Stuck birfield / oil seal questions (1 Viewer)

OhioFJ

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Friends.

I've come to learn a lot in the past 48h. I'm having a mother of a time removing the driver's side birfield while redoing the front end. I'm going to rent a slap hammer tomorrow hopefully. For anyone who is wondering, the bolt in the end of the birf is 8x1.25.

I have come to realize that at some point in this truck's life the front axle housing was bent (see picture), which has made removal of the axle difficult (impossible so far). I dont really have the resources to replace the housing itself. Here's my question - would it be reasonable to replace the inner oil seal with ones from marlin crawler? I've read that they are perhaps more forgiving. My thought is that they might be less likely to fail given that the axle is probably not sitting perfectly in the housing. I have a front knuckle kit from @cruiseroutfit and I could just swap out the inner seals that they provided..

Once again any help much appreciated.

Thanks - Ari

IMG_5620.jpeg
 

OhioFJ

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Thank you - I think the seals in the kit are like OEM. I will just order from marlin crawler directly.
 

3_puppies

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does it move outward at all?
is the bell of the birf flats lined up with the top and bottom of the axle housing?
what year rig? disc conversion? PO may not have ground the knuckle out enough and forced it in
if the axle shaft is tweaked, or the housing is bent and you can't remove the inner axle shaft, chances of it going back in are very slim.
if the inner axle is stuck in the side gear of the diff, you could use a long rod and run it thru from the other side and use a sledge hammer to drive it out
 

OhioFJ

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Its a '79 with front disc brakes, which I believe are stock for that year.

It moves outward a few inches but thats it. The flats are lined up at 12 and 6 o'clock. I don't see any evidence of it being worked previously.

Yes that's also my concern.. even if I get it out I'm worried I'll have to pound the thing back it. Looking at it from the outside thought it doesnt appear to be that deformed.
 

3_puppies

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if it moves then it is not stuck in the side gear of the diff
can you feel around the birf to see if it is broken and deformed?
does wiggling the birf up and down while pulling do anything?
if it is moving sounds like it is the birf not coming out of the knuckle ball
what month 1979? as there was a change over mid year, do you know if it is the long birf or short birf?
 

OhioFJ

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Thanks for your reply

I can’t detect any deformation of the knuckle ball, and I can wiggle up/down and front/back. I’ve tried to pound it a bit with a dead blow mallet.

it’s a 10/‘79 - unsure if it’s a long or short. I got the passenger side out no problem. I can measure if that makes a difference.

ari
 
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If you're doing a full rebuild the knuckle has to come off anyway so I would remove that to facilitate getting axle out, though will likely be tough getting top and bottom caps out of trunion bearings without being able to drive them out from the inside.

3pups - don't think long vs short birfs is relevant here... long birfs were only found in an earlier year or two (like 76?) right? And even if long vs short is possible consideration, how would it impact this situation?
 

OhioFJ

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@erics, yes I was able to remove the outer knuckle without difficulty and the bearings.
 
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Its a '79 with front disc brakes, which I believe are stock for that year.

It moves outward a few inches but thats it. The flats are lined up at 12 and 6 o'clock. I don't see any evidence of it being worked previously.

How far is "a few inches" of movement (from fully seated inward to as far as you can pull it outward)?
 

OhioFJ

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How far is "a few inches" of movement (from fully seated inward to as far as you can pull it outward)?

it’s only about 1/2”

my mistake

I’ve also tried to rotate the front driveshaft which doesn’t seem to help
 

3_puppies

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3pups - don't think long vs short birfs is relevant here... long birfs were only found in an earlier year or two (like 76?) right? And even if long vs short is possible consideration, how would it impact this situation?

long birfs were from 76-78
my thinking was 1979 rigs up to Dec 1978 were still hold overs from 1978, small bolt pattern and long birfs
for some reason I was thinking the long birfs had the small bell which if someone changed it out for a short birf with the larger bell there could be issue with not grinding enough inside the knuckle ball.

I still think for some reason the birf isn't coming out of the ball, whether the birf is damaged or the ball has shrunk

@OhioFJ any pics?
 

OhioFJ

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Thanks guys. I got the slap hammer and will give it a try later today.

let me know if there’s another angle that would be helpful

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OhioFJ

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There’s nothing binding at 6 and 12, however I just noticed that the birf is sitting more ‘forward’ in the knuckle ball. I can get my index finger behind but not in front. I can only assume that the inner seal is totally gone which is allowing this.

79F17157-95D3-4203-A2E3-EF7B8AB28A7C.jpeg
 

OhioFJ

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Well.. the slide hammer worked, kind of. It served to separate the birfield outer axle from the axle shaft proper.
I’m going to try and pound it out through the diff from the other side.

more of a project than I anticipated!

533B64F8-0EC3-426F-8E31-98EE801FE7CD.jpeg
 

OhioFJ

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Upon actually looking in the axle housing from the other side it seems that pounding it though is not going to work. There’s a piece of the third member blocking the path.

I’m thinking of drilling / tapping for a 8mm bolt in the end of the axle and trying the slide hammer again.. open to any ideas.
 

Blue77FJ40

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One thing you can do is grab onto the inner snap ring. It fits somewhat loosely in its slot, but perhaps using the jaws on the slap hammer, if you rented a set with a case that has them, could, with judicious slaps, not too forcefully work the axle past the obstruction. It all depends on what is holding the axle in place. Someone more experience than me may have other options. It doesn't look like the inner end cleared the carrier splines, so you may not be able to remove the the diff to pound out the axle from there.

If the inner splines have developed a twist and won't pull free from the carrier, a possible fix is to cut a section of the housing out, free the axle, then weld the housing back up. This has been done on the 80 series front locker as a last resort on broken inner axles.

Cruiser Outfitters does sell the Marlin seal. Best of luck.
 

reddingcruiser

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My money is on a issue between the side gear and axle splines. See if you can get a long, self-tapping sheet metal screw into the side of the seal and pull it out. This will free up a little space to work with.
 

OhioFJ

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My money is on a issue between the side gear and axle splines. See if you can get a long, self-tapping sheet metal screw into the side of the seal and pull it out. This will free up a little space to work with.

@Blue77FJ40 the set I rented comes with some adaptors for removing pulleys. I will try to use that to grab the snap ring slot.


@reddingcruiser can you clarify what you mean by the side gear?
 

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