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Old 06-05-2010, 10:15 PM #1
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Arrow Rear Axle Seals: The Ultimate Information and Replacement Thread (3rd gen)

I noticed last week that my driver’s side rear axle seal had given up the ghost and I started doing my research on how to go about fixing it. Everything that I learn in the process, I will add to this post. I haven’t found a good write-up on this on T4R.org. Most of what I learned came from various write-ups I found on YT, via Google, talking to several mechanics, and now personal experience.

Here’s how you know you’ve got a bad rear axle seal:





First, I called my mechanic, who I trust and have been dealing with for 10 years, for a quote. I was quoted almost $1200.00 to replace the bearings, retainers, inner and outer seals, brakes, and associated parts on both sides of the rear axle. I decided it was worth my time and effort to try and save some money on the job and add to my tool collection in the process.

A note about rear axle seal failure: First and foremost, it’s extremely common on 3rd generation 4-Runners. Chances are that if you own your 4-Runner long enough, it’s going to happen to you. There are a couple theories as to why the failure of the seals is so common:

1. Toyota rear axle seals were a poor design in their original iteration. Toyota has improved the design of the seal in recent years, so hopefully replacing your old seals with the new design will eliminate this concern. The part number for the new seal ends in “6” and the part number for the old design ends in “1”.

2. The rear axle has a part called a breather plug. It is located on top of the rear axle, near the center, on the driver’s side of the pumpkin. The purpose of the breather plug is to allow for the expansion and contraction of the air and fluid inside the rear axle and differential. When the axle and differential get hot, the air and fluid inside them expands. The resulting pressure must be relieved in some way. The breather plug allows for the relief of this pressure. If the breather plug becomes clogged, the pressure cannot escape through the plug and the next thing to give is the rear axle seals. The breather plug can easily become clogged by mud, dust, dirt, grease, etc. If your rear axle seals have gone out, you need to check your breather plug as well. Simply remove it from the axle using a deep walled socket or open end wrench (12mm or 14mm, I can’t remember), clean it off, and see if you can blow through it. If not, it is plugged and must be replaced or you will continue to experience failure of your rear axle seals. I recently extended my rear differential breather and installed a new breather plug, so I’m sure this was not the cause of my rear axle seal failure. (Note: while you’re at it, search T4R.org for “extend rear differential breather”, as now would be a good time to do that as well.)

3. Wear and tear on the rear wheel bearings leads to rear axle seal failure. As your rear wheel bearings wear over the years, they develop a slight amount of play. This play can be just enough to allow the axle to move up/down and front/back within the axle tube. When the axle moves like this, it crushes the inner axle seal in the direction that it moves. Think of it as if you put your finger (representing the axle) in a ring (representing the inner axle seal), then bounced your finger around within the ring. If you subject your 4-Runner to lots of off-road use, washboard roads, etc. your bearings will probably have some wear on them, especially north of 100K miles. My 4-Runner is just about to roll over 160K and the bearings had quite a bit more play in them than the new ones I got from Toyota.

4. Some have suggested that switching to synthetic gear oil can contribute to seal failure, especially if your 4-Runner has only seen regular petroleum based gear oil during its lifespan. Some refer to the petroleum based gear oil as “Dino Oil”. It is thought that the smaller molecules in the synthetic gear oil can more easily get past the seal, contributing to a leak. Also, petroleum based gear oil often has conditioners in it that may help older seals hold on.

5. Finally, I believe that over time these seals can fail just like any other. The sealing surface is made some sort of plastic/rubber and is subject to heat cycling within the axle. Over time, heat cycling will cause rubber and plastics to shrink and harden, resulting in a failure of the seal.

A note about parts: There are a lot of ways to get discounts on Toyota OEM parts. You can order online from places like Jay Marks (Champion) Toyota, or TRDParts4U. You might know a guy. Everyone has their way. My tip is this: If you need the parts NOW and you have to go to your local Toyota dealer to purchase them, they have two prices on their screen. There is the retail price, which is the first one they will quote you, and the one everyone normally gets. Then there is the “shop price” which they charge independent auto repair shops. The shop price is usually a 20% discount off retail. Your mechanic buys the parts at that price, then sells them to you at retail, making a little cut for himself. If you have a decent sized order, it doesn’t hurt to ask for the shop price. Usually the guy at the parts counter will just give it to you. Easy money in your pocket. On to the part numbers you’ll need.

