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1978 Toyota Pickup Bent Axle Shaft Help!

Old 01-09-2019, 01:32 PM
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1978 Toyota Pickup Bent Axle Shaft Help!

Hey guys,

It was brought to my attention recently that my rear passenger tire wobbles, so I started asking some folks and they mentioned that the axle shaft is bent. I switched out the tires to make sure the rim was good, and it is because the same wheel keeps wobbling. I started looking around for an axle shaft for my pickup and cannot find anything. Everything is discontinued, so I started branching out to other similar trucks, Nissan 720/Ford Ranger/S10 etc., but I still have my doubts. Can anyone help me with a reasonable replacement for my bent axle shaft? I am not looking to swap the rear diff or change the drive train, just for a simple axle shaft replacement. Any help would be appreciated.

I have a W50 transmission 2WD truck, but I can't find the ID plate with the differential code on it, so that isn't much help. I read that these pickups had a 7.5" rear differential and that the axle shaft had a 30 spline count, not sure how many variations there were, and not sure if it is okay to go with a shaft that has less splines.

Thanks guys!!
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:17 AM
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You might try local wrecking yards or http://yodajims.com/
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Lons81 View Post
You might try local wrecking yards or http://yodajims.com/
Thanks for the reply.

I will give Jim a call and I figured I would constantly need to check the wrecking yards. My other question is: what other years should I keep an eye out for? Also, based on your answer I can assume that other trucks' rear axle shafts will just not work, correct?

Thanks again.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:53 PM
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Axle Widths:
73-78 ~ 53" pre-hilux and stout

3rd member ratios

7.5" 5 lug 2wd - 3.30, 3.54, 3.88, 3.90, 4.30, 3.72, 3.58, 3.72, 3.56, 3.73........ most of these depended on your options.... tranny, wheel and tire sizes, motor size, etc.... most commonly identified with 2 straight line marks found on the center of the drum mounting surface

W50
Often called the "steel-case" transmission for its steel shell, in contrast to the later W-series transmissions' aluminum case.
Ratios:
* First Gear: 3.287:1
* Second Gear: 2.043:1
* Third Gear: 1.394:1
* Fourth Gear: 1.00:1
* Fifth Gear: 0.853:1
* Reverse: -4.039:1

I found this info on Toyotaminis.com. Hope it helps
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:04 PM
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Unhappy

Originally Posted by Lons81 View Post
Axle Widths:
73-78 ~ 53" pre-hilux and stout

3rd member ratios

7.5" 5 lug 2wd - 3.30, 3.54, 3.88, 3.90, 4.30, 3.72, 3.58, 3.72, 3.56, 3.73........ most of these depended on your options.... tranny, wheel and tire sizes, motor size, etc.... most commonly identified with 2 straight line marks found on the center of the drum mounting surface

W50
Often called the "steel-case" transmission for its steel shell, in contrast to the later W-series transmissions' aluminum case.
Ratios:
* First Gear: 3.287:1
* Second Gear: 2.043:1
* Third Gear: 1.394:1
* Fourth Gear: 1.00:1
* Fifth Gear: 0.853:1
* Reverse: -4.039:1

I found this info on Toyotaminis.com. Hope it helps
In my research I came across that, but that doesn't really tell me much about the shaft itself.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Dzhezzi View Post
In my research I came across that, but that doesn't really tell me much about the shaft itself.
It tells ya that the only axle that will work will come from from a 7.5 inch ring gear,53 inch wide, 5 lug rear end, from a 1973 to 1978 two wheel drive mini truck.

What else do you need to know???

Last edited by millball; 01-10-2019 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by millball View Post
It tells ya that the only axle that will work will come from from a 7.5 inch ring gear,53 inch wide, 5 lug rear end, from a 1973 to 1978 two wheel drive mini truck.

What else do you need to know???
I understand, but I also need spline count and length for the passenger side. That way if I can purchsse one from, say a Ford Ranger, then I can match the axle shaft with full confidence.

I guess im indirectly asking if ONLY a 73 - 78 axle shaft will work.

