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Replace L drive axle 94 4runner (w/pix)

Old 02-19-2012, 05:36 PM
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Thanks bill I used your advice for the jacking procedures and it worked. Replaced both my front CV's. It took a little messing around with the jacks to finally get the truck at the right angle, but finally my buddy and i got it so we could move the inboard side of the CV past the studs on the differential. Took awhile but man was it worth it especially since we didn't have to remove the whole front end on both sides haha. My advice to anyone who does this is have someone help you, it was a lot nicer to have another person there. Again thanks so much for the advice.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:04 AM
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I am about to try this out on my '93. I think the trick to it all is to remove shock absorber, end-link from sway bar, tie rod end and lower ball joint so that one might be able to lower the A-arm sufficiently to give clearance for the removal of the front axel. Seems like a rube-goldberg in jacking up the rear and then the a-arm to gain clearance. I don't know if it would damage other parts. Seems a tad dangerous to move the truck around while the wheel is off. I know getting ball type joints disconnected is a PITA, but I have found that penetrating oil and some nice taps with a hammer (not too hard and not too soft gets them loose) does the trick and this is experience with vehicles much older than 4runners. Plus if you remove the bottom ball joint you can really inspect it and replace if necessary. I will let you all know as I am going to do the job in two weeks as my left axel is spewing grease everywhere and I like a clean under carriage (ha, ha)! Additionally if planned right one could replace shocks, end link bushings, lower ball joint and axel in one feld swoop.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by gt350mk View Post
I am about to try this out on my '93. I think the trick to it all is to remove shock absorber, end-link from sway bar, tie rod end and lower ball joint so that one might be able to lower the A-arm sufficiently to give clearance for the removal of the front axel.
You can do it that way (lots of people who DIDN'T read this thread start out that way), but it is a heck of a lot more work. Do you think the engineers in Japan planned for you to have to remove all of those components just to do a relatively common maintenance task? Do you think pulling out the ball joints and disconnecting the tie rod ends is going to make them last ... longer?

When I replaced my CV boots (two different times, different sides) I didn't find the need to raise the back corner, but some do. I just lifted the rotor with another jack until the weight started coming off the jack stand under the frame, and the half-shafts came right out.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:15 AM
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I agree that it should be a simple swap. I have done many axels on front wheel drive cars (I think I did it on my old Jeep and parent's Explorer) and they usually come out after removing the axel bolt, where the job can be done with one hand tied behind your back and blind folded (some are a PITA, like Ford Tauruses, where one has to remove the strut because Ford decided to get creative). I agree with you and disagree with you. I think a short cut is fine. Heck, the last thing I want to do is spend part of my weekend arm wrestling with ball joints, but I also believe that jacking the vehicle up by the rotor is dangerous and goes against shop safety, not to mention all of that weight on the rotor for which it was not designed. Jacking up the vehicle by the lower a-arm is not much better, as there is a lot of weight on that a-arm and ball joint, plus the jack doesn't get a flat grip and could slip. If one removes the ball joint stud from the a-arm by using penetrating oil and nice firm taps of a hammer to the near-area, they usually come right out. Mashing on it with a ball joint fork is a horrible idea as it tears apart the seal and could damage the ball joint (I think they are used for pitman arms or other steering pieces where there is no way of tapping it, although better tools exist). I have worked on cars as a hobby for almost twenty three years and I remember that I got sick of jacking cars up and placing jack stands under them for support. That all changed one day when I was going to inspect the drum brakes on a jeep, where it was on a slight incline. I had the tire off and was about to take off the drum when the vehicle slipped off of the jack and fell on the drum. No one got hurt and the car was OK, but it sure as heck was scary. If it fell on me I would have deceased and if it fell on an arm or leg it would have pinched them right off. Anyways my point is that although it may be a pain in the rear to disassemble part of the front end to get the axels out, one also wants to live to tell about it. One can also clean off the ball joint stud and associated area and use anti-seize compound to make such a chore easier in the future.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by gt350mk View Post
... not to mention all of that weight on the rotor for which it was not designed.
Isn't the rotor designed to carry 100%+ of the ENTIRE weight of the vehicle? (I'm use the hub of the rotor where there is lots of jack-resting room, not the edge of the braking surface.)

Originally Posted by gt350mk View Post
Mashing on it with a ball joint fork is a horrible idea as it tears apart the seal and could damage the ball joint (I think they are used for pitman arms or other steering pieces where there is no way of tapping it, although better tools exist).
No, a ball joint fork ("pickle fork") is used only by rank amateurs. Anywhere. I'll bet you would only use the correct tools, and they are easy to rent (you can borrow them for free from Autozone.)