Part numbers for parts YOU can replace….

1. 90301-88077, O-Ring. This is the o-ring that goes between the backing plate and the axle flange. One per side. $4.43 Retail, I forgot to ask for the shop price when I picked these up.

2. 90310-50006, Seal, Type S Oil. This is the inner rear axle seal that resides inside the axle tube. One per side. $6.68 Retail, I forgot to ask for the shop price when I picked these up.

I got 3 oil seals in case I damaged one during installation, and two o-rings.

Here’s what they look like…..



Part numbers for parts a MACHINE SHOP has to replace…

1. 90363-40020-77, Bearing. This is the rear wheel bearing. I got this number from the Toyota Parts Dept. for the passenger side. I’m pretty sure it’s the same for both, but you may want to inquire about that. One per side. $85.26 Retail, $68.21 Shop Price (20% discount).



2. 42423-20010, Retainers. These are metal collars that are pressed onto the axle to retain the Skid Control Rotor. One goes on the inboard side of the Skid Control Rotor, and one on the outboard side. They not only retain the Skid Control Rotor, but they align it on the axle shaft to the proper position so that it does not sit too far inboard/outboard. You need two of these per side. $19.01 Retail, $15.21 Shop Price (20% discount).





3. 43517-35010, Skid Control Rotor. Some people refer to this as the ABS Ring, ABS Exciter Ring, etc. Toyota calls it a Skid Control Rotor. It looks like a gear, and as the axle rotates, it’s teeth pass by a magnetic sensor (ABS Sensor) to tell your truck’s ABS computer exactly how fast the rear axle is rotating, and therefore how fast the truck is moving. One per side. $52.47 Retail, $41.98 Shop Price (20% discount).



One would think that the Retainers and the Skid Control Rotor could be re-used, but they can’t. The reason why is that they are apparently very difficult to press OFF the axle, so most shops use a grinding wheel to cut most of the way through them, then cut them off with a chisel.

4. 90520-36045, Snap Ring. This is used to keep things in place on the axle shaft. One per side. $1.89 Retail, $1.51 Shop Price (20% discount).



The Snap Ring usually gets hacked up in the process of cutting off the other parts, and it’s very cheap, so it gets replaced too.

5. 90313-48001, Outer Shaft Oil Seal. This seal covers a section of the outboard side of the wheel bearing, protecting it from dust and dirt. It is not meant to keep gear oil in the axle, which is the job of the inner seal. One per side. $5.56 Retail, $4.45 Shop Price (20% discount).





Oil seals are cheap, and are always a good thing to replace while you’re in there simply as preventative maintenance.
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2001 SR5 Sport Ed. S/C'd V6 Auto 4wd (< Click for Build) ....everything but a kitchen sink (it's on the "to do" list)....
2003 Tacoma SR5 S/C'd V6 5-spd 4wd (< Click for Build) ....boost, armor, lockers, gears, etc....
2008 Sport Ed V6 Auto 4WD (< Click for Build) ....the Grocery Getter OEM+ build....
My Write ups: T-Case Leak? - 231mm TBU - Rear Axle Seals - Trans. Cooler Install - Suped Up Air Comp - Big 3

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Old 06-05-2010, 10:17 PM #2
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Here’s a picture of the assembly as it sits on the axle (after removal from the vehicle). The top of the Bearing is visible pressed into the backing plate. The Olive/Light Gray colored plastic ring you see is a grease seal built into the bearing. Next is the first of the two Retainers. Not visible in the picture is the Snap Ring, but I believe it sits above the first of the two retainers, holding the retainer in place. Just above that sits the Skid Control Rotor (or ABS exciter ring), that looks like a gear. Finally, on the top you have the second Retainer keeping the Skid Control Rotor in place. The Outer Shaft Oil Seal is not visible as it is on the other side of the bearing.



