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Front axle, birfield, bearings, done today....

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by spartan, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. spartan

    spartan SILVER Star

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    1997 80 with 114K miles...started at 8:00 AM. Finished at 2:00 PM including a half hour break for lunch.

    There were two guys wrenching and one guy cleaning parts and packing bearings. We did not break the birfields as they were perfect - cleaned - cleaned a second time - and reinstalled. We also did not detach steering links and the truck drives perfect with upper and lower bearing caps retorqued to spec.

    Lost about one hour to:

    A: Some dumb*ss - me specifically - who put the lower bearing race on the driver's side in upside down and it took 30 minutes to get it out. I can't explain - I just did it. Beware - do not do this! It's really hard to get out.

    Then: B another dumb*ss - wasn't me this time - threw the thrust washer from the passenger side in the trash can with the old outer bearing and it took 30 minutes of looking to to find it.

    Some tips:

    1. It takes one 16 oz. can of wheel bearing grease for this job - I bought two. It takes three 16 oz. cans of moly to repack the birfields and knuckles - I got six.

    2. The cone washers will fly to infinity when they part ways with the seats as you hammer away at them - keep your hand over them.

    3. If you have a set of large - and I mean large sockets - use them for seating seals, races etc. wherever possible.

    4. I wouldn't do this job without a parts washer at hand. Personal opinion.

    5. Get the monster box of shop rags - you will need them.

    6. I got the DVD from El Mariachi before doing this job and would recommend it highly.

    7. Got my parts from Cruiser Dan complete except for new wheel bearings and races which came from Autozone.

    8. Have the all parts diagrams and FSM on hand etc.

    All the trucks parts looked really good except the lower knuckle bearings which showed slight signs of wear. No damage anywhere, but it was time for the job though as grease and diff fluid had mixed and knuckles were leaking.

    Heres a check list of notes that I made that might be helpful for others doing this job:

    Disassembly LC Knuckle Spindle Hub Assembly

    1. Drain front differential.

    2. Remove tires.

    3. Remove front grease caps with hammer and screwdriver.

    4. Remover outer spindle snap ring.

    5. Loosen six 12MM nuts outer flange.

    6. Hammer to loosen six cone washers and remove.

    7. Slide and remove outer spindle flange.

    8. Push back ears on spindle lock washer and remover nuts.

    9. Remove two 17MM bolts rear brake caliper, c-clamp and secure out of way.

    10. Pull entire rotor and hub assembly off.

    11. Remove inner hub seal, bearings and races.

    12. Clean hub and install new races, start with brass drift, use old races upside down, then brass drift or proper size socket to complete seating.

    13. Pack inner and outer bearings and install in hub.

    14. Remove 14MM spindle / dust shield bolts. Tap on spindle flange to break joint and remove spindle.

    15. Remove 12MM ABS sensor bolt and pull out – O ring retaining.

    16. Flat spot up – pull birfield and axle out of assembly.

    17. Clean and repack birfield.

    18. Loosen 17MM bearing cap bolts top and bottom.

    19. Tap plates to loosen cone washers, remove top and pry lower bearing cap off.

    20. Clean steering knuckle cavity.

    21. Drive upper and lower bearing races out of knuckle cavity.

    22. Pull old axle seal with seal puller. Clean axle seal seats.

    23. Install new axle seals with whatever floats your boat – I used ¾” socket the same diameter as the seal with an extension on in it. Others use the wood end of hammer. The wood hammer handle thing didn’t work for me. It kept popping out and I went with a socket.

    24. Proceed to upper and lower bearing races in reassembly.

    LC Knuckle Spindle Hub Reassembly

    1. Place inner seal components / felt, rubber with groove out and steel ring over outer axle.

    2. Install upper and lower bearing races and packed bearings.

    3. Third hand to hold lower bearing in place while other two install knuckle.

    4. Install upper bearing cap and bolts finger tight.

    5. Install lower bearing cap assembly, seat, install cone washers and finger tighten bolts.

    6. Tap upper bearing cap into place and finger tighten bolts.

    7. Torque lower bearing cap bolts in X pattern to 71# / torque top bolts to 71# / recheck all.

    8. Repack birfield joint and install with flat surface up avoiding pressure on axle seal.

    9. Reinstall ABS Sensor and 12MM bolt.

    10. Install inner oil seal components, bolts and torque to .48 Inch # / do not over tighten!

    11. Fill steering knuckle cavity 2/3 full moly

    12. Install octagonal spindle gasket, spindle, dust cover, outer gasket and dust seal.

    13. Align all components with two alignment tools, install bolts, torque all in X pattern to 34#.

    14. Skip this step if the original rotor and axle hub assembly is going back on – otherwise torque axle hub to rotor bolts 54# for new rotors.

    15. Install rotor and axle hub assembly with packed inner hub bearing over spindle and rotate to seat on dust seal.

    16. Install packed outer hub bearing.

    17. Align thrust washer with notch on top and install on spindle.

    18. Install spindle adjusting nut flat side in and torque to 43#.

    19. Rotate spindle three times clockwise / three times counter clockwise

    20. Retorque spindle adjusting nut to 43# - do not exceed 43#!

    21. Loosen adjusting nut, tighten by hand and retighten .48 Inch # by with wrench.

    22. Check rotor assembly preload – spec is 6.5# to 12.6#

    23. Install spindle lock washer.

    24. Install spindle lock nut and torque to 47#.

    25. Spin hub assembly twice and recheck preload for proper spec.

    26. Bend out tab on spindle lock washer with screw driver.

    27. Install new spindle flange gasket and spindle flange. Grease splines and lineup flange by rotating axle if necessary.

    28. Pull spindle out with 12MM Bolt threaded into center.

    29. Install flange cone washers, nuts and torque to 26# .

    30. Install new spindle snap ring.

    31. Fill cap ½ full of moly and reinstall.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2005
  2. 4x4CPOSEADOG

    4x4CPOSEADOG

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    Nice write up, this should be added to the FAQ. That is a great jobl.
     
  3. elmariachi

    elmariachi

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    Hell, it took you longer to type all that than do the rebuild. :D Excellent write-up, especially for those who continue to be too cheap to buy the FSM.
     
  4. spartan

    spartan SILVER Star

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    Naw - I type about half fast for a good ol redneck boy from down south....couldn't have done it without the DVD though....TY

    Anyone getting ready to do this - order the elmariachi DVD today!!!!! Bueno DVD!!!! It is the key to proper preparation for this job. You can read my my check list all you want and still not know how to do this job right without the DVD.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2005
  5. Rogorn

    Rogorn

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    Would like to add that Autozone has a "free" tool rental for seating races and seals.

    When my son and I recently rebuilt the front end of his Bronco (4wd) along with the equivalent of a Birf job. We "borrowed" a number of Autozone special tools.
     
  6. Rogorn

    Rogorn

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    I have seen reference to this DVD a few times now, how, where does one acquire it? :confused:

    And agreed re: your point. Nothing like watching to see how things are done.

    Case in point, last summer, I rebuilt the engine in my daughter's Camry. Had the FSM, a Chilton's and Hayne's mauals and previous DIY experience rebuilding engines, though nothing from Toyota. There were some experience based "tricks" that would have saved me a ton of time had I known ahead of time. Should could have used some "this is how I did it" instructional material because the three manuals collectively left some things out.
     
  7. new2mud

    new2mud

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    just pm or email elmariachi aka Jim Reiss...he'll get one out to you quickly! Well worth every penny!