85 Toyota axle replacement

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Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Threads
70
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790
Location
1993 land cruiser in rapid city South Dakota
Jack up and secure the front of the truck with wood blocks or jack stands.
Remove front tires.

Get paper towels, wrench's and get ready to get greasy.
10mm socket
12mm socket
14mm socket
17mm socket
snap ring pliers
small screw driver with thumb sized handle.
big hammer
really big hammer
milk crate or you can use the tire
short 6 inch or so bungee cord.
Inner axle seal.


Hopefully you keep the front of the truck pretty clean. if not clean off the knuckle before you take it apart.
Do not use a high pressure washer on the felt seals. you will spray water into the knuckle.
Do spray off the 10 mm bolts that holds the felt and wipers on the inside of the knuckle.

Do spray off the steering arm and the nuts and nut recesses on the top of the steering arm.

Use penetrating spray on the top nuts and cone washer area.
Let them soak.

Turn you lock out hub to the locked out position.
mark with a piece of tape on the lock out hub where it is pointing.
There are several ways the lock out dial can fit into the lock out hub. Only two of them are correct due to the way the lock out dial spring is mounted to the back of the dial.

Remove dial.

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remove snap ring on the axle shaft.

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remove the 10 mm bolts and metal parts that hold the felt, metal ring and rubber wiper on the back of the knuckle.

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Remove the nuts from the top steering arm studs, use a small screw driver and remove the flat washers.
You now can see the tops of the cone washers.

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Now cone washers can be a pain to remove.
Some times you can hit the bottom of the arm with a big hammer and knock them loose. If this is working remove them as you get them loose as they can drop down and lock in again.
If that is not working try a small punch in the gap in the washer and see if you can move them a bit. then try the big hammer again.

Tap up on the front of the arm for the front washers.
Try Tapping down for the rear washers.
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Now that you have the steering arm loose, use the bungee cord to hold it up out of your way. If there are thin spacers under it, save those!!.
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now the knuckle will be hanging there on the top bearing.
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you will use the small screw driver handle to push it down while you lift up on the knuckle. YES it is heavy. Also make sure that your milk crate or tire is very close by but at least 8 inch from the brake rotor.

do not use your thumb to push down on the bearing. I came pretty close to cutting the end off mine!!!

see Thumb.
WRONG.:mad:
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Correct!!:grinpimp:

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now when it comes up off the bearing be ready, it is heavy and your hands are covered in grease.
in one motion. pick it up, tilt it down and turn it toward the back of the truck.
it will slid off the outer axle, set it on the tire or milk crate. don't drop it or you can split your brake line.
Don't let it hang by the brake line!!!

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line up the flat part of the birfield top and bottom to pull the axle out.
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all but one of my broken birfields shattered into many parts.
one expanded the bell. Then you are kind of screwed, you have to break it more. or in my case I was able to pull the broken end back, wedge a wrench in the gap. Then I used a pipe over the axle end and was able to force it out. You still need to try to line up what is left of the flat spots.

see gap here.

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remove inner axle, clean out the birfield droppings.
replace inner seal.
if the inside of the ball is a bit chewed up that is ok. if it is chewed up pretty bad. Try to clean it up and knock the hanging sharp parts down.
the seal area is the most important. it has to be round enough to get the new seal in.
you can drive the new seal in with a LARGE socket placed back wards on an extension.
if the seat is messed up but still pretty round use some rtv on the seat.

slide new axle in.
line up the flat spots. you can lift or push down on the outer part of the axle to get it back into the third member.
some times you have to turn the drive shaft while doing this.
do not beat the birfield joint into the housing.
you will break the snap ring that is inside the joint and the new birfield will break as soon as you try to drive away.

make sure you grease the new axle IN SIDE THE BIRFIELD.

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Once the axle is in.
Move it to wards the back of the truck again.

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this is a good time to make sure that the steering studs are tightened down. it is not much, I want to say 29 inch pounds.
check the service manual.

now here is the hard part.
the lower steering bearing, trunnion bearing is in the knuckle on lower mount.
the upper bearing is in the race on the axle ball.
both must stay in place as you lift, place the knuckle over the axle.
you aim for the lower bearing first, then rotate the knuckle, up and lift it over the upper bearing.
keeping the upper bearing in place while doing this can be difficult.
this is the bear bearing..;)
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once back on, line up the steering arm, remember any shims you removed and tap... only tap it back into place.
if it will not just tap back on there, see if you can feel the position of the upper bearing and that it has not shifted out of place.

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make sure that your cone washers, studs and nuts are clean.
use a little bit of clean oil on them and tighten down to spec's.
re check them several times.
re check them after several miles.
I have not used lock tight and mine have been fine. they must be clean. check the service manual. the nuts are much tighter then the studs. I want to say I run mine down to 80 ft pounds.

use a torque wrench!!!

don't forget the snap ring on the outer part of the axle.


line up your lock out and make sure it locks and un locks.


so now you have changed a axle.
this sounds like a lot of work.
but in the field, you have not messed up the axle bearings.
or needed that huge 54mm socket.
all the bearing seals are still ok.
you don't have to bleed the brakes.


I hope this helps some one out...
 
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Let me know if I missed any thing or if some part of it was not clear.
also if you have part numbers or the actual torque specs, I or the mod will add them in. I am just to tired to look them up right now. long day and I could not sleep, so I thought I would write this up.
 
I wanna take another opportunity to mention how freekin' HEAVY that hub/knuckle will be when it comes off. I did a birf swap this way once in the middle of a NEUROC competition, it is faster, but I highly recommend only doing it if you have a helper. Once that thing comes off, you're gonna wanna let go of it ASAP, but if you just let it drop it will rip the brake hose right off.

So be careful!
 
awesome write-up.

If you have the time.........I noticed people lacking this is ............is the know how to dissasemble a birf complete.
 
I wanna take another opportunity to mention how freekin' HEAVY that hub/knuckle will be when it comes off. I did a birf swap this way once in the middle of a NEUROC competition, it is faster, but I highly recommend only doing it if you have a helper. Once that thing comes off, you're gonna wanna let go of it ASAP, but if you just let it drop it will rip the brake hose right off.

So be careful!


lol, don't forget the inner part turning. thus letting the rotor guard plate painfully adjust your cuticles while you are holding it!!!
 
awesome write-up.

If you have the time.........I noticed people lacking this is ............is the know how to dissasemble a birf complete.


I guess that I have never really understood why you would want to do that. Other then to get the broken inner snap ring out.

it is just like a big bearing.
if it is cracked,
if it is loose,
if it is worn,
you have to replace it.

every thing wears at the same time so if you are like me and it has 100's of thousands of miles on it. Your really can't replace just one part, other then snap rings.

I have spares that are made up of the good parts left over from broken birf's. but those are trail fix one's.

any way
Jerod if you want to clean this up and use it in the faq that would be fine.
 
What about cutting a slit in the stupid Toyota designed brake line holder (try doing a FJ60! you can't remove a thing w/o breaking the brake line), then you can remove the clip, then the two 17mm caliper bolts, fish the hard line through the slit, pull it off and bungee strap the caliper to the frame.

It would also make the assembly somewhat lighter...

And if you cut the slit on the inward most frame side, it still leaves some rigidity for removing the brake line nuts of the brake line.

EDIT: Also helps with the spindle removal method and anything having to do with the brakes...
 
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What about cutting a slit in the stupid Toyota designed brake line holder

I just did that yesterday to Green Bastard... Hehe Yes very helpful!

I will try to edit it down a bit and adjust the pics. Thanks for the write up! :cheers:
 
If you are just replacing an axle it isn't necessary to remove the steering arms and knuckle. The way you are doing it is harder than just taking off the rotor, spindle, etc. I've done it both ways on the trail and I like the other one better.

Just my 2 cents.
 
But you either have to have floating rotors 1st... Or carry a 53(?) mm socket and take it off from the spindle contaminating the bearings then you have to adjust the preload again...
 
Everyone should have a 54mm socket in their trail bag.

I too would rather take the hub assembly apart, its not that hard. I keep shop towels and all the tools I need with me.
 
Thanks for the write up. I think I'd rather remove a knuckle than disassemble the hub, spindle, etc. I'm compulsive about this stuff and seal everything when I rebuild a knuckle. It keeps all the gunk out but wastes all your gaskets every time you disassemble, so in the field, you'd have to RTV everything back together ... Your method avoids that hassle. Thanks again!
 
Disassembling the spindle means you have to deal with non-reusable gaskets as well as setting up the wheel bearing preload again.... (yes if you have floating rotors you don't have to deal with wheel bearings, but I've yet to meet someone who does...)

The whole knuckle is heavy, but I'd rather take it off than disassemble...
 
I've re-used the same gaskets about 3 times on each side. Like I said I've done it both ways and you almost need an extra set of hands to re-install the whole knuckle. Plus, exposing the trunion bearings and keeping track of shims on top and bottom are a pita. For those who say you don't want to carry the 54mm socket I say I'd rather carry that as opposed to a torque wrench and pull scale.
 
As 2ndGen mentioned before, you don't have to pull the bottom one, you just loosen it. So the only shims you have to keep track of are the top.


And tore gaskets and non-torqued bolts WILL get you home...
 
I didn't loosen the bottom mount.
maybe that is why it was such a pain to get back on there!!!

as for the other method. do a write up.

this was not supposed to turn into a debate on what is better.

this is just a write up on what I did.

Sorry, I didn't mean to stir up a debate. Every time I've done it since it was all new was a trail fix to replace a brokem birf so cameras were the last thing I was thinking about at the time.
 

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