4wd issue following front axle rebuild

J

Janesway

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Hey folks

Having a wee issue with the 4wd on my bj60. Back in August I tackled the front axle of my cruiser, replacing as all seals and bearings, and following what I thought was the standard disassembly/assembly procedure. A Greasy job that one. Anywhoo since I slapped it back together I've been having a really weird clanking going on upfront.

Clanking is present anytime front hubs are locked, and the wheels are rotating. Ive taken the hubs off since, and they look good with a light coating of oil on all surfaces. They switch between free and locked without in trouble in my hand. I can switch into h4/l4 without any inside, but ultimately the front wheels aren't seeming to be getting
 
OSS

OSS

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Jack up a front wheel with hubs locked and transfer case shifted to 4H or Low and transmission in gear. The wheel shouldn’t turn. If it does or makes weird noises, the hubs were assembled incorrectly.
 
2mbb

2mbb

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Just a note on OSS' instruction. Take "a front wheel" literally. Only jack up one wheel at a time but both front hubs should be locked. If they both are in the air, then the wheels will rotate.

You can also try the following. keep the wheels on the ground lock both front hubs and put the transfer case in two wheel drive. try to rotate the front drive shaft by hand. If the hubs are working properly then you should not be able to turn the drive shaft. IF you can turn the drive shaft then one or both hubs isn't assembled properly.
 
J

Janesway

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Appreciate the direction here in troubleshooting.

So upon jacking up one wheel and testing it, it seems the hubs are all good. Wheel will not turn. Drove it around the block with the hubs engaged, without any issue.

But as soon as I put it in h4, there's a reapeating clunking noise while driving. The clunking was present with hubs locked and unlocked.

Thinking back, when I was reassembling the axles, I rotated the front drive shaft in order to get the axles back in position. Is there some sort of phasing between front and rear driveshafts that I could have messed with?
 
OSS

OSS

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No they’re not synced. Every time 4WD is disengaged and hubs unlocked, the rear DS continues to spin as you’re driving while the front DS doesn’t move at all.

If you’re testing 4WD on pavement- the drivetrain is going to hate that. The front wheels spin at a slightly different speed than the rears and an ungodly torsional binding builds up between the two axles.
Only way to test 4WD is on a dirt road, snow or sand. Not asphalt.
 
J

Janesway

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The birfs looked good when i had them disassmbled. I cleaned them out and packed them with grease, and packed grease into the birfield housing.

I did a little more sniffing around under the truck and noticed there was some play in the front driveshaft. I isolated it to the aft end, closest to the t- case, and noticed quite a bit of slop coming from the DC U-joint. I pulled the driveshaft and pulled apart the U joints, and a little ball fell out!
It all looks pretty mangled in there...a small remnant of a spring, and just some tiny little shards of metal that i guess must have been needle bearings?

so two questions:
Could this centering ball failure be the source the of clunking/clanking when the truck is in 4h/4l?

The FSM says to replace the driveshaft if there's any issues. Do i need to replace the shaft or is this repairable?
 
OSS

OSS

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Ok, this makes more sense. So the DS U-Joint spider blew up. No biggie.
If the DS hasn’t had an impact and there’s no dents in it, it’s probably fine.
If you’ve got a driveshaft shop near you, buy new spider joints (u-joints) from Toyota along with some spacer rings (there’s a few sizes to choose from) and bring the DS and the new parts to the shop for them to install. Ask them to balance it too.
Print a copy of the manual showing how the grease zerks need to be aligned - because if they do it wrong, you won’t be able to grease it once it’s installed.

A home mechanic can replace spider bearings pretty easily using a vice and common tools but high speed balancing needs to be done at a shop.
Balancing isn’t as important for the front as it is the rear because the front FS is much shorter, but might as well do it perfect so there’s one less thing to wonder about.
 
duncanrm

duncanrm

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I pulled the driveshaft and pulled apart the U joints, and a little ball fell out!

Sounds like you might have the double cardan joint at the transfer case end of your driveshaft.. there are quite expensive to repair and difficult to find someone who will do the job.
 
Last edited:
J

Janesway

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Ok, this makes more sense. So the DS U-Joint spider blew up. No biggie.
If the DS hasn’t had an impact and there’s no dents in it, it’s probably fine.
If you’ve got a driveshaft shop near you, buy new spider joints (u-joints) from Toyota along with some spacer rings (there’s a few sizes to choose from) and bring the DS and the new parts to the shop for them to install. Ask them to balance it too.
Print a copy of the manual showing how the grease zerks need to be aligned - because if they do it wrong, you won’t be able to grease it once it’s installed.

A home mechanic can replace spider bearings pretty easily using a vice and common tools but high speed balancing needs to be done at a shop.
Balancing isn’t as important for the front as it is the rear because the front FS is much shorter, but might as well do it perfect so there’s one less thing to wonder about.
well thanks for the info on this one. I found a driveline shop about an hour away from me, called them, and it sounds like they can rebuilt the DC for about 250 bucks. Great tip on on the zerks, ill bring a sheet in with me.

it seems very likely that this was the cause of the whole clankity clank in the first place, and its timing with the front axle rebuild was just coincidental. Anyways i'll post an update when it all get buttoned up.
 

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