Author Topic: Front Toyota Axle Rebuild Walkthough  (Read 1882 times)

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alaskan ogre

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Front Toyota Axle Rebuild Walkthough
« on: November 14, 2011, 10:20:19 PM »
The Toyota Solid Front Axle looks pretty intimidating when it comes to tearing it apart and rebuilding it. The first time I rebuilt mine it took about 15 hours. This time it has has taken less than 6. Most of the time was saved because not only am I much more familiar with all the parts but I\'ve learned from reading and re-reading dozens of forum posts and walkthoughs all the little tricks it takes to make the rebuild a complete success.

You will know you need to rebuild your axle when the following occurs:

=> Tire & Wheel wobble where there was none before and you know your spring bushings are good. (Bad spindle or wheel bearings can cause this)
=> Abnormal Tire wear (Camber is not adjustable on these axles, wear can be caused by bad spindle bearings)
=> Excessive Grease or Oil behind the Knuckle area (This is always caused by the inner seal going bad. This seal prevents the thinner gear oil for the differential from mixing with the thicker grease located in the outer knuckle, when the seal goes bad they mix which thins the grease allowing it to seep out past the rubber and felt seal)


Please be patient, this walkthrough is a work in progress. I did not take any pics during disassembly  so I\'ll add those as I get closer to the end.

The first time I tore a Toyota Axle apart I tried to not mix up any parts. Don\'t worry about this at all most of the parts can be interchanged between sides. I will show you what to watch out for as it\'s being put back together. For now just throw everything into a container.

Step 01) Drain the housing using the drain plug on the underside of the Axle at the Differential

Step 02) Remove the Hub Bodies
---- Set the dial to \"Free\"
---- Remove the 6 bolts
---- Behind these bolts there are \"Cone Washers\", These tapered washers allow the outer part of the hub to be centered perfectly on the studs. They can be tough to remove as they get pressed in pretty tight by the nuts, take your time and remove them by inserting the end of a thin flat bladed screwdriver into the thin slot at a slight angle on the washer and tap it lightly as if you\'re trying to turn it. You can also tap lightly on the stud to loosen them up a bit.
---- Remove the snap ring inside the hub.
---- Remove the remaining 6 bolts and pull off the main body of the Hub.

Step 03) Remove the Caliper
---- Remove the 2 bolts holding the caliper
---- Use a piece of wire to hold the caliper up out of the way.

Step 04) Remove the Brake Rotor & Spindle
---- Bend the tabs up on the lock ring so you can remove the lock nut.
---- Remove the lock ring by sliding it off.
---- Remove the Adjusting Nut.
---- Remove the Thrust Washer.
---- Pull the Brake Rotor off, discard the old bearings.
---- Remove the 8 bolts holding the Dust Seal, Dust Cover, & Spindle to the Knuckle. Discard the old gaskets.

Step 05) Remove the Axles
---- Remove the 4 nuts on the Lower Bearing Caps.
---- Remove the 4 nuts on the Upper Bearing Caps/Steering Arms.
---- By tapping with a hammer remove the Lower Bearing Caps. You will find a thin metal shim between the Bearing Cap and the Knuckle. Be sure to mark these so that they go back in the same location. Discard the bearings.


---- The Upper Caps/Steering Arms also uses Cone Washers which must be removed. Here you can usually take a hammer and tap on the underside of the Cap/Arm to pop them free. Keep an eye on them as they may fly across the room. There is also a metal shim between the Cap/Arm and the Knuckle, be sure to mark it so it goes back in the same location. Discard the bearings.
---- Rotate the axle so that the flat spot matches the flat spot in the Knuckle and give it a good tug, it should pull right out.

Step 06) Remove the Knuckles
---- Behind the Knuckles you find 8 10mm bolts remove those and the Knuckle sill pull right off the Axle. You can discard the everything but the Bolts and Knuckle.

Step 07) Remove old Bearing Races and Inner Axle Seal
---- Remove the 2 Wheel Bearing Races inside the Brake Rotor using a punch. If you look closely you\'ll see 2 small reliefs on opposite sides of each other where a punch can be placed. Tap the punch lightly with a hammer while moving from side to side until the Race falls out then flip the Rotor over and punch the other one out. Discard the Races.
---- Remove the Steering Knuckle Bearing Races using the same method above. Discard the Race.
---- Remove the Inner Axle Seal. If you don\'t have a seal puller you can use the method I use. Clean off the seal and housing good enough so you can see where the edge of the seal is. Place the tip of a flat bladed screwdriver on the edge of the seal at an angle and tap it until you bend the Seal making it fall out.

Step 08) Clean
---- I usually soak the parts in a bucket of degreaser for a  few hours to soften up the junk. The remove each piece on at a time and clean them well with brake cleaner and a wire brush. On the larger parts like the knuckles I use a wire wheel on a hand drill. On any parts I\'m painting I clean one last time with Lacquer Thinner.

I\'ll add pics later

alaskan ogre

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Re: Front Toyota Axle Rebuild Walkthough
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 10:40:18 PM »
Step 01) Prep
---- At the axle housing where the Inner Seal goes make sure the edge is free from any nicks or burrs that may prevent the Seal from seating properly. If you find anything clean it up with a file. Personally, I use a Dremel with either a very fine sanding drum or grinding wheel.
---- Check the Knuckle for the same burrs around the are where the Bearing Races go, my axle at all 4 Bearing Race locations had burrs where the previous owner or a mechanic had damaged the area around the relief that\'s used to punch out the races.
---- Check the Brake Rotor in the area where the Wheel Bearing Races seat. Clean up as need.
---- A note about the Bearing Races. It\'s better to grind off a little more than not to grind the seating area enough. If you leave a high spot it will force the bearing to rotate at a compound angle which they are not designed to do which will cause premature failure.
---- It\'s suggested that you go around the \"Ball\" with 400 grit sandpaper and remove any high spots. Don\'t worry too much about any pits caused from rust. This area is is exposed to the elements. You can mask that rusty area off and paint it to help prevent further rust.
---- Cleanup any part that you did work on with a clean paper towel and brake cleaner to remove any small particle of metal and abrasives.


Step 02) Install the Inner Axle Seal
---- The factory style Seal is very weak and prone to bending when installing. Marlin Crawler makes a replacement seal which is far better than the factory style seal. Put a light coat of RTV Sealer around the area where the seal goes. This will act as a lubricant for now and a sealer when it\'s dry. Press the Seal in as far as you can by hand while keeping it straight.
---- Using a a homemade Seal Installer tap the Seal slowly into place. Make sure it goes in straight and all the way in.

Marlin Seal shown on the rights, factory Seal is on the left.

I made a Seal installer using a 3/4\" bolt with a large washer and 2 nuts. The nuts fit almost perfectly inside the Seal but had to have a slight taper ground to the nut so it wouldn\'t touch the spring on the Seal. The washer fit just perfect to the outer metal edge of the Seal.


Rub a lot of grease onto the seal so that it won\'t run dry the first few hundred feet of driving.

More later


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Re: Front Toyota Axle Rebuild Walkthough
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2011, 04:19:32 AM »
This is great I hope it gives everyone the confidence to do this on their own.  I think that converting to a solid axle is the best way transform our great rigs into even greater offroad vehicles.  I cant wait to do it too! Thanks for the write up I\'ll be watching for the next sequel.

alaskan ogre

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Re: Front Toyota Axle Rebuild Walkthough
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 06:33:34 PM »
I\'ll add text later but here are the final pics