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Knuckle Rebuild

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by Winslow, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. Winslow

    Winslow

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    The Dealership took a look at my 1990 FJ-62 and wants $1800.00 to replace the knuckles, seals, and hubs. They are, in their words, "shot". Seems like a lot. What is the long term effect on not replacing them? Or waiting another 50,000 miles? It drives fine, except for oil streaked on both rims.
     
  2. lowtideride

    lowtideride

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    dude thats nuts. i saved myself about 12 million dollars by now how many times i've had those knuckles apart. its easy man, do it yourself......expand the mind brotha...
     
  3. ballardcruiser

    ballardcruiser

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    Definitely do it yourself. I'm hardly a mechanic and I'd done little more than change my oil before I bought my FJ62. But my FJ 62 needed a knuckle rebuild and--being a cheapskate--I convinced myself to do it myself instead of paying a dealer/mechanic. Took a long while (a couple days more than the weekend it should have) but it's def. a do-able job.

    You may end up spending around 300 bucks all told on grease, rebuild kit, and some tools you may not already have if you don't do a lot of work yourself already, but you'll know your LC really well when all is said and done. And you'll have 1500 bucks to spend on other stuff.

    There is more than enough information on this board to do it, and there's even a how to DVD you can order (check the 80 section) and probably some cool Cruiser owners near you willing to show you what to do for a few beers. Give it a try.

    Jason
     
  4. stinkyfj60

    stinkyfj60

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    Dude, do it yourself. Not a big deal and you need to know whats in that front end anyway. I was quoted $650 to rebuild my axles, labor only by a local shop. EEK! I am in the middle of doing it myself.
     
  5. VETTE60

    VETTE60

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    yep it's bout a :banana: :banana: job no problem, just follow the manual, and next time you wont even need the book.
     
  6. IH8Wood

    IH8Wood

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    Take your time and be patient. Plan on spending 2x as you think you will. Do one side at a time. Be methodical. Label parts and clean them separately. Remember which way bearing races and seals face. If you have Aisin hubs, and you decide to disassemble them, be really careful not to loose the ball bearing in the handle.

    At a minimum, buy a pair of lock ring pliers like an SK7636, a brass hammer, a set of brass drifts, and a hub socket. If you're not sure about your abilities, a good torque wrench would be a wise investment. I don't think I could have done mine without a tie rod remover. I used an OTC7503.

    My biggest mistake was reading the procedure in the FSM and then thinking I couldn't do it. If you do read the FSM, DON'T let it discourage you. Except for the exploded diagrams, it's depressing. It assumes that you have about 500 special service tools, none of which you really need, and all the pics in it were taken using new parts on a bench with no background for reference or orientation.

    There's a great write up on Birfield.com:(http://www.birfield.com/~morgan/tech/axle/index.html
    Print it out and read through it a couple of times. I wish I would have bought the DVD.
     
  7. airon23

    airon23

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    ditto it is pretty easy even for the not so experienced mechanic.
     
  8. 89s rule

    89s rule

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    I am going to be doing mine in the next 6 months as well. it will be my largest job on my cruiser yet, but shouldnt be too bad here is a link for the fsm front axle online. http://www.birfield.com/~morgan/tech/axle/index.html I hope tyhis helps, it helped me think I could do it. main issue I think is taking your time and keeping everything clean and following directions. Nothing looks real bad. Cruiser Outfiters has a rebuild kit on sale now, but I am not sure what else you need besides that kit.

    Anyone know what else you need parts wise?

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2005
  9. lovetoski

    lovetoski SILVER Star

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    There are some things you can check to see how bad the situation is. Open the fill plug on your front diff (the upper plug) and take a sample of the oil. It should be thick, but still like oil, not like it's been contaminated w/grease.

    Remove the square plug on top of the knuckle, and stick a zip tie into the knuckle housing. Remove and smell the grease - it should be grease, with no gear oil smell.

    If the gear oil in the diff seems to be contaminated with knuckle grease, or vice vesa, then you need a front axle rebuild. Even if you do need to do this, you'll likely be fine to drive for awhile as is.

    If the diff is filled with some really thick gunk, that's clearly contaminated with grease from the knuckle, then drain it, and refill with gear oil. This will prevent damange to your front diff.

