Help removing rear third member

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Nov 9, 2007
Newfoundland, Canada
Hi guys, did a search and couldn't find the info I was looking for. I am in the process of installing 4.88's in my 77 Cruiser and I started on hauling out the rear third member today thinking it was done the same way as the mini truck rear axle......but it ain't! First I thought I had to unbolt the 6 bolts in the brake backing plate to get the axle shafts out but that was wrong. So I then realized the Cruiser 3rds have c-clips but I have never had anything other than the mini truck axle apart before.
So I need to know the proper procedure for dismantling the rear axle to get my thrid member out. And how about setting up my rear ring and I still have to pull out the whole 3rd member and set up my gears the same way as with the mini truck 3rd? Or do I just pull everything out through the rear cover? Any help or hints would be appreciated. I should be fine with the front....pretty sure it's the same as other Toy front axles.
A tip... when you unbolt the third member put a jack under the nose a lift it. That will break the seal an seperate it from the axle housing.
Thanks for the help guys......but how do I remove the pin properly? I assume this is done similar to the (dare I say) Jeep axles? Of course I wouldn't buy a Jeep....but lots of my buddies drive them and regularly remove the rear ends to fix broken parts!
Thanks......that was the critical piece of info I was missing. ....should have no trouble moving ahead from here..........I hope!
well done sir. i can never find things more then once. bookmarks own my computer. i have so many i cant find what im looking for in them anyhow.
Awesome vid......lots of great info there!

So I removed the pin and got my side axles out no problem and re-installed the pin to keep the spider gears and thrust washers in place and then removed all the flange bolts from the third.
I tried the tip of jacking up the front of the third to break the seal with the housing but still no go, it won't come off! I jacked it up and it is lifting the rear of the truck off the ground and it still won't break the seal. I don't think this should be happening......that's a lot of strain to break a gasket seal.
Anyone know what else I can try or if I am missing something? Tried driving a cold chisel in between the flange with a hammer to break the seal but can't get anything in there. Got the front out no problem though.
Any help appreciated!
They can be VERY stuck some times. If the axles are out and ALL the nuts around the perimeter are off you should be able to make the third member come out with the jack. Remember there are nuts holding the third member AND nuts for the cover plate, you need to remove BOTH SETS, the ones in front and the ones in back. They are NOT through bolts. If you're starting to lift the truck, make SURE you have GOOD jackstands in place, then crawl under and give the third member a good whack with a hammer. Sometimes the vibration from that as well as the jack pressure frees them up.
Yes, it does sound like you still have at least one bolt remaining ... holding the diff to the axle. THere are at least two that are tricky to locate when you are under the truck with rust and dirt falling in your eyes.....
Take the spider gears and thrust washers out and bag and label them; no need for them to be in the diff. Also make sure you axle shafts are pulled out far enough to not engage the 3rd member.
Got it out......finally!

Thanks guys, I finally got it separated from the axle.....was stuck REALLY good! I had everything disconnected and the axle shafts pulled all the way was just stuck good! Probably the first time in 30 years it has been apart! Had to beat on it, pry on it, beat on it some more....and pry some more. Finally it started to open up enought to get a cold chisle in the gap and start workin it loose. The front one came off a hundred times easier as did the ones in my 4Runnner. Just glad I wasn't paying some garage an obscene hourly rate to do what I just did! Although, most places probably would have done it in a fraction of the time it took me lol. I will put the spider and thrust washers aside...thanks for the help guys. This web site is priceless!

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom