Yet another Birf question (1 Viewer)

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Mar 28, 2003
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Go figure eh? ha ha

Well, I did look through search to try to find some info regarding this but nothing too specific. Guess what I need is maybe some advice from the birfield gods here. Anyway, here goes...

Last May, I had just returned back from a 2 month trip in the 80 that included a bunch of tough wheeling including a extended stay in the Moab area. My birfs, especially my front left starting getting extra clicky toward the end. My rig has 196,000 and I haven't done a repack since I bought it with a 118,000 5 years ago. I didn't get a service history with it, so I have no idea of what it had done prior. BTW, this is a '92. Soooo, I end up bringing it back home, basically just ignoring the clicking (but knowing deep inside that I needed to address it when I got back). Well, a week after I got back, I took a buddy of mine out on a trail right on the edge of town here and in a spot where the axles were articulated in opposite directions, I got a great big popping/cracking sound. I figured I just birfed out. I backed onto level ground, put the transfer case into high with the center diff unlocked put it into drive. A nasty metallic grating sound and know forward progress is what I experienced. I tried it again, then it moved a bit before doing the same thing. I figured that if it was a birf, then with the center and front diff open, it would be routing power right to it, thus the noise and no progress. I locked the center diff and drove it home a couple of miles, yeah not ideal I know but I did it anyway. I tried to avoid sharp turns and I would get an aggressive clunking occasionally from the front left. Two days later I was leaving for a trip for work for 2 months and I wasn't going to have time. I put the truck into my barn for storgae. Well, this past weekend I made the 5 hour drive down to where I'm storing it.

While I haven't done any work with the axle before on it, I printed off Jim Phillips description and some of the other info, and combined with a Hayne's manual, it was pretty simple getting it apart. This is what I found, the inner wheel bearing was practically disintegrated, just trashed. When I pulled the outer bearing, prior to sliding the rotor unit off, some of the bearings from the inner rolled out. Sweet right? shoot! So I pulled the inner axle out and at this point was running out of time (needed to head back north). I didn't have a chance to pop the birf off and closely examine it, but it didn't look like anything was horribly wrong with it. I've rebuilt cv's before and I know once you pull them apart and clean them, you see more of the wear and damage. Thing is though, I expected this thing to be in pieces or something. There was no indication of damage that would cause it to spin and not turn the wheel.

I know this is still a bit vague, but my question comes down to....

Is it possible that the wheel bearing somehow could be the problem? Yes I know it was fried, but even so, that couldn't explain the spinning of the axle and not turning the wheel could it? It wouldn't seem that way unless I'm missing something here.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
 

powderpig

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How was the drive plate? I do not think the wheel bearings are going to not allow the truck to go forward without locking the center. You have a couple of problems. Also look at the spindle real well, My guess is that is also out of specs where the bearing race has spun on the spindle. Also look at the hub real well and see if the races in the hub have spun, if so it will be time for a new hub. Good luck with the truck. I would just tear it down(both sides) and find out how much stuff you have managed to mess up. At a min you will need a full axle service with a few expencive part thrown in. later robbie
 
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I'm starting to think that it is the hub too. At a preliminary glance the spindle looked undamaged, amazingly and the drive plate looked ok. Honeslty though, I was in such a hurry that I didn't have a chance to fully clean everything and look at it closely. I was kind of hoping to see something grenaded or super obvious when I pulled it apart. Now I'm thinking that the hub may in fact be toast. Problem is, I'm going to have to make the 5 hour drive again before I can get a better look. I was going to be lazy and just service the one side, as the truck isn't a daily driver anymore, but yeah, I really need to pull the other side and do the full treatment.

BTW, are you the Robbie who works at Slee's? I brought my rig through there a few years back with the bad u joint that you fixed for me. Don't know if you remember or not. I also swung through there last spring on my trip with a question about that weird electrical gremlin that was causign the engine to cut out in the Eisenhower tunnel, yeah, not fun. Anyway, thanks for the tips. That's exactly the kind of stuff that I'm looking to hear.
 

powderpig

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Yep that is me, but in two weeks I will no longer be at slee's. Christo needs some one cheaper to do the labor end of the bussiness. So that excludes me in the plans after 4+years. And in some ways I need something different. Any how I will be on my own in the northern part of denver Metro area. I will post something soon. later robbie
 
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Joined
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wow, sorry to hear that. For what its worth, your help there was huge. Especially helping me out in a pinch with the U joint. I learned a ton just from talking to you there and you squeezed me into the shop when you had a ton of other stuff going on. I'm super grateful for it still. Hopefully the new change here will bring with it new opportunities too. :cheers:
 
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upcruiser said:
I'm starting to think that it is the hub too.
I'm not sure I follow how the hub could be causing this problem. Tore up drive plate... yes, but tore up hub causing a lack of drive with the CDL off... don't follow that one. Like Robbie said, you need to check the hub for damage, since you had grenaded bearings rolling around in it, but I didn't translate what he said to mean this was the cause for you lack of drive problem.

:beer:
Rookie2
 

landtank

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with the bad bearing you will get alot of wobble in the hub. This wobble directly wears on the outer axle/flange interface and with enough wear the splines will jump when enough power is supplied. Look closely at the splines and see if they are pointed verses having a little flat spot on the top of the teeth. If they are pointed you'll need both a new birf and a new flange to correct the problem. I had one axle just like this and both items were needed.
 

landtank

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powderpig said:
Yep that is me, but in two weeks I will no longer be at slee's. Christo needs some one cheap to make the living he wants. So that excludes me in the plans after 4+years. Any how I will be on my own in the northern part of denver Metro area. I will post something soon. later robbie


with all due respect Robbie, this is really unprofessional.
 
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Rick,

Might I suggest you take that conversation offline. We're all a community here.

DougM
 

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