Take some time to study the diagram I have linked below. It is an exploded view of the ENTIRE axle, brake, and backing plate assembly. It will give you a very good idea of which parts go where, and how it all fits together.

Link >>>> http://www.ncttora.com/fsm/1996/SIL/...a/ras/comp.pdf

Can I just check/replace the breather plug and replace ONLY the inner seals, o-rings, and the brake shoes, without replacing the bearings and all those other parts?

As mentioned before, the bearings are a common cause of the inner seals’ failure, which is why you’ve got your truck torn up in the first place. I’m not a big fan of doing this type of job twice. Especially in this case, because if you gamble that only the inner seals need replacing and it ends up that you have a worn bearing and blow your inner seals a second time, you’ve got to clean gear oil off everything all over again. Also, if you replaced your brake shoes while you were in there the first time, your new shoes will be soaked in gear oil…. Not good. You’ll probably have to replace those again too. I think it’s a good policy to go ahead and replace the bearings, if you can afford to, while you have the axle taken apart. Keep in mind, that in doing the machine work necessary to replace the bearings, you'll have to replace the skid control rotors/retainers/snap rings/outer oil seals as well.

In addition, if your inner seals have begun to leak gear oil into the brake drum, that gear oil has passed through your bearings. As the gear oil passes through the wheel bearings it washes out / carries away the grease that lubricates the bearings, which will eventually lead to premature failure of the bearings. This is another good reason to replace the bearings while you are doing the job. I am sure that the seal failure on my vehicle was not caused by a clogged breather plug, so I suspect the bearings are at fault.

A note regarding brake shoes and gear oil: Brake shoes soak up gear oil like a sponge.



One school of thought says that you can use brake cleaner and thoroughly clean the surface of the brake shoes, the mechanical parts of the rear brakes, and the friction surface of the drum, then re-install the drum and see how they do. The only problem with this is that if your seals have been leaking long enough, the shoes will be soaked to the bone with 75w90. The first time you get on the brakes hard enough to heat up the shoes significantly, some of that gear oil is going to cook its way out of the shoes and burn up between the shoe and the drum. This can cause the shoes to remain stuck to the drum if you come to a complete stop. When you accelerate again, you will hear a loud clunk from the rear end as the shoes break loose from the drum. It’s up to you whether or not you want to risk it. If you catch the leak early, it may be worth a try to clean up your old shoes and see if they make it.

Rear brake shoes are inexpensive parts, so I am opting to replace them while I’m in there. In conjunction with replacing the bearings, retainers, and all the oil seals at once, I feel reasonably assured my problem will be cured AND I’ll have new rear brakes. I’m also going to have the drums turned to ensure that everything operates nice and smooth once it’s back on.

As far as tools and supplies, I used the following (based on memory):

1. 3/8” Ratchet
2. 10mm Socket for ABS Sensor bolt
3. 12mm Socket for brake line bolt
4. 10mm open end wrench –OR- crow’s foot wrench for brake line removal
5. 14mm Socket for removing axle housing to backing plate nuts
6. Small needle nosed pliers to remove pin in parking brake cable
7. Flathead screwdriver for prying out ABS sensor
8. Rubber hammer (for bodywork) to knock the brake drum loose, drive in the inner seal, and strike the seal puller tool to remove the old seal.
9. Seal Puller tool to remove inner axle seal (see photos below)
10. ½” Breaker Bar with a ½” to 3/8” adapter and 14mm socket to break loose axle housing to backing plate nuts. You WILL need this if your truck has any rust.
11. Vice Grip pliers to pinch rubber brake line
12. Jack Stands. You’ll need a minimum of two if doing both sides.
13. Ziploc bags and garbage ties. Used to cover and protect brake lines and catch brake fluid.
14. Seal Driver. Mine was about 2.5 inches in diameter.
15. A good hydraulic floor jack really helps. Using the one under your seat would be cumbersome and take quite a bit longer.
16. At least 4 cans of Brake Cleaner.
17. Lots of shop rags and/or paper towels.
18. 2 catch pans, one to catch the brake fluid and gear oil, the other to catch the brake cleaner.
19. Measuring tape and straight edge to measure from seal surface to edge of axle flange. I measured this distance all around the seal to ensure I had it seated evenly. I also compared the measurement on both sides of the rear axle to make sure it matched.
20. 1 quart of 75w90 gear oil to top off your rear differential when you’re done.
21. 1 bottle of brake fluid to top off brake reservoir after bleeding your brakes.
22. Some newspaper is handy to set the parts on as you remove them so you don’t grease up your garage floor.

