80-Series Birfield Repack

Tech information furnished by Jim Phillips

Birfield Repack, Wheel Bearing Repack, etc

Much of this information is thanks to Beowulf who provided me with instructions on changing the front brake rotors, greasing the wheel bearings and tightening them right.

This time I was greasing the Birfield and changing the inner oil seal. You might also consider replacing the knuckle/trunion bearings whilst you're in there as this is considered by many as a routine maintenance item when repacking the Birfields.

For starters, take a look at some photos and descriptions of the procedure as described by Landcruiser Gods, to whom I am a mere disciple:


First thing you will have noticed is this is a dirty, messy job. Get yourself some latex gloves and at least 6 rolls of paper towels, rags, nappies (English word for what babies wear) and a big dust bin (trash can) to throw them in as you move through the job.

This was my shopping list:

MP grease - 1 cartridge of Amsoil (GLC)

Moly grease - 4 tubs. In the UK they come in 500g, I believe that less progressive countries still use pounds. Either way, buy 4 tubs.

Anti-seize compound

Brake Cleaner - I went through about 6 cans. It's really effective when cleaning the Birfield for blasting the old grease away.

Solvent to clean wheel bearings.

Wire - To secure brake caliper.


Torque wrench.........Up to 100 ft/lb
Brass drift...........6" long, 1/2" bar or brass hammer. Used to loosen cone washers.
Hub socket............2-1/8" socket or 54mm if you can find one
Seal puller...........T-type
Snap Ring pliers......Get the pliers with a flat surface.
Spring Scale for setting wheel bearing preload. I got mine from a fishing tackle shop.

Toyota parts:
2x Hub gaskets
2x Inner hub grease seals
2x Oil seals
2x Hub Oil seals (someone please tell me the proper name for it)


Remove the wheel

Remove the caliper & hang on spring

Pry off the dust cap

Remove the snap ring using pliers

Remove the nuts, flat washers & cone washers from flange (brass bar used to loosen cone washers, nuts) If you've never done this, have a good look at George's page again. If the first one you whack doesn't come loose move on to the next. Once one pops, the others are easy.

Unfold the two tabs bent down over the large nuts

Remove outer nut, tab washer, inner nut and plate washer

Pull off hub assembly & rotor.
(Outer bearing likely to fall out. If it hits concrete you're likely to need a new one)

Remove inner hub grease seal
Clean both wheel bearings and repack with MP grease.
Put the bearings in a plastic sandwich bag to pack or use a bearing packer if you have one.

You are nearly into the knuckle assembly. You just need to remove the 8 bolts that hold the dust shields and the stub axle in place.

Once the dust shield and stub axle are removed you finally have access to the axle itself. Prior to pulling out the axle, the ABS sensor MUST be removed! TAKE CARE! Just undo the bolts. If you've never seen an ABS sensor, be aware that they are made of plastic. Don't be tempted (like I did) to lever them out with a screw driver - they brake. Instead, twist them a little clockwise and then anticlockwise (gently) and at the same time Pull them up. The magnets at the end might have bits of metal on them and grease. Don't worry, reach out for a rag and wipe them clean.

Once the sensor has been pulled out, the axle can be pulled out. Note, the steering MUST be in the straight ahead position and the flats on the Birfield must be in the vertical plane. Stick your finger in the grease and feel for the flat bit. If you jack the other tyre just off the ground, you can rotate the axle until it is in the right position to pull it out. You might find it's easier to get someone else to turn the opposite wheel (slowly, without ripping your finger off) until you feel the flat at the top.

Put a bucket under the hub because once you take the axle out there is going to be an oil spill….. See what I mean. Now get those rags, nappies and paper towels in there and get it cleaned out! The Birfield joint may appear to be discolored with a bluish tint in several places. This is normal and part of the factory heat treating process

Prior to removing the oil seal, reach in with your finger tip and pull out the spring that is on inside rear of the inner lip - to prevent the possibility of it falling into the axle tube. Now remove the oil seal. I bought the T type. It's not difficult to prise it out.

Now put the new seal in. I used a piece of metal tubing which was the right diameter. Just tap it into place.

Now get to work cleaning the Birfield. Get a bucket, some solvent and a paint brush (careful none of the bristles come off) Give it a soak and than blast it with some brake cleaner. You'll note that I didn't disassemble the Birfield to clean it. Some do, but you can get by without.

Now pack the Birfield with grease. Take a look at those web sites again to get an idea how much grease to pack in there. Pack the knuckle with some more grease and then all the steps are followed in reverse order (without forgetting to put use the new gaskets)

Now back to the wheel bearings…

Install inner wheel bearing
Coat inside of hub with MP grease
Install inner hub seal
Install outer bearing, thrust washer, and inner adjusting nut (54mm)
Follow *instructions below (or FSM) to set preload on inner nut
Install lock washer w/tabs
Install out adjusting nut (54mm)
Generous coat of MP grease on outer axle splines and flange.
Install gasket, flange, cone washers, flat washers and nuts (26 ft/lbs)
Coat the cone washers with a light coating of anti-sieze to aid in removal the next time.
Install snap ring (8mm bolt to grab & pull the axle shaft out)
Install dust cap (lightly coat inside w/MP grease)
Reinstall caliper (90 ft/lb)
Clean everything w/brake cleaner
Reinstall wheel. Apply light coating of anti-seize on threads, not between washer and wheel. (76ft/lb allow, 109 ft/lb steel)
Check brake fluid level & brake operation before putting in gear.

*To set the bearing pre-load:
Torque inner nut to 43 ft/lbs
Turn rotor 5 times, left & right
Torque inner nut to 43 ft/lbs
Loosen inner nut until it can be turned by hand
Torque inner nut 3 ft/lbs (48 in/lbs!)
Check that bearing has no play
Measure preload w/tension spring (6-12 lb)
Install lock washer & lock nut
Torque outer lock nut (47 ft/lb)
Check that the axle hub turns smoothly and that the bearing has no play.
Measure preload w/tension spring (6-12 lb)
(Repeat, starting w/inner nut if not within range)
Secure the lock nut by bending one of the lock washer teeth inward and the other lock washer teeth outward

Good luck. Much of this is taken from Beowulf's descriptions. Some from George, some from Norm. Hope it's useful to have it all in one place. Besides, some of us still don't have internet access in the garage. Please add anything or correct anything which may be wrong or misleading.

Posted April 2, 2003

©2000-2014 by IH8MUD.com - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED