Can't Service Birfields ?????

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Went in to the local toyota dealer today to get some trim clips I broke trying to fix the leak in my front pillar (sunroof drain) and while I was their thought I would ge tan estimate on Birfield service everyone here seems to recommend on a newly purchased used vehicle (97FZJ80 with 99K). So I ask the service manager how much? He looks at me kinda funny - says you mean the front differential or the transfer case? I say NO - the big ends of the front axel where they connect to the wheel - the birfields? He says - let me go ask one of the mechanics..... comes back 5 minutes later and says they don't get maintinance service, they are "permasealed". They just fix them if they wear out or break! Am I missing the whole boat here, or should I just RUN AWAY from this Toyota service dept.????

Jay
 

Brentbba

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Absolutely RUN! You could tempt fate and ask about the 'front knuckle' service. Toyota does NOT consider this regular maintenance. They feel it's only necessary to repair if it's leaking or broken. I asked my service manager the same question using the same terminology as you regarding 'birfields' and he said 'you mean the front knuckles?' Doesn't sound like either your service advisor or the mechanic he spoke with are to swift regarding cruisers. Hell, I'm a novice and know what you are talking about. Just ask CDan, he'll tell you!
 
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I wonder if you called them "CV joints" if they would have had a better idea what you were talking about ::)

I would not trust them with mine if the service manager knows nothing about it.
 
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So - RUN AWAY is good , except, Where do I find someone to trust my front end to.
I'm in Abilene, Tx.
thanks
Jay
 
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Why not do it yourself? There are some excellent write-ups in the technical section, as well a bunch of guys on this forum that are always willing to provide advise if you need it. Not to mention the smart-shopper discount available on the parts you'll need. You'll gain some helpful knowledge about your truck and save a ton of $$ at the same time. It's not as difficult a job as it may seem.

Tom
 
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That's okay. When I asked my dealer about the job, the service manager told me that as long as I was free-wheeling the hubs and running in 2wd I should never need to repack the knuckles. When I told him that the truck was full-time 4wd he told me that was an option for my truck. Really? WTF? ::)

Another time I went in asking about the supercharger. He asked me if my truck was a V6? or V8? Again, WTF? ::)

Moral of the story: 99.999% of dealers suck!!! Call American Toyota :D
 
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[quote author=doctorJ link=board=2;threadid=10391;start=msg92793#msg92793 date=1074628757]

I would get an estimate on Birfield "service" everyone here seems to recommend on a newly purchased used vehicle (97FZJ80 with 99K). They just fix them if they wear out or break! Am I missing the whole boat here, or should I just RUN AWAY from this Toyota service dept.????

Jay
[/quote]

Jay you have to weigh several factors. You are on a site with people that prey to the LC Gods every night. I think the word "anal" might be appropriate when it comes to working on this prized family member. If your birfields and seals are a problem they will make noise and leak. You can then fix the problem. Some of the guys on this site would reather tear down their front axle and work on their truck then go to a good strip bar. I'm in the latter group :slap:. Nothing wrong with either group you just have to decide which one you are in. I have friends that have over 200K miles on their FJ80's and have never done any frontend work and have no problems. Decisions, decisions, decisions :D
 
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Run-Like-Hell-PS2-comp-frnt.jpg


There's gotta be someone locally who knows the bottom side of an LC from the top.
 
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[quote author=Pitbull link=board=2;threadid=10391;start=msg92861#msg92861 date=1074636746]
Some of the guys on this site would reather tear down their front axle and work on their truck then go to a good strip bar. I'm in the latter group :slap:. [/quote]

Pitt,
Is it ok to do both?? :rolleyes: I'll wash up before the bar!!
 
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I'm sure there are plenty of people in the Texas area who would be willing to help you out. Many of us will hook up with others just to perform this service, which, while being messy, isn't that complicated.

These items DO need service, I think the standard mileage here is at 60K intervals. You can wait until they start to click and pop, but be prepared for a hefty parts bill if you have to get new ones. For me, it's easier to keep up with the required maintenance then get stuck SOL.

Read through the numerous posts on this subject and I'm sure if someone is close to Abilene, they may be able to help you out. Personally, with 99K I wouldn't put it off too long.

-H-
 
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[quote author=Eduardo96FZJ80 link=board=2;threadid=10391;start=msg92893#msg92893 date=1074639463]


Pitt,
Is it ok to do both?? :rolleyes: I'll wash up before the bar!!
[/quote]

I miss a good nude bar. Since I moved from Atlanta to SW Missouri over 5 years ago I have not been to one. I do have more money now that I don't have any good ones in the area. :'(
 
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I'm with Pitbull on this. Your axle's life stages are:
1) it's fine: clean around the felt sweeper, clear diff fluid, no noise.
2) some 'gunk' around the lower knuckle bolts and/or a dark color to your diff fluid, no noise. (happens maybe around 100k, on average?)
3) your knuckle is dripping an oil/grease mixture, your diff fluid looks like liquid grease, and/or you hear a faint click when you turn sharply.
4) your knuckle is leaking oil like a sieve, your diff fluid is thick and might have very little oil remaining, and/or you hear loud pops.
5) it breaks.