I think that’s about it as far as tools and supplies go. On to the fun part, the process of removing the rear axles.
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2001 SR5 Sport Ed. S/C'd V6 Auto 4wd (< Click for Build) ....everything but a kitchen sink (it's on the "to do" list)....
2003 Tacoma SR5 S/C'd V6 5-spd 4wd (< Click for Build) ....boost, armor, lockers, gears, etc....
2008 Sport Ed V6 Auto 4WD (< Click for Build) ....the Grocery Getter OEM+ build....
My Write ups: T-Case Leak? - 231mm TBU - Rear Axle Seals - Trans. Cooler Install - Suped Up Air Comp - Big 3

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Old 06-05-2010, 10:20 PM #3
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Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only, do with the information what you will. I take no responsibility for the actions of others. Work on your vehicle at your own risk. You should not undertake any automotive task that you do not believe you can complete safely and correctly. If you are not confident you can handle it safely and correctly, please take it to a professional mechanic.

First put something under the front wheels to chock them up. Make sure there is no way that the vehicle can roll. Once you have the rear end off the ground (especially if you remove both rear wheels) there is nothing to keep the truck from rolling. The parking brake has to be off to complete the procedure, and the pawl lock (if you have an auto transmission) will not save you, as it only locks up the rear wheels, which will now be off the ground. WARNING: THE VEHICLE MUST NOT BE ABLE TO ROLL, NOT EVEN A CENTIMETER. IF IT ROLLS WHILE UP ON THE JACKSTANDS IT MAY FALL ON YOU AND COULD KILL YOU, MAIM YOU, OR OTHERWISE SERIOUSLY INJURE YOU.

Next, get the rear end up one side at a time. I placed a jack under the axle, removed the wheel, and placed a jack stand under the frame near the rear of the vehicle, in front of the rear axle. I also placed a second jack stand under the rear axle to better support the axle and the vehicle itself. The stands under the axle also help to keep it level so that all of your gear oil doesn’t pour out of the pumpkin.

Once your wheels are off, your drums will have varying amounts of gear oil on them, looking something like this:



Your wheel and tire will look something like this:



Now take the rubber hammer and lightly strike the drum until it comes loose and you can pull it off the wheel studs. Once you remove it, you will see that the inside is full of thick black grease. This is a combination of gear oil and brake dust.



Once you have the drum off, you will be able to see all of the brake components inside. These will also be covered with a layer of thick black grease.





Take some time at this point to spray down the brake assembly with some brake cleaner. Place a catch pan underneath the brakes, make sure you have good ventilation, and go to town. I used an entire can per side spraying off grease and brake dust with brake cleaner.

Next, locate the rubber brake line where it tees into the metal line just above the pumpkin. Use some vice grip pliers to pinch the line closed, but not too tight, or you may damage the line. This will prevent you from losing large amounts of brake fluid to gravity when you remove the brake lines from the backing plate. (You can see the rear differential breather plug, and the extension hose I added hiding right behind the handle of the pliers.)



Next, remove the parking brake cable from the parking brake assembly on the backing plate. There is a clevis pin holding it in place. You will need to use your needle nosed pliers to remove the small wire clip holding the pin in place. Once you remove the small wire clip, simply push the clevis pin out with a small screwdriver. The parking brake cable should now be free.





