I've written several posts about using an acetylene torch to remove bearings, and about the debate among mechanics at our dealership of whether that's an acceptable way to do things.
That issue came up again this week when a couple of the mechanics each had to rebuild a u-joint. One followed standard procedure and used a hammer and appropriate drivers to smack the "cross" in the u-joint first one direction, then the other, to remove the caps off the ends of the cross and disassemble the u-joint. The other fellow used a torch to cut the middle out of the cross in the u-joint he was working on, then smacked the smoking remnants to remove them from the yokes.
Both guys were happy with their results, and both guys thought the other guy did it "wrong." I'm not going to pass judgement (and I'm not going to say if I'm one of the guys, nor will I admit which approach I used, if I WAS one of the guys…) but it appears to me that both ways work, so it's a matter of personal preference.
Having said that, I'll point out that the torch guy had to be careful to not get too much heat into the yokes, and that the torch may not work as well on small u-joints where there's not much room to get the torch tip in to precisely slice the cross. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that for folks who repair a lot of u-joints, there are special u-joint presses that make the whole process much easier, though those presses tend to cost $150 and up.
So--once again the mechanics in our shop are throwing barbs at each other, making fun of each other, and verbally harassing each other in every way possible, But that's a normal part of a mechanic's life, so I guess the great torch debate will continue...