Whata cruddy day...full floater advice please

Apr 27, 2005
Billings, MT
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I just spent the last 7 hours on my back removing my (broken) pinion gear from my fj40. THe pinion broke in such a manner as to wedge itself inside the pumpkin and lock up my rear wheels. After removing the carrier to get the pinion out I had all kinds of trouble getting the rear end reinstalled.
during this ordeal I started thinking about how nice a full floater axle would be, I could just leave the carrier and inner axles out and drive home in front wheel drive (I do have this correct??? right??)

Are there any intrinsic strength differences between the c-clip and full floater rear axles? Are the spline counts the same per model year? Would the goodies that I currently have in my 1981 semifloat rear axle (disk brakes and powertrax locker) carry over to a full floater axle of the same year? Are there chromoly shafts available for a ff axle? Sorry these are rudementary questions.

also would my current third member work with a full float axle

I got schooled today out on the trail !!!!!


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Feb 19, 2003
Kansas city MO
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c-clips on the semi-floater are only there to keep the axle in because of the drum brakes. do a disk conversion and you wont need the clips anymore. as for the other differences sorry i dont know



Stop calling it a "FJ."
Feb 4, 2005
Seattle, USA
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Hi All:

Sorry to hear about the bad trail breakage! :frown:

Full floater rearends do offer the advantages that you mention. But remember they were designed to handle heavier loads (weight), not more power. So the full-floater version of the TLC rearend is not necessarily stronger than the semi-floating TLC rearend. In fact I believe the semi-floater axle shafts are a larger diameter than the full-floater 'shafts.

Yes, your existing third member would fit in a full-floater housing. No, your rear disc brakes would not fit (but you could swap on Toyota discs and calipers.) Jeff Zepp on the Land Cruiser Mailing List (LCML) has posted about the troubles he had with an auto locker (Lockrite IIRC) in a full floating rearend - specifically about shearing-off hub studs.

Yes, the spline count on the axle shafts is the same. I don't know whether upgraded aftermarket axle shafts are available for the full-floating rearend.

Question: was the pinion that broke a coarse or fine spline unit?


Mar 12, 2008
Sahuarita, AZ
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That sounds familiar, except it wasn't me. It was a fully loaded FJ55, and it was on a very steep rocky hill climb. He snapped the rear pinion shaft, and the front drive shaft. Not only did he have zero wheel drive, but as you mentioned the now free part of the pinion jams up in the diff. It took some careful winching to literally drag him the rest of the way up to where we could spend hours trying to get the rear diff out. The jammed pinion didn't help at all getting the lockright out to pull the axles, to pull the 3rd member to get the pinion out. That was a cold night, at least someone knew how to make a campfire!

If you can, go FF. There is a reason why the 80's all came with them. It just makes more sense, and you can usually rig it to get home. If you pull the axles, you basically have hubs spinning free just like the front tires on a 2wd pickup. And if am axle does break, the wheel doesn't slide out the side.
Jul 17, 2005
Wellington, NZ
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Only issue with a ff is maintenance of the axle studs - keep them tight and should have no problems :)

Axle strength is the same - both axles are same diameter at the spline.

Yes pulling the axles lets you drive home - it works :)

Chromo axles - should be able to get some made by any axle maker - a straight axle and put a drive flange on the end.

3rd will fit - but didnt you just break it? :lol:

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