Now it’s time to remove the brake line from the backing plate. You will need your 10mm open end wrench, or crow’s foot wrench. Once you have unscrewed the brake line fitting, place a plastic bag over the line and use a wire garbage tie to secure it. This will prevent fluid leaking out of the line from getting on your garage floor and other parts. Before I removed the brake line fitting, I took off the first bolt holding the metal line to the axle housing. This gave me a little room to move the line back and out of the backing plate. The bolt holding the brake line to the axle housing is 12mm.



Note: When you re-install the brake line to the backing plate, the torque value is 11 ft./lb.

Now it’s time to remove the four nuts that hold the backing plate (and axle) onto/into the axle housing. They are located on the inboard side of the backing plate. You will need a 14mm socket and probably a breaker bar to get them loose. Most breaker bars are 1/2” drives, and I only have 3/8” sockets, so I had to use a ½” to 3/8” adapter between the breaker bar and the socket. Before you start removing the nuts, place a second catch pan beneath the brakes assembly because gear oil will begin to leak out. Once the four nuts are removed, you should see a view similar to this:



Note: These nuts gets torqued to 48 ft./lbs. when you re-install everything.

Now the best part. You may want to have a friend help you with this. I was able to do it very carefully on my own. The axle shafts, brake assembly, and backing plate are now completely free of the axle housing and can be pulled out of the housing. This must be done very carefully. The axle has splines on the end that can scratch the inside of the axle housing and damage it, and/or damage the splines themselves. The axle must be pulled out completely straight, and it is heavy. Don’t worry too much about bumping the inner axle seal with the axle during removal of the axle, you’ll be replacing it anyway.

Here’s the axle, all pulled out:

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2001 SR5 Sport Ed. S/C'd V6 Auto 4wd (< Click for Build) ....everything but a kitchen sink (it's on the "to do" list)....
2003 Tacoma SR5 S/C'd V6 5-spd 4wd (< Click for Build) ....boost, armor, lockers, gears, etc....
2008 Sport Ed V6 Auto 4WD (< Click for Build) ....the Grocery Getter OEM+ build....
My Write ups: T-Case Leak? - 231mm TBU - Rear Axle Seals - Trans. Cooler Install - Suped Up Air Comp - Big 3

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Old 06-05-2010, 10:21 PM #4
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And some close ups of the Retainers, Skid Control Rotor, and Bearing.

Still dirty, and full of gear oil…



All cleaned up…



You can check for play in your bearings by grasping the backing plate like I am in the picture below and moving it up and down. If there is play in your bearings you will feel the backing plate move up and down slightly. You can also spin the backing plate to see if the bearing operates smoothly.



And here’s what you’ll see once you have the axle removed. In this photo you can see the axle flange, the o-ring, the inner rear axle seal, and the ABS sensor (the black thing poking out on the right hand side).



Another angle:



Now remove the old O-Ring:



I took this opportunity to remove the ABS sensor, which makes placing the new axle seal a bit easier. It is held on by one 10mm bolt. Once you’ve removed the bolt, you’ll notice there is a gap between the mounting surface of the sensor and the axle housing. You can put a flathead screwdriver in that gap and pry the ABS sensor out of the axle housing. In this photo, you can see the hole where the ABS sensor resides:



Note: When you re-install the ABS sensor, the torque value for the bolt that holds it onto the axle housing is 71 in./lbs (inch pounds, not foot pounds).
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2001 SR5 Sport Ed. S/C'd V6 Auto 4wd (< Click for Build) ....everything but a kitchen sink (it's on the "to do" list)....
2003 Tacoma SR5 S/C'd V6 5-spd 4wd (< Click for Build) ....boost, armor, lockers, gears, etc....
2008 Sport Ed V6 Auto 4WD (< Click for Build) ....the Grocery Getter OEM+ build....
My Write ups: T-Case Leak? - 231mm TBU - Rear Axle Seals - Trans. Cooler Install - Suped Up Air Comp - Big 3

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Old 06-05-2010, 10:23 PM #5
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Now it’s time to remove the inner rear axle seal. I’ve heard of various methods for doing this, from grabbing it with pliers and pulling it out, driving a screwdriver through it, etc. Most involve deforming the seal, and some risk of scratching up the inside of your axle housing. I found a tool at Harbor Freight. It was called simply a Seal Puller (Item No. 91352, Brand is Central Forge, UPC is 92363 91352). It was $9.99.

