Front axle overhaul? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jan 6, 2006
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213
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Eugene, OR
We had a break in the weather and I got under the rig for the first time today. What I found was alot of hard dry grease/dirt from the ends of the axle tube to the back of the dust cover. I have no documents from the PO. If they were with the rig, the dealer cleaned everything out of the glovebox. Can you replace the cage and ballbearings inside the Birfs, or do you have to replace the entire part? Of course I don't know if there is anything is wrong with mine, just wondering if it can be done. I found the front axle rebuild kit at MAF, but if Dan's price is close I will stick with OEM.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
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Chandler, AZ
The best way to judge birf condition without disassembly is to turn the wheel all the way and accelerate in a circle, in both directions. If you hear a snapping/popping from the front axle the birfs are probably worn.

Some grease on the trunion housings is normal, if your getting gray oily soup, then the axle seals are bad. Toyota seals are excellent quality, if your looking for a less expensive kit Kurt at www.cruiseroutfitters.com has a very nice complete kit with Toyo trunion bearings on sale for $111.
 
Joined
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Eugene, OR
Tools R Us said:
The best way to judge birf condition without disassembly is to turn the wheel all the way and accelerate in a circle, in both directions. If you hear a snapping/popping from the front axle the birfs are probably worn.

Some grease on the trunion housings is normal, if your getting gray oily soup, then the axle seals are bad. Toyota seals are excellent quality, if your looking for a less expensive kit Kurt at www.cruiseroutfitters.com has a very nice complete kit with Toyo trunion bearings on sale for $111.

I have had to make a few turns with full deflection of the steering wheel and there was no noise. It does seem like a good thing to do seeing how I don't know the history of the rig. I have never replaced bearings before but with all the posts about it here and the FSM it doesn't seem like rocket science. Do you guys buy the SST's or do you use similar tools?
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
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158
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Grass Valley, CA
Now I know what was wrong with my truck for so long. I think a true test for the birf's is to add just the slightest amount of articulation to the picture. This is when I noticed theclicking noise. For instance, turning around in somebodies driveway that is steep. The simple act of driving up turning to the left and then backing down andturning to the right. Click, Click, Click. Check it out. Took it to mechanics, they didn't know. Go figure.I kept saying, it sounds like what a CV joint makes when its bad. Still no answers. Guess I didn't push the issue hard enough. Time for career change. No, just need to really learn what is involved in our truck. Either fix it ourselves or be more voiceful.
Teresa:cheers:
 
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Mar 27, 2003
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Somewhere in the foothills...
Hog Head said:
I have never replaced bearings before but with all the posts about it here and the FSM it doesn't seem like rocket science. Do you guys buy the SST's or do you use similar tools?

It is not rocket science and a good DIY job if you allocate plenty of time for the first one (full front end service.)

You won't need any SST's for the front. The FF rear needs a SST or a home-made tool. There are several good write-ups on the front end service with complete lists of any tool you would use. A hub socket of the correct size is very handy along with the brass drift. Torque wrench and normal hand tools. Some way to lift the truck and some good jack stands. I think 6-ton min, 12-ton if you have them; mainly for the increased height. (This isn't a complete list of tools...)

-B-
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
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Eugene, OR
Beowulf said:
It is not rocket science and a good DIY job if you allocate plenty of time for the first one (full front end service.)

You won't need any SST's for the front. The FF rear needs a SST or a home-made tool. There are several good write-ups on the front end service with complete lists of any tool you would use. A hub socket of the correct size is very handy along with the brass drift. Torque wrench and normal hand tools. Some way to lift the truck and some good jack stands. I think 6-ton min, 12-ton if you have them; mainly for the increased height. (This isn't a complete list of tools...)

-B-

What do you use to remove/replace the races and seals? Brass bar and hammer? Do they remove easily by hand?
 
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Read the FAQs as there is a lot of info with pics.

I used a T-handle type seal remover (Sears) on the hub dust seal and inner axle seal. The hub and knuckle bearing races come out with the brass drift. You can use the old races (slotted) to reseat the new ones.

-B-
 
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Beowulf said:
Read the FAQs as there is a lot of info with pics.

