...need advice on fzj80, see pic

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Jan 4, 2015
Recently purchased a 1997 LC and took it to get an oil change which I normally would do myself but I took it to Tahoe 4 Wheel Drive so they could check out my diffs too. ...they changed my oil and said both diffs were a little low but fine for now. ...after I got home I noticed this on the left front knuckle. ...it also looks like it's coming out of the axel itself? ...it wasn't like that when I bought it, even had a mechanic take the axel off and inspect it before purchasing. ...wasn't like that when I took it to Tahoe 4x4 either. ...not that they did anything but what could have happened? ...I realize the seals could be bad among other surrounding components but I just drove 10 miles on paved road home.
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Looks to me like a wet birfield. It means the seal where the axle passes through the knuckle into the differential is failing and allowing gear oil to contaminate the knuckle. It needs to be addressed but I wouldn't say it is super critical. I drove mine like that for months before fixing it and it is fine. Do you wrench on your own vehicles ? If so you want to order a kit from cruiseroutfitters.com it has everything you need to do the job except the grease, pretty reasonable too at $115 dollars to do both sides.
Looks like the gear oil seal inside the knuckle broke , spilling gear oil into knuckle grease creating birfield soup, leaking out and splattering all over the wheels. Mine did that on paved road all of sudden and got onto the brake which smokes and smell.

Don't know how dire it is but I rebuilt the knuckles 1-2 weeks later just to keep it clean.
You have 'bird soup' ! As stated, the grease in the birfield, that round ball thingy you're seeing, has mixed with the lube in the axle/diff. The seals are shot so the soup leaks out which is what you're seeing. A front wheel rebuild, actually two of them, is in your future.

Many posts, much advice and youtube videos to guide you if you care to 'enjoy' the experience !!!!
...thanks for the info 'half k cruiser' I appreciate it. ...this is my first LandCruiser and I do plan on doing as much myself as I can, don't have tons of experience but my roommate (who is out of the country till next week or I would have asked him) grew up with a dad who was a master mechanic for Toyota and he can't wait to help me tinker on my 80, he is on the hunt for one right now as well. ...he drives a '95 tacoma with 330,000 miles on it so I am confident in his knowledge. ...for my first project I picked an easy one, I swapped out the vapor canister to help the gas tank quit doing yoga when I opened the cap and it also helped tremendously with the start time. ...this forum is amazing, can't believe how much info is on here and how helpful everyone is.
...anyway someone could put up a link to a particular kit that would allow me to fix both sides?
Your 2nd pic looks like oil dripping from above, possibly from the oil filter change?

A relatively straightforward procedure this front wheel repack.

I highly recommend CDan, Beno, Sam Stewart or CruiserOutfitters for the "knuckle rebuild kit". I have used those guys. They are good to go.

You should also talk to them, your dad, and look for other things that need to be replaced "while you are there".
Take some time and read through some of the FAQ threads at the top of this forum. You'll be infinitely more prepared to start discussing issues. Here's the birf rebuild thread.


I'd also like to hear more about this "take the axle off" procedure that was done. I can't figure what exactly that means. It is not trivial to pull out the front axles and certainly wouldn't be done during a pre-inspection. You'll see what I mean when you look at the above thread. Did the shop changing the oil add gear oil to the diffs or just note that they were low? If they actually added gear oil to a very low axle with bad oil seals this could explain why this just happened after you picked it up from them. I also agreed the oil on the axle and links is from removing the oil filter. Is directly above that area. A little sloppy for a shop to leave it like that.
The 2nd photo might be your power steering fluid, when mine was leaking, it made a big mess right about there.
You said it wasnt like this before and you had a mechanic take the axle off. Do you mean the mechanic pulled the actual axle out of the housing to inspect it? If so it looks like you mechanic damaged the inner seal when you did this.
The knuckle is typical for a vehicle that has been leaking for some time. It is time for an axle service. The axle housing is typcal for a somewhat sloppy oil change. Even when being careful it is a challenge to catch all of the oil comming out of the oil filter when you remove it. It lands right on top of the axle housing next to the brake line distribution block.
You said it wasnt like this before and you had a mechanic take the axle off. Do you mean the mechanic pulled the actual axle out of the housing to inspect it? If so it looks like you mechanic damaged the inner seal when you did this.

No chance they removed the spindle for an inspection.
I'm not sure how often you peek under the truck, but that birf has been leaking for a while.

I called Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters for my last knuckle rebuild kit for the 60. I don't remember the exact price, but it's something like $200 for everything you need to seal it up, new wheel bearings & trunion bearings, etc.
I cant imaging they would remove it either. I am just going on what was said in the original post. He stated there was no leak, then he had the axle removed for inspection. then it is leaking..
That leaking oil is great rust proofing.

Natural rust proofing. Kinda like recycling. Tree hugger....

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