Inexperienced noob about to tear my FZJ80 apart - Any tips to re-emphasize before rebuilding axles, brakes, steering, and suspension?

Joined
Nov 27, 2003
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These are the photos you show when you say, "I was going to just change the brake pads but decided, while the tires are off, might as well...."
It's going to look amazing when it's done. kudos!

Spent yesterday and today working on it, mostly cleaning, painting, and getting ready for re-assembly. Initially I wasn't going to pull the axles, but figured what the heck I'm already this far, and I've always wanted a set of those shiny 'just gone through' axles on one of my rigs. The ultrasonic has been a blessing for small parts.

I stopped today after I got the front axle out (long day, started at 7am). Tomorrow I'm hoping to finish cleaning up both axles and painting. I'm using Tacoma Screw high solids spray paint (which I've had excellent luck with). I've also used it for all the other stuff I've painted (a LOT of stuff). If you guys have any tips for prep/paint please let me know.

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Joe Link

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Jun 7, 2005
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378
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Portland, OR
 
 
 
These are the photos you show when you say, "I was going to just change the brake pads but decided, while the tires are off, might as well...."
It's going to look amazing when it's done. kudos!
Ain't that the truth! I mean, look at my first post. I was going to dig in, but this is twice the work I was planning on doing :rofl:

Hopefully most of this stuff will hold up another couple hundred thousand miles.
 

Dissent

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Sep 27, 2012
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Lots of solid advice already in here. Do all of this! :)

Have an FSM, lots of rubber gloves and paper towels, a torque wrench and buckets of patience.

If it's wiring, do it right the first time (i.e. proper AWG, proper fusing, proper crimping/sealing, proper securing/sheathing). A flaming cruiser doesn't impress anyone.
Don't be afraid to pay and cry once, OEM is your friend on all the parts.

If you lift your truck, commit to understanding driveshaft angles UP FRONT and don't think a double-cardan shaft is the holy grail for fixing your angle issues. Understanding those angles is the key.

Don't underestimate the wonders of a part time kit to disable the front drive and add locking hubs. Decide BEFORE you dive into the next birf overhaul or even the front brake rotor replacement as you'll only want to take those hubs apart every couple of years. Consider the Trail Gear replacement locking nut upgrade. Follow recommendations on the hub torque threads on the forum, the FSM settings WILL LOOSEN on you guaranteed.

If you tackle the Power Steering, do yourself a favor up front and do ALL OF IT. I opened mine 7x times and it sucked to clean the mess every time. Started with the pump overhaul, then a leaky reservoir cap, then a leaky reservoir crimp, then a leaky hose, then another leaky hose, then the gear box itself. SUCK SUCK SUCK is all I can say about piece milling that mess. Do it up front once and be done!

Get the Delrin seat gears (can't remember the name) and proactively replace the gears in your seat before the get stuck in the full forward position.

Good luck!
 

Joe Link

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
378
Location
Portland, OR
 
 
 
Lots of solid advice already in here. Do all of this! :)

Have an FSM, lots of rubber gloves and paper towels, a torque wrench and buckets of patience.

If it's wiring, do it right the first time (i.e. proper AWG, proper fusing, proper crimping/sealing, proper securing/sheathing). A flaming cruiser doesn't impress anyone.
Don't be afraid to pay and cry once, OEM is your friend on all the parts.

If you lift your truck, commit to understanding driveshaft angles UP FRONT and don't think a double-cardan shaft is the holy grail for fixing your angle issues. Understanding those angles is the key.

Don't underestimate the wonders of a part time kit to disable the front drive and add locking hubs. Decide BEFORE you dive into the next birf overhaul or even the front brake rotor replacement as you'll only want to take those hubs apart every couple of years. Consider the Trail Gear replacement locking nut upgrade. Follow recommendations on the hub torque threads on the forum, the FSM settings WILL LOOSEN on you guaranteed.

If you tackle the Power Steering, do yourself a favor up front and do ALL OF IT. I opened mine 7x times and it sucked to clean the mess every time. Started with the pump overhaul, then a leaky reservoir cap, then a leaky reservoir crimp, then a leaky hose, then another leaky hose, then the gear box itself. SUCK SUCK SUCK is all I can say about piece milling that mess. Do it up front once and be done!

Get the Delrin seat gears (can't remember the name) and proactively replace the gears in your seat before the get stuck in the full forward position.

Good luck!
Lots of good advice, thank you! I'm an OEM guy for sure, I have around $3k in parts receipts from the past few months to prove it!

No wiring yet, that usually indicates something fun, and I'm still tackling maintenance. When I do add some goodies I'll be sure to do it right.

I'm actually trying to avoid a double-cardan shaft if at all possible, that's a big expense for something that doesn't really add any enjoyment (unless you have bad vibrations, I guess). In that regard, the truck was fine before (aside from the DS touching the swaybar on the rare occasion). In addition to replacing every suspension bushing (almost all were cracked/word), I'm also replacing the OME caster bushings with MetalTech caster plates. I'm sure this will be a huge improvement, but I'm really hoping it's not going to introduce angle issues.

To be honest, I'd rather rebuild the front end every few years than go with a part time kit. I like the fact that it's full-time 4WD. Seems everyone (myself included) treats the FSM as gospel, so I'm surprised to hear about the hub torque issue. I'll definitely read up on it!

As much as I'd like to rebuild the entire PS system, I was laid off in March and I'm way overbudget for this as it is. I plan on rebuilding the PS pump when I pull the drivetrain later this year or early next, and I imagine the PS gearbox could use a rebuild as well. Can't remember the name of the outfit who rebuilds them (they're mentioned here all the time) but I plan on sending it out to them when I have more cash. For now I'm going to have to replace the hoses and paperclip and hope for the best.

I haven't even begun to think about interior stuff yet, but it's on the list after the drivetrain work. I'll make a note about the Delrin gears. I sure wish there was a cheap way to make these seats go back further. I've seen brackets but they're $$$.

Thanks again!
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
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Sydney, Australia
 
 
Wow, talk about mission creep!

Take your time putting it all back together.

I'm another who will not use the FSM wheel bearing preload procedure.
I've had it less to loose bearings every time.

Search for the 'tools r us' method.

Basically install hub, bearings and thrust washer, install first adjusting nut, torque out down too 45lb, rotate the hub a couple of times to be sure it's all seated, back the nut off, re-torque to 25 or 30lb (more for bigger tires). Install lock washer, then second adjusting nut. Torque second adjusting nut to 45lb. Bend tabs on lock washer both inward and outward

Others will have slight variations on this method, but it won't loosen up on you.
 

Dissent

GOLD Star
Joined
Sep 27, 2012
Messages
3,705
 
Sorry to hear about the layoff, been there...it always gets better! I went part time due to driveshaft vibes that the double-cardan shaft couldn't fix, even lowering the transfer case 1" didn't totally get rid of the vibes. Part time was the only solution and I'm very happy the vibes are gone and it drives better (in my opinion) here in the desert.
 

ScubaSteve80

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May 21, 2019
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Birmingham, AL
Looking good man. I've done several different large projects on my LC. My number one tip is to stay organized. This was crucial in taking my dash out to replace my heater core and doing a head gasket. Otramm's videos got me though several of my first projects. I highly suggest starting there if you haven't. Good luck man. There's nothing like the feeling of doing your own work to your LC and learning from it.

Here's a pic of the heater core project.
IMG_2586 (1).jpg
 
Joined
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Texas
Looking good man. I've done several different large projects on my LC. My number one tip is to stay organized. This was crucial in taking my dash out to replace my heater core and doing a head gasket. Otramm's videos got me though several of my first projects. I highly suggest starting there if you haven't. Good luck man. There's nothing like the feeling of doing your own work to your LC and learning from it.

Here's a pic of the heater core project.
View attachment 2394118
I learn stuff the hard way unfortunately... When I pulled my dash all the screws and bolts went in a cup...
The only saving grace was the FSM has a key as to what each screw looks like and where it goes in the instrument panel.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Sydney, Australia
 
 
I learn stuff the hard way unfortunately... When I pulled my dash all the screws and bolts went in a cup...
The only saving grace was the FSM has a key as to what each screw looks like and where it goes in the instrument panel.
If you don't have screws left after taking the dash out, i think you've done something wrong! :hillbilly:
 

ScubaSteve80

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May 21, 2019
Messages
353
Location
Birmingham, AL
I learn stuff the hard way unfortunately... When I pulled my dash all the screws and bolts went in a cup...
The only saving grace was the FSM has a key as to what each screw looks like and where it goes in the instrument panel.
I'm right there with you. Most of the time if I go to fix something, I break something else in the process...
 

Joe Link

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Jun 7, 2005
Messages
378
Location
Portland, OR
 
 
 
Looking good man. I've done several different large projects on my LC. My number one tip is to stay organized. This was crucial in taking my dash out to replace my heater core and doing a head gasket. Otramm's videos got me though several of my first projects. I highly suggest starting there if you haven't. Good luck man. There's nothing like the feeling of doing your own work to your LC and learning from it.

Here's a pic of the heater core project.
View attachment 2394118
Otramm's videos have been very helpful! Been watching the one about e-brake re-assembly as I just installed my rear backing plates.

Looks like a good system you have there! I've been using the ziplock method but I've also done a bit of research since I started and missed a key component; chronological indicators. Next time I disassemble something for a project I'll group by what they go with/into and also the order which I removed them. I can't count the times I disassembled something when I was younger, threw everything in a bin, and couldn't figure out how it went back together. I've also been using an old digital camera to document everything. I've already used those photos so many times for reference. It's crazy how hard it is to search for "FJ80 front axle" and get a clear photo of how stuff should go.

The only saving grace was the FSM has a key as to what each screw looks like and where it goes in the instrument panel.
Do they have this for everything, or just the dash? I could use something like that :D
 

Joe Link

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Jun 7, 2005
Messages
378
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Portland, OR
 
 
 
Starting to reassemble the rear axle. I need to finish cleaning up the brake lines and I'm waiting on the e-brake hardware kit.

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Put the final coat of paint on the control arms, rear links, and panhards. It's supposed to rain tonight so I had to move them inside. FZJ80 + lift makes a good drying rack :)

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