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Knuckle removal

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by patpend2000, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. patpend2000

    patpend2000

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    I am in the middle of rebuilding the front axle on my 1991 FJ80 and have gotten to the point where I have removed the Birfield and cleaned it up. I would like to remove the knuckle and replace/repack the knuckle bearings. Can this be done without the SST tool?

    I have read many of the birfield rebuild pages but none of them seem to cover removing the knuckle and attending to those bearings.

    This is the 4th front end service (first by me) so I would like to make sure the bearings are still in good shape. I bought replacements just in case.

    I am going to remove the steering arm and the plate on top, do the parts just pull out from there? Or do I need the SST?

    Kelly
     
  2. AZcruiser

    AZcruiser

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    I would rent or borrow the SST tool from your local parts shop. Napa loaned me a SST a while back. If not you should replace bearings/seals to be sure there not damaged in the removal(however you plan to remove them). I would replace the knuckle bearings, not to difficult to remove and install. You might find it easier having a second pair of hands loadign the knuckle back into place. I used a PVC pipe sleeve for installing the oil seal, worked pretty good.
    Good Luck
    Chris
    94LC
     
  3. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Without getting my manual out of the garage, I don't know what SST you guys are talking about? Removing the knuckle consists of removing a pair of bolts on the bottom where the steering arm attaches and another pair atop the knuckle holding the bearing cap on. Once these are off, the knuckle bearings simply fall out. Are you referring to removing the bearing races? If so, you'll find a pair of nice cutouts to put a bronze rod in that you can pound out each race with. Cake. I wouldn't go that far in without replacing these knuckle bearings, BTW. They affect the way your vehicle steers and drives if they have even the slightest slack.

    I didn't remove the steering arm from the bottom cap. I think you're fine if you replace both the knuckle bearings and races with new OEM as it retains the proper stack height precisely.

    DougM
     
  4. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    Dito. I read about others using this SST. I did the 80 and 60 without the SST. What is it and what does it do?
     
  5. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Oh wait. I think I know what it is. It's some kind of threaded rod arrangement that you place INSIDE the knuckle and then screwing it places pressure against the knuckle races - pushing them out of the knuckle housing. I recall it now. Nah. Kurt and I are both describing what we did in lieu of this SST. Use about a foot long piece of brass 3/8" rod and you can swing a hammer under the knuckle to pound up to remove the upper one, then down to pound out the lower race. Cake. Measure to find the ideal rod length, but giving you a visual since you've got your knuckle empty.

    Doug
     
  6. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    I used the same brass bar that I removed the cone washers with.
    I was hoping there was a SST to remove the inner axle from the birfield
    I killed a vice and 2" off the brass bar trying to get the axle out of the birfiled.
    I swung a sledg hammer trying to get it apart with no luck. I got one apart with ease but couldn't get the other apart. I took it to work and the mech used a small hammer and had it apart in 30sec.
     
  7. ppc

    ppc M Go Blue

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    Go to Morgan Fletcher's writeup at:
    http://www.birfield.com/~morgan/tech/axle/part3.html

    He states: "Instead I used the "SST" recommended by Mark Whatley and others, a piece of 1.5" schedule 40 steel pipe. Put a rag in the end, put the inner axle shaft in it, then let it drop. Repeat until the birfield pops off. You'll destroy the spring clip, but save its remains."
     
  8. 96Cruiser

    96Cruiser

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    I havent looked at the manual lately(gotta refresh the old memory,cause my LC just turned over 59,000 so im only 1000 miles from my birf/knuckle samich,uh i mean service),but arent there some shims(top and bottom of the knuckle)that you just put back where they were?...........

    the sst is used to determine the amount of shimming required to center the birf/axle assembly using the top/bottom knuckle bearings to raise/lower the knuckle itself to center the birf/axle.

    mostly needed when converting a drum brake cruiser to disk knuckles from a minitruck/60 axle(at least i think thats right,but i was wrong before,once.. he hehe)
    or needed if you dont keep all your shims in the same order that they came off the knuckle when you disasembled it.... :)


    ok,thats all from me

    doug
     
  9. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Nope. You're thinking of pre - 80 series iron. There is no provision for shims on the lowers on the 80 knuckle. Just the upper. The knuckle bearings and races set the height of the stub axle within the oil seal, which is why I recommend they be replaced always as pairs and always with fresh races. This maintains the factory measurements as the shims simply account for minor manufacturing tolerances.

    But yes, keep the shims and replace them in the same spot on reassembly. Where's your 80 been sleeping all these years? 59k??

    DougM
     
  10. Riley

    Riley

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    Guys - The SST that the FSM calls up is a tool to push the bearing caps out of the top and the bottom of the knuckle. I've never heard of anybody actaully using this tool.

    The top knuckle bearing cap can just be removed by a little coaxing. Once that's out you can drive out the bottom bearing cap (steering arm thing) with a pry bar, and also drifting ou from above.

    See Semlin's thread about 1.5 weeks ago, there's some advice there.

    Couple of tips - make sure you have a brass drift - key tool on this job.
    - as other shave said, don't go this far and not replace the knuckle bearings as they are cheap.
    - buy an extra inner axle seal just in case.
    - be careful of the indexing ring guide (search for SOS in the title of 80's threads).

    Riley
     
  11. AZcruiser

    AZcruiser

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    SST is helpful in removing the oil seal. Riley, the housing has notches on top and bottom for using a brass drift to remove the races. I used a good piece of hickory to pound new races into seat and the PVC cap for the oil seal.

    Chris
     
  12. Riley

    Riley

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    Chris - we agree. I was talking about removing the bearing caps not the races. Agree the races come out easy using the notches and drift.

    I guess it's hard to answer this chap's question because I'm not sure which SST he is referring to. They call up a number of different SSTs in the FSM but you don't need any of them for this job.

    by the way - I thought the PVC pipe kinda sucked for putting in the seals. Not enough mass there and it bounced around too much when tapping with hammer.
    I trimmed a nice piece of wood with my axe so it just fits the seal diameter.

    edit - I see you used a PVC cap, that might work better than pipe to help keep it centered, however i still think more mass is better.

    also just using a seal puller works fine for pulling the inner seals. I've even seen the seal puller used with the knuckle still on. :)
     
  13. patpend2000

    patpend2000

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    So far so good, I have completed the passenger side and now onto the drivers side. I ended up not needing the SST, with a little bit of work with a brass drift the knuckle comes off easily.

    Thanks for all of the advice.

    Kelly
     
  14. 96Cruiser

    96Cruiser

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    yep,when i first started looking for an 80 i wanted three things...
    1)white exterior
    2)factory lockers
    3)lowest mileage possible(not a deal breaker)

    also had to be a dealer vehicle cause i was trading in a 1999 F250SD....

    found my rig in march 2002 w/49600 on the odo and even with a 4 month stint of inactivity(i broke my leg)i have put 10000 on it myself



    doug
     
  15. patpend2000

    patpend2000

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    I got the job completed, when I pulled the drivers side apart, oil started to run out of the birfield, then I noticed that the axle seal had a nice tear in it from whomever serviced the axle before (dealer). I should have known that the previous service was suspect when I was pulling things apart and noticed that the old gaskets were reused and re-sealed with silicone.

    I'm now ready for another 60K miles.

    K