FJ60 front differential pinion flange doesn’t spin

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Feb 23, 2022
Alright guys, I’m new to the FJ60 world and recently picked up a 1982 fj60 for $500! Some rust but not too bad. I’ve got it to idle decent now and still working to fix up a few other items to make it road worthy again.

1 problem I’m facing is to have the 4WD work correctly.

When I bought the car the PO had the front drive shaft removed but didn’t have a backstory on why.

The transfer case works fine and will spin the front output flange when the transfer case is placed in 4WD. However the pinion flange at the front differential seems totally frozen and will not spin. I’ve used a short pry bar to have leverage to try and force it to rotate without luck. I haven’t reconnected the drive shaft to force it to spin via the transfer case in fear I’ll damage the transfer case instead of spinning the front differential pinion flange free.

Does anyone have ideas before I try to remove the front pinion nut/flange and start working my way to through the front axle?

Another related issue is the wheel hubs don’t seem to work correctly. With the front wheels off the ground and both hubs locked, the wheels still spin independently of eachother and don’t spin the pinion flange either. Are these related or just two separate issues that need to be fixed for 4WD to work?

Thanks for the help!!
Sounds like they blew the front diff up and either gutted the locking hubs or removed the axle shafts (or the axle shafts are broken off in the diff). Since the pinon doesn't turn at all, you need to start by taking the differential apart. Unfortunately there is no diff cover on the front axle, this means the only way to service the front differential is to take the 3rd member out (the big cast iron assembly bolted to the axle). Unfortunately again, you can't take the 3rd member out without pulling the axles....and you can't do that without tearing the knuckles down.

Basically to get a the front diff is going to require a near complete axle teardown, and if you're going to go into it that far, you might as well just do a full rebuild while you're in there.
Lead head is correct. You will have tear down the front axles from the hubs inward to get the front diff out. Unfortunately you don't know how much is missing or broken until you get in there. Maybe some pics would help. If you have to replace enough, it might cheaper to look for a complete replacement axle...

If you have the space and can afford the down time, just start tearing into it and see what's what. If not, you might think seriously about an axle replacement, then sell off what you remove if it's worth it.
$500 land cruiser

Bet the entire front axle is toast.
Maybe bail on the idea of it being a 4WD vehicle and just leave it as is and DONT install the front drive shaft. It was obviously removed for this reason.
Could be as simple as a seized ring and pinion. Not uncommon if the PO never engaged 4wd and got some water in the differential.

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