80 Series Knuckle Centering Tool and Shim Kit Options (1 Viewer)

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I'm prepping for a front axle service and want to check/set knuckle centering and preload while in there. I've started looking for Knuckle centering tools and/or alternative procedures for setting centering. I know most folks just replace the shims that came out but my axle/knuckles have a mixed up history, didn't come from the factory together and likely are not setup correctly.
  • Can anyone provide part numbers for centering tools that will work or sources that represent best price? My quick search puts these around $300 to $400 which is more than I like to pay for what's likely a single-use tool. Anyone want to rent one of these to me? I'll be gentle and won't put a hammer to it :)
  • Can anyone suggest alternatives to buying the centering tool, like loaner tools from local auto parts suppliers using the axles as a centering guide or? It seems like the centering movement via shims will be pretty minimal so I may just set preload and move on but if there are other ways to check to make sure the inner axle seal isn't getting too stressed, etc. I'm all ears.
  • Anyone have a link to a good shim kit source for the 80 series? A quick search showed somewhat mixed consistency here, at least per the pictures.
A bit of backstory is that I serviced my front axle about 60k ago. The front passenger wheel bearing has needed to be tightened a few times recently and has started running warmer than the driver side so I'm doing the full axle service a bit ahead of schedule to deal with whatever is going on on the passenger side. It will get new spindle, bearings and washers at least along with the reseal, etc.. The inner axle seals have held up for 60k so I don't think my knuckle centering is likely to be too far off but I've wanted to check and get the knuckles dialed in since skipping it during the last service to save time. When I first got my 80 the front was missing some parts so what I have now is a combination of parts from two axles. Also, the front axle that my 80 came with is not the original that it shipped with. I kept the shims with the knuckles as they were before but know that wasn't ideal since the axle I installed them on was different anyway.

Thanks for any information or links to threads on these topics.
 
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Pretty sure you don't use the centering tool on an 80. No shims on the bottom and shims on the top until preload is correct. Hopefully I am remembering that correctly.

At the top of the forum is a thread called the FAQ. Therein you will find many threads organized very well. Here is the link for the birfield maintenance.

 
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I'm prepping for a front axle service and want to check/set knuckle centering and preload while in there. I've started looking for Knuckle centering tools and/or alternative procedures for setting centering.
SNIP
A bit of backstory is that I serviced my front axle about 60k ago. The front passenger wheel bearing has needed to be tightened a few times recently and has started running warmer than the driver side so I'm doing the full axle service a bit ahead of schedule to deal with whatever is going on on the passenger side. It will get new spindle, bearings and washers at least along with the reseal, etc.. The inner axle seals have held up for 60k so I don't think my knuckle centering is likely to be too far off but I've wanted to check and get the knuckles dialed in since skipping it during the last service to save time. When I first got my 80 the front was missing some parts so what I have now is a combination of parts from two axles. Also, the front axle that my 80 came with is not the original that it shipped with. I kept the shims with the knuckles as they were before but know that wasn't ideal since the axle I installed them on was different anyway.

Thanks for any information or links to threads on these topics.
I suspect R&Ring the spindle will solve the issue withe the failure to hold tight consistently. After trying everything else, that solved the same issue for me.

As for the shims, etc. You've put 60k on and nothing else other than a concern about the spindle? I suspect the shim packs you borrowed from the other axle just happened to be pretty close if you've seen no issues with the tires or steering. Have you had the alignment checked yet?
 
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As for the shims, etc. You've put 60k on and nothing else other than a concern about the spindle?

This has been a rolling restoration after the initial assembly and I've dealt with a handful of issues in the front-axle area through the 60k. I haven't done another full axle service since the initial build-up but I changed birfs early on then brake rotors at another point and had the front diff serviced too. I've also replaced all suspension bushings with OE since the axle was last rebuilt, had the frame repaired near the steering box, etc. I typically check for loose bearings whenever I have the floor jack out and the front passenger is the only one that has ever needed tightening and has needed it a few times. I'm optimistic on new spindle as there was a bit of wear on the ones I'm running when they went in. I had 4 with unknown history on hand so picked the best two to see how they worked out and now I know. :(

Have you had the alignment checked yet?

I did have the alignment checked a few years ago after the initial axle build but have updated a lot since then. My plan is to do this next full service and address any loose ends and then have the alignment checked again so see where everything is. Hopefully this next axle service will resolve any remaining issues and last the full 80k without my needing to go back in :)
 
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At the top of the forum is a thread called the FAQ

Yeah, I'm 99% self-serve on the forum and usually can find multiple answers to any questions I have. This case was a bit different and I assumed it was possibly because so few have shuffled knuckles, etc. Your very helpful reminder/link to go back to the FAQ lead to this from @cruiserdan

"The 80 series knuckle is shimmed only from the top so there is no need to "center" the knuckle.​
The trunnion pre-load is almost always within spec if the original shims are re-used. D-"​
That's the end of the question regarding knuckle centering in my opinion and a great answer as I can just focus on preload and not buy an expensive single-use tool.

Thanks!
 
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This has been a rolling restoration after the initial assembly and I've dealt with a handful of issues in the front-axle area through the 60k. I haven't done another full axle service since the initial build-up but I changed birfs early on then brake rotors at another point and had the front diff serviced too. I've also replaced all suspension bushings with OE since the axle was last rebuilt, had the frame repaired near the steering box, etc. I typically check for loose bearings whenever I have the floor jack out and the front passenger is the only one that has ever needed tightening and has needed it a few times. I'm optimistic on new spindle as there was a bit of wear on the ones I'm running when they went in. I had 4 with unknown history on hand so picked the best two to see how they worked out and now I know. :(



I did have the alignment checked a few years ago after the initial axle build but have updated a lot since then. My plan is to do this next full service and address any loose ends and then have the alignment checked again so see where everything is. Hopefully this next axle service will resolve any remaining issues and last the full 80k without my needing to go back in :)
Ouch, cracked frame at the steer box. That truck has seen a hard life.

Given the lack of typical issues that might crop up, I suspect your shims are in pretty good order. That doesn't help with the "I'd sure like to know that" caveat, but I think it should be at least modestly reassuring.
 
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Ouch, cracked frame at the steer box. That truck has seen a hard life.

Yeah, though it's very solid mechanically now and I even still like it after the years of work it's taken to get there. The cracked frame near steering box is pretty common on these and I assume a solid percentage have or will have the same cracking. My truck was in a front-end fender-bender though with the impact mostly on the front-passenger tire/wheel in it's past life. That prompted replacement of the front axle and some body work on the front right fender and valance based on what I've found.

For future reference here are the Toyota knuckle shims that I found. I plan to buy an assortment just in case. Prices are from PartsOuq

knuckle shim #143233-60030$1.15
knuckle shim #143234-60020$1.50
knuckle shim #143235-60020$2.22
knuckle shim #143236-60020$0.57

"I'd sure like to know that" caveat

This time around I will know for sure. I expected to be in/out of the front axle while sorting through this 80's many issues but that's not the plan now that all will be sorted finally. I'm glad to not need to worry about centering which makes the job way easier vs. managing both preload and centering and getting into shim swapping and dis/re assembly.
 

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