You place the small hook on the left side of the tool (in photo below) behind the seal and use a hammer to tap on either of the upright extensions. The tapping of the hammer pulls the seal out. “Safely removes seals with just a few hammer taps.” According to the packaging.



I wrapped the end of the tool in electrical tape to prevent metal on metal contact in case it slipped off the seal while I was hammering on it (which it did).



I removed the seal by placing the tool as you see in the photo below, with a shop cloth placed between the tool and the axle housing flange to prevent damage to the flange (cloth is not pictured). I gave the tool a few taps with the hammer until the seal started to deform, then rotated about 60 degrees and gave it a few more taps. I had to go all the way around the drivers side seal, but the passenger side seal came out on the second set of taps.



Here are a few shots of the axle housing with and without the inner axle seal…

Now you see it…



Now you don’t…



And this is the old seal side by side with the new one. Note the deformation of the old seal from pulling it out of the axle housing.





And a rare view down inside the tube of the axle housing, you can see the gear oil sitting in the bottom of the tube, and the hole where the splined end of the axle ends up when you re-insert it.



The Toyota inner axle seals are 2 3/4” wide. They must be driven into the axle housing perfectly flat. If they go in crooked, they will not seal properly.

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2001 SR5 Sport Ed. S/C'd V6 Auto 4wd (< Click for Build) ....everything but a kitchen sink (it's on the "to do" list)....
2003 Tacoma SR5 S/C'd V6 5-spd 4wd (< Click for Build) ....boost, armor, lockers, gears, etc....
2008 Sport Ed V6 Auto 4WD (< Click for Build) ....the Grocery Getter OEM+ build....
My Write ups: T-Case Leak? - 231mm TBU - Rear Axle Seals - Trans. Cooler Install - Suped Up Air Comp - Big 3

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Old 06-05-2010, 10:25 PM #6
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I used a 72mm seal driver (2.834”) to get the seal started, then finished driving it in with a 65mm (2.559”) seal driver. I got the seal driver set from Harbor Freight as well. The packaging calls it a Bearing Race & Seal Driver Set. (Item No. 95853, Brand is U.S. General, UPC is 92363 95853). It came with 9 different sizes of interchangeable seal drivers and a handle. It cost $25.00. You could also use a large socket to drive the seal into the axle housing, but when I looked at larger sockets they were all priced in the $20 range and I figured I’d get more use and versatility out of the Race & Seal Driver Set.

Before I drove the seals back into the axle housing, I coated the outside edges with gear oil. I also wrapped a shop rag around the seal driver to prevent it from scoring the inside of the axle housing if it made contact. It took three attempts on the driver’s side, and two attempts on the passenger side, to get the seal into the housing straight. Once the seal was completely seated I used a tape measure and a straight edge to measure from the seal’s surface to the outside edge of the axle flange. The measurement all around the seal was 1 & 17/32”. I compared measurements on the passenger and drivers side and they were the same after the seal was seated.

Note about freezing the seals: Some people have advised to freeze the seal for 10-15 minutes prior to inserting it into the axle housing. The premise is that the seal shrinks a bit and as a result is easier to drive into the axle housing. I tried this and it did not seem to help. Also, the seal warmed back up to room temperature so quickly that I didn’t have a lot of time to work with it while frozen.

The new seal in place…



This is how the seal sits on the axle once you re-insert it into the axle housing. You can see that the sealing surface is not on the axle itself, but on the second Retainer.





Finally, I wrapped the splines of the axles in a shop rag and taped them to protect the splines from damage during transport to the machine shop.



I also stuffed a shop rag into the ends of the axle housing to prevent dust and contaminants from getting in there while I have the axles out.



