2320 U-Joints

   / 2320 U-Joints #1  


Elite Member
Jan 13, 2011
SW Michigan
John Deere 2320
I replaced the engine driveshaft U-Joints on my 2010 2320 today with the Moog 410 joints that have the grease zerk in the end cap instead of the almost inaccessible location on the cross piece. To be clear, there was nothing wrong with the originals. After 930 hours, they were fine and would have been OK for years to come. I was just tired of the effort required to grease them. I know this has been covered a number of times in the past, but my experience was a little different than others have reported, so I thought I would share it.

Here is the strip down required to either replace the U-joints or lubricate the original ones. Requires removal of various pedals and levers, the floor, and the lower coweling.

UJ1.jpg UJ2.jpg

To remove the driveshaft you have to release the front yoke. It is pinned to the engine shaft and the pins are retained by a snap ring. The snap ring is massive. After breaking one set of snap ring plier ends, I got out the Dremel and cut the snap ring. I had anticipated some problem and got new snap rings and roll pins before starting this.


After driving out the roll pins, to my surprise the shaft wouldn't come out. Sliding back and forth on the shafts didn't allow it come off. Since the rear u-joint is easily accessible, I took it apart in place and this allowed me to remove the shaft.


I don't have a press, but the joints came apart with a little tapping and went back together easily using a C-clamp. I've seen a posting claiming the new joints were too long and had to be ground down, but mine were exact replacements. The only catch is that you can't use the supplied snap rings on the cap with the zerk. You have to use one of the old snap rings, so don't throw them away.

UJ5.jpg UJ6.jpg

Reinstallation was pretty much the reverse, with having to assemble the rear joint in place. The problem was the snap ring on the front yoke. There are probably some massive pliers that work for this, but I couldn't reinstall the ring. The correct way is to put the ring on the yoke shoulder, slide the shaft into place, install the roll pins and then slide the snap ring over them. The only way I could get the snap ring back on was to get one end started in the groove and manhandle it by twisting it into place in the groove. Then the problem was installing the pins. I was able to use my pliers to separate the ends of the ring just enough with the shaft in place and insert the pins.

I had a few thoughts after getting this done. Maybe I should have bought the repair manual. Maybe you are supposed to unbolt the drive plate from the flywheel. Maybe I just don't have the right tools. Why didn't they pin the driveshaft to the transmission where it's easy to work on instead of the to the engine. Why did the new u-joints have snap rings that interferred with the zerk. Anyway, it's done. I'll address the new access in the next post.
   / 2320 U-Joints
  • Thread Starter
All the above work would be of limited value if I still had to strip the tractor down to access the front U-Joint. I've done this between 10 and 15 times already and it doesn't get easier. So I cut a hole in the lower cowl and backed it up with a low voltage outlet ring.


I got a plastic cover plate for it which covers well because this area is almost perfectly flat.


After painting it looks almost original. It would be better if it was even farther forward, but the shape limits that. I think I will be able to grease it easily here. In the future what was a 1 to 2 hour job should be about 10 minutes.


By the way, some earlier discussions of this change suggested that you need to notch the frame to install these joints because the zerk would hit the frame. I think that applies to the 2305 but not the 2320 because there is lot's of clearance on mine.
   / 2320 U-Joints #3  
Got job. I assume you can get to the front one without removing stuff now. On the 2025R, cannot even get a gun on the rear one without removing and flexing the joint. That's what JD did when I had them come get it at 200 hours and do the 2 Ujoints.

That front Ujoint should be replaced by a tire-like circle with 4 bolt holes like our 240D Benz had that was still fine after 26 years and 215k miles when we sold it.

   / 2320 U-Joints #4  
Great explanation and pics. Glad you were able to get it done. Just for piece of mind. Thanks for sharing
   / 2320 U-Joints #5  
I've been in there a time or two. On reassembly, I found it easy to place the big snap ring onto the shaft right next to the groove for it, install the shaft, tap in the pins, and then push the snap ring into the groove. a big satisfying click.