View Full Version : real time help. Birf disassembly

04-19-2011, 05:47 PM
Front axle service began today. I've got the inner axles off the birfs. Now to remove the balls and clean them out. Well I got 5/6 balls out and can't get the final one. What is the trick to this? FSM simply says rotate the cage and remove balls. Well 30 mins of wrestling with the greasy SOB and I can't get the final one. Its just stuck way down in there. I can rotate the cage 360 but the ball won't move:rant::rant::rant::banghead: I've beat on it pretty hard with the brass hammer already.

here's a pic

04-19-2011, 06:56 PM
I hit it with a block of wood. Got the last birf ball to fall out. Now to disassemble the 2nd one. What's the trick to separate the star from the cage?

Really had to phrase that carefully to not land on Uncle Ben's sig line again.

Pic of the wear. Right side birf.

04-19-2011, 06:57 PM
Just did this last weekend :D

First one came apart easy, second one was a little more of a PITA. No real "trick" to it that I know of other than rotating the cage/star. Maybe the ball is stuck down - I assume you tried whacking it on the opposite side (away from the ball)?

Just a hint, pay close attention to the orientation of the star/cage re: which way the star sits in the cage and which way the cage sits in the birf. Once you get them loaded back up with moly grease it can be a challenged to make sure you have them right side up. There is a good write up on MUD (I think I linked to it back in my thread back in '09) of disassembly and reassembly of the birfs.

Hint #2 - when reinstalling the axles into the birfs with the clips I found the easiest way (although it can be frustrating) is to put the birf in a vice, fill it up with moly, insert cage/star and balls and pack in more grease, then use the screwdriver trick mentioned in the FSM to get the clip on the axle in and press on the axle till you hear the clip "pop" in. I tried the zip tie trick in the MUD writeup and that didn't work and just made me :rant:

EDIT: I type too slow :hill:

04-20-2011, 09:36 AM
It has been awhile, but I think Star from cage = flip star 90 degrees relative to the cage. Put point of star into slot of cage, star falls out. only 2 slots are long enough to fit the star into. The entire thing is kinda like those metal puzzles.

04-20-2011, 09:41 AM
Yeah what Mr. Rudy said. also note how the star fits just slightly "in" from center, further into the bell of the birf.. you'll want to note that for reassembly.

Those grooves look great to me, good for another 100k easy! :hill: they look a lot like mine did a couple years ago, are you going to flip them around? that's what I did.. http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=1150

04-20-2011, 10:26 AM
I'm thinking some quality time in Mr. Slee's supersonic super duper dishwasher parts cleaner looks like way more fun.

04-20-2011, 07:51 PM
I messed with the star and cage for about 20 minutes before giving up on breaking them apart. I cleaned them both up the best I could with a rag and reassembled. I was surprised how hard I had to beat the cage with a punch in order to get the balls back in. Then swapped sides. Should be good for some time.

Anyway all buttoned up this afternoon. I'm replacing rotors, pads, front calipers, and installing Slee's extending brake lines tomorrow. Then bleeding the system. I'm preparing to :rant: some more tomorrow.

But for now :beer::beer::beer:

I'm definitely getting a small ultrasonic cleaner before I do this again. If to only clean up all the hardware and star/cage. Seems like cleaning everything is half the job. And the brake cleaner buzz/headache sucks.

I also installed the Longfield lifetime wiper seals. Went in easy. I think I'll like them.

04-21-2011, 10:31 AM
And the brake cleaner buzz/headache sucks.

Get a respirator for when you have to do this stuff in a closed off place.. I got one at the Depot that works really well with brake cleaner/carb cleaner fumes. I only got it recently but I use it all the time now. That **** can't be good for you, and $40 is nothing to spend to at least make an attempt at not getting cancer later.

04-21-2011, 11:16 AM
eww. brake cleaner. get a 5 gal bucket of diesel or varsol etc and make a cheap parts washer.

04-21-2011, 11:18 AM
I have one but did not use it. I had my overhead door open the whole time and did most of the spraying outside the garage. I guess I'm just sensitive to it. I should find my respirator. I have not used it since moving down here. Could me in a number of boxes laying about the garage.

04-21-2011, 02:02 PM
eww. brake cleaner. get a 5 gal bucket of diesel or varsol etc and make a cheap parts washer.

X2! Kerosene works too, in fact that is what Haynes specifies.

I took a birf apart last year that had the star in backwards. Talk about a b!tch to disassemble. I didn't know why it was so hard until I got the sucker apart.

04-25-2011, 09:54 PM
Well, job completed. Got the Slee brake lines installed, pads/rotors x 4 and front calipers wrapped up tonight with the help of my neighbor. Drives OK. Waiting for the pads to start biting hard. Cross your fingers I have no leaks. I'll take it to town tomorrow after shooting some more grease into the birfs.