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Old 05-12-2021, 12:09 AM #1
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How to remove 3rd member from bent axle?

Hey guys,

I have a 4runner with a bent axle but a supposedly good 3rd member.

I got a mint axle housing and shafts from lkq but the 3rd member had already been removed. I got each half shaft out about 1/2" and cannot get them to budge beyond that. The axle is removed from my truck and I strapped one end to a post and the other to my other truck's hitch and pulled. Snapped a tie down and then pulled the post part way out of the ground but it's not budging.

Any ideas?

I can obviously get another 3rd member if needed but I'd rather try to use this one since I've already got it and it was good at the time of the accident.

Thanks!
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At 5'7", I'd need a rocket up the wazoo to get in it.

But it looks good. I can't wait to see it being driven.
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Old 05-12-2021, 02:05 AM #2
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If the four bolts holding the axles in are removed, then the axles should easily slide right out. I'd love to hear how the hell you bent an axle housing? That's pretty crazy.
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Old 05-12-2021, 02:58 AM #3
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After rereading your post. The axles could be in a bind connected to the third member preventing them from being removed if the axle housing is bent bad enough. If that's the case, I wouldn't have much faith in the third member being in good shape after this. Post pics if possible.
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:10 AM #4
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If all else fails get out your cutter of choice and cut till it comes out. If the axles bent, its probably already scrap bound.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:04 AM #5
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Cutting the tube enough to let the pressure off the axle is a good solution. If you know someone with a winch you could try to slowly pull the axle out. I would stand back though as metal under that much pressure has a lot of energy to release once free.

As stated earlier by Sparky 97Runner - I am not sure I would trust that 3rd member. If it has a locker or some other upgrade you are trying to recover I can understand; but otherwise I would consider it a candidate for a rebuild before running it in my daily driver. Overall 3rd members are pretty cheap compared to dealing with more damages from a failed unit at highway speeds.
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:35 AM #6
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The spider gear/s can develop cracks behind the gear face where they neck down on a bent housing, this is what usually breaks first.
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Old 05-12-2021, 12:00 PM #7
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Thanks for the tips guys!

Looks like this one probably isn't worth saving. I'll post a pic of the axle later, it's super bent.

I picked it up for pennies on marketplace bc the previous owner, an elderly guy, fell asleep at the wheel and went into a ditch. The rest of the truck is pretty nice but the control arms pulled out of their little brackets and did a number on the axle. I'll go to lkq and see if they have another 3rd member.

Thanks!
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At 5'7", I'd need a rocket up the wazoo to get in it.

But it looks good. I can't wait to see it being driven.
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Old 05-12-2021, 02:43 PM #8
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If it wasn't driven on after it was bent I c no reason not to cut the housing as stated and pull the 3rd and the axle shafts, they will take a good amount of flex and stay true after pulled from the housing...
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:12 PM #9
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That 3rd just ain't worth saving.
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Old 05-19-2021, 11:40 AM #10
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I ended up cutting the axle housing with an angle grinder on one side of the 3rd member and both shafts came right out. The 3rd seems fine with no shavings or deformed splines so I'm gonna try to run it. If it's bad, I can get another but for the minimal effort it took to cut the housing (way easier than I thought), it's worth a shot!
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At 5'7", I'd need a rocket up the wazoo to get in it.

But it looks good. I can't wait to see it being driven.
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