1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why repack Birfs?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Cruiserhead05, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. Cruiserhead05

    Cruiserhead05 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,580
    Likes Received:
    150
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Marshall, VA
    Ok, to alot of you...well most of you this thread is completely stupid and unneccesary but im doing it anyways.

    For the last few months i've been telling my dad the 80(250k miles) is way past due on its birfield and that they need to be repacked. Told it would run probably 1000 or so at a dealer or 300ish for me to do it.
    He loves the cruiser and thats why he keeps buying them but he doesnt really believe in fixing them unless they're broke.
    In the past it has taken alot of annoying him to let me do anything to the cruiser.(lift, bumper, head unit).

    He just doesnt like me messing with it.


    Earlier last week i finally convinced him to let me do the birfield repack and i've got everything on the way to do it this weekend. He usually always helps with paying for some of the repairs but this one he says he wont b/c he doesnt think i've ever risk breaking a birf unless im wheeling really hard...now thats probably true but i just want you guys to please reply with any links, paragraph, reason for doing the birfield repack.....just help me sell him on it.

    I told him 300 dollars now is better than buying new ones down the road.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Cruiserhead05

    Cruiserhead05 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,580
    Likes Received:
    150
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Marshall, VA
    Also, pics would be a great help...

    Lastly, some stuff i should have added, i looked through our entire folder of receipts for this 80 and found i think two that say the knuckles were rebuilt at some point, both of which happened at least 100k miles ago...known of them say that the birfs were repacked but even if they were, they are due...
     
  3. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

    Messages:
    22,059
    Likes Received:
    3,537
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Think of birfs as bearings that transfer power, like any bearing they need lube, over time the grease breaks down and must be replenshed for long life of the part.
     
  4. semlin

    semlin discouraged user

    Messages:
    5,224
    Media:
    1
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    989
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    north of 49
    i have no photos but i broke a birfield on the street at 122k. It cost me a lot of wasted money to have the handy mechanic I pulled into fix it wrong and then a lot of time to fix it properly not least because when it broke it knocked the index ring inside the axle loose. I tried rebuilding that birf but it started clicking on turns within a few months. A new oem birf is $600 and there is no proven aftermarket option although the new longfields sound promising.

    others can speak to the fact that if you wait until your birfs start clicking before you repack then the repack may not stop the clicking. I can speak to the fact that the licking drove me insane.

    you might be able to induce clunking/clicking now. put it on full lock in 4 lo on an uphill slope and gun the motor. maybe that will persuade him.
     
  5. Cruiserhead05

    Cruiserhead05 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,580
    Likes Received:
    150
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Marshall, VA
    Semlin...the 80 already clicks.....alot. i got a few clicks in 4 HI.

    So how much total to fix a broken birf?
    FWIW, im going to print this out and show it to him....you can write your post as though he is reading them.

    Thanks for your help, i really need it...keep them coming though.
     
  6. semlin

    semlin discouraged user

    Messages:
    5,224
    Media:
    1
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    989
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    north of 49
    it happened right after i bought the truck and within a week of a toyota specialist mechanic advising me not to worry about them after adding grease in the knuckle hole. when the dust settled I was $1400CDN lighter after having had both of them done. I am now embarrassed to admit that. For that much they did not touch any of the bearings and used silicone sealer instead of gaskets although i was charged $200 for "parts". I would like to insert the rebuilt birfield (now a trail spare) into the arrogant moron of a mechanic.
     
  7. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

    Messages:
    22,059
    Likes Received:
    3,537
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    The six little balls running in the grooves transfer the power to the wheel, they have an incredible amount of pressure bearing on a small contact spot. Most of the time the wheels are pointed straight ahead, when there isn't proper lube the balls wear a little pit/dent in the groove, when the wheels are turned the cage has to force the balls across the pit causing the click and wear to the cage.

    If there clicking you can swap them side to side and maybe get some more life out of them, but they are weakened and have a higher risk of breaking offroad. New ones, if properly maintained and not abused offroad will probably last the life of the truck.
     
  8. reffug

    reffug

    Messages:
    3,925
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    'in dat der briar patch'
    Brandon,

    Tell your pops I said its to avoid spending 1200$ bucks later! :eek:

    And thats with the IH8MUD discount. :eek:
     
  9. Cruiserhead05

    Cruiserhead05 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,580
    Likes Received:
    150
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Marshall, VA
    Thats exactly what i told him....said if they broke they would 1200 bucks to replace.

    His reply was, only if you doing really hard stuff off road that you really shouldnt be doing. Although based on semlin's experiences, they dont just grenade off road.
     
  10. elmariachi

    elmariachi

    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Location:
    Shufflin' Through the Texas Sand
    I assume your dad knows this truck is a full-time 4WD and that the front drivetrain is always enagaged, even on pavement. The front steering knuckles require periodic maintenance (like every 80-100K miles) to replace worn oil seals and check bearing condition. During that process one would inspect the birfield joints. His failure to do that after all these miles is likey going to cost you if it is making noise. If you are going to own and operate a Land Cruiser, I don't care what model or type of use, you are going to have to consider this process just like an oil change...its a fact of life that requires attention even if you never take it offroading.
     
  11. reffug

    reffug

    Messages:
    3,925
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    'in dat der briar patch'

    They could blow just doing the stuff you were doing at CMCC. Without proper maintenance its not that difficult to strain a birf to the breaking point.
     
  12. Clutchee

    Clutchee I'm fun sized! SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,742
    Media:
    16
    Albums:
    4
    Likes Received:
    717
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Hotel M-F, home weekends!
    I hate to be that guy but explain to your dad that a board full of people that perform this task regularly is not just a fad. Once he sees how the birfield works he will have much more appriciation for maintenance. Sounds like your dad thinks that no maintenance is a good idea....let him break a birf on the road or while off roading due to lack of maintenance & stand back & let him try to fix it or call someone to tow it & have it fixed....he will only do that once.

    Birfs-$600
    Labor-$400-700
    Tow bill-$100
    ------------------
    $1,500.00 that should be a good example of why $300 is better!!!

    *I made my living for 3 years on people not maintaining there Lexus & trust me the folks that spent money to maintain the cars spent less in the long run than folks who waited for things to break!
     
  13. Cruiserhead05

    Cruiserhead05 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,580
    Likes Received:
    150
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Marshall, VA
    Thanks alot guys, keep this stuff coming. i'll print it all out once the thread dies and let him read it. He also seems to think that driving a mile to and from college this year wont be stressful on it and highway trips wont hurt. probably true, but still not a reason to not maintain it.
    I do realize there is a far greater chance to break it wheeling then on the road and that seems to be another little issue, he is never really thrilled when i take the 80 out wheeling, a truck that he paid 30k for 8 years ago or something.
     
  14. reffug

    reffug

    Messages:
    3,925
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    'in dat der briar patch'
    Hey man if you plan on going to the conway or the ditch with me and Bob, tell your Dad were definately gonna break a birf. :D

    Course that means I seriously doubt he'll let you go. :whoops:

    Let me know if you want me to delete this post before you print this out for your pops Brandon. :idea:
     
  15. Cruiserhead05

    Cruiserhead05 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,580
    Likes Received:
    150
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Marshall, VA
    ahh dont worry bout it jamie, i'll just copy and paste to word and leave anything out that might not help things. no biggie.

    So any idea yet about this weekend? all i need is paper towels and some more parts cleaner, only got a gallon.
     
  16. Rookie2

    Rookie2

    Messages:
    3,022
    Likes Received:
    79
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Location:
    Knoxville
    Why don't you buy your own rig, and do to it/with it, what you want, and leave poor old pops alone? If his birfs are not barfing birf soup (ie no axle seal failure), and grease is being maintained in the cavity, under normal use it could be a long long time before this gets to a point of actual birf failure. And even when (if) it does, you can always say you told him so.

    There's no problem with trying to educate him like your doing, but it sounds like pops doesn't want you hard wheeling his rig, and he's using this as just one other reason.

    Good Luck,
    Rookie2
     
  17. mabrodis

    mabrodis

    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    Castle Rock, CO
    Breaking a birfield is far different from having one wear out. I agree you will probably never break a birfield unless you are wheeling hard with big tires, I wheeled the snot out of my '97 with 35" tires and never broke one. However, you can wear them out, which is a totally different problem. The birfield joint is just a CV joint, like any Honda/Toyota passenger car has. The difference though is on a passenger car the CV joint is surrounded by a sealed boot. This boot is packed with grease and since it's sealed the grease can not escape, so the CV joint always has grease pushing it's way around it, a very good thing for a CV joint. Because of the grease always being there normal life for a passenger-car CV joint is typically 200K+ miles with no maintenance at all, since there is nothing you can do to it. However, if the CV boot rips, then the joint will start flinging grease around and very quickly will have no grease and will start clicking, wearout, and possibly break, even if it doesn't break, once a joint is clicking the damage is done, the CV joint is unfixable, so packing more grease in there and putting a new boot on will not fix the clicking and the real problem, the real problem was it ran out of grease and the joint had to work without grease therefore causing wear.

    On Land Cruisers the CV joint is not enclosed in a sealed rubber boot, I personally think it should have been, but it isn't. This means that you can pack the CV joint as full as you want of grease, and pack the surrounding cavity full of grease, and in 60-80K miles, you still need to go back in and cleanout all the old grease and put new in. The reason you need to do this is when grease is used (smashed into the nooks and crannies of the CV joint) it will start to break down, when it breaks down it basically means the oil is draining out of grease (grease is mostly just high-grade gearoil with a thickener in it). So when the grease starts to break down, it gets very liquidly, that is not a problem with a CV boot that is sealed (where can the liquid oil go? nowhere), so even though some of the grease turns to oil a bit in the boot, it's all still IN the boot, so still getting squished through the joint, providing alot of protection. In Land Cruisers the knuckle is not sealed, therefore when any grease starts to breakdown the liquid can drain out of the knuckle. This is bad because the more that happens, the less grease is left in the knuckle. The knuckle on Land Cruisers has felt wipers which help keep the grease into the knuckle, however, they are not designed to keep in gearoil, and they will not, which is what causes seeping knuckles (dripping goo from the steering knuckle).

    Another cause of seeping knuckles is if the inner axle seal starts to leak (this is the more common way seeping knuckles happen in my experiences). The inner axle seal is a seal that rides on the axle and keeps the gearlube on one side (the diff/pumpkin side) and the grease on the other side (knuckle side). If this seal starts to leak, then it allows gearoil from the diff to drain into the knuckle, this will wash out the grease in the knuckle. This can happen alot easier than you might think, on my '97 I did the knuckle rebuild at 65K miles, and the passenger birfield was perfect, plenty of grease, inner axle seal was fine (still replaced ofcourse, you do not want to pull it apart again to replace a $4 seal), so I was kinda bummed about doing the work. Then I got to the driver's side it was trashed, there was not one speck of grease in that knuckle, the gearoil had washed it completely clean, so it was absolutely necessary to rebuild the knuckle, re-do the inner axle seal and back the birfield with new grease.

    Interesting note is I never saw the driver's side knuckle leak anymore than the passenger, yet apparently it did, and this was on a low mileage vehicle with only 65K miles.

    On your '94, which would be considered a high-mileage vehicle this is even more important. There are very few trouble-spots on a 80-series Land Cruiser, but one of them is the front axle and the birfields, they are not a bad design, but they do need maintenance. Some items really never wearout, wheel bearings for example, you clean repack every 100K miles and I'm sure it'll be happy forever, but a birfield is not like that, they will wear out, but you can prolong their life by doing the knuckle rebuild and birfield repack at normal intervals. New birfields can ofcourse be purchased as well as anything else in the frontend, but it will not be cheap. If you're dieing to spend more money on the vehicle, then by all means don't do the birfield/knuckle work, wait till it gets really bad, then shell out the money for all the parts then. However, you can't say "well this Land Cruiser finally broke", because it didn't break, the owner of the vehicle is who broke it by not doing the scheduled maintenance to keep it running.

    Just my $0.00 worth...
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2005
  18. Cruiserhead05

    Cruiserhead05 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,580
    Likes Received:
    150
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Marshall, VA
    Mark, thanks for your input.

    FWIW, im not just looking to spend money on the truck, if i had an extra 300 bucks to play with, a birf job wouldnt be what i would do. I would put it towards sliders or something i could really use.

    The point is i have searched all the records and cannot find anything that says the birfields have ever been repacked. Also, you mention waiting till they get bad....im pretty sure mine are bad, occasionally they will pop in 4 hi on flat ground!!!
    Maybe they are too far gone at this point that a repack will even help, im not so much worried about the click unless its a problem, i can live with it.


    Point of the matter is, i plan on keeping the truck forever and it pretty much is mine, sure the title isnt but my parents dont want it and its worth nothing if we tried to sell it, thats stupid. So if i plan on keeping it and wheeling it, which i do...might as well keep up with this stuff.
     
  19. mabrodis

    mabrodis

    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    Castle Rock, CO
    Brandon, yeah actually the "if you're dieing to spend money" was for your dad...since I know you aren't dieing to spend money on it. Along the same lines as "do I have to change my engine oil?", well no, actually you don't, it might be slightly more expensive to repair your engine than change your oil, but that's your call. :rolleyes:

    :D

    Good Luck!
     
  20. Cruiserhead05

    Cruiserhead05 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    3,580
    Likes Received:
    150
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Marshall, VA

    Sorry mark, my bad