Starting with the 1963 model year, independent rear suspension became standard on Corvettes, foregoing the solid axles that had been used for the previous decade. The universal joint, or u-joint, made IRS possible. While U-joints had always been used to couple the front of the driveshaft to the transmission and the back of the shaft to the rear differential, now their role expanded to also coupling each rear drive shaft (or half-shaft) to both the differential and the rear wheels. U-joints play a crucial role in the overall scheme of things, since they are responsible, ultimately, for the delivery of power from the transmission to the rear wheels. Normally, these little workhorses require no maintenance other than periodic greasing. However, as with all things mechanical, parts eventually fail or wear out. Such was the case with our '76 Shark project car. While cruising along at 65 MPH a slight vibration quickly became very pronounced, accompanied by a loud thumping sound. Upon pulling over to the side of the road to investigate the cause, it was discovered that the outboard (wheel side) u-joint on the passenger side of the car had given out. Preferring to err on the side of caution, we decided to replace all of the u- joints on both half-shafts when we got the car back to the shop garage, reasoning that if one let go for apparently no good reason, the others also may follow suit eventually. Here's what it took to remove the old u-joints on the half-shafts and replace them with new ones. The procedures are the same for all 1963 and later Corvettes.