Now all you have to do is take the axle, brake, and backing plate assemblies to a machine shop to have them press off the old parts and press on the new parts. They should charge you 1-1.5 hours (1.5 hours MAX) labor per side to do the work. Mine go to the shop on Monday. I’ll update the post with any re-installation thoughts once I get the axles back and get the job finished.

In the meantime, clean up your drums and your greasy rim and tire. A clean drum is a happy drum:



My poor truck… all taken apart.



Installation is the reverse of removal. Keep in mind that when you get it all back together you will have to bleed the brakes to get any air out of the lines that may have gotten in when you disconnected them from the backing plates. I own a Motive Products brake bleeder, which makes it easy. For $63.00, it’s entirely worth purchasing.

universal brake bleeder kit

As mentioned above, you may also want to install new rear brake shoes, or have them done at a brake shop… but that’s a whole other story. Also, don't forget to top off the rear differential with fresh 75w90 gear oil. You will lose some fluid during the process.

I may have forgotten a few things, so if anyone has anything to add, please feel free to reply to the post. I did not list the torque spec for the brake line to axle housing mounting bolt because I could not locate a specific torque spec. I was just going to tighten it "tight enough". If you have the torque spec for this connection, please post it.

Also, if there is any information that you can show is definitely wrong, I'd be happy to edit my post to make corrections, just let me know.

I hope having all the information in one place helps some 4-Runner owners out there to get the job done faster and easier, with less time spent searching for information, and fewer headaches.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:16 PM #7
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Here are links to some other write-ups that helped me in my research.

This one is specific to 4-Runners:

Dcrim1's Rear Inner Seal Replacement Procedure

And another one. Lots of pictures, but not much in the way of detailed explanations. Also, this 4-Runner owner has disc brakes in the rear, meaning that his setup is much different from that of 99.9% of other 4-Runner owners.

http://www.yotatech.com/f2/replacing...s-pics-110243/
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2008 Sport Ed V6 Auto 4WD (< Click for Build) ....the Grocery Getter OEM+ build....
My Write ups: T-Case Leak? - 231mm TBU - Rear Axle Seals - Trans. Cooler Install - Suped Up Air Comp - Big 3

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Old 06-05-2010, 11:42 PM #8
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Great write up. it cost me $852 to take my axles into the dealer and have them press off old supply and install new parts. I cant imagine what it would have been if I would have driven the runner there and have them do all the work.
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:06 AM #9
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Excellent write up! Another 5 star thread and I vote for this to be a sticky!
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:42 PM #10
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By far the most complete and detailed write-up on this! Very good work, x2 on the sticky.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:10 PM #11
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Thumbs up

Link added here: http://www.toyota-4runner.org/mainte...diys-faqs.html I modified the thread title a bit too...

Awesome write-up! While the brakes may be a bit different this will help with all generations as the design is very similar.

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Old 06-06-2010, 04:37 PM #12
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Great write up!! super informative!
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:54 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 004Gunner View Post
Excellent write up! Another 5 star thread and I vote for this to be a sticky!
Problem with that is there are alot of important threads that should be stickied, We should make 1 thread that has the links to all these good threads, and Label it like, "All There is too Know about the 3rd gen"
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:03 PM #14
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Final Thoughts

I finished putting everything back together last night, and as promised I want to pass along a few observations I made while re-installing everything.

First, something we all love, SAVING MONEY!!! When I took my axles in to get the machine work done, I found a few ways to save some bucks on parts.

1. 90520-36045, Snap Ring. These can be RE-USED by a competent mechanic. I brought the shop a new one, which they used, but I didn't need to. I could have saved $1.51 and skipped this part.

2. 42423-20010, Retainers. You need two of these per side, but they can re-use one of your existing ones per side. They must replace the two that the seals sit on because the surface must be perfectly smooth to ensure a good seal. The other two may get a few scuffs and scratches during removal, but it doesnt matter because the surface is not a sealing surface, so they can be re-used.. I saved myself $15.21 x 2 ($30.42) by having them re-use two of my existing retainers.

3. 90313-48001, Outer Shaft Oil Seal. Most shops don't replace these. It turns out they are more of a dust boot than anything, and do not provide any kind of seal for the gear oil or bearing. I brought them one, which they used, but I didn't have to. I could have saved another $4.45.

