whoster looking to do a birf dealy ...

Mar 23, 2005
Torrance, SoCal
now that i've moved and settled in...my dad and i have come to the conclusion that it's time to end the funky noises from my car (clicking @ full turn, heavy whine from shaft).

I've read how other users purchased parts from CDan...

are there any decent dealers or shops that will correctly do a birfield replacement/repack job in southern california? I'm in the South Bay area in Torrance. As much as i'd like to tackle it in our garage, if there is a shop that will do it right i'd go for that route (me and my dad aren't idiots...but we've never opened up a 4x4 front axle dealy before)

my question now is this... if i was to do it at home..

1. exactly what parts and tools do i need?
2. how long does it take?
3. how much will it cost (parts & tools)
4. Are there any users in the area who are willing to come and make sure i'm not @%$#ing my car up? (food is a given...no :beer: however)

if i take it to a shop...

1. how long does it take
2. how much does it cost?
3. Where is a good shop? (my mechanic doesn't even know what a birf is....hence my search for one that does..)

and another thing...

i've got a "heavy" whine coming from my driveshaft...it's especially noticeable when i'm slowing down, and speeding up.
a cherokee owner said i would have to replace the U-joints. is that the case?

if so....how much does THAT cost? (just the parts)


The Impaler
Feb 7, 2002
Woodstock, GA
I would suspect the noise you describe could be the DS. Have you removed it to see if it eliminates the noise?

I wouldn't speak to parts, that is CDan's job...his fat dogs are the ones that need to eat!
Dec 13, 2002
buggerville nj
the_whoster said:
1. exactly what parts and tools do i need?
2. how long does it take?
3. how much will it cost (parts & tools)
4. Are there any users in the area who are willing to come and make sure i'm not @%$#ing my car up? (food is a given...no :beer: however)
I'm guessing it's going to take you a really long time since you obviously haven't found any of the posts concerning these exact questions. ;)

Kind of my way of saying if you can't find the posts, then how will you do following any writeups eh.

Course I could be wrong and usually am, but thought I'd spread my charm a tad. :flipoff2:
Mar 31, 2003
DS= drive shaft (toyota calls them propeller shafts)
Basic tools needed.... this list is not necessarily complete.

Heavy shop jack to raise the LC.

Jack stands to hold it once raised.
Other stuff to hold it in case the jack stand fails

Good set of metric sockets and a ratchet to remove lug nuts, and brake bolts.

Long handled ratchet or "breaker bar" is useful.

Crowbar or wrecking bar is useful in some instances.

BFH (h=hammer) translate, hammer for pounding heavy chisels, not a claw hammer for nails)

Good set of screwdrivers (pry off dustcap from axle)

various pliers

Large Hubsocket for removing the axle nuts. may need an adaptor to fit your socket drive.

Set of brass "drifts" from Sears. (brass bars used to drive things with the hammer)

lots of brake cleaner or parts cleaner fluid to clean the birfs.

FSM (factory service manual is very helpful)

proper grease. Moly disulfide for birfields. Other for bearings.

bearing packer (from Sears-works quite well)

coathanger wire to hang brake caliper assembly on.

seal puller (sears) to remove axle seals.

seal driver (improvise) to drive in new seals.

Snap ring pliers (expanders)

Section of heavy PVC pipe to use to separate birfield joint from axle shaft by dropping it.

lots of shop towels and some buckets or roller-paint-type trays to catch grease and fluids.

fish scale to help setting preload on the axle nuts.

Others may add to this. I'm just working from memory.

If you don't have any of this, especially the jack and stands, I'd advise you to think about having someone else do it. Its not rocket science, but I don't know if I'd suggest this as a first project in automobile maintenance. If you have a friend with some time, experience, and patience, well, then maybe.


Feb 4, 2005
As Junk pointed out, all of this information is availble at great length and detail in this forum if you use the search feature. Search using the terms birf or birfield.

As I recall, the reciepts for the previous owner of my 80 paid in excess of $1200 for a front axle service at his local Toyota dealer. That was a couple of years ago.