Personally, I think removing steering and suspension components is one of the more dangerous things you need to do -- just remember that BANG you often hear when the joint comes loose, even with the correct tool. And since you don't need to do it to work on the half-shaft, I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to add dangerous, unnecessary, wearing work just to avoid jacking up the axle.

But you sound like you've given it some thought, so if you want to do it anyway you can use the opportunity to closely examine all the extra parts you wrestled off.
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:53 AM
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Bill

Thanks again for taking the time to put this up. You and a few others have given me some insight to this task. I noticed last oil change that the boots on each side developed small tears. That was about a month ago and today its a greasy mess. I'm putting together my tool list and have the axel socket on order from e bay for 20 bucks. I'm a weekend mechanic and like the satisfaction of doing my own car repairs. I've done brakes, replaced oil seal (off main crank after pully) and lots of other small tasks but needless to say I'm not a machanic trade. I'm looking forward to replacing the 2 front axels and re pack / replace the outer bearings for the front. Had a question, hopefully I'm still in the scope of the original thread. CV joints / boots, some sources say once the boot breaks and joints are exposed to dirt the piece is no good. Others say the boots can be replaced and joints re-greased and shaft rebuilt as long as it wasn't popping / knocking when wheel was turned. Truck has 245,xxx miles and these are the original axels. I would imagine these are well worn past their life but besides the rubber boot I think there fine...

Last edited by wescx005; 07-20-2012 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:57 PM
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I think this is great first of all, because ideas go back and forth and it is at least educational. I watch a bit of TV regarding upgrades and modifications to cars and trucks, where I see all of the time the hosts of the show jack the car up without any jackstands and work on it without any eye protection even when grinding and I think it displays a poor message to a certain portion of the audience, whom is usually just starting the hobby. Those shows really push the manufacturers' products and highlight them, but in very few instances I have seen where they discuss shop safety. Even in this forum one reads about some kid who is doing this or that for the first time and can talk a bit of the talk, but can't even walk yet and they are getting advice from some who use possibly dangerous short cuts. Jacking the car up by the hub or or any part that has the potental to move is dangerous. The vehicle must only be jacked in spot that is structurally sound and stationary, like the frame or rear end housing and no where else. The rotor and wheel bearing assembly was designed to carry the load of 1/4of the vehicle's weight and sit on a wheel, not a jack or jack stand. You were talking about Toyota engineers earlier and why they make a part that should come off so easily, but many parts that are a regular service item are time consuming to remove, like water pumps and clutches. In the FSM it says nothing about manipulating jacks in the front and rear of the truck so as to get the geometry of the front suspension just right so the axel will squeeze through. If you drop the lower a-arm, there really isn't any squeezing to contort the axel through, and ball joints do not make an explosive pop as you are relating and additionally the vehicle is being held by the frame (hopfully) when performed. Mostly from what I have observed is that they simply fall out of their mount. I think that this method is interesting for the mere fact that someone discovered that the front end moves to the right geometry to squeeze the axel out, otherwise I think it is dangerous and should not be performed by category. I'm not trying to be disagreeable or degrade people's knowledge of mechanics or anything like that. I am just pointing out that taking dangerous short cuts is not safe or proper shop ettiquette and that relating them to the uninitiated is wrong. When I remove the axels on my 4Runner shortly I will report back.

Good luck and be safe
-gt350mk
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:07 PM
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I think this is great first of all, because ideas go back and forth and it is at least educational. I watch a bit of TV regarding upgrades and modifications to cars and trucks, where I see all of the time the hosts of the show jack the car up without any jackstands and work on it without any eye protection even when grinding and I think it displays a poor message to a certain portion of the audience, whom is usually just starting the hobby. Those shows really push the manufacturers' products and highlight them, but in very few instances I have seen where they discuss shop safety. Even in this forum one reads about some kid who is doing this or that for the first time and can talk a bit of the talk, but can't even walk yet and they are getting advice from some who use possibly dangerous short cuts. Jacking the car up by the hub or or any part that has the potental to move is dangerous. The vehicle must only be jacked in spot that is structurally sound and stationary, like the frame or rear end housing and no where else. The rotor and wheel bearing assembly was designed to carry the load of 1/4of the vehicle's weight and sit on a wheel, not a jack or jack stand. You were talking about Toyota engineers earlier and why they make a part that should come off so easily, but many parts that are a regular service item are time consuming to remove, like water pumps and clutches. In the FSM it says nothing about manipulating jacks in the front and rear of the truck so as to get the geometry of the front suspension just right so the axel will squeeze through. If you drop the lower a-arm, there really isn't any squeezing to contort the axel through, and ball joints do not make an explosive pop as you are relating and additionally the vehicle is being held by the frame (hopfully) when performed. Mostly from what I have observed is that they simply fall out of their mount. I think that this method is interesting for the mere fact that someone discovered that the front end moves to the right geometry to squeeze the axel out, otherwise I think it is dangerous and should not be performed by category. I'm not trying to be disagreeable or degrade people's knowledge of mechanics or anything like that. I am just pointing out that taking dangerous short cuts is not safe or proper shop ettiquette and that relating them to the uninitiated is wrong. When I remove the axels on my 4Runner shortly I will report back.

