Birfield Clicking Question (1 Viewer)

thekitchensink

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First of all, I did try to search. I found lots of answers to general birfield questions, but none that answered mine specifically.

Preface: I did a bearing & seal replacement at around 162k, now it has ~190k. I didn't switch sides for the birfs, however.

I have been noticing a click intermittently when I turn and accelerate for the last 10k mi. I knew the birfs were clicking, but it wasn't bad enough and the seals are not leaking, so I didn't do anything about it. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. I recently started noticing a louder clicking noise from the front PS that is much harsher than the intermittent click-when-turning, and it happens when I'm driving straight as well as turning. It also only happens when I get off the highway. I can putt around town and there won't be any noises. I'm thinking the birf finally gave up the ghost. I parked it and have been driving my tacoma since then.

I know I can remove the front driveshaft, lock the CDL, and keep driving in 2wd. Obviously this cuts power to the front wheels and keeps the birfields from working, but aren't they still turning?

I'm looking to sell my tacoma, but it needs some work first. I'm wondering if I can pull the front driveshaft, thus prolonging both birf's life until I sell my taco and have money to upgrade/replace the birfs?
 

chap79

Wheel. Break. Fix. Repeat.
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You can pull the driveshaft and yes it will lessen the load in the front end. To make the shaft stop spinning you have to remove the drive flanges.

Have you rechecked your wheel bearing preload? I’ve seen them come loose before and and make a similar noise to birf clicking. Also did you put a good coat of grease on the brass bushing inside the spindle?
 

thekitchensink

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Are you SURE it's a birf and not a U-Joint?

99% sure, yes. I've heard a u-joint failure before. It's not quite the same.

You can pull the driveshaft and yes it will lessen the load in the front end. To make the shaft stop spinning you have to remove the drive flanges.

Thanks, sounds like I would need a special "smooth" drive flange to totally disengage the axle.

Have you rechecked your wheel bearing preload? I’ve seen them come loose before and and make a similar noise to birf clicking. Also did you put a good coat of grease on the brass bushing inside the spindle?

Yesterday I put the front end up on stands and took the wheels off to see of anything looked out of the ordinary. Passenger side looked good, but the DS tire had play when I shook it from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock. I took the drive flange off and found that I could wiggle the lock nut and adjusting nut (referenced from the FAQ thread) with my finger.

I think I might have found the culprit. I'm glad nothing catastrophic happened on my multiple interstate drives to school and back. I'll find a 54mm socket and tighten those up when I'm back at my parents house next weekend. Thanks for the help
 

Howard705

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When the VC is failing and almost solid it increases the clicking. Once mine got so bad I had to replace it the clicking all but disappeared. It will start to like like the center diff is all but locked. The horrible binding makes them click and I'm sure dramatically increases the stress and wear on the birfs. I'd verify nice loose VC operation first.
 

thekitchensink

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Alright, I dove into the axle tonight and find out that the DS lock washer and spindle threads are damaged. I'm assuming this happened because it was loose and backing out (note the circular wear pattern on the lock washer surface). Looks like I'll need to purchase a new spindle assembly for the DS...

Any thoughts on how to get back on the road ASAP?

Drivers side spindle threads:
IMG_20200904_202220.jpg


Passengers side spindle threads:
IMG_20200904_202302.jpg


DS lock nut on the left, PS on the right:
IMG_20200904_200449.jpg


PS on the inside, DS (damaged) on the outside:
IMG_20200904_200509.jpg
 

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