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Old 02-25-2011, 09:55 PM
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MountainGoat MountainGoat is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Conifer, CO
Posts: 1,577
Default Rebuilt 95 FZJ80 Birfields

This is a follow up to my recent Birfield Quandary thread.

Dropped off my birfs at CVJ Axles, Inc. yesterday for rebuilding. I asked them NOT to pack grease in them, because I wanted to use a particular grease when I reinstalled them. Of course I also wanted to take a look at them without having to remove all that grease, too! They called at 9 am today and told me they were ready. When I picked them up they were not packed, as per my request. I was however a bit taken aback because they obviously weren't my original housings. There were none of the heat treating or burn marks that the OEMs had on them. It also appeared to me that the bowls were a bit shallower than my originals were. I didn't take that particular measurement before I gave them mine, so I can't verify that. I did, however, measure them for total length and for spline length and they were exactly right for a 95 FZJ80. I took some other measurements on my old ones as well and checked the new ones. All the measurements are pretty much the same. Ball size, housing thickness in the ball grooves and between them, and inside diameter from the bottom of one ball groove to the bottom of the one opposite.

Here are pictures of my old birfs with 260k miles on them:

The driver's side cage and star were pretty much seized together. Lots of big chips, scoring and hammering. I couldn't get them apart and the star would barely move inside the cage:

Horizontal grooves in the ball slot:

Scoring and chipping on the star. Notice the groove where the ball rides to the left:

More chips on the cage:

The old housing:

The rebuilt birf:

I took out 2 of the balls so I could see the grooves, cage and star. They all look virtually brand new. There are some surface marks, mostly they are from what feels like graphite that I think they used to lubricate it enough to get it together. Note the lack of chipping, grooves or hammering:

The outside of the housing has machine ridges on it, not smooth like the OEM:

I would have pulled all the balls out and split the cage and star but frankly they were much tighter than my old ones and I didn't want to beat them to death. I put my short side axle in one and it fit. The joint moves smoothly with no play. Feels tight like I would guess a new one would.

Tomorrow we install them. Assuming everything fits I should be back on the road! BTW these cost $149 each.
Dan Kucera
TLCA# 17536

95 FZJ80 LC Red
99 UZJ100 LC Black
00 VZN185 4Runner Highlander Jade
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