80 front end repack: dealer done? when?

e9999

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yes, I know, I wonder too much (see other thread)... <G>

but anyways, in the middle of my tentative hunt for a decent 80 with lockers (per this list's impressive wisdom), I have talked to a bunch of people selling their 80s. As far as I can tell, most did their regular maintenance at a Toyota dealer, and as of now, not a single one mentioned having had their front end redone, despite many of these rigs mileage being well into the 5 figures. Besides being worrisome, this is also odd I thought, given that this forum is talking so much about the front end (this isn't something Freudian is it?). So I tried to find info on Toyota's recommended maintenance schedule on the web and so far I have not found any info to the effect that Toyota says that this repack job has to be done by such and such a mileage. Soooo.... :

Q: is the front end repack listed specifically in the maintenance schedule? If so, what's the mileage recommended? Or is it just an item "to be inspected" and fixed when it looks broken (grease and oil squirting out etc)?

thanks, this will help me sort out the well-maintaining PO from not...

Eric
 

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Toyota does not consider what we refer to as a "front axle service" or "Birf re-pack" as a regular maintainence item. It is considered an as needed repair.
The useful service life of the inner axle seal in the 80 FT front housing seems to be around 60,000 miles. Many vehicles have exceeded that distance by a good bit. I feel that going past 60k is pushing one's luck. Since wheel bearings should be packed every 30k and since the vehicle is that far apart, it makes sense to do it at 60k mile intervals.
In any case, I would certainly not go past 90k tops.

D-
 

e9999

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Bummer! If the Birf job is not a regular maintenance item, this is not good as far as buying a used 80. No wonder I did not find a single regular PO (non TLC fanatic) who had it done. Seems like the chance that the job would have been done by 90K -even if needed- is very remote, and perhaps even so if the PO did regular dealer inspection... Seems like basically, the only signal that it's needed is when it's too late? Grumph, what kinda sick engineer came up with this system, Toyota...? :-(
Anyway, on to finding an 80 with less than 90K, then...
thanks
Eric
 
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Ok I gotta chime in here.I'm by no means condoning putting off the service,but my rig has 91,000 on it and has never been repacked.I have read every thread on this and SOR's forum concerning this service and believe me I have conducted every test and inspected every lil thing you all have suggested and I can't find any leakage or make it click or anything.Now,having said that I do know for a fact I am the 1st to take it off-road and engage the front and rear diff.locks(1st owner was a dentist and second a microsoft yuppy)so it has been all city and hwy miles.I am planning on doing this service myself sometime soon but I can't help but wonder how long this axle can last with NO off-roading.I know most of you guys wheel as do I and this is a MUST service for a wheeled vehicle but what about the non-wheeled vehicles? Thnx,Vince
 
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>> It's just replacing a seal and packing grease. <<

Exactly!

Vince,
Some of the "sky is falling" rhetoric is a result of the financial consequences if the birfield's run out of grease and/or the grease gets heavily into the diff. Since you've followed the posts you know there are quite a few guys that have been faced with expensive parts purchases when they inherited a truck that had not been serviced *and* they postponed the service too late.

The problems we have in determining *when* to repack is due to not knowing how much grease is being washed out through diff drain cycles. It's pretty obvious when the rear knuckle seals have failed and the back of the knuckle is covered in grease and/or dripping grease. It's not so obvious when those same seals are still holding up well but the axle tube seal is worn out.

If your rear knuckle seals are not leaking
and
Your front diff fluid isn't heavily contaminated with grease
and
The dip stick test shows grease in the knuckle

Then keep on truckin'!

Seriously guys, it's just a couple hundred $$ for all new seals, trunion bearings, and good synthetic grease. Plus some time and paper towels. If you're over 90k miles then get the job done when it is convenient for you so you can forget about it for another 4 or 5 years!

-B-

(BTW, you still got that space aversion thing goin' or do you run your messages through a compression routine?)
 

e9999

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well, wait a sec...
as far as buying a used 80:
"not worth avoiding a rig if the repack hasn't been done" ? Perhaps this should be narrowed down a bit.
If it has not been done, there are 2 scenarii possible I guess:
- not been done and all is well - that's OK, obviously, just do them soon for safety.
- not been done and the beasts are cooked - that's not OK, cuz you are talking mucho buckos there and the purchase price should reflect that.
So it seems that it would be imperative to have a very close look at the front end along the lines of B.'s neat diagnostic items. Unfortunately, the average used car inspection does not include emptying the front diff...
thanks
Eric
 
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[quote author=Beowulf link=board=2;threadid=6260;start=msg50426#msg50426 date=1066082393]

>> It's just replacing a seal and packing grease. <<

Exactly!

Vince,
Some of the "sky is falling" rhetoric is a result of the financial consequences if the birfield's run out of grease and/or the grease gets heavily into the diff. Since you've followed the posts you know there are quite a few guys that have been faced with expensive parts purchases when they inherited a truck that had not been serviced *and* they postponed the service too late.

