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Old 02-18-2011, 06:59 PM
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Default Birfield Quandary (with minor rant)

I popped my birfs apart today in the midst of my front axle rebuild. First one came apart fine and has some pretty good wear grooves but it wasn't too bad. The truck has 260k on it. Second one took a lot of work to get the balls out. Then I pulled out the cage and star. The star doesn't move freely in the cage and I can't even get it out. Lots of chips on the cage and the star is all hammered up. In short, it's toast.

So I call Stevinson and learn that a new one is $600. That's with the club discount.

So I call Slee and ask about their Chromoly ones, listed on the website for $350. I wanted to know how much faster they wear than stock. I was told that they will start clicking at 10 or 15k. I can do a part time kit to make them last longer, but that's another $725. Might as well get new OEM ones at that rate.

Then I talked to Joe at CTS here in Conifer where I live. He says he uses CV Unlimited replacements with good success. He said they were a couple hundred bucks. I went on their website and found this. I called to verify that this is, as stated on their website, a brand new joint. Yes, it is.

What the h*ll. Makes no sense to me. I did a little research on the CV Unlimited ones and apparently some guys on mud have run them with no trouble and some have failed.

I can't be the only person to have to replace a birf. What would you do, suck it up and get OEMs? Gamble on the CV Unlimited ones. Other solutions? I really can't see doing a birfield replacement every 10-15k with the Chromoly's, that seems ridiculous.

This is on my 95 FZJ80 with a TJM heavy lift and 33s. I was shooting to get 35s soon, but this sort of blows the budget. I won't be going bigger than 35s at any rate. I don't wheel it hard enough to break on the trail. I don't drive the truck every day, but I do rotate it in DD duties with my old 40 and my 94 pickup.

Any input?
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:46 PM
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For the prices listed on that site. I'd gamble and buy a couple sets of them. If they blow up you're not out much money.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:01 PM
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I'd buy a set of Longfields and keep your OK OEM as a spare.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:41 PM
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Glad you discovered the damaged parts in the garage rather than on the trail.

May be worth searching for some good used ones at one of the parts yards too.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corbet View Post
I'd buy a set of Longfields and keep your OK OEM as a spare.
I'm with Corbet on this Dan! Step up to the Longfields and be done with it, especially for when you go to 35's, and put the OEM spare in the back of the truck.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:47 PM
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I would go for the CV unlimiteds.. I don't think Longs are best for a full time truck. If you have to replace them every 3 years so what, you should have torn back into the axle by then anyway. IMHO, obviously.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:47 AM
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The guys that buy and use the cheap IFS CV axles end up doing a lot of trail fixes for broken CV's. I have no experience with Unlimited CV's, and maybe they are better than an "Autozone made in China specials", but I would want something I could trust in my axles.

Try some of the "parting out" threads on Mud? Or Oleg? Or Blake's?
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old40Dog View Post
I'm with Corbet on this Dan! Step up to the Longfields and be done with it, especially for when you go to 35's, and put the OEM spare in the back of the truck.
Longfield has the same wear issue as the chromo ones we sell. Not for DD duties.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:39 AM
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I have played this game. In your 80, unless you do a part time conversion you do not want to run Longfield Birfs. Clicking will develop fairly soon in the full time set up and it gets louder. Stock Birfs will last you another 100k miles and I have never seen a broken 80 birf yet in tires 35 and under. In fact you are more likely to break the wimpy 8" front diff before the 80 Birfs go boom! I still have my Longfield inners and the "good" used Birfs I put in are now clicking. New Birfs are in my future. I have heard that CV Unlimited Birfs are better than they used to be but I have a few broken ones out of my 40 that learned my lesson. Ask Bruce Miller about CV Unlimited Birfs....be sure to wear your full face helmet when you do!
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleeoffroad View Post
Longfield has the same wear issue as the chromo ones we sell. Not for DD duties.
Christo, do you have any experience with Longfield's "new" birfs. This is a quote off of MUD from last summer posted by Longfiled.

"Yes they use to be for off road only. Know they are a little bit harder so they will wear longer. 4340 chromoly can wear as good as anything else if you treat them right with the rock well hardness. Now you can use them for your daily driver, but they are still not as hard as stock CV. Ours are half the price as stock ones."

My thought is at half the price you could buy two sets and probably get about the same "lifetime" as OEM

Quote can be found here: http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-te...-use-only.html
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