View Full Version : Trouble with 1987 4Runner front axle

02-02-2010, 08:30 PM
My uncle is having trouble with his 1987 4Runner. It has a bunch of miles on it (over 200,000 I think), and their mechanic found that it had about 1/2" of up and down play where the front axle shaft goes into the front differential. He's thinking of digging into it himself. Any ideas on what might be going on, how he can fix it (will installing a new (used) 3rd member solve the problem? Any other things he needs to watch out for, or items that need to be replaced while he's in there?

Uncle Ben
02-02-2010, 11:20 PM
My uncle is having trouble with his 1987 4Runner. Any ideas on what might be going on? Any other things he needs to watch out for, or items that need to be replaced while he's in there?

4Runner! :lmao:

02-03-2010, 09:09 AM
UB actually got part of a sentence out! Congrats!

So you are saying the inner axle has play where it attaches to the diff (assuming the passenger side...)? Or is it play in the inner tulip joint? Yep, IFS diffs are cheap, and swapping it is certainly easiest - and if the tulip joint, just pick up the whole banana from someone doing a SAS. Likely, free, or close to it.

02-03-2010, 09:31 AM
I have a 4.10 one in Greeley I'll sell for $75. Its in good running condition.

If the pinion is moving up and down that much, both the gears and bearings are likely hosed. He needs to replace it all.

Check the axle code under the hood. Look for a G292 on the bottom right section of the VIN plate under the hood on the firewall. If it has that axle code (95% of those did), then he has 4.10s and this would be a direct replacement.

02-03-2010, 09:52 AM
If the oil seals are not leaking yet. I would call it "normal." On the short side, there is hardly anything holding the output in there and they are pretty wobbly all the time.

A different complete 3rd member would be the way to go, but wobble the replacement diff's output flange and see if it has the same amount of play as the one you are about to swap out first if that is the problem you are trying to solve.


There is a Celica-Supra at pul-n-sav and a couple of IFS 2nd gen 4runners right now. Take the LSD diff from the 7.5 inch diff in the celica-supra (axle code F##3 on the build tag under the hood) and the bearing races/shims. Get a complete 3rd from one of the 4runners with a ratio that matches your Uncle's. Pop the front cover off to inspect it on the spot. Take the open diff carrier out of the IFS front 3rd member. Remember where the side shims were. Chances are, you'll be able to use the existing shims with the celica-supra LSD!

Swap the 4runner's ring gear onto the LSD differential carrier from the celica-supra right there in the junk yard. Now wheelbarrow that complete 3rd member back up to the counter and buy a complete IFS 3rd member with a FACTORY TOYOTA Limited slip! Take it home, clean it up, check the side bearing preload and backlash...Now you have a reason to swap out the 1987 4runner's front 3rd member, an upgrade to front LSD!

I've done this in the past with great success. Of course it is still just a limited slip and a friction plate based one at that, but for just a little labor, it's a cool upgrade! You can shim the LSD for a little more bias too.

02-03-2010, 11:07 AM
Take a look on the firewall and check the build plate. See if it says axle code G292 and LMK.

02-03-2010, 07:34 PM
Thanks guys, he's in Buena Vista and all I've had is a short phone call with him and a little emailing. I will let him know.