Need Advice: How Hard and should I attempt to do my CVs, bearings...

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Dec 5, 2010
Puget Sound
Have a 98 LC that we purchased 6 months ago for a great deal. I've learned why somethings are a great deal but also understand that once fixed, my LC will be all I want it to be.

My dillema:

a few months back, I had a clunk when starting and stopping; thought it was the drive shaft issue and I ignored it. Started seeing a leaking oil.. had it towed to my mechanic; found the rack and pinion was bad. Had it replaced, steering was great.

Little clunk was still there; told my wife - ignore it its the driveshaft that evryone talks about on here.
I then removed my side steps and cranked my torsions a bit to level it out.
Yesterday (2 mo after cranking torsions), we had some 285/75/16 BFG ATs put on. While it was up in the air, I noticed grease from the drivers side CV..Ugg. Dropped it off this am at local Les Schwab to replace it (thought quick, cheap and easy)..

Got a call here is what they found:

1. My front diff mount is toast and my diff has been shifting around. Need new diff mount and upper and lower stoppers?
2. Because my diff has been moving, I need BOTH front CV Axles
3. Also, both sets (4) wheel bearings are bad too.
(4) bearings @33.20 ea
(2) seals 27761 (CR Seal) @ 22.41 ea
Pack wheel bearings - $111
(2) Differential mounts - $155.07 ea
(1) upper diff stopper - $40.83 ea
(1) lower diff stopper - $14.75 ea
(4) hours labor @ $90ea
Thrust Angle Alignment - $56.25
(2) CV Axles (12mo-12k warranty) - $161.41 ea

Total with sales tax: $1525.79:eek::mad::crybaby:

So.. my question is this - does the above sound possible? Do I need both CVs? I didn't notice grease on the other side but I didn't LOOK either.

I was talking with my co-worker / partner and he said we could do this ourselves and save $500 in labor. Hes never done cvs though.. are these difficult? Are they held in with snap rings?

Also, Schwab is charging $111 to pack wheel bearings, my friend said its simple...and doesn't take very long. Is it?

I've done CVs on small import cars and my Yamaha rhino in the past - just pulled it out and put the new one in.. pretty simple..

How much harder will this project be on my 98 Landcruiser?

Any special tools or things to watch for? Preferred parts to buy / not buy?

ANY AND ALL help / advice is greatly appreciated! Looking to move forward ASAP!

Im located in Kent, Wa - anyone around interested in helping some noobs or have suggestions on where to get parts, etc?

Thanks for your help in advance!
Jarrod Foster
Jarrod @
253-479-1334 or 253 670 1684 (cell)
How many miles you got on your rig? Also, I don't know well enough, but wonder if it's possible to rebuild the cv and repack the bearings - are they all really shot? Rebuilding cv is way cheaper but more work.

I recently did my wheel bearings and repacked my cv joints. I had never done either job b/f and am relatively new to wrenching. It took me longer than I expected on both jobs (first side longer than second side of course) but with enough time and the right tools and instructions I was fine. If it's your daily driver I would do it over a weekend and leave myself a full 2 days just in case.

Anyhow, if you've done cv axles replacements on other vehicles I imagine you'd be fine on these.
Wheel bearings - tricky thing for many seems to be getting the preload 'correct' - the FSM has one approach (fish scale) and a many people seem to have issues with it (end up having to torque the adjusting nut way higher than FSM calls for in order to get the correct preload on the tensioner scale/fish scale) and therefore many seem to prefer a different approach (either using a fixed torque for the adjusting nut or tightening down based on how easy/hard it is to move the claw washer).
CV axles - if you are rebuilding the issue people have is whether to use OEM bands or other types that are able to be adjusted and removed/replaced etc. If you're just replacing the CVs it should be a lot more straightforward and the issue is which brand you choose - as I point out below OEM is recommended for good reasons.

There are great writeups here on both cv replacement ( and wheel bearing repack ( and here's one on the preload topic ->, and I would strongly recommend getting a copy of the FSM (official, ebay, whatever) so you have a good set of instructions as a starting point. The tips you'll find in the writeups here are invaluable.

Oh - also, if they quoted you 161 for each cv axle, they're obviously not using OEM parts. That's another thread or three on this site - strongly recommend either rebuilding your OEM CV if possible (not sure if it is for you), or buying OEM (however each oem is about $370). If you can repack your OEM shafts, that's like $60 but lots more labor. If you choose to replace with OEM shafts, your price goes up but by almost all accounts it's worth it compared to the other off brands (napa, cardone, whatever) since most people either have issues with them breaking or vibrating and then having to replace them again.

Can't speak to the level of difficulty (if there is any) to swapping out the diff mounts.

Oh - on the bearings, can't say for sure what they would have been using but pretty sure brand matters. OEM are ~45 each for the inner (x2) and ~30 each for the outer (2) - I would stick with OEM or one of the brands that are recommended by others (based on what I've seen Timken and Koyo are both good brands). Also I'm not 100% certain but I think if you're replacing bearings you would want to replace races. Perhaps if you inspect your bearings you'll find that they are fine and can just be cleaned/repacked?

In terms of tools - check the writeups here on both jobs. I can say that for the wheel bearings you'll need a 54mm (or 2 1/8") socket. The 54mm sockets are not readily available - you'd likely have to order online but the 2 1/8 can be purchased at any Sears for like ~$30. Also if you want to use the fish scale method of pretentioning, you'd need a fish scale or (purposemade) tension scale.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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CV boot kits are $28 per side, they come complete with grease for inner and outer. You will need a set of pinch pliers to put the clamp on or buy the Toyota clamp tool or buy aftermarket clamps and tool plus a few tins of cheap carby/throttle body cleaner to wash the cv's out.
Thanks for the help guys. The links to those guides give me new hope of not having to spend $1500 on this project. I have a car that I can drive until it sells so I have some time to do the work myself..

We were going to sell the Cruiser but I think I've decided to keep it for the long haul (it was my wifes) and enjoy the hell out of it (once I get it fixed up).

The truck has 261k on it and runs strong.. Suprisingly strong =)

If I choose to rebuild the stock CV's - what part do I replace? I must have missed that portion of the post? Yikes.

Please feel free to chime in if you have more to add! Thanks again!
se7enracing said:
The truck has 261k on it and runs strong.. Suprisingly strong =)

With 261k miles and the fact that the shop told you your bearings and cvs were shot it could be true (i.e. need new rather than rebuild/repack).

i only doubted the diagnosis thinking maybe you had like < 100k.

then again since you've got a spare car you can tear down the bearings and cvs and inspect for yourself if they really need replacing b/f plunking down on new ones.

700 for cvs + 150 for bearings is still 1/2 their cost. Also you may be able to get reman'd oem cvs for better price?

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