Also, I have just a few tips on the re-assembly process.

1. When installing the brake line fittings to the backing plate, you can't get a socket around the fitting in order to use a torque wrench. If you want to make sure you torque these accurately, you need a 10mm crows foot wrench to attach to your torque wrench in order to get ahold of the fitting.

2. The front, bottom bolt holding the backing plate/axle assembly to the axle housing flange is a tight squeeze for a torque wrench with a socket on it. I ended up using my regular ratchet and slipping a pipe over the end for some extra leverage. I coudn't get a torque reading doing it this way, but I tightened it until it felt about as tight as the other 3, which were torqued to the 48lb/ft. spec.

3. When you put your axles back in, you'll be tempted to spin them around to make sure they spin nice and smooth. when I did this I heard a noise that I thought was the bearings. It turned out it was the gears in the 3rd member making a little noise due to the low level of gear oil in the pumpkin.

4. When re-inserting the rear axles, just be careful you don't ding the new inner seal with the splines on the axle. Once you get the splines past the seal, there is a metal collar inside the axle tube that the axle can rest on to prevent it from resting on the seal itself. This makes putting the axles back in alot easier than I thought it would be.

5. The torque value for the brake line fittings is 11ft./lbs. Most torque wrenches don't go this low. I used a smaller wrench I have, but it only measures torque in in./lbs. Well, 11ft./lbs = 132 in./lbs. Done and done.

6. I went ahead and checked my breather plug. It's less than 2 months old and had no dirt, dust, or mud on it. I pulled it and tried blowing through it and I could, but it was very tight and just a tiny bit of air would blow through. I took a punch (screwdriver with a sharp pointed end), inserted it through the breather, and knocked the cap on the breather loose a bit. I was then able to blow a good volume of air through it quite easily, and when I tried to suck air back through it, it sealed up well and just let a tiny bit back in as it should. I think this will all but eliminate the possibility of a clogged breather plug down the road.

7. I bought some rear brake shoes from Autozone, their Duralast brand. Well, long story short, these shoes SUCK! They don't fit very well. There is a pin that retains several of the drum brake parts to one of the shoes. Not only do you have to drive this pin into the pad yourself, the spine of the duralast pads was too thick and the pin didn't extend far enough through the spine to attach the C-clips that retain the other parts.

I ended up buying a rear brake shoe kit from Toyota. The pins were already pressed in, it came with all new hardware, an the shoes fit perfectly. I guess that's why the Toyota shoes cost $68 Vs. $14 for the Autozone shoes.

Here's a few close-up photos of the passenger side rear brake assembly (driver's is the same, but the shoe assemblies are on opposite sides), in case you decide to do your shoes as well, but forget to take pictures before you get it apart. I had both sides available for viewing when I did mine, so if I forgot where something went, I just went around and checked out the other side.

(P.S. Rear shoes & Drums are a P.I.T.A. compared to doing front brakes.)





The pin I was talking about above is located near the top of the photo, just right of center.









And finally, here's the Runner, all back together and ready for some more action!



My total cost of doing the job was $662.83. I was quoted over $1200.00 by my mechanic to do the same work, so my savings was about $538.00.

Considering it took me 16 hours in total to do the job (I really took my time to make sure I did it right, and that time includes removal, installation, bleeding the brakes, cleaning all the parts, topping off the diff, and cleaning up the garage when I was done), I'd say it paid off pretty well.

My math says:

$538.00 / 16 hours = $33.62 per hour. So I paid myself $33/hr. to do this job. Not to shabby if you ask me, plus I got some tools out of it that I can use, and some experience, which is of course invaluable. Sooner or later I'll have to do it on my fiancee's 4Runner, and I bet it'll take about 1/2 the time now that I know what I'm doing.

GOOD LUCK!
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2003 Tacoma SR5 S/C'd V6 5-spd 4wd (< Click for Build) ....boost, armor, lockers, gears, etc....
2008 Sport Ed V6 Auto 4WD (< