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View Full Version : Axle/Birfield/Knuckle question


ianacole
09-23-2011, 07:38 PM
I'm not quite sure how to ask the question for the problem I'm seeing, so I'm not quite sure what to search for...so, my apologies if this has already been addressed.

I was changing my brake pads on my FJ today (front axle is from an '84 minitruck) and as I was working on the passenger side I noticed that I was able to move the knuckle around the ball of the axle. It had about 1/2" of movement, but wasn't moving anything in the steering, it didn't feel right. The knuckle wasn't moving away from the ball, so there's no leaking around/by the seal, but it definitely didn't feel right and I didn't feel the same thing working on the driver's side. It feels like something is loose in there. Could it be simply the outer birfield has separated from the axle? Is that the right question to ask? It's the entire knuckle that feels like it's shifting, not the rotor from the knuckle, or any subcomponent like that. Any thoughts? I'm trying to figure out if there are parts I need to order prior to disassembly.

Thanks!

Ian

wesintl
09-23-2011, 07:45 PM
it's either the knuckle bearings or the wheel bearings. Tighten the wheel bearings it's it's still loose it's the knucklee bearings. Or you could buy both from cruiser outfitters and replace everything. I usually almost always replace the knuckle bearings but will usually reuse wheel bearings if they are in good shape.

ianacole
09-23-2011, 07:49 PM
Thanks for the quick response! Is it worth trying to tighten first, or should I just go in and replace it?

wesintl
09-23-2011, 07:54 PM
yah, take off the locking hub and tighten the wheel bearing. You can tell if your wheel bearing is loose buy putting your hands at 12 and 6 oclock and rock back and forth any play it's your wheel bearing. If you have the wheel bearings tight then it's the knuckle bearings. Do you have the factory service manual for tightening the wheel bearings?

ianacole
09-23-2011, 08:02 PM
I have the Haynes for the 40, but have not picked up a FSM yet, nor have I restocked my pickup literature for the front axle.

wesintl
09-23-2011, 08:05 PM
Haynes is fine it will have the info in there for wheel bearing. That part is the same drum or disc

ianacole
09-23-2011, 08:07 PM
Cool! Thanks a lot!!

subzali
09-23-2011, 08:41 PM
Dumb question, but are all 8 nuts that clamp the caps down on the knuckle housing?

AHorseThief
09-23-2011, 08:44 PM
dumb Question, But Are All 8 Nuts That Clamp The Caps Down On The Knuckle Housing Invited To The Party :happyhour:?

FIFY :thumb:

ianacole
09-24-2011, 08:13 AM
yah, take off the locking hub and tighten the wheel bearing. You can tell if your wheel bearing is loose buy putting your hands at 12 and 6 oclock and rock back and forth any play it's your wheel bearing. If you have the wheel bearings tight then it's the knuckle bearings. Do you have the factory service manual for tightening the wheel bearings?

As I think through what was going on, the play was from the 3 to 9 o' clock positions. So this indicates the knuckle bearing, correct? If I'm looking at the diagram in the Haynes correctly there's one top and bottom, and it doesn't look like there's a way to tighten these. Does having hi-steer change anything in the bearing setup on the '84 axle?

Art Volmer
09-24-2011, 08:39 AM
The hi-steer should not change anything. But make sure the nuts for hi-steer arms are tight. I think they are 17mm nut and stud combo. These are the caps that hold the knuckle bearings into the housing. Good Luck

wesintl
09-24-2011, 09:02 AM
high steer does change the torque on the studs causing them to sheer or not stay tight. The way the bearings are properly set are with shims and you can use a knuckle tool to determine the shims needed if you have put a different knuckle on a different axle.

ianacole
09-25-2011, 03:15 PM
Well, I'm ordering the Marlin Knuckle Rebuild Kit (with replacement wheel bearings) next weekend, and plan on doing the rebuild the weekend of October 8th, starting at ~2pm. Anyone interested in coming over and overseeing the process as I haven't done this before?