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Swaping IFS front Diff

Old 06-01-2009, 09:30 AM
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Swaping IFS front Diff

Can someone give me a heads up on the order of operation to swap out the front diff. I want to put my 4:56 set into my truck. Can I do it without pulling the front hubs and crap apart? Just unbolt the CV's at the diff and drop it out?
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:58 AM
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You have to get the CV stub shafts out of the differential too.
Search for the FSM.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:00 AM
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argh... search my friend, I'm pretty sure this has been covered before.


anyway, the outer hub needs to come off in order to get the bolt/clip on the end of the axel. other than that, just unbolt the axles and d-shaft. then there is some mounts on top that need to be undone. last but not least theres that front bar mount attached to the front cover, that stuff needs to be removed as well.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:03 AM
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@ abe.. ive never had to take those out to swap diffs.

and have you looked at your trucks yet? for that wire lol.

i havent looked at mine yet, but im almost positive it has a knock sensor.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:03 AM
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Oh... he meant pull the whole housing too?
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by TOYOTA 1 View Post
...and have you looked at your trucks yet? for that wire lol.

i havent looked at mine yet, but im almost positive it has a knock sensor.
I'll take pics in a few. Been busy the last couple days getting ready to go to work on the east coast.

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Old 06-01-2009, 10:06 AM
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yea i think.. well from what i understand is that the "diff" is the "chunk" or "carrier housing"

however, the stubs would have to be taking out in order to get the carrier out.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by abecedarian View Post
Oh... he meant pull the whole housing too?

Can I just pull the guts out or is it like a standard diff and need to be setup again? I planned on swapping the whole thing but is it easier to just change the guts?

I did search but came up with nothing useful (I just searched this forum).
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by abecedarian View Post
I'll take pics in a few. Been busy the last couple days getting ready to go to work on the east coast.
yea, im pretty sure that wire is extra for the ac aswell, though im not positive. ill have to go look at my truck later and report back to that thread.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Flash319 View Post
Can I just pull the guts out or is it like a standard diff and need to be setup again? I planned on swapping the whole thing but is it easier to just change the guts?

I did search but came up with nothing useful (I just searched this forum).

just swap the whole housing in. it will be way easier..
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by TOYOTA 1 View Post
argh... search my friend, I'm pretty sure this has been covered before.


anyway, the outer hub needs to come off in order to get the bolt/clip on the end of the axel. other than that, just unbolt the axles and d-shaft. then there is some mounts on top that need to be undone. last but not least theres that front bar mount attached to the front cover, that stuff needs to be removed as well.

Why would I need to pull the clip? Can't I just leave the hubs assembled and disconnect at the diff? That is why I am asking this question. Do I have to take the cv shafts right out to change the diff.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:13 AM
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yes your right sorry my bad.. I'm so used to changing axles/diffs out in those things, the process is stuck in my head lol..

yea just undo the axles (@the diff). the d-shaft, and all the mounts/front bar holding in the housing.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by TOYOTA 1 View Post
yes your right sorry my bad.. I'm so used to changing axles/diffs out in those things, the process is stuck in my head lol..

yea just undo the axles (@the diff). the d-shaft, and all the mounts/front bar holding in the housing.

Then it will drop out the bottom? No other crap to take off?
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:18 AM
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Yeah, that ought to do it.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:20 AM
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yes it will drop out the bottom. and yes thats it..
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:22 AM
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"Drop" being the key word here. So be prepared.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:24 AM
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^^ lol
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by abecedarian View Post
"Drop" being the key word here. So be prepared.
Ya thats sort of what i was getting at..................
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:09 AM
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Yeah that front diff is effin heavy!!!

Everything was really straightforward when we did my 4.88 swap. Unbolt everything, drop it out....

Hardest part was the install. The cv end caps did NOT want to stay in place and cept flying off... I never thought of it at the time, but a nice strip of duct tape would do the truck here.... If you have the same problem

p.s now is the time to extend that front breather, almost impossible when its installed!!!
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:04 PM
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i just did this a couple weeks ago, solo. it's much easier to swap out complete diff housings than just the guts. if you do the guts/gears, it'll need to be set up properly and the diff would have to be out anyways. as for the removal and install of diff housing, it's pretty straightforward, but afterward you'll know why shops charge so much to mess with the front diff:
-remove IFS brace if you have one - hopefully it's not welded in!
-break loose and unbolt all 12 CV studs.
-unbolt the 4 driveshaft studs and tie the driveshaft up and out of the way with a piece of string.
-although it would make things MUCH easier, do not remove the front crossmember or you risk the a-arms shifting since they will no longer be tied together.
-unbolt the 3 bolts that hold the diff up there - i suggest remove the front bolt and the passenger side ones, then put a floor jack under the diff and THEN unbolt the driver's side bolt so it doesn't come crashing down on you or your fingers, 'cuz that SOB is freakin' heavy!
-the diff has to drop at a funky angle in order to get the two side mounts to clear the lower a-arms. unfortunately it has to go back in at a funky angle which is NOT easy to do on your own.

install is pretty much the reverse, but a couple things that make it easier:
-eat your Wheaties!
-pound out the 12 CV studs from the diff housing (put a nut on the end so you don't jack up the threads) and grind off the little ridges, making them into bolts. this will make it a lot easier to go back in as well as make future CV changes easier as well.
-when installing, try to get the front bolt/mount in first by lifting the front of the diff higher than the rear, then once it's above the mount on the crossmember, bring the diff forward a tad to get the rear mounts to clear the a-arms. once the a-arms are clear, it should just seat itself nicely and you can bolt away.
-use loctite on pretty much everything.
-torque specs are in the repair manuals.
-like Jay said, extend your diff breather while you're at it. either get the proper nipple to replace the stock breather or do what i did and remove the dust cap and secure breather hose with a hose clamp to keep it on there.

unfortunately for me, i didn't use a wide enough bead of RTV (or didn't clean the mating surface well enough) to seal the diff cover on and developed a leak. not going to remove the whole thing, but just the cover this time because let me tell ya, that thing was a major pain in the rear! good luck, you'll feel like you'll need it.
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