Inner Knuckle Damage, Salvageable?

Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
41
Location
Albany Oregon
Howdy all,

A while back I had a ds birfield failure out on an adventure that ended with me limping the vehicle home.
I was in a position where having a local mechanic rebuild the corner for me was my only recourse, so I purchased a new birf, seals, etc and had a 'fixed' vehicle back in my hands the next day, no problems reported.

Fast forward 1000 miles, and I notice seepage on the face of the wheel, as well as some extra messy drips from the wipers on the inner knuckle housing.
At this point I'm wondering if the mechanic replaced the inner axle seal, as it appeared to be gear oil mixed in with the grease.

Fast forward to today, I took apart the hub and knuckle assembly and cleaned out the area to inspect, only to find that the birfield failure appeared to have caused some hefty damage. I've torn these down for a caliper and rotor replacement in the past, but I lack experience with this sort of knuckle, or solid front axles in general. Could you please lend me your opinion on whether or not this inner axle housing is salvageable? Should I attempt to remove some of these burrs or is the damage near the inner axle seal too severe?

Thanks for taking a look and telling me what you think, I appreciate your help.

Facts:

1994 FZJ80 around 280K miles
Factory front E-Locker
A few miles driven at low speed to return home, as it was my last resort and unfortunately unavoidable.

Images of the DS inner knuckle, with damage.
IMG_20190602_192644.jpg
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Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
3,621
Location
Sydney, Australia
Looks ugly, but is mostly cosmetic.

The mechanic needs a kick in the nuts for not cleaning up burrs where the seal fits.

I think with a little linishing tool, you'd be able to clean up the burrs where the seal goes, and maybe tidy up a few of the uglier burrs with a Dremel.

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Joined
Feb 4, 2015
Messages
1,782
As said by mudgudgeon above, I'd clean up those burrs, then clean up the bore where the inner seal seats with a small Dremal sized cratex wheel to polish out any burrs, or imperfections, then put it back together.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
41
Location
Albany Oregon
Right on, thank you guys.

I went out and got to whittling the burrs away and was able to get it cleaned up. I'll clean up the dust, get a couple gasket kits on the way, and report the results.

I appreciate it!

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Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
7,189
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
And you need to replace that seal...... Obviously the mechanic did not because of the damage still in front of it when you took it apart.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
929
Location
Santa Monica, CA
I'd wipe a little RTV silicone on the mating surface as well, right before you install the new seal. Can’t hurt to help fill any other imperfections from the damage.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
7,189
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
Now that I'm not on my phone, I can see you already have the seal out and what I'm looking at is the inside edge of the axle housing.

You also need to look at your steering knuckle stops that limit your turning angle. It looks like maybe from the damage in the top of the ball and from the pattern of impact on the end of the axle housing that your knuckles have been able to turn too far, binding your birf and damaging your knuckles.

You also may want to check to see if the inner cone in the axle housing is still there to help keep the axle shaft centered. This would be right inside the housing axle seal.

Clean up all your burrs in there and check the sealing surface on the axle shaft to make sure it's not burred or grooved as well.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
41
Location
Albany Oregon
Thank you guys for lending me your help on this! Here's what I've got so far:

1) I've de-burred and re-circularized the approach to the mating surface for the inner axle seal, and will apply a small amount of grey permatex to the mating surface to help seal it up.

2) I'll adjust the steering locks on the knuckles to help prevent further bind-up issues (which is what broke the birf in the first place).

You also may want to check to see if the inner cone in the axle housing is still there to help keep the axle shaft centered. This would be right inside the housing axle seal.
3) Now for this, I've gone and looked into the axle housing on both ends, going ahead and disassembling the passenger side for reference, as I had some seepage near the wipers there as well. No damage to that housing, but that knuckle was also filled with gear oil so I'm glad I'm here. Anyhow, I see what appears to be a 2.5" section right on the inside of the axle housing near the seal that appears to be the centering cone referred to here, however on the driver side it appears that I have...part of that componenet present, perhaps it was damaged in the birfield failure? see attached, passenger side first then driver side.

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4) Lasty I took a look at where the axle shafts rest on the inner axle seal, and found that they are smooth with no cuts, but I did find that there is a feelable 'dip' on the passenger side shaft. I'm not sure of the required tolerances to prevent seepage, but it's not visibly identifiable, only by touch. See attached pictures for both sides,

photo_2019-06-03_11-40-48 (3).jpg
photo_2019-06-03_11-40-48 (4).jpg


Thanks again for helping me crash course into toyota axles, I'm really looking forward to getting back on the trails with fresh knuckles and brakes when it's all said and done.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
929
Location
Santa Monica, CA
The "feelable 'dip'" you reference on the axle shaft is likely where the seal rests. That's normal as the rubber wiper has essentially polished a slight groove into the steel axle. Some folks will use aftermarket offset seals that simply move the contact surface of the wiper out a few mm. Alternatively, and my preference, is to overdrive the OEM seal very slightly into the knuckle. @NLXTACY (Wits End) makes a seal driver that's calibrated to do just this.

Sounds like you're on your way to getting things sorted. Good luck!
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
41
Location
Albany Oregon
Hey guys, I've noticed that inside the axle housing the 'cone' or guiding washer appears to be intact on the passenger side, but is missing (more accurately, was destroyed) on the driver side.

Referring to some of the pictures above, you can see where it appears to be missing, at least the central component of the centering washer.

I've gone ahead and purchased the seal over-driver, and I'm ready to get the rebuild kits for both sides, but I'm not finding that centering cone washer. Is it vital to the process or can it live without? (May very well be a silly question)

Anyway, thank you guys again for taking the time to help out, it's much appreciated.

/R
 
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