View Full Version : Birf rebuild advice

02-08-2012, 06:26 PM
A good friend of mine has a '94 LC and is asking me about a clicking on the pass side at full turn. It's got 300,000+ miles. This was Corbets truck at one point. He has 4 kids and no money so I'm trying to help him out. DD with stock size tires. I've done 40 and 80 birfs and am comfortable with what's involved. 5 rolls of blue shop towels and such. Question is about the parts. I'm thinking about SOR kit 080-41D-kit major gasket kit $79 http://www.sor.com/sor/cat080b.tam

and CV unlimited birf. I'll help him with the pass side and next few paychecks he's gonna do the DS.
I'm a little afraid I'm opening a can of worms.:o

Any thoughts?:cheers: more interest in advice about the parts than how to. Again Stock Tires and DD

02-08-2012, 06:34 PM
I never owned a 94' personally but you probably meant I sold it at Avalanche Automotive when working there? :thumb:

You might get away with swapping the birfs side to side but probably not with 300K. I've never bought PM stuff from SOR. Usually Cruiser Outfitters or Slee.

Does anyone have some 80 series birds laying around used?

02-08-2012, 10:13 PM

02-08-2012, 10:27 PM
They're pretty much the same. 1 snap ring on the inner birf vs. 2 like on 40s and 60s. He'll probably need new thrust washers (claw washers) too.

02-09-2012, 07:26 AM
I got some rebuilt birfs last year from CVJ Axles, Inc. (http://www.cvjaxles.com/) in Denver. They have performed excellently so far. My write up is here (http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=15169). Unfortunately the end of the thread came undone thanks to Transvestite Frank and his Backdoor Goop.

There is a 5K mile update in that thread:
Time for an update. I am coming up on 5k miles on the rebuilt birfs and so far they have performed flawlessly. No breaks, no clicks. I drove to Cruise Moab 2011 on them and wheeled Elephant Hill and Wipeout Hill. Locally I have done China Wall, BOWAGW (Slaughterhouse), Argentine Pass cleanup run and Red Cone twice. Nothing hardcore, but I have used my front elocker several times to get out of compromising positions. I haven't been babying them, just driving as usual. So far they appear to have adequate strength for my style of wheeling. The next question is how long they will last before they start clicking. I don't expect 250k like the stock birfields. I will be ecstatic though if I get half that, considering the cost. As of now I have to say :thumb: on these birfs. :cool:

Now I am around 10K miles on them and have done another Argentine trip plus the epic White Rim - Elephant Hill - Doll House - Poison Springs trip last fall. They are still working perfectly and I have not been gentle. :hill:

02-09-2012, 01:14 PM
Do you intend to rebuild the knuckle as well, or just deal with the birf and be done with it? If you are just doing the birf, you might be able to save some $$ by just getting the outer gaskets, lock washers and an axle seal for each side. I'd call Kurt and have him set you up.

02-09-2012, 01:18 PM
As for the kit Farnham, that looks pretty good and mostly complete :thumb: - I'm not sure on price but a quick check with Derek at Stevinson or CDan could confirm. That seems like a good price for all of that and is for BOTH sides :) - what does the back of the knuckle look like? Is the grease on the ball wet and soupy or dry and caked? Personally, with 300K miles I'd do the full service but as Matt mentions you could stop short and save a little $$.

Like Subzali mentioned, I'd suggesting picking up new lock/claw washers (#2 on the SOR diagram) and birf clips (#55). Often the lock washers are chewed up from the bearing spinning...sometimes you can flip them over and grind down the rough spots but they are pretty cheap. On the clips, I've separated 4 birfs from the axles and have yet to have a clip break. That said, you'd hate to get to that point and have to wait for the arrival of a cheap part.

As for the clicking...You could try swapping the birfs side to side but Corbet's point is valid about the mileage and whether it will work. Some have success and some don't with regard to getting rid of the clicking.

The risk is you go through all that work, and expense, to swap the birfs and the clicking is still there. So you get to do all that work all over again...You'll reuse most of the new parts but you might need a new gasket here and there or possibly another new inner axle seal if you damage one of the new ones. Not to mention the cost for more gear oil and grease.

Seems like the biggest single cost is the birf and I'd go the route Dan went.

Personally, I'd try to hold off and do both sides at once to cut down on the addional cost of gear oil (unless you plan to reuse it) if the owner is thinking a month or two in between sides.

The other caveats here of course is what shape the wheel and trunnion bearings are in once you get in there...If those need to be replaced then the cost will start escalating :(

02-09-2012, 04:09 PM
Well you're not going to swap sides unless you do both sides at once. So if you want to get in and out quick on just the passenger side then a new birf is in order. You won't know how worn it is until you get it in your hand, but if you could spend a day then I'd definitely explore the swapping sides option and pull both axles.

Does is click when he's in reverse? that should be a test for if swapping sides will do anything, right?

02-09-2012, 04:17 PM
if he's really low on funds I'd try swapping the sides first and fresh moly packed birfs. If that doesn't work you should be able to reuse all the paper gaskets and swap out for the cv unlimited or the ones dan did in denver. that's my .02

02-09-2012, 05:03 PM
I swapped sides on my '95 and it made no difference. I would not waste the time doing this. I sure wish it HAD worked. Mine click lightly on pavement in sharp turns, and loudly on dirt in sharp turns. I'd get them rebuilt by the place in Denver.