Good luck and be safe
-gt350mk
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wescx005 View Post
CV joints / boots, some sources say once the boot breaks and joints are exposed to dirt the piece is no good. Others say the boots can be replaced and joints re-greased and shaft rebuilt as long as it wasn't popping / knocking when wheel was turned.
What you might want to consider is the cost. Autozone sells a boot kit for $30 and one for $20. If the outer boot is the one that is torn (the usual case), you end up replacing both because both boots come off the inner end of the half-shaft. Autozone sells a complete reman half-shaft for $58 -- that's right, LESS than the cost of the boots alone! (Plus, replacing the boots, with the grease inside, is a thankless and messy job.)

Originally Posted by gt350mk View Post
... The rotor and wheel bearing assembly was designed to carry the load of 1/4of the vehicle's weight ...
If that were true you couldn't turn a corner, when the weight of the vehicle shifts to the outside. I can't prove that it will hold 100% (though I believe it will), but it doesn't matter. To easily and safely remove the half-shaft you only need to compress the suspension as though it were sitting on the wheels, and the rotor is certainly designed to carry far, far more than that.

You seem concerned that it is unwise to lift a vehicle by the wheels (or rotors), but I'm sure that overstates things. Muffler shops (for instance) regularly use lifts that touch only the wheels, as they don't need to remove the wheels when the vehicle is lifted. See, e.g., http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...9806_200379806

Considering that the conversation about half-shafts on this forum is sometimes filled with persons advocating using a sledge-hammer to remove the shoulder-studs from the differential flange "to make it easier to get the half-shafts out," I'm am delighted to hear someone raise the flag of doing the job safely.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by scope103 View Post
What you might want to consider is the cost. Autozone sells a boot kit for $30 and one for $20. If the outer boot is the one that is torn (the usual case), you end up replacing both because both boots come off the inner end of the half-shaft. Autozone sells a complete reman half-shaft for $58 -- that's right, LESS than the cost of the boots alone!
Yes sir, I did notice it's cheaper and cleaner to replace the whole axel rather than re doing the boot. I was wondering from a mechincal point of view. If the joint didn't click or knock if the piece was good itself. I've never had an axel off so I will break it down just for the hands on experience . If I can find some cheap boots and joint was good I was going to rebuild for a spare, hence the original question...perhaps once I get it out I should be looking for stress marks or imperfections / fatigue in the metal work...
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:33 PM
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Suit yourself; education is always good. Don't forget you'll be passing a $10 or so core charge.

I don't think you'll ever find anything visible. The problem is that you will get grinding compound (sand, dirt) into the joint after long enough. That will gently grind the balls and cages until there is too much clearance. What will you look for? My sense is that as long as there is some grease coating everything inside, you're okay. But what do I know?
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:42 AM
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Bill et al,

A wheel bearing can probably handle around 100,000 psi, if not more. I get this figure because a wheel bearing is made of hardened, alloyed steel. Normal mild steel GTAW welding rods are rated at 70,000 psi, so if it were possible one could jack up the vehicle directly on one of the wheel bearings and it could take the punishment with ease. The question becomes do you want to. Why not treat your ride gentle and nice and she will repay the same. The method described in this forum is do-able. The parts could withstand the weight (maybe not the housing to the balljoint). The question becomes one of safety and to a lesser extent respect for your vehicle. Doing it the way described in this forum goes against shop etiquette and safety. If one did this in shop class they would get reprimanded by the professor as jacking a vehicle up by the rotor/hub assembly is wrong. It is not stationary. It is dangerous. The vehicle could slip and injure or kill the mechanic and/or his helper. When one performs the mechanics according to this forum they are compressing the spring/torsion bar also and being that they are jacking the vehicle up in an unstable manner, the jack has the potential of being forced out of place by the spring from the area being jacked and injuring or killing by that manner too. Jacking the vehicle up by the frame or other approved areas insures safety. Removing the lower ball joint places strain on no part and endangers no one. There are just as many steps, removing a ball joint is not that hard and the one performing the task has a better than 99% chance of making it out alive. Compressing the front end via the hub/rotor assembly invites disaster. What if the truck moves slightly for some reason? The jack under the hub/rotor assembly is under tonnes of pressure. It could snap the jack out of the way, possibly causing it to fly and hit someone or something doing definite damage and if the vehicle is not supported by stands, will land right on the rotor/hub. Anyone nearby could be seriously injured or killed. There is a lot of potential energy in this method that has the opportunity to become kinetic energy. In my method there is minimal potential energy. This is not a matter of whether parts could take the abuse. It is a matter of safety and proper shop methods.

