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Can't get rear axle shaft back into 3rd. HELP!

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Can't get rear axle shaft back into 3rd. HELP!

Old 03-24-2010, 08:11 PM
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Can't get rear axle shaft back into 3rd. HELP!

SOLVED! See last reply.

Just got done replacing all the seals/bearings on my rear passenger axle (88 4x4) and I can't get the axle all the way back in. It's about 1/2" from mating up/bolts going into axle shaft and I cant get it any further.

It's not hanging up on anything outside the axle housing, the bearing is all the way in.

If I push hard and turn the axle, I can get the opposite wheel to move a little bit but it never seats.

I've tried turning both axles, wiggling it up and down. Pulling it out, putting it back in. Can't get it past that point!

Help please!

Last edited by Schnit; 03-28-2010 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:42 PM
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Any help tonight would be appreciated. I've taken it out and tried putting it back in about a dozen times...wiggled it some more, pushed some more. Nothing! I've looked into the housing to make sure nothing is in there, there isn't anything in there that could be blocking it.

Does it just need a firm tap with a mallet? I really don't want to try this without knowing for sure, I'd hate to mar the splines.

Any help tonight would be awesome!
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:45 PM
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First, pull it out and make sure the splines are nice and clean.

When putting it in, make sure to rotate it a bit to make sure the splines line up.

A LIGHT tap sometimes helps - you shouldn't have to wail on it!
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:50 PM
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Say "Simon says" while holding your mouth right.

Should just be a twist to get the splines lined up and a slight tap from a rubber mallet assuming you put everything else back together right.

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Old 03-24-2010, 08:57 PM
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Splines look good, I rotated it a bunch, whacked it with a maul a couple decent (not real hard, but more than a tap) times and still nothing =(

Ugh so frustrated!!
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:07 PM
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Pictures. Maybe I can't spot what's wrong but one of you can. First pic is blurry, sorry it's the best my camera could do at that angle. No, it's not hanging on the bolts or anything, I can spin the entire hub fine.







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Old 03-25-2010, 05:12 AM
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Still trying this AM...

If I push up on the axle hard while pushing in I can barely feel the splines touching each other but they never engage. While doing this if I spin the axle I can fully spin the other tire.

Banging it with a mallet does not do anything =(

It's sounding like I may have to tow it to Toyota and pay them to fix/diagnose it =(
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:00 AM
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Have you tried LIGHTLY greasing the splines?

One other thought ... kinda unconventional ... you might loosen up the nuts holding the third in and get some help to wiggle it while you try to get the axle in.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:24 AM
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Have you tried lifting the axle and keeping it parallel to the diff? I know my first time doing this was kinda tricky, you gotta make sure the splines and level..
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:22 AM
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I'll have to try the grease and/or loosening the 3rd.

I've tried putting the axle in at every angle possible but I get nowhere.

I think if neither of the 2 suggestions work I'll remove the entire axle assembly, stand it on end and try to get the axleshaft in by (gently) dropping it from the top.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:41 PM
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Update.

Still no progress.

Tried the grease method, no luck. Loosened the 3rd, no luck.

Completely removed the rear axle, leaving 1 tire on. Rested the entire axle vertical on the tire and tried "dropping" it in from the top, feels no different than when it was on the truck...I can feel it starting to bite just a little, but it never engages.

I've got a 4.30 ratio, and car-parts.com says there's a complete one in a local yard so tomorrow I'm going to see what they want for it. If they want a fortune I'm going to take the axle to toyota and see if they can figure it out without costing me all my arms, legs and left testicle.

Sure would be nice to have a running truck to pick up a differential with
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:00 PM
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this is really weird... ive never herd or seen of this..
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:07 PM
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I had the same slight problem. Make sure the drum is all the way in place, then give it a nice, firm grab, (don't be shy,) and wiggle the shaft back and forth (left to right) while semi-gently pushing on it. Worked like a charm and solved the frustration.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:23 AM
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i found that rotating the crap out of the axle helped to get it seated.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:41 AM
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How did the axle feel coming out??
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:41 PM
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Completely disassembled.

I'm pretty sure the axle shaft is the culprit, but I'm not sure exactly how.

Both axles and the 3rd member are out now. I can fit the driver's axle into either side of the 3rd, it pops right in but the passenger axle wont go in either side.

I'm going to take both to Toyota to see what they would charge to get everything kosher again.

Also had a stud break off in the driver's hub when I was pulling the axle out...I really hope that isn't a PITA to change.
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Old 03-28-2010, 02:47 PM
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Had a good feller come by and help me out.

We found out that probably during pressing the splines on the axle got mushroomed slightly causing it to not fit. A half hour with a file and it works just fine...So I pulled every piece apart in the rear end for basically no reason....Oh well, I know how it all works now.

Quick side question. When removing the driver side rear axle/hub one of the studs snapped. The previously mentioned good feller gave me another passenger axle/hub that he had sitting around. Is there any problem running a passenger side hub/axle/brakes/bearings/seals on the drivers side?
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:01 PM
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Strange, when i swapped 3rds in my pickup, i had this same issue.
I didnt know what it was, but when i started tightening the bolts that hold the whole rear hub in, it went in with ease.
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Old 02-01-2019, 11:16 AM
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My Axles have mushroomed too HELP!!

[QUOTE=Schnit;51404543]Had a good fellecome by and help me out.

My Axles have mushroomed as well and I'm having trouble figuring out the best way to file them down. Should I file down the diameter, (the outside diameter of the "mushroomed" part of the splines?), to match the diameter of the rest of the splines? 1ST maybe? I only have a day to figure this out ANY HELP WILL HELP
[QUOTE]:
​... that probably during pressing the splines on the axle got mushroomed slightly causing it to not fit. A half hour with a file and it works just fine...​​​​​​So I pulled every piece apart in the rear end for basically no reason....Oh well, I know how it all works now....
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Old 02-01-2019, 11:22 AM
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My Axles have mushroomed too HELP!!

[QUOTE=Schnit;51404543]Had a good fellecome by and help me out.

My Axles have mushroomed as well and I'm having trouble figuring out the best way to file them down. Should I file down the diameter, (the outside diameter of the "mushroomed" part of the splines?), to match the diameter of the rest of the splines? 1ST maybe? I only have a day to figure this out ANY HELP WILL HELP
[QUOTE]:
​... that probably during pressing the splines on the axle got mushroomed slightly causing it to not fit. A half hour with a file and it works just fine...​​​​​​So I pulled every piece apart in the rear end for basically no reason....Oh well, I know how it all works now....
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