What should I do?!?

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Cascade Cruisers
May 16, 2005
Canby, OR
Well I had a heartbreaking night last night... The DS inner axle seal was leaking (again), so I decided to pull apart the front end to repack bearings and swap the birfs from side to side. In the process I realized why it was leaking. It looks like the housing is slightly bent. My plan was to swap out the Marlin Crawler inner seals for OEM (they have a bit more deflection and may be able to seal with the bent housing), throw it back together and wheel it until after the body and cage was done.

In the process, I decided to pull the 3rd member to clean the grease out of it and this is what I saw:

Now not only do I need a new housing, I need new 5.29's as well. Financially, I am at a point where I can't afford gears, set-up or a housing so I have no clue what to do. My eventual goal is to have the 80 on 40" tires one day, so I need to keep that in mind. After sleeping on it, these are the only options I see:

1) Clean everything and throw it back together. It wasn't making any noise and I had no idea the r&p were bad, so run it for now. This is the only way I will be on the trail at all this year unless money/parts drop into my lap. Doing this I can still wheel while I'm collecting parts and I there shouldn't be anything I can destroy that doesn't already need to be replaced.

2) Leave it torn apart and start searching for a housing and saving up for new gears. I already have Longfield inners/birfs and ARP studs, so this would be the least expensive route for a permentate fix. My concern is if the axle will hold up to 40" tires in the future.

3) Sell the good parts from my axles and start searching for 1-tons. If I choose this option, it would more than likely be a couple years before it is out of the shop because I would have to build those axles up and modify them to fit.

I need your guys opinion!
I choose #2. If you need to drive it you can put on some hubs and unlock them (or not), pull the front driveline and hit the CDL with it put back together in the meantime.
1 and 2..... Throw it back together and wheel it, However Start saving because you know it will explode eventually.....
1 :) you won't notice the difference :lol:
That doesn't look that hard to straighten. I say straighten it, gusset it and throw it back together. Then when you have the money replace the gears. Bolt some 40's up to it and if there are major problems then go to a Dana 60.
Yup, I think Sue went through a couple axle housings when Metal Tech was fixing her '80- bent housings sare fairly common. I think a straightening is in order for a wheeling rig or you could buy my 80 and start fresh- oh wait, you said spending big bucks wasn't an option.. Dang, I tried.
At the very least you should check the carrier bearing preload on that before you put it back in... It looks like the ring gear was deflecting and that caused the teeth to snap.... Go here: Toyota Gear Installs

Read up and make sure it's tight when you put it back in. :cheers:
And make sure you fill it with oil when it's all done! It's a definite PLUS! ;)

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