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Birfield help...problem?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by MDarius, Aug 20, 2006.

  1. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    I searched! I promise!
    I took the 80 wheelin' today and during the end of ride inspection I noticed my birf's. Now, it's possible they have looked like this a while and I never noticed it, you always see things (or imagine them) after a rough trip that you didn't notice before.

    I used low quite a bit...time to get that CDL switch installed. I didn't hear any noises while turning in low, or any other time. I'm used to the nasty tell tale noises of an '86 Cherokee, so I was listening for comparison. The 80 performed beyond my expectations and I didn't notice anything mechanical that would be cause for alarm. Trust me, I was paying attention.

    I am preparing to take the family to Oregon for a week over Labor Day...about 1400+ miles worth of driving, and some off road included probably.

    I don't have the time to do it myself before the trip, and I don't trust the stealership in town to do the work. I don't think they know what they are doing with the 80.

    What is the prognosis doctor? Service required? A little seepage after a hard days work, nothing to be concerned about? I'm scr*wed and should just take out a loan now?

    Appreciate your feedback. Thanks!
    DSC00042.JPG DSC00040.JPG
     
  2. Toyminater

    Toyminater

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    Those arent your birfields, those are the steering knuckles and they can leak and are very inexpensive to rebuild with new felts and rings its any easy do-it yourself job.

    I wouldnt worry about your pending trip it wont be any problem to do those later!
     
  3. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    I would pull the square inspection plug on the top of the knuckle and check the condition of the grease and make sure there is grease in it. The knuckle should be 2/3s filled with grease in a perfect world. By adding grease it WILL NOT pack the birf but at least it will not be running dry so you can address it when you return.
     
  4. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

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    I have a bunch of photos of the rebuild process - or if you just want to see what it looks like inside - click on the varoius pages of the rebuild HERE
     
  5. tarbe

    tarbe

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    x2, except it has been show that grease administered through the hole in the top of the knuckle will eventually make it into the part of the knuckle where the birf resides. The stuff gets churned pretty well and mixed around. Don't be surprised if you are able to pump quite a bit into each knuckle.

    Get some moly fortified grease in the knuckle through the plug right away and start planning your re-build for when you return. Surely someone in your area will lend a hand if needed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2006
  6. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    Thanks! I'm used to Jeep u-joints, so all this is a little new. So a good old LOF should take care of me until I rebuild the steering knuckles, which should be soon...right??

    I've got 140K on the truck, we've put 10k on it since Feb when we bought it, and I have no idea what the previous owners did. I'm guessing since I'll ''be in there anyways'' I should take care of the birfs also. Not replacing necessarily, but repacking and generally following the FAQs and related threads.

    I've never been good at the maintenance thing. I've never had a car I cared about enough to worry about it. Wear it out and replace it. But I LIKE my cruiser and want to do it up right. I guess it's time to get an FSM.
     
  7. tarbe

    tarbe

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    tarbe wrote:

    x2, except it has been show that grease administered through the hole in the top of the knuckle will eventually make it into the part of the knuckle where the birf resides.


    It has been pointed out to me (correctly I believe) that the individual who made the above observation did not confirm that the birf was actually lubed by the migrated grease. So my statement was probably over-zealous given the data available.


    Tread carefully with high mileage birfs with unknown maintenance.
     
  8. Rich

    Rich

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    The test was to add through the knuckle fill hole grease that was differently colored from the existing fill. At a later time, when the birfield was removed, it was observed that the new grease was throughly mixed with the old grease, including the grease inside the birfield. In short, grease added to the knuckle through the fill hole does lube the birfields.
     
  9. tarbe

    tarbe

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    :cool:
     
  10. MDarius

    MDarius I break stuff. SILVER Star

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    I think the original post was number 35 in this thread...

    https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=51726&page=2

    It's a good thread with a lot of info. based on this thread, there should be some grease weeping on to the knuckles, I would expect that to mean that it would get on to the surrounding housing as in my pics. With this vehicle never having been driven hard off road, and the trip I took equaled over 20 miles of trail, with a lot of low range use, I would expect that things heated up pretty good and I would have more seepage than usual. I'll clean the area and check it along the way and when I return from my trip I should be able to determine how severe the issue is. Either way, it's probably maintenance that needs to be done.
    Thanks all!
     
  11. Rookie2

    Rookie2

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    You should also pull the diff plug to get a sample of gear oil in the differential. It's likely you've got a failed axle seal, which is allowing birf grease and gear oil to be mixing effectively thinning the grease in the knuckle cavity and resulting in the big mess of grease/oil on the DS knuckle. If so, you do run the risk of damaging some expensive parts (differential and birf joint) by letting it go to long.

    :beer:
    Rookie2
     
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