If the CV axel is suspect to be at fault for any reason, change it out. Don't waste time re-booting it as the axels are inexpensive and could be of better quality than the originals, depending on manufacturer. If you were to re-boot the axel you would have to inspect all ball-bearings and surfaces of any galling, which entails cleaning everything thoroughly. Also one would have to perform a run-out test to check how much free-play is in the axel.

good luck,
gt350mk
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by gt350mk View Post
... the axels [sic] are inexpensive and could be of better quality than the originals, depending on manufacturer. ...
The only half-shafts I've seen are re-manufactured. While I think highly of the ones I've seen, I doubt the "reman" process is going to make them better than the original. I suppose it is possible that some manufacturer somewhere on this planet might make a "new" replacement, but better than a Toyota OEM part?

That said, I would go with a reman. just to avoid the miserable job of replacing the boots.
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:54 AM
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I got mine at O'riley and they were brand new. The toyota dealer near me only had reman's for twice the price as new. I can get the name of the new ones when I get home.
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Old 04-09-2016, 03:02 PM
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Resurrecting this old thread. I'm about to replace both cv shafts on my 86 4wd. Should I purchase anything aside from the cv shafts themselves? Do I need any seals?
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by irv View Post
Resurrecting this old thread. I'm about to replace both cv shafts on my 86 4wd. Should I purchase anything aside from the cv shafts themselves? Do I need any seals?
Clean the fasteners well and place lots of anti-seize compound. Mine didn't have a gasket or seal where the half shafts meet the tulip or front drive train. Mine is a 1993 and was a one owner. I'm the second owner. I had a VW Quantum that had a similar set up as it was front wheel drive and the previous owner placed a ton of Axel grease where the half shaft meets the flange. I repeated the procedure on that, but not the 4runner. Make sure to torque them on as even as possible. Good luck. It wasn't a fun job. I had like a millimeter clearance to get the new ones in, but you will be very happy about it in the end.
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Old 04-09-2016, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by irv View Post
Resurrecting this old thread. I'm about to replace both cv shafts on my 86 4wd. Should I purchase anything aside from the cv shafts themselves? Do I need any seals?
No seals. Having some grease on hand might be good. Look into and consider the replacement of studs with bolts.

Just a friendly safety reminder: watch the frame support. I made a mental booboo last week while adjusting control arm position with a jack. I had accidentally lifted the truck off the jackstands so the entire front quarter was being supported by just a small part of the jack against the slope of the control arm. Scary moment.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane I haven't seen this thread in a long, long time.
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:36 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Replace studs with bolts?

Originally Posted by dromomaniac View Post
No seals. Having some grease on hand might be good. Look into and consider the replacement of studs with bolts.

Just a friendly safety reminder: watch the frame support. I made a mental booboo last week while adjusting control arm position with a jack. I had accidentally lifted the truck off the jackstands so the entire front quarter was being supported by just a small part of the jack against the slope of the control arm. Scary moment.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane I haven't seen this thread in a long, long time.
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by irv View Post
Thanks for the reply. Replace studs with bolts?
I would keep the studs. Although they may seem to be a pain right now because of clearance issues, they help immensely in aligning the shaft to the stub axel (tulip). I would think that bolts might have you arm wrestling with properly aligning the parts while trying to thread at least two bolts to center the half shaft. You can also impart much more torque wrench to a stud than bolts. If the studs are heavily worn you could try it out and prove or disprove the theory. I have a Triumph Spitfire that utilizes studs in mounting and aligning the cylinder head to the block. The shop manual says when replacing the studs to clean and chase the threads so that you can insert the studs by hand. The head then goes on and then they're are torqued to specification. In doing so the stud is totally installed to the maximum depth of the threaded hole. Please let me know your thoughts. Good luck!
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:17 PM
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90 22re DLX

Just finished the CV axle remove and replacement job on my 90 pickup and just wanted to say thanks! the pictures and advice helped a ton. I didn't need to use the extra jack stand on the rear end to level it out. The jack stand under the ball joint knuckle was enough compression to allow the CV axle to slide out of place with some minor encouragement and swearing. The lower mount of the shock did need to be removed to allow the CV axle to slide all the way out and allow the new one to slide in. Great pictures and guidance, thanks!
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