Front Disk Rebuild

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May 9, 2003

I broke down a '79 front axle, cleaned it up and replaced all the seals and bearings. I am now trying to re-assemble it. I can get the short side inner axle and birf to go in, but I can't seem to get the long side to slide into place.

Am I missing something? Is there some trick to getting it to slide in?

I have the 3rd mounted and tightened up(not to torque spec). shouldn't it just slide in?

The long side will slide in untill the end of the birf(where it meets the inner axle) in just outside the face of the knuckle. It should slide a good 4" or so more.

Make sure the flats on the birfield are on the top/bottom. Support the axle with one hand as you slide it in to keep from putting too much stress on the axle seal. Turn the pinion flange slightly if needed to get the splines to line up with the axle.
I had some of the same issue. Pretty much just hit or miss, I got lucky and got the long side in faster than the short side. (probably because the short side was the first time I ever did it)
In addition to the tips others have given you, I have also had to rotate the differential a bit as I slide in the axle. Easy enough to do on the short side if the driveshaft is installed, not so easy on the long side.
You really can't rotate the axle, becasue of the flat spots, etc. so a little motion on the diff. side might line up the splines. It was tough the first time, as I remember. Good luck.
Thanks for the advice. I got it in...the issue was that I just was letting the end(that slips into the 3rd) hang too low. :doh:

So, second question. I know that there are subtle differences between front and rear 3rds, but can you put one that was setup for the rear in the front?

I bought a 3rd for my front, I thought that they were interchangeable but turns out the studs on the axle are bigger than the holes in the third. Could the 3rd be from a pig? Would that make a differnce? Also, in the 3rd that I pulled(3.73 gears) off of the axle, the (spindle thing?) in the carrier between the spider gears was cylindrical and small. The doner 3rd(4.11) has one that is oblong with flat sides....does that mean it was setup for the rear?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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