    Of course, the more you drive every day, the more important it is to do this soon...but you probably have some time to develop a plan, to buy parts at a good price, to find a cheaper mechanic to do the work, to screw up the courage to do it yourself, etc.

    If you can find somebody nearby who's done it before, that can "hold your hand" it'll make it very doable.

    It's probably worth $1800 for the dealer. The question is what's it worth to you? My first one took 3 long days. My second one took 2 easy days.

    HTH
     
  10. lowtideride

    lowtideride

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    if ya get good you can have a side apart in 30 mins.
     
  11. Mace

    Mace rock scientist.. Staff Member s-Moderator

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    if you are good you can have a side apart and back together in 30 mins :flipoff2:
     
  12. lowtideride

    lowtideride

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    i dont have power tools....i need to get one of those battery powered torque drill for on the trail.....cuts the time in half for taking it apart...

    One day we will wheel together....and i'll time ya when ya blow s*** up :grinpimp:

    you going to gsmtr next year? :flamingo:
     
  13. Mace

    Mace rock scientist.. Staff Member s-Moderator

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    for fixing on the traill.. just pull the steering arms and the face of the hubs. much less work..
     
  14. Winslow

    Winslow

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    Thanks for all yr input. I'll put that "knuckle money" towards some 4.88s and a lock-right. I will rebuild the knuckles myself. Sounds like this is a "two tin" job on the Copenhagen Weekend Warrior Scale, whereas my NV-4500 was a solid "four tins" of Copenhagen AND a case of Soda.
     
  15. kuuner

    kuuner

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    I am what is know as a dumb f*ck when it comes to working on vehicles. I ALWAYS have parts left over when I am done so consequently I don't work on them.

    I did my own rebuild here because all these guys told me to keep the money in my pocket and buy some toys with what I would save and that I could do it myself. I saved a grip. Got the job done...right...the first time and had HUGE pride from not having any parts left over. It's an easy job. I bought a twelve dollar DVD from a couple of guys on this board just for extra measure.

    My two cents...buy the tools. Buy the brass diff. Use air wrench if you can. Get more towels than God needs. Get the seal puller. Get the 54MM socket. Don't buy the parts form the Dealer (I wasted $600!). Drink beer AFTER the job not during.
     
  16. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    I'm with the others... do it yourself!

    Hell for $1799 I will fly out to WY, bring the parts and install them, AND give you a Cruiser Outfitters sticker :D:D:D

    J/K, order the FSM, knuckle rebuilt kit, wheel bearing kit, and the hub socket, and do it!

    PS, I have NEVER seen a "shot" knuckle short of broken... they don't just wear out!
     
  17. Spook50

    Spook50 Get ready

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    I second that. Spend the 12 bucks first and get the rebuild DVD from Elmariachi, if you're not sure if you're up to the task. I thought it would be a bear to do, but after watching the DVD, it looks like a piece of cake. I plan to do mine (already ordered the kit from Man-A-Fre) as soon as I get home from this lame-ass deployment.
     
  18. 89s rule

    89s rule

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    anyone have the link for the DVD to purchase?
     
  19. Spook50

    Spook50 Get ready

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    Here's the link to his profile. Just PM him and ask about the DVD. It's just under an hour long and it's done on an LX450 (Lexus FJ80). The knuckle design is the same as on our 60/62s with a couple minor differences (they've got the ABS sensor and IIRC their pitman arm is on the bottom of the knuckle). It's a very educational video and I definately recommend it to anyone who's looking to do their own knuckles. After watching it I'm ready to get home and tackle this job in the space of a long afternoon.
     
  20. kuuner

    kuuner

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    For the video

    You can PayPal $12 to him at treasuresofthewest@yahoo.com. He will mail the DVD. The differences on our 60 should be:

    1. You have to use an Allen wrench to remove the outer locking hubs. Once you are inside, things should look the same.

    2. You will not have to remove the ABS sensors like we do in the video.

    You really need to have a factory service manual on hand for all the exact torque measurements for your truck. The DVD will include a list of tools and will show you exactly how to perform the service.

    Also...you'll have to take the brake line off which is a bitch...but it was necessary for me at least.


    I don't want to give his number out unless he is cool with that. His name is Jim Reiss. Coolest guy too!