I used a T-handle type seal remover (Sears) on the hub dust seal and inner axle seal. The hub and knuckle bearing races come out with the brass drift. You can use the old races (slotted) to reseat the new ones.

-B-

Good idea using the old races. If I am going to replace all of the gaskets, seals and bearings would it be a good idea to replace the inner axle bearings or wait?
 
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topend yobbo said:
I think you mean inner axle seals. You have trunnion bearings in the knuckle and wheel bearings in the hub.

Unless I am confussed, I think I am asking about the inner bearings. Inside the axle housing? I'll look at the FSM real quick.
 
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The full kit at MAF shows four bearings per side. Knuckle bearings and wheel bearings. AHHH, after looking through the FSM again, now I understand.:doh: I just assumed that there were bearings at the ends of the inside of the axle housing. I also see where the knuckle bearings are.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Beowulf said:
It is not rocket science and a good DIY job if you allocate plenty of time for the first one (full front end service.)

You won't need any SST's for the front. The FF rear needs a SST or a home-made tool. There are several good write-ups on the front end service with complete lists of any tool you would use. A hub socket of the correct size is very handy along with the brass drift. Torque wrench and normal hand tools. Some way to lift the truck and some good jack stands. I think 6-ton min, 12-ton if you have them; mainly for the increased height. (This isn't a complete list of tools...)

-B-

I have a 3ton floor jack and a pair of 6 ton jack stands. I don't mind getting a set of 12 ton stands seeing how I plan on having this rig until I can't get parts for it anymore.
 
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Eugene, OR
topend yobbo said:
good luck and enjoy if you do it yourself . This is a good learning project and very rewarding when complete

I can't be any more dificult than an engine rebuild. I've done two of those and I have another on the stand (work car, Toyota Corolla disguised as a Geo Prizm). Thanks, I actually do look forward to doing it.
 
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Eugene, OR
I'm not afraid of a little grease. A trip to Costco provided enough hand cleaner to last a couple of years.
 
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Apr 12, 2005
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Fairfax, VA
My advice is to get the birf DVD from Jim, read all the posts on it (George's site has great info) and make sure you have your FSM handy.

It is not very hard but time consuming. Good luck and have fun.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2004
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Reno, NV
Hog Head - Would you be interested in getting a few 80's together for a "Birf-Rebuild" party somewhere here in the PNW? I think are quite a few 80's people out here and it would be a good time to meet others and get our front axles sorted out. I've got the parts, just awaiting the motivation ;)

Any others out there up for a Birf Party??
 
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Hog Head said:
I don't mind getting a set of 12 ton stands seeing how I plan on having this rig until I can't get parts for it anymore.

Use your 6-ton stands and save the money and get the correct OEM parts from C-Dan. Heed the multiple suggestions you've received to read the prior threads and FAQ on this project. There are dozens of time-saving tips in those prior articles. I haven't seen Jim's DVD but it comes highly recommended from others on this forum.

The tips will keep you from installing races upside down/backwards, installing seals incorrectly, knocking off the axle guide thingie inside the axle tube, installing the birf cage assembly wrong (the FSM is incorrect), breaking the ABS sensor, and on and on. Trust me, we have seen about everything go wrong that can go wrong and many times the reason was that the DIY guy didn't do his research first. Ask me about the $50 wheel bearing that I sent bouncing across the garage floor the first time I removed the hub dust seal. :D

There are documented time savers on how to seperate the axle from the birf, aligning gaskets, proper amt of grease, the FSM way to adjust pre-load, and "quick" way to adjust pre-load.

-B-
 
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Joined
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Beowulf said:
Use your 6-ton stands and save the money and get the correct OEM parts from C-Dan. Heed the multiple suggestions you've received to read the prior threads and FAQ on this project. There are dozens of time-saving tips in those prior articles. I haven't seen Jim's DVD but it comes highly recommended from others on this forum.

-B-

I have been reading quit a few of the FAQ's and just ordered Jim's DVD. I have sent PM's to Dan about prices. I will probably read more here and go over it a couple more times in the FSM by the time I get the parts. I expect that it will go well and I will have fun doing it thanks to all the help you guys have given and everything I have learned from this forum so far.
 

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