I don't recall what the parts cost (because I got a whole bunch of other parts I needed) but I think the parts for the front end only ran $400 or so. I got all new bearings for the trunnions and wheel bearings (better safe than sorry) .

It is not a hard job if you've wrenched before. It might be daunting if you haven't - although some guys jump right into it and do a great job (nice work guys!).

It just takes time, the ability to follow directions and some tools.

You asked about time - I think it took a first time mechanic on this site two weekend days. (It can be done in a day if you are an experienced shade tree mechanic and all goes well).

Items I'd add to that list are:
1) The Factory Service manual for your year,
2) a torque wrench (has to cover 4ft lb/ft up to 76 lb/ft although you'll eventually want one that can do at least 130 lb/ft for the leading arm bolts - highest torque rating I've found in my short ownership of my cruiser); and
3) rubber (nitrile) gloves. It is a messy job.
4) 80W-90 gear oil for the front diff.

Probably others.

If you have to go buy all the tools, this is going to be one costly job. Can you beg/borrow tools and a cruiser knowledgable person to help you?

Good luck. You can do it!!!

Last edited:


Aug 28, 2004

Ya got a good start here with the responses you've been getting to your original post.

I recommend a very good search of this specific section of the forums and read everything that you see--in fact, print it out, get a few :beer: :beer: and have some good bed-time reading.

Get the FSM--mandatory in my book.

Then correlate everything that you have read with the FSM and actually 'see' how things go together etc.

I have a large collection of pictures and documents I can easily email you.

If so, please let me know via PM (off list).

If you have a shop do it, you will pay upwards of $1200 if not much more, as Charlie mentioned...and the worst case scenario is: they don't do it right.... :doh:

Best regards, good luck and welcome.

Akron, OH

ps: this was the first thing I did on my cruiser. Never worked on a car before in my life except changing the oil. Do it yourself, learn something and feel good about a job well done afterwards.


Apr 29, 2005
Falkland Islands
I would reccomend lurking for a few weeks, look up technical links at the top of the page also "search this forum" not the general search page, type in birfield and you should get about 5-6 pages of info. Have your printer ready download and print as much info as possible, give CDan a call order the FSM(Factory Service Manual) this way these guys won't be talking Chinese to you. CDans # is the Toyota banner accross the top of the forum board, he sells part for for a dealer(knows his stuff usually the final word) did I say word?. Also don't expect handouts these guys will make you pay your dues before they throw you a bone. Remember you are dealing with a vehicle that requires some finesse unlike alot of domestics. Very precise when it comes to repairs. Don't ask a question unless you have done some homework.

Later Andy
May 7, 2005
South Jordan, UT
Hey whoster.

I'm new to this forum and new to tearing apart front axles too.
However, with the knowlege I found here in this forum I was able to successfully "do a birf dealy" (just as good a term as the rest) on my own last weekend.

It took me all day Saturday and Sunday to repack the birfs, replace the wheel and knuckle bearings, and replace the knuckle wipers. I'm sure someone really on their game could do it quicker, but it could also take longer.

Material costs could range from under $100 bucks for grease, seals and gastkets, to a few hundred bucks for grease, more seals, more gaskets, and all new bearings. Costs to pay someone to do it would certainly break $1000.

I had to buy some tools.

Beyond the standard stuff most folks have in their garages (sockets, screwdrivers, wrenches), you really need to have:

Seal-puller ($10)

54mm or 2 1/8 inch socket ($22 at sears) this needs a 3/4 inch drive or the appropriate adapter.

Snap ring pliers (<$10)

Torque wrench ($?)

If you're just pulling out the birfs and re-using all the bearings, you could get by with just this stuff. If you're replacing any bearings or separating the stub axle from the inner axle (to get into the birf itself) you MUST have a brass hammer and a brass drift (bar or rod) or two. It's good to have these anyway.

It's not really a difficult job to do yourself if you read up on it.

Check the FAQ's and keep poking around here.

Here's a few comments I made on my first birf dealy:


Top Bottom