Axle Clacking

94 TLC

94 TLC

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Ok…. I turn the wheel to a hard left at slow wheelin speed and hear the infamous “clacking” sound at the drivers front wheel. Back in my old Subaru days, that was a telltale sound of a bad CV joint.

Is this most likely my birfield needing repacking? Could it actually need to be entirely replaced? Is that a thing? I’m in a ‘94 with 260k of medium intensity driving and wheeling.

I ask because it’s at a mechanic shop now (that shalt not be named) and it took them a week to determine that my “axle” needs to be replaced and then sends me the part number for the birf. I’m at a 4 out of 10 in FJ80 technical knowledge, so what do you think? Do they know wha the heck is going on? Or are they just hoping a replacement fixes my issue?

it ain’t a cheap estimate, either.

Thoughts? Before I give them my decision?
 
Mtntopper

Mtntopper

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Makes sense to me. With full time AWD, you don't have much choice but to fix that joint. The Birfield is expensive and buried deep in that axle, I would replace both not just the ticking one. Hopefully your quote includes new seals and bearings too, I wouldn't want to put all the old pieces back on after getting them off.
 
Mark W

Mark W

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There is no "repacking" of the "axle". You *can* gain some life out of the birfield by swapping them both side to side. But personally I would not bother unless your budget is really really tight.

The axle shaft itself does not need to be replaced. But it is almost certainly grooved where the seal rides so you will want to sleeve it to prevent leakage after it is all back together.

Mark...
 
Irish Reiver

Irish Reiver

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Have you checked to see if the birf is dry and by dry I mean no grease. If you haven't been topping up the birf regularly then you can assume it is dry. It's worth refilling it with new grease through the fill plug and see what happens. My '94 had the clacking on hard left turns but the PO had neglected the routine greasing. I filled mine without opening the axle and never had any issues for the next 5 years. Worth a try and definitely worth $10 of grease.
On the other hand, if you have been keeping up with birf maintenance then you likely need a replacement. :(
 
Broski

Broski

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The job is mostly labor, and there’s ton of info on how to do it.
If you plan on keeping the FZJ (if it’s a 94 it’s not a FJ) they it’s a right of passage to do this job yourself.
What you learn by doing it your self in invaluable!!
But to answer your question there diagnosis seems spot on.
 
greentruck

greentruck

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diagnosis seems spot on.
Have to agree here, unfortunately.

Our truck is in the shop right now - I'm too old and broken for this stuff anymore - for a birf failure. It got us to Xmas and back and then to the shop. Took out the hub,caliper, and rotor, too. It'; be north of $2k when it's all over.
 
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sewellaustin

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Mines been in the shop for over a month because I have a clacking issue. The only reason it makes me think it’s not a cv axle is because it’s clacking when driving straight also. Transfer case has been gone through, center diff was replaced, all wheel bearings and hubs were repacked and checked out. They replaced the driver cv (where the noise is coming from) but it’s still there, if not louder. It’s not oem, but I’m not sure if it was installed incorrectly or it’s just a dud aftermarket cv.
 
Malleus

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Mines been in the shop for over a month because I have a clacking issue. The only reason it makes me think it’s not a cv axle is because it’s clacking when driving straight also. Transfer case has been gone through, center diff was replaced, all wheel bearings and hubs were repacked and checked out. They replaced the driver cv (where the noise is coming from) but it’s still there, if not louder. It’s not oem, but I’m not sure if it was installed incorrectly or it’s just a dud aftermarket cv.
:popcorn:
My '94 has a "playing card in the bicycle spokes" noise/gremlin under the passenger floorboard; it drives my nuts. Or it did, until I replaced the stereo.
 
S

sewellaustin

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:popcorn:
My '94 has a "playing card in the bicycle spokes" noise/gremlin under the passenger floorboard; it drives my nuts. Or it did, until I replaced the stereo.
Wait that’s exactly what mine sounds like. But it’s very metallic sounding
 
Malleus

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yep, same thing - midway between the diff and wheel. At first I thought it might be the cat or heat shield for the cat, but they aren't loose. And the frequency is wrong for vibration.

I'd pay real money to know what it is. At least I'd think about paying real money...
 
S

sewellaustin

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yep, same thing - midway between the diff and wheel. At first I thought it might be the cat or heat shield for the cat, but they aren't loose. And the frequency is wrong for vibration.

I'd pay real money to know what it is. At least I'd think about paying real money...
May not be quite the same issue. My symptoms point towards a cv axle. Only grinds while under load, driving straight, and turning left, shakes past 45mph
 
Box Rocket

Box Rocket

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Mines been in the shop for over a month because I have a clacking issue. The only reason it makes me think it’s not a cv axle is because it’s clacking when driving straight also. Transfer case has been gone through, center diff was replaced, all wheel bearings and hubs were repacked and checked out. They replaced the driver cv (where the noise is coming from) but it’s still there, if not louder. It’s not oem, but I’m not sure if it was installed incorrectly or it’s just a dud aftermarket cv.
Have you checked the front diff? This could be a broken tooth or two on the ring gear. When I stripped my ring gear the truck still drove but had a clack that sounded like it was coming from the area of the birf.
 
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sewellaustin

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Have you checked the front diff? This could be a broken tooth or two on the ring gear. When I stripped my ring gear the truck still drove but had a clack that sounded like it was coming from the area of the birf.
The front diff was just replaced along with the transfer case rebuild. Wheel bearings are new and hubs were checked and repacked
 
S

sewellaustin

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birmingham, Al
Have you pulled the front driveshaft and inspected the splines in the slip joint?
Update. Just got confirmation from the shop that it was a bad driver side spindle bushing and bearing. It’s nuts how loud the clicking/grinding noise was but after a new cv, front diff, and having the transfer case pulled apart at one shop, I took it to a land cruiser specific shop and he had it diagnosed and fixed in half the time.
 
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sewellaustin

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Update. Just got confirmation from the shop that it was a bad driver side spindle bushing and bearing. It’s nuts how loud the clicking/grinding noise was but after a new cv, front diff, and having the transfer case pulled apart at one shop, I took it to a land cruiser specific shop and he had it diagnosed and fixed in half the time.
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