Last edited by Dzhezzi; 01-10-2019 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Dzhezzi View Post
I understand, but I also need spline count and length for the passenger side. That way if I can purchsse one from, say a Ford Ranger, then I can match the axle shaft with full confidence.

I guess im indirectly asking if ONLY a 73 - 78 axle shaft will work.
Yes, that is the only shaft that will work. Probably have to come from the same side (left or right) as well. Sometimes the left and right axles are different lengths. I don't know for sure about these.

It is a certainty that a Ford ranger axle, or other manufacturers axle WILL NOT FIT> You need a Toyota axle as specified above. One from '73 to '78 mini-truck five lug rear end will have correct spline count and length.

Last edited by millball; 01-10-2019 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by millball View Post
Yes, that is the only shaft that will work. Probably have to come from the same side (left or right) as well. Sometimes the left and right axles are different lengths. I don't know for sure about these.

It is a certainty that a Ford ranger axle, or other manufacturers axle WILL NOT FIT> You need a Toyota axle as specified above. One from '73 to '78 mini-truck five lug rear end will have correct spline count and length.
Fair enough. Thank you!
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:57 AM
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Unless you pull the actual axle to verify it's bent, how do you know it is bent? Might it be the bearing instead?
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by 13Swords View Post
Unless you pull the actual axle to verify it's bent, how do you know it is bent? Might it be the bearing instead?
Let me start by saying: your videos contain a ton of info, so thank you for that.

See I always thought it was a wheel bearing that caused a wobble, but three different people, two shop guys, have said, bent axle. Granted, I haven't pulled the axle due to bad weather, but once I do, I will let you guys know for sure. Next week looks much more reasonable to begin taking out the axle. I am just preparing for the worse in terms of cost.

My question is, once I look at the axle, will it be obvious it's bent?
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:20 AM
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Pull the wheel and the drum, install a dial indicator on to the face of the hub and rotate the shaft. That will show you if itís bent. Your manual will tell you the runout allowance.

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Old 01-13-2019, 06:11 AM
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Dzhezzi -

No problem on the YT vids, I did em because there really isn't a lot of info out there on the 75-78's, & I didn't have a FSM (factory service manual). Glad to share what I have learned & try to help someone else.

I'd suspect the bearing first myself, as it usually takes quite a lot to bend the axle. That's a forged steel part & if it is bent at all, I'd also suspect that it's bent between the bearing & hub. It's just simple physics; short length of shaft is stiffer than a longer length. I can't think of a way for the axle shaft between the bearing & diff to bend, unless it been hit by a piece of heavy equipment. Or maybe the inner axle bearing on the diff end of the axle is worn out/out of spec? Either way the bearings are an eventual wear part(s) & were meant to be replaced when needed. Second I'd have a look at the axle flange. Sometimes a super hard pothole hit (or other impact) can bend flanges. Toy_Tek has the right idea on that. You could also visually test it with the wheel & drum off, rotating it while looking at the flange edge on (like back to front of vehicle) & seeing if it wobbles. The dial indicator is of course more accurate but not everyone has one to use.

Two shop guys say it's bent, but still they weren't looking at the actual axle were they? No knock on shop guys, but they always want to jump to worse case scenarios. I get considering having to rehab the whole thing though, gets you mentally prepared for anything you might find.

Whether it's obviously bent or not depends on amount of bend & where bent. I found a vid on Youtube showing a similar problem on a newer Tundra. The rear axle technology hasn't changed much over the years so it pretty much the same. Here's the vid:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hunh...ature=youtu.be

That vid looks to me like a bent flange or a bad bearing, likely the bearing, because you can hear some odd clunk-rattle noise while it's spinning. Usually sure sign it's a bearing.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:56 PM
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I mentioned checking the manual limits because on a later year the axle flange runout allowance is something like .014”. You can’t see or feel that. And a dial indicator kit at HF is about $30, so not very expensive.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:16 AM
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Think I found some info that may help.
https://toyotaminis.com/forum/thread...erences.10707/
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:24 AM
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Wow, thanks a ton guys, I'll get to checking each thing individually.
Thanks for all the info.
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