80 models: Birfs a liability?

e9999

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Hi all,
I read a bit about the 80 models. Seems like most serious off-roaders (yall guys) appear to prefer the 80s over the later 100s.
But then I keep reading all these stories about how one has to maintain the front end on the 80s, redoing the Birfs regularly, repacking this and that, watching the seals like a hawk, tasting the grease and oil for ungodly mixing etc... Also had a Toy mechanic mention the front axle seals and knuckle seals failures as the main LC problem or potential trouble. So, got me to wonder, is this knuckle system a basic design weakness of the LC? Is the later 100 IFS system a better design -from durability and maintenance point of view, if not rock crawling?
Or does this go with the territory (solid axle etc) and all is well?
just curious
thanks for insight
Eric
 
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Eric,

The 80 series has an internal CV type joint that is protected from grit, water and the like. As such, I consider it superior to the typical external CV joints that fail with regularity. As for all the machinations you'll read here about the front axle seals and such, it's worth pointing out that we're all over the top on maintenance and many 80s live out their entire lives on the road without any front axle work and they don't fail. For those of us who use them hard, it is worth taking the time to keep this aspect of their running gear maintained.

Also, consider that we are talking about a full time 4wd vehicle, where the vast majority of rigs are part time. As such, the front axle is always in use and this raises the bar for maintenance as part of the deal. You're not reading about any "failures" here on seals - just routine replacement of them. I don't know of anyone who's suffered any damage from a failure/leak on the 80 series front axle.

Can't speak for the 100 vs 80 question, but for those of us who wheel there is no substitute for a solid front axle (100 is not).

IdahoDoug
 
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Eric,
The 100 series in the US is available only with IFS. In other countries it was available (105) with a solid front axle. In general, IFS vehicles are better riding and handling on developed roads when compared to the same vehicle with SA. In general, SA vehicles are better for undeveloped roads and off-road when compared to the same vehicle with IFS. This is a generalization of IFS vs SA but most would agree.

Axle maintenance (front & rear) is frequently overlooked by owners of IFS and SA vehicles. On our SA 80 series, the parts are expensive if something breaks. As Doug pointed out, enthusiasts take the time to keep their vehicles properly maintained because we *know* what can happen when there is a failure.

Many 80s are into their second and third owners and all are rapidly approaching or have passed the mileage where there should have been F&R axle service. We are all buying used vehicles so that's why you hear a lot about the axle service in this forum.

On the other hand, you won't hear much discussion about replacing timing belts on 80s (we don't have them.) The 100 series guys better be talking about it though. As you get more 100 series owners doing their own maintenance you will start reading more about their idiosyncracies.

My 2c
-B-
 
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I'll chime in here as I Just did my birfs on the weekend. The truck has 71K miles and I did them as preventive maintenace. Actually everything looked 100% in there. Lot's of grease, not really leaking, seals in good shape, no oil in the birf, no little spring wear on the axle from the seal. In short I could have let this go for another 30 to 40K probably but I keep my vehicles for 15+ years and it part of the investment and the joy of owning an 80.

The better looks of an 80 is worth doing a birf job every 4 years anyway.

R
 
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BC (before Land Cruisers) I had a 4WD Toyota with CVs and it was waaaay more problematic than Birfs. In my case, we were always tearing the CV boots (granted in VERY cold weather -40C), grit would get in = rebuild.

As others have noted, doing birf service every 60K miles isn't too bad (~4-5 years of driving for me). The only ones that have 'blown' seem to be in rather extreme use (Slee, Junk, WolfP, others?) or lack of service from PO

I just drove my stock LX450 on some trails this weekend with a large group (1 40, a few D90s and D110s, an Iltis, a few RR, a few Disco) - rock ledges, endless 3.5-4' water crossings, etc with no problems (well tire too slippery, must replace the running boards,...)

Cheers, Hugh
 

e9999

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thanks all.
The point is indeed well-taken that this is a decidedly mechanically-inclined audience with a bent towards the DIY, so I did likely mistake the expressions of detailed interest in the Birf repack job for evidence of frequent problems.
My mistake.
thanks for the clarification
Eric
 
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The only thing I will add is that due to the mileage on your typical 80 that is for sale - it is wise to consider the front end rebuild as part of the purchase price. Whether you want to go the $1K dealer route, or the 2-3 hunny do it yourself method is up to you.

The only other repair item common to this truck seems to be the PHH (pesky heater hose) - a small inch or so section of hose that is difficult to replace.

IMO, these are very minor issues as compared to what you will find with most other vehicles.

Only time will tell what the issues on the 100 series will be. Knowing the attention to detail that Toyota has put into the LC - I would suspect that there will be very little issues with the 100 too.

I don't think you could loose with either.
 
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By looking at CV failure alone, it could be surmised that any IFS vehicle is twice as prone to breakage as a comparaple solid axle vehicle, as there are two CV joints per wheel (4 total for the front end) on an IFS system. Add to that the fact that on solid axle vehicles, the CV joint is in it's optimal alignment (both inner and outer axles direcectly in line with each other) most of the time, whereas an IFS vehicle's CV joints are almost never in this alignment.
 

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