For cleaning up the threads on bolts and tapped holes.
Note most sets don't include a 12mm x 1.25 (fine thread) die. This is
what the top studs on the knuckle are, the lug nuts, and the steering
length of 1 1/2" pipe
To separate the Birfield from the inner axle.
For all nuts and bolts that don't require thread locker
You will need at least 2 pounds of this for the Birfield's
and all the Knuckle bearings.
For Knuckle Stud bolts
Pipe Wrench or Channel
To set tie rod length
8mm x 1.25 x 3"
You can cut the heads off of bolts for these. Makes putting
spindle on much easier!
There are several prep steps that you can do
to make the re-assembly go much smoother.
The knuckle housing has 26 tapped holes in it. We are going
to clean out each hole with a tap. Yeah , yeah 52 total holes to clean out.
Get you mind out of the gutter... Believe me, with all the de-rusting, washing,
wire wheeling and painting or powder coating there is crud down in those threads.
Better to clean them out now, than to strip and break a bolt off in them later.
You will need a 6mm x 1.0, a 8mm x 1.25, and a 12mm x 1.25
tap. You will also need a 12mm x 1.5 and a 12mm x 1.25 die to clean up the
studs. (Some claim you should always replace the studs anyway.)
Start with the 6mm holes on the back side of the knuckle.
These are the ones that hold the Oil Seal Covers in place. Put some thread
lube on the tap and carefully start it in the hole. If you feel resistance
then back the tap out 1/2 turn and try again. If you feel resistance again
then back the tap out completely, clean the threads and start again. The last
thing you want is to break a tap off in a hole! Run the tap all the way to
Next up: The front 8mm holes that hold the spindle and backing
plate on. Same as above.
Then do the two steering stop holes with the 12mm x 1.25
If you removed the top and bottom studs while taking the
knuckle apart then use the 12mm x 1.5 tap to clean these out. Note! The studs
have 12mm x 1.25mm threads one one end and 12mm x 1.5 threads on the other!
The 1.5 threaded end goes into the knuckle and the 1.25 threaded end is for
the nuts that hold the steering arm and bottom Knuckle bearing retainer in
place. They are NOT swappable!
Apply some Anti-seize to the 1.5 mm side of the knuckle studs
and using two nuts back to back thread then into the knuckle housing. Tighten
to 43 - 54 lb ft torque. Remove the nuts.
Use the 12mm x 1.25 die to clean up the threads on all the
studs and steering stop bolts.
Install the steering stop bolts from the rear of the housing.
Leave about 1/2 " sticking out for the lock nut. You will adjust this
later. You want the 'head' to be pointed toward the 3rd member when installed.
Install the lock nut on the front.
Use a wire brush on a drill and clean the threads of all
the bolts that will thread into the knuckle housing. If they look damaged
then run a die across them. Anal? You bet! Never striped a bolt in my life
that I had done this to when combined with cleaning out the tapped holes.
While you have the wire brush out run it over the gasket
faces front and rear of the housings. This will remove any over spray of paint
or powder coating. Set the knuckles aside for now. Also run it over the knuckle
bearing studs, inside the housing and anywhere else that needs it. Blow out
the housing and all the screw holes with compressed air.
Use some crocus cloth or some 1000 grit sand paper to remove
the baking haze from the knuckle bearing studs and the housing.
Knuckles Before Prepping
Get on your latex gloves and
clear off the work bench. Time to take the Birfield's apart to clean and inspect
them! Of course if you are rich, then you will have bought a set of Long Fields
or something similar, and can skip all this messy crap.
Breaking Axle from Birfield
Degreased and disassembled
Work with only one Birfield at a time! The parts
of each Birfield have worn to match each other. You don't want to mix
them up! I used a grease pencil to mark each one so I could also get them
back into the same side.
Clean off all the external grease from the
Lay down an old soft towel or some clean wrapping paper on
the work bench. (Good use for that old Christmas wrapping paper) We don't
want dirt to get in the Birfield's!
Now get the 3' piece of pipe and stuff a big rag in one end.
Slide the inner axle into the other so that the Birfield joint rests on the
pipe. See Fig. 2.
Raise the pipe about chest level and slam it STRAIGHT down
on a hard surface like concrete. a big honking rock or an anvil if you have
one. If you are lucky the inner axle should separate from the Birfield on
the first try. If not repeat until it does. It took 4 times for mine to separate.
What you just did was break the snap ring that holds the Birfield to the inner
Fig. 3 shows the now
separate Birfield At this point you can start taking the Birfield apart. No
tools needed! Clamp the birfield in a vice, bell end up.
Refer to Fig. 4 which is a page
straight from the Toyota manual and remove the balls, cage and race.
Clean all parts thoroughly, wash in hot soapy water then
dry thoroughly. See Fig. 5.
Race Into Cage
Aligning the race
Cage & Race In
Figs. 6-9 show the
reassembly process done dry with no grease. This is just to show you the way
it goes together without the grease blocking the view. Do not assembly them
dry then try to grease it later!
Start the reassembly by thoroughly coating the inside of
the bell with a thick coat of grease. Then coat the race, cage and your balls
(the Birfield balls man! Geez!)
1st Ball In
Push ball down into place
All Greased up
Use Figs. 4and 6 and 10-13 to
reassemble the Birfield's. The only thing to watch out for is the orientation
of the race and cage. The manual pages show how it goes.
Wrap the completed Birfs in plastic or paper to keep grit
out of them until you actually re-install them in the knuckles.
Replacing the Seal Felts
The early style oil seals have a replaceable felt
inner ring. These will be included in your knuckle rebuild kit and they are
pretty easy to install.
Old Seal Felt
Removing Old Felt
Removed Felts and Wire Retaining Rings
shows the old felt ring mounted in the seal. It wasn't in too bad a shape
considering it was 33 years old!
To remove the old felt, clamp it gently in a vice, and use
a small screwdriver or other tool to pry it out. See Fig.
You may find wire retaining rings in yours as shown in Fig.
16. They were only in one of mine. It's strange but someone had cut
one of the felt rings before they put it in! Maybe it was too big? Though
I don't have a pic of it I remember there was a large gap in the felt and
that side had leaked worse than the other.
Clean out all the old gunk and grease from the inner part
of the seal. If you are going to paint it now is the time.
Installing the new felt may be a bit frustrating but it WILL
go in WITHOUT cutting it! Use a pair of wide electricians pliers to compress the felt as you work your way around the ring. Stuff it in with a small, thin, straight blade screwdriver. Just keep working it in until it's all the way in.
It may have a couple of wrinkles in it but after a bit they work themselves
out. See Fig. 17 for the completed seal.