Anyone swapped birfs and stopped the clicking?

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Aug 8, 2003
I know that theoretically the birfs will be wearing on the other face after they're swapped, but I'm wondering if anyone can discuss a truck with fairly severe clicking that has been repacked with the birfs swapped and the clicking is gone completely. Mine are in need of a repack and clicking a bit and I'm also pondering the newer front spindles or replacing my spindle bushings which I have a feeling will help the birfs by properly supporting them.

I'm trying to get a picture if this is truly worth doing or not as I get ready to do birf repacks with warmer weather. So, looking for actual experience with swapped birfs on a clicking truck.


IMHO, if your birfs are worn enough to click they are worn enough to replace.
You might get away with this on a lesser part time 4x4 but I believe with the constant 4x4 the birfs should be in A1 cond.
Over here you can pick up non genuine birfs for about AU$100-110. Not worth not replacing them when you get a chance.
The idea behind the rotating sides is like rotating tires, spread the wear before they they wear out, once they are hogged out they are gonna click and some time after that bind and break the cage. after the cage breaks the balls wil get out of alighnment and the star or bell will break. they can be a long tiem form now though.

this exact question was asked a wile ago, I cannot find the thread IIRC general consensus was if they are clickign it is too late.

but I did find this

between this thread

and this one

It sounds like swapping sides did not fix the clicking two stronger birfs for the price of one OEM. you will have to swap over the ABS rings though.

if you do nto want to spend the money and want to experiment first I would not do a full repack now, just pull the knuckles off as an assembly and get the birfs out lube & swap birfs, reassemble and see waht happens. can be done is a few housrs opposed to the full reapcxk, you will need new c clips and maybe a inner axle seals wile you are there (cheap) save the full seal set for the reapck you are going to do shorlty after with new birfs.
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Agree on some levels, but not all. My birfs clicked at 90,000 miles. I repacked them with synthetic and have now gotten 60,000 miles out of them and almost 6 years of life. So, at 150k they're clicking again, and I'm thinking of simply swapping sides during this repack and continuing to drive them. Because I'm stock and only do moderate wheeling I am not concerned about their durability. If this swap stops the clicking I'll probably run them on this wear surface for another 150,000 miles and consider that good component wear for replacement at 300k. According to my log, that will happen in 2021...

So, any clickers that stopped clicking??

I did full front overhaul in November and completely disassembled the birfs (balls and all) cleaned and repacked. I had major clicking on PS birf and it quieted down a little bit but it was still there. I bought some Longfields, swapped the ABS rings and put them in. Nice and quiet now. I didn't know about the swapping idea, but my PS birf was too worn to use again anyway.

Don't think I really addressed your question Doug, other than I think you should just replace both of them if you still hear them.

If your 80 is only a DD or you only do moderate wheeling they would probably be OK. I answered this thread partly to answer your question personally and partly to help future mudders searching this thread with the same question. I wheel my cruiser fairly hard and my answer was my 2c based on my experiences.
It sounds like you look after your 80s with the respect they deserve. I hope your clicking is only minor and you can get away with just swapping side to side.:cheers: If not slap in a set of longfields and wheel it hard!:flipoff2:
Not the greatest evidence, but I had mild clicking at 138K, did a complete tear down and reasseble (balls cages etc) and I have no more clicking 5K later.
I swapped the birfs when I did mine at about 108K, and the clicking stopped. Of course, there's no way to tell if it stopped because of the repack or because of the swap.

Having looked at the mechanism and thought through the forces, I can't think of a single reason not to swap sides if you are doing a repack. I think the clicking is caused by the ball traveling across the indentation(groove) that wears into the starfish part at the position the ball occupies when you are driving straight ahead. As the ball travels back and forth across that groove as it must when you are turning, it clicks. Swapping puts the worn side in the "braking" position and puts the side previously receiving force only during braking or deceleration into the driving position.

One question I've always had is whether that slightly worn "groove" on the starfish could be avoided if you actually did the repack at 50K or 60K instead of waiting longer as so many (of us) seem to do.
jimmyv65 said:
Does anyone have a link to the part numbers for the seals you would need during a full rebuild?

You could PM or call cruiserdan and he would get you everything you need. He is the Parts Manager at a Toyota Dealer and gives mudders a significant discount.

I would not use anything other than OEM Toyota for this.

cruiserdans contact info is in the IH8MUD Market place section and is one of the rotating banners up in the top right
Doug-I would look at it this way: You have nothing to loose except a few hours of driveway time. Swap them side to side and you might get another 100k from them. Then decide if you want to replace or sell the truck for other reasons. If they still click after the swap, buy the Longfields and swap those. It's only a few hours of your time doing something you probably enjoy anyway. The very first time I hear a click, I'm swapping side to side, and the second time I'm getting Longfields. It's a simple decision tree.

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