Birfield Orientation

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Feb 7, 2015
Eastern Washington
Rebuilding the front axle on my 97. The FSM says to position the birfield so that one of the flat parts is facing upwards before removing (and the same when installing). I did this on the right side when I took it out. Ran into a snag when I realized the rebuild kit I bought did not have new snap rings for reassembling the axel shafts so I went about taking apart the left side while waiting on the snap rings to show up. Without thinking about it I rotated the axle shaft on the left so that the flat part was up when removed. I wasn't paying attention to how far I turned it. No where in the FSM does it say why to do this and it appears that the axle shafts will install in any direction.

My concern is that the axles are supposed to be oriented to each other, like maybe the flat parts are supposed to be aligned or perhaps 90 degrees off from each other (sort of like u joints need to be in phase). Anyone know if it matters if I just put both axels in with the flat sides facing up on both sides even though they might not have come out that way?

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