3rd member swap

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Oct 28, 2004
bay area, ca
so, i know enough here to get myself in trouble.

here's the story:

1989 fj62, i found a factory full float axle from an HJ60 and i'm just about done swaping it in when the driveshaft won't bolt up. the HJ has a smaller bolt pattern than my FJ.

so, since my third looks to be in better shape than the HJ i'd like to just swap them. i have the FSM so figuring out how to remove my original third should be simple enough.

as i understand it you just unbolt the axle flanges, slide out the shaft a bit (how far?) then unbolt the center and it drops out?

what am i likely to damage on my "new" axle if i goof something?

how do i pull the third from the full floater?
assembly is the reverse of destruction?

i know i need a new gasket for the third, so at least that's a start. are there gaskets for the axle flanges?

thanks all
can you just change the flange?
Seems very strange to me that the d-shaft won't bolt up... I wouldn't recommend just changing the flange like mentioned above unless that is your last resort. Getting the correct torque back on for the flange is a pain in the arse. I'd rather swap complete thirds every day of the week over swapping flanges...

Though, if swapping thirds, you need to consider their ring gear ratio. You must retain an equal gearing ratio from what's in the front diff to what's in the rear diff. Otherwise you'll blow something up (possibly the t-case). That being said, yes you can just swap diffs--they're mechanically exactly alike. It's not too difficult to remove/install a diff from a full-float or semi float, but the semi-float takes a bit more work as you have to have the vehicle off the tires to slide out the semi-float shafts--plus you have to dissasemble the carrier to get out the c-clips. With the full-float, it's just as you said. Untighten the flange and remove the washers and slide out the shafts. Then undo the diff bolts and she'll drop right out.

Yes, new gasket for the diff. And yes, you really should have new gaskets for each of the axle flanges (though if they're decent, you could just run them--that's up to you.)

I'd recommend picking up either a factory 60 series body and mechanical service manual, or a Gregory's 60 series service manual. It'll walk you right through it all and you'll be a pro in no time.

I still think it's weird that the flanges would have a different bolt pattern....

You should be able to swap the thirds with no problem. I used the third member from my semi-float FJ60 in a Canadian FF rear. Gotta pull the C clip to get the axle out to pull the third. The brake drumes should be a straight bolt on.

Check that the FF has all the bracketry for handbrake, etc.

the hj should have 4:11s just like my fj came with, and swaping thirds will remove all doubt.

i pondered the pinion flange for a second or two, but i've read enough to know swapping the third is a better idea

as i said above, i have a service manual. haven't checked to see if the full float info is in there though.

something else weird... the center bolt on the spring plate was smaller on the HJ axle

the FF has all the brackets, e-brake and LSPV, just a little differnet method. both should be easy to adapt

and yeah, drums are identical, as are wheel cylinders and the hardline is close enough that i got one for an 89 FJ62 and it works fine on the FF
Sounds like you've in great shape to make the swap. Good luck! If you run into any trouble, just jump on here. There's a lot of people on this forum that know what their talking about that could help ya out.

baldredhead said:
something else weird... the center bolt on the spring plate was smaller on the HJ axle

I remember seeing this difference between mine and a buddies 60 series FF rears. I think the center hole was bigger on the xJ62 series compared to the xJ60 series ones. I might be wrong though... Doesn't seem like too big of a deal, but I agree it's a little weird. I woulda thought they'd be the same.

Make sure the hj60 had 4.11's as many came with 3.73's. (Auto vs. manual maybe) Anyway, mine with an h55 has 3.73. Good luck
i'll be able to confirm the gears once i yank the third, but it doesn't matter since i'm swaping in my original.
baldredhead said:
something else weird... the center bolt on the spring plate was smaller on the HJ axle
Does your FJ62 have a rubber isolater surrounding the spring pack? FJ60's have a 2 piece rubber/steel isolater that wraps around the springs. The bottom peice of the isolator has a bushing the spring pin fits into. Then the larger outside diameter of the isolater fits into the spring seat of the axle. I'm making the assumption you are at least making a bushing to fit into the hole so the spring pin fits tight? You will not be able to just crank the u-bolts down to hold the axle in position. Broken spring pins or worse are in your future if the pins don't fit snuggly into the spring seats. ;)

See this page in Spectors catalogue:


Item #51 is what I am talking about....they call it a "spring pad".


already fixed the spring plate to isloator issue. SOR doesn't even show that interface, at least on the page you found.
Hmmm, I click the link and it heads for a FJ60/62 page. When scrolled down to the rear suspension section it shows both parts. #51 is the lower and #55 or 56 is the upper... :confused:

Glad you're getting it worked out. :)

ok, so i've got the semifloat third out and the cone washers are currently kicking my ass preventing me from removing the axles therefor the third on the floater. maybe i'll have better luck next time i get to try.....

anyway, when reassembling the spider and cross shaft in the semi float third do i need to reinstall the spacer block thing in the center. it's a cylinder with flat spots 180 degrees apart to prevent the axle shafts from pushing in and letting the C clip fall out. since i'm going to the full float this seems to be useless., is it needed?

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