The problems we have in determining *when* to repack is due to not knowing how much grease is being washed out through diff drain cycles. It's pretty obvious when the rear knuckle seals have failed and the back of the knuckle is covered in grease and/or dripping grease. It's not so obvious when those same seals are still holding up well but the axle tube seal is worn out.

If your rear knuckle seals are not leaking
and
Your front diff fluid isn't heavily contaminated with grease
and
The dip stick test shows grease in the knuckle

Then keep on truckin'!

Seriously guys, it's just a couple hundred $$ for all new seals, trunion bearings, and good synthetic grease. Plus some time and paper towels. If you're over 90k miles then get the job done when it is convenient for you so you can forget about it for another 4 or 5 years!

-B-

(BTW, you still got that space aversion thing goin' or do you run your messages through a compression routine?)
[/quote]

Got to agree, I'm going to do mine for the first time at 160K miles :) Is that a record???
 
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[quote author=Pitbull link=board=2;threadid=6260;start=msg60916#msg60916 date=1068412286]
Got to agree, I'm going to do mine for the first time at 160K miles :) Is that a record???
[/quote]


dude -- why are my dogs in your avatar?? it's sort of like you dating my mother -- it just doesn't feel right --

eric
 
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[quote author=erics_bruiser link=board=2;threadid=6260;start=msg60918#msg60918 date=1068412838]
dude -- why are my dogs in your avatar?? it's sort of like you dating my mother -- it just doesn't feel right --

eric
[/quote]

Sorry, thought they were the ones to choose from. Since I have a Pit that looks like the one on the left I thought that it was cool that the board supplied the pictures. Only difference is that mine is Brindle.
 
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Eric,

I think you could look at it from the other way around.

If the front end isn't making funky noises (test it while driving, and especially when making tight turns in both directions), there were no gobbs of grease dripping out of the knuckle, and all seems okay, then you're probably okay. If you were feeling particularly paranoid you could always check the grease in the knuckle and stick your finger in the diff (this is starting to sound badly...) to check the quality of the lubricants to judge how much longer you would want to let it go before doing the service. Just my .02

Tom
 
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Pit,

>> I'm going to do mine for the first time at 160K miles Is that a record? <<

Unfortunately, pushing maintenance is a LOT like playing Russian Roulette. I'll agree that you can push the maintenance but it will catch up with you and the costs can be staggering. It's very frustrating to be saving your pennies for a S/C or a winch, or Slee armour... then having to spend that $$$ on birfields, axles, and 3rd members.

-B-
 
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If the diff oil has been changed regularly and the owner can show paper work to this effect, and when you accelerate moderately from rest with the wheels at full lock (try both directions) without hearing a clicking from the front axle - all is good. Those two factors mean:

A - the diff's been maintained and has clean oil in it.
B - the birfields are not dry and not damaged/badly worn.

Very simple and this allows you to look at any 80 with any miles. Don't let the axle issue scare you off a nice rig - as noted, they'll go a LOT of miles. My bro in law did not get his repacked for the first time until 215,000 miles and then it was done incorrectly. His birfs don't click.

Doug
 

e9999

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how loud is this clicking sound supposed to be when they are bad?
E
 
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Just a guess but it prolly sounds like a front wheel drive car when a CV goes out.
So if you hear clicking that's bad.

Nick Mora, Who listened to the worry worts and did the birf repack a long time ago.
 
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Tough to call. A birf can make noise and simply need fresh lube (that probably covers 98% of clicking birfs) or a birf could be on the verge of failure (I'd expect this only on a wheeled rig, or one that has oversized tires).

When the birfs click and you can hear them with the windows down, I'd call it minor. If you can hear it with the windows up and normal interior ambient noise (gentle radio, blower fan on, etc) then it's more serious and time for a repack. This is only under the conditions I mention above. If you can hear them while driving straight then failure's imminent - like perhaps that day. But keep in mind, you can swap them during the repack and start wearing fresh (and silent) surfaces. I'll be doing that at about 180k miles)

Doug
 
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[quote author=Beowulf link=board=2;threadid=6260;start=msg60959#msg60959 date=1068424486]


Unfortunately, pushing maintenance is a LOT like playing Russian Roulette. I'll agree that you can push the maintenance but it will catch up with you and the costs can be staggering. It's very frustrating to be saving your pennies for a S/C or a winch, or Slee armour... then having to spend that $$$ on birfields, axles, and 3rd members.

-B-

[/quote]

I like Toyota don't see birfields as a maintenance item. I keep clean synthetic in the diff, grease the steering knuckle every 6K miles and make sure my knuckles are not leaking and that the wheels are not clicking. If I do hear or see anything then I will repack/rebuild the birfields.
 
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[quote author=Pitbull link=board=2;threadid=6260;start=msg61042#msg61042 date=1068433822]
I like Toyota don't see birfields as a maintenance item. I keep clean synthetic in the diff, grease the steering knuckle every 6K miles and make sure my knuckles are not leaking and that the wheels are not clicking. If I do hear or see anything then I will repack/rebuild the birfields.

[/quote]

Have you ever seen the buisness end of a birf in person? It's impossible to get them really lubed unless you do the repack. So why wait till there's trouble ???
 

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