Birfield problem?

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Messages
661
Location
Northern Colorado
So there we are. Two families on the trail, out having a good time. Then...

I hear this crazy clicking sound from what I think is the right front of my rig. I stop fast thinking it is something with the engine, but as soon as I stop moving is goes away. We are in a rather hairy part of the trail and 4wheel drive is a must to get me out of here. I decide that I am not going to continue forward as I do not wish to beak anything else, and I would like to get a look at what is wrong. I unlock the front hubs to try and stop the noise and that works :) :frown: Not sure if I should be happy or sad at this point. I am glad the noise is gone, but sad at the $$$ it may cost to fix it!

So then we drive it straight back to usmcruiser's house and have some food. After that I go outside and put it in 4L and lock the hubs. I drive around the neighborhood and NOTHING! Not one little sound out of it! As if it never happened!

WTF HAPPENED?

So do you think I have a broken Birf, or maybe I just need to take it apart and retorque it?

Any help at all would be great! I want to have this fixed b 4 Moab. :bang:
 
Doesn't sound like a broken birf. Did you turn the wheels at all while driving around the block in 4L? If your birf was busted in any way, it would have made some sort of horrible noise.

Maybe pulling it apart for a visual inspection would be a good idea...
 
Not busted YET but they need at the very least greased/or pulled and checked. Look on top of the knuckle and you will see a plug take your crescent wrench or whatever and fill it half way with some good grease.

I would be putting some longs in that sucker before MOAB:grinpimp:

You two could do a birf job EEEEASY my man
 
meh, minor clicking is just a little wear in the birfields. Pack spare, grease it, and wheel the sucker.
 
Thanks for the tips guys.

I will take it apart this weekend (must clean garage first), and see what there is to see.
 
Old birfs

Mine had around 225K on them when I took them out and replaced them with Longfields and yes, they were clicking, but not broken. It's just like a front wheel drive car, it's the same mechanism, it will click when it's turning if it's worn out. The price of the Longfields is cheap when compared to a lengthy and expensive extraction of a dead Cruise in the middle of nowhere... when they break the rig usually cannot be driven even in 2 wheel drive as the shrapnel being pushed around inside the knuckle can interfere with steering.
 
Mine had around 225K on them when I took them out and replaced them with Longfields and yes, they were clicking, but not broken. It's just like a front wheel drive car, it's the same mechanism, it will click when it's turning if it's worn out. The price of the Longfields is cheap when compared to a lengthy and expensive extraction of a dead Cruise in the middle of nowhere... when they break the rig usually cannot be driven even in 2 wheel drive as the shrapnel being pushed around inside the knuckle can interfere with steering.

thanks for the advise.

I just made space in the garage and pulled her in. I will begin tear down to inspect and go from there. I just need to get my hands on the 32mm socket and I will be good to go.
 
thanks for the advise.

I just made space in the garage and pulled her in. I will begin tear down to inspect and go from there. I just need to get my hands on the 32mm socket and I will be good to go.
54 mill socket....I believe..i use a advance auto parts ford 3/4 ton socket i cannot remember the size in American that i have but it is dam close.
 
If you do end up going with the longs, consider getting the moly hub as well......its only as strong as its weakest link!
 
I would love to replace all that! Do you have some $$$ you want to throw my way, or should we start the "Buy the Toad some new parts!" fund raiser?

I just bought u-bolt flip kits, and sliders from SROR, so the funds are supper tight right now. Oh, did I mention that I bought a Vortec for after Moab? that is where all the rest of my money went :mad::bounce::wrench:

If you do end up going with the longs, consider getting the moly hub as well......its only as strong as its weakest link!
 
thanks for the advise.

I just made space in the garage and pulled her in. I will begin tear down to inspect and go from there. I just need to get my hands on the 32mm socket and I will be good to go.

I actually mistyped my entry. My birfs had 325K on them when I removed them. There must be something wrong with me. I have never purchased the hub socket, I always use a punch and bang the nuts around with that and a hammer. Rednecks, I tell ya...
 
I actually mistyped my entry. My birfs had 325K on them when I removed them. There must be something wrong with me. I have never purchased the hub socket, I always use a punch and bang the nuts around with that and a hammer. Rednecks, I tell ya...

My rig has just under 230,000 on the clock. I did a knuckle rebuild on it just less than a year ago and everything looked good that time around, but you never know what happens in the mean time.

Well here is what I found.
DSC_0871.jpg
DSC_0872.jpg
 
Maybe I need to take the birf apart, but so far it looks good to me. bearings are smooth, nothing looks out of place, it rotates nicely. I just don't get it.

I did take pics of the hub without cleaning it up at all just so that you all could see how much/little grease was in there. Could this be my issue?
DSC_0868.jpg
DSC_0869.jpg
DSC_0870.jpg
 
Noisy Birfs

I still think you are just plain worn out. Every time you turn the wheel, the Birfield is moving, that's why you heard the clicking sound in the first place. They can appear to be fine, but unless you pull it apart and put a micrometer on each part, you won't be able to see the wear. Just get the Longfields and be done with it. I used small tack welds on my shafts to keep them from walking into the diff when I reassembled mine so I did not have to use the clips that hold the Birfields to the axle shaft. Now, disassembly is much easier. I also took the brake backing plate and ground off the rivets that hold secured the brake line juction (flexble hose from the axle to the hard line that goes down to the caliper) and welded nuts to the inside and used bolts from the outside so that when I remove the calipers, I can take out those two bolts and remove the brake plumbing with it. This way I do not ever have to undo any brake lines whan I take apart the front hubs. Well worth the effort.
 
I still think you are just plain worn out. Every time you turn the wheel, the Birfield is moving, that's why you heard the clicking sound in the first place. They can appear to be fine, but unless you pull it apart and put a micrometer on each part, you won't be able to see the wear. Just get the Longfields and be done with it. I used small tack welds on my shafts to keep them from walking into the diff when I reassembled mine so I did not have to use the clips that hold the Birfields to the axle shaft. Now, disassembly is much easier. I also took the brake backing plate and ground off the rivets that hold secured the brake line juction (flexble hose from the axle to the hard line that goes down to the caliper) and welded nuts to the inside and used bolts from the outside so that when I remove the calipers, I can take out those two bolts and remove the brake plumbing with it. This way I do not ever have to undo any brake lines whan I take apart the front hubs. Well worth the effort.

Let me say up front that I am not trying to be a jackass, I just like to be very sure this my issue b4 I go and spend $$$ that I don't have.

So with that said; then y is it that once I unlocked the hubs and drove it 10 miles to my friends house and then re-engaged the hubs did it not do it any longer? I would seem to me that if it were going to do it at all, it would have done it then (on hard, grippy, asphalt) in 4L. I cranked the wheel and turned both left and right on that surface and did not get a single bit of sound out of it, as if nothing was wrong at all.

I want to make sure that I am fixing the right thing right now. Money is crazy tight and I want to have it working right for Moab in a month :bounce::bounce2:

As for the brake backing plate thing you were talking about... Dynosoar did that for me when he helped me with the front end rebuild we did last spring. I love that mod! Makes it so easy to take apart the front end now. I would recommend that to anyone that is going to take that part off.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top Bottom