Various people have opinions on what stage you should service your front axle. It depends on your preventative maintenance philosophy: how willing you are to risk breakage and serious expense, vs. the 'unnecessary' lifetime time/expense of 'premature' service. Cdan, B and others would maybe suggest service between 1 and 2, Pitbull is maybe at 3.

I just finished doing a complete front axle service (including replacing hub and wheel bearings) because it was in stage 2, and I do NOT recommend you do this unless you are a) single, b) you can't find someone you trust to do it, and c) you think your personal time of roughly two whole days is worth less than ~ $500 (8 hrs book x $65/hr shop rate).

Next time, I'm probably taking it in to a trusted mechanic. I'm a wuss, so sue me. For various reasons (including doing the work on a near-zero frigid weekend in an unheated garage, finding bad wheel bearings while in there, and not finding new ones on a Sunday), the whole job took about 20 hours, and I don't feel like I really learned very much. The solvents to clean the birf are nasty and I don't know what to do with them, I have oil stains on the floor, grease stains on my clothes, shoes, kitchen floor, I still have a scary solvent smell in the garage, I probably killed my one remaining brain cell from the unventilated garage (too cold to do outside) and so destroyed my ability to have more children. :eek:

Kenton

[quote author=Hltoppr link=board=2;threadid=10391;start=msg92947#msg92947 date=1074644838]


I'm sure there are plenty of people in the Texas area who would be willing to help you out. Many of us will hook up with others just to perform this service, which, while being messy, isn't that complicated.

These items DO need service, I think the standard mileage here is at 60K intervals. You can wait until they start to click and pop, but be prepared for a hefty parts bill if you have to get new ones. For me, it's easier to keep up with the required maintenance then get stuck SOL.

Read through the numerous posts on this subject and I'm sure if someone is close to Abilene, they may be able to help you out. Personally, with 99K I wouldn't put it off too long.

-H-
[/quote]
 
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Pit,

>> I have friends that have over 200K miles on their FJ80's and have never <<
>> done any frontend work and have no problems. <<

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock.

Before anyone thinks that I'm flaming Kenton, I am not. I consider him a friend though we don't agree all the time.

Kenton,
>> B and others would maybe suggest service between 1 and 2 <<

I recommend 60k miles; possibly pushing it to 90k miles for the first one. I don't recommend doing it when you're pressed for time and I don't recommend doing it in the dead of a brutal Chicago winter in an unheated and unventilated garage. That was kinda dumb on your part. :slap:

FYI, brain cells and the ability to reproduce are completely unrelated. Don't you watch Jerry Springer? :D

As for the mess you made... well I guess we could have someone update the Birf repack procedure and offer up tips and tricks for keeping clean. Would you like to volunteer?

Just curious, what would your bearings have looked like had you waited until 4 or 5?

Oh yeah, I forgot to thank you for the :beer: while you were in town.
:cheers:
-B-
 
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Doctorj, I have a '97 with 95,000 on it and has never had the front end serviced. I have been on this forum religiously for about 8 months now, so, yeah I keep a close eye on everything. Well recently I noticed my front side of both knuckles have not been getting the usual film of grease. Yes I have filled the knuckle through the top hole and still no luck. Well this is enough to convince me the time is right to tear this thing apart and see what is going on and rebuild the whole thing.
I have very little mechanical experience but after reading all the tech write-ups many times and observing all the experiences from the 1st timers on this board, I'm convinced someone like me or you can and should do this ourselves.
Nevermind Kenton, he's an admitted wuss. Only attempt this if your single? Hell my wifes gonna help me! Oil stains on clothes and floor? BAHAHAHA. Dude if you read the tech. articles YOU WERE WARNED.
You will save at least $500 doin it yourself. I'm buying all parts from cdan (except wheel bearings) along with a fsm and some odd and end tools I don't have (54mm socket, brass drifts) and some spendy Amsoil, all for much less than $500 total.
I believe the knowledge gained will pay dividends in the future also. Yeah I'll gladly pay myself $65 hr. to learn something that will also have future benefits . I can't wait to tackle this, hell I even had a dream about it. The wife and I wrenchin butt-naked :doh: Ok I'll stop there.
The bottom line is, anyone can handle this job. Just read up on the tech articles. Google "80 series birf repack". There are other sources out there and all have a lil tidbit to add to the IH8MUD expertise.

Good Luck, Vince
 
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Kenton your right, I'm a 3. Vince, your idea of fun not mine. -B- my friends that have over 200K miles and no front end service would of spent close to $3600 if they had followed your routine of every 60K miles. Plus if I break something CDan makes more $$$ selling me parts and seals versus just selling me seals. See you guys at the strip club.
 

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