I could buy one - have the dealer's mechanic drop the drive shaft and replace the damaged one with my supplied new one.
Drill a hole in it and use an easy out.
 

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Don't drill.
Done it a hundred times at work. Gotta put your big boy pants on. ;) as far as a replacement goes. It's not rocket surgery. They are very common and cheap. There are only two basic types in the US. Tall and stubby. The thread size is also common across the board. You just have to use a small drill and a small easy out. Be careful to drill straight and not to drill into the threads. It will come out mostly intact.
 

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As far as I can find you can't get that U-Joint or zerk from Polaris or FixMyToys which likely means its a standard run of the mill U-Joint that you could probably get (or the zerk) at just about any auto parts store.
 

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Okay, I took a look at this.

First, you aren't getting that zerk out of there without removing the U-Joint. I put my flexible 1/4 ratchet in there and from what I can see the yoke is going to be in the way no matter how you angle it. You might be able to spend a few hours from the bottom with a pliers and get it out of there but I doubt it.

Second, if I took a guess I'd say it's an 1/8" straight fitting. No way to tell for sure without removing it IMO.

Third, I have a set of panel fastener removal tools I bought on Amazon for like $20 for a whole set. Some of the best money I have ever spent. That's the red tool below. I used it to remove the cup holder. Put a paper towel or microfiber towel under it or you will scratch the grain of the plastic.

I think you are screwed unless you pull that U-Joint @FredGarvin. It's not that big of a job to do, but if you have no tools available...

Edit: Forgot to mention in case anybody doesn't know - if you do remove a U-Joint, mark it on the joint, the yoke and angle drive receiver so you put it back in exactly like it was. I had a U-Joint I removed and re-installed on an old Corvette of mine and got a bad vibration afterwards. Odd as it seems it appears a new joint "breaks in" to a certain position sort of like a cam and lifters do.

If it were me Fred, and you have a lot of miles ahead I would just replace the U-Joint as a unit and call it a day. They are not that expensive. Just my .02. Especially if you have some miles on the SS.

DSC_0814.JPG DSC_0815.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yep, without tools, jack, stands, etc. I'll have to rely on the dealer to drop the u-joint unit. I found a PEP Boys and bought 2 variety packages of zerks - 1 SAE, 1 metric. Hopefully something out of these will work.

Thanks guys.
 

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Yep, without tools, jack, stands, etc. I'll have to rely on the dealer to drop the u-joint unit. I found a PEP Boys and bought 2 variety packages of zerks - 1 SAE, 1 metric. Hopefully something out of these will work.

Thanks guys.
Yeah, it is really, really tight in there. I can tell you with my gorilla hands I wouldn't even attempt to remove the zerk with the joint installed. Off vehicle - piece of cake.

Somebody else posted a similar comment to what I am going to say next: Before I bought my new 4Runner my old one had 117K miles, sealed U-Joints and I never once had an issue. Why this thing needs to be lubed so often is beyond me. It's not an off road vehicle and the driveshaft angle doesn't look to weird to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Blitz and Bill.....thanks for the info on lube intervals. 5000miles did seem too frequent, but I was trying to "obey" the maintenance schedule. Maybe getting this zerk replaced isn't so time sensitive after all.

Update: dealer handled everything under warranty. Didn't get a chance to talk to the mechanic - busy day at the dealership. Whatever he had to, he replaced the zerk - and surprise, they even had one on hand.
 

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I don't know if I'm hi-jacking Freds thread or if I should start another one.......but since theres all this knowledge here I'll try it......I'm also trying to lube the u-joint...so I got the needle on the fitting it leaks to the side....so I adjust driveshaft a little...on it again and it looks centered start pumping and no grease...yes....then I start hearing that cracking noise like it going to start to ooze out...give another pump and look up the grease gun and it's leaking at the needles conection...so I was on it but the ball detent is stuck/frozen....from water and grime I suppose ....so I will be taking a small punch and pushing it in to free up tmrw....I think there's a spring behind the detent.....anyone have this problem...maybe I should replace mine also....
 

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I don't know if I'm hi-jacking Freds thread or if I should start another one.......but since theres all this knowledge here I'll try it......I'm also trying to lube the u-joint...so I got the needle on the fitting it leaks to the side....so I adjust driveshaft a little...on it again and it looks centered start pumping and no grease...yes....then I start hearing that cracking noise like it going to start to ooze out...give another pump and look up the grease gun and it's leaking at the needles conection...so I was on it but the ball detent is stuck/frozen....from water and grime I suppose ....so I will be taking a small punch and pushing it in to free up tmrw....I think there's a spring behind the detent.....anyone have this problem...maybe I should replace mine also....
I guess what I should ask is...has anyone freed a zerk fitting that won't accept grease...I know when the grease get hard and won't accept you can throw your propane torch on it to soften the grease so it will accept...a little worried about that....so the shock method but you can't get a fitting over the zerk...and if I replace and it and it still won't accept there's hard grease in the passage way...ah it just came to me ...drive for a while to heat it up and try again....I love/hate this crazy thing....lol...nah I love it..
 
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