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how can one tell when knuckle needs rebuilt?

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by saint60, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. saint60

    saint60

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    i posted a thread a few weeks ago about how to rebuild a knuckle. here are my symptoms. the outside of my wheel is coverered with little grease splatters, the drive is shaky (feels like power steering pump is bad, but the pump is new), when i leave it parked after driving, there is a small pool where something has leaked around the inside where the knuckle is. something is wrong, will rebuilding the kunckles remedy the symptoms. thanks in advance guys!
     
  2. Landpimp

    Landpimp

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    A big YES but you need to do it all, wheel/knuckle bearings, seals ect ect.
     
  3. burger

    burger Guest

    Three words.

    INNER AXLE SEAL.
     
  4. saint60

    saint60

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    sounds like you guys have dealt with this before. so should i get a knuckle rebuild kit? who has the best one? the ones i've looked into don't include bearings. do i have to replace them or just repack them or what? are there any threads as to what i need to do?
     
  5. vtcruiser60

    vtcruiser60 SILVER Star

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    try...

    Try Kurt at http://www.cruiseroutfitters.com/ I got my rebuild kit there, cheapest I could find. Easy guy to work with....and will walk you through some of the steps.

    Also, check the write up by Jim Phillips on rebuilding knuckles. I think it was posted originally on the Sor. archive (now offline). If you send him a PM I am sure he would put it up again.

    And....buy some shop towels, and some more towels.
     
  6. beanz2

    beanz2 Moderator

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    The cheapest to use is toilet paper, just use it in one pass. TP is not meant to be used as a rag, one wipe and it's done.

    Dave
     
  7. Jim_Phillips

    Jim_Phillips

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    Someone remembers my write up! That was really thanks to Beowulf and CDan in the 80s section. I was a beginner and they persevered with me to help me through the job. They wrote so many messages telling me what to do that I just put them all together in order.

    It is still in the technical links section: http://www.ih8mud.com/tech/birf-repack.php

    I have just about finished this job on my 60. I got my kit from SOR. I didn't change any bearings - I didn't expect I would need to and found the existing ones to all be in good working order. The whole purpose of the job is to replace the inner axle seal - that's what has caused the problem. I would buy a spare one just in case you bend one when tapping it in.

    This time around I bought an inexpensive seal driver set - cost about $15 and is well worth having. I went through 10 rolls of kitchen paper. Only used 2 tubs of moly grease (in the write up it says buy 4). Cleaning the parts is about half the job - buy a bucket of degreaser and be patient.

    Have a go and let us know if you have any problems - not that you should have...

    Jim
     
  8. Doc

    Doc

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    It's really too bad that you have to dig so deeply into the axle to replace that pesky inner axle seal.

    But, yes. That's your problem. You have gear oil in your knuckle, and probobly grease in the differential. After re-building the knuckle you'll need to drain and fill the differential too.
     
  9. jhstatts

    jhstatts

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    I suspect I am in need of this procedure too. I checked my front diff last weekend and the oil was grayish and thick. How do I know which side is the culprit? Or do I just do both for good measure? Thanks.

    I don't think I could do this task on my own. How much does a shop charge for this kind of thing?

    By the way, Jim, great link.
     
  10. jesterb

    jesterb

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    Do both of them seals. They both got put on at the same time right? ;)
    You dont want to know what a shop would charge. You can do it yourself I promise. In addition to Jim's write-up Morgan Fletcher has a really good one too. Print both of these. Buy a Factory Service Manual(FSM) and dont be afraid to post a question or twelve. Start gathering up all of your tools and supplies during the week. Get your work area clean and ready. Do one side at a time so you can see how it should look when going back together. Its a long greasy job but really not all that difficult. I give it :banana: :banana: :banana: only because of the time involved.
     
  11. jhstatts

    jhstatts

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    Thanks, Jester. I really should do it myself... just scares the hell out of me.

    Can I order an FSM from Toyota? Or CDan?
     
  12. Doc

    Doc

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    I bought my FSM from C-dan, as well as the entire knuckle kit, bearings and all. You can source bearings locally cheaper, but I didn't want to worry about it.

    Toyota wants about $1200 to do it. I did the entire job for about $350. Parts were about $260 or so, and I bought synthetic greases and fluids, so it can be done cheaper if you HAVE to.

    You will need some special tools to get the hub retaining nuts off (54mm socket, right?) and a brass bar (drift) or two. I'd also order a 3 lb brass hammer while you were at it. Also a set of snap ring pliars, about 4 rolls of shop towls, 1-2 gallons of de-greaser, about 25 paris of latex gloves ( I like to change mine frequently), two good jackstands, and a case of Killians Red.
     
  13. jhstatts

    jhstatts

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    Doc...

    Cool. I think I could do it. Just reading all the steps and looking at all the pics involved makes my head hurt. But I guess that's where the case of beer (Yeungling Lager for me) comes in, huh?

    Is there a one-stop shop I could order all my suppiles from (tools, grease, etc.)? I will order the kits and manual from C-Dan.

    I need new rotors, too, so I guess I can install those while I am at it.

    Thanks, all. Sorry for a bit of a hijack.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2004
  14. Doc

    Doc

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    I just went to the local auto parts store for all of my grease and rags. I used e-bay as a source for the brass tools needed, as the local sears didn't carry them.

    Most Sears stores will carry a set of brass drifts, I think sears calls them 'punches'.

    The 3 lb brass hammer is VERY nice for getting those stubborn cone washers loose.

    I have never done any real 'in-depth' maintenance on a car before, the guys here walked me through it and now I feel very confident in my ability to do it. Enough that I will offer you my phone number to call if you get stuck- PM me if you need to.

    There are a hundred little bolts and washers on this job, and for me all the little parts were the most overwhelming. Once you've done one side you'll realize why it's not as hard as it first seems, however. You'll know so much about your front axle when done that you'll be amazed. Take the money you save and buy yourself an ARB front bumper as a reward.
     
  15. Cascade Cruiser

    Cascade Cruiser

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    I second vtcruiser60, CruiserOutfitters has a high quality (Koyo knuckle bearings, etc) knuckle rebuild kit for a great price. OEM seals and gaskets will set you back at least $100 more from Cdan, not worth it IMOP when there is a high quality alternative. Also, you can make your own seal driver set for about $3 worth of pipe fittings from your local hardware store. Just a few $$$ saving tips...I know I'm a still a student :) Good Luck
     
  16. lovetoski

    lovetoski SILVER Star

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    I've done the front axles on both my cruisers. Was really aprehensive for the first one (mywife's DD). But, as it had thick green junk in the diff, it was clear I needed to do it pronto. Nothing like an axle rebuild in the driveway in November in rainy Seattle. It was not fun.

    Read all the posts you can, and get all the stuff you think you might need before hand. You can waste a lot of time driving all over town trying to get a few last minute things.

    I did both sides at the same time. I was very systematic about laying the parts out IN ORDER as I took it all apart. The reason I did it this way was due to tool efficiency. Once I had the tools for removing (for example) the hub on one side, I just grabbed all of the tools and did a repeat on the other side. This meant I had fewer times getting up to go find the tool I needed.

    Cleaning is very time consuming. A cheap parts washer is nice to have. ($50 bucks around here.)

    Cleaning the birf...to take a part or not? I didn't take mine apart. It took a loong time to get them clean, and then to work new grease deeply into the birf. I used my fingers and a spatula to work in the grease. In hindsight, compressed air would have been helpful in cleaning it out.

    Read through the FSM before hand, and write down all the torque values. It's easy to get them confused, and if you are working outside in the rain, you can't have the FSM sitting on the ground beside you...

    On the snap ring pliers, make sure you get ones that have a flat side.

    Freeze the bearing races, (not the bearings) they'll be a little smaller and fit in better.

    Pay attention to which way the oil seals face when you remove them.

    I did not remove my knuckle arms from the tie rod. This was a little more cumbersome, but the TRE's were newer, and it saved time.

    I did not remove the brake line from the Caliper - I just hung the caliper on a coathanger from the shock. I didn't want to be bleeding brakes after working for 2 days in the rain.

    There is an axle guide on the inside of the axle tube, it's oval shaped. You can see it when everything is removed, if you shine a flashlight inside. On my 80, this guide came loose - not sure why. It is NOT POSSIBLE to reinstall the axle w/out this guide in place. Christo had his come loose also. It is spot welded in place. Don't knock it loose. Just watch out when you slide the axle back in - once the axle is through the oval hole, you'll be good to go.

    I had an easy time reinstalling the short side axle/birff. However, it took many frustrating tries (on both the 80 and the 60) to get the long side all the way in. I don't have the "touch" it appears.

    Since you have "grey" diff fluids, you need to get the diff cleaned. Best way is probably to do the whole re-install, and use cheap diff oil. Run for 100 miles, drain and refill, then maybe do it again.

    Hope this helps. A virgin solo front axle rebuild is stressful, but you'll be able to do it, and you'll feel great afterwords!
     
  17. jhstatts

    jhstatts

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    Thanks, Doug.

    Do I need wheel bearings AND knuckle bearings? Or just wheel bearings. I am talking to C-Dan for all the parts. Should I be looking elsewhere? I hate to have him look it all up and then end up buying from another place.
     
  18. Doc

    Doc

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    If you ONLY do one set of bearings, do the knuckle bearings. They take most of the abuse and wear.

    But, if you don't know when they were changed last, and your cruser has more than 60K miles, do them both.
     
  19. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew SILVER Star

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    Some great points made in this thread! I've done more Land Cruiser knuckles in the last few months then I care to admit so a few more tips.

    You cannot go wrong getting your parts from C-Dan.

    It would be crazy to go to all this work and not replace the knuckle bearings.

    The kit sold by Marlin and Cruiser Outfitters and Mudrak is good but has non Toyota seals. I bought a kit from Marlin, and 2 "Wiper kits" and hub grease seals from C-Dan. Getting the wiper kit gets you Toyota rubber seals, felt seals and new "Half moon" seal retainers for a very pro look that lasts 10 minutes off the road. I used the Taiwan felts and rubberseals to make up my own trail knuckle kit, also reusing the best two of the 8 used knuckle bearings I had. I sprung for some Toyota oil seals for my "kit" and it lives in the spares box.

    Replace your knuckle studs. C-Dan will hook you up. Roughly $2 each, you will need 16. Keep the old ones for trail spares. Someone will need them. Very nice hex drive on the new ones to seat them firmly in the knuckle which is an upgrade by Toyota of their original hardware. Subtle cool factor.

    Someone commented about hanging the caliper while you do this job. While it works fine on the 80, you can't do this on the 60-you will have to open the brake lines to remove the caliper, no big deal. Consider replacing the hard lines from the caliper to the backing plate. They arn't expensive.

    Wheel bearings last a long time when properly adjusted. I had one go bad on my 60 recently at 190k but replaced both to be sure. Again C-Dan can get you replacements, and Autozone has a good price on the Timkins. Remember the Timkins were OEM on later 80 series so the're good quality.

    Invest in a TRE puller. I splurged and bought the OTC one (I can get the part # if desired), It makes the job easier.

    Enjoy!
     
  20. saint60

    saint60

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    you guys are awesome! thanks for all of the great advice. thanks to jhstatts for asking all of the q's i would have asked if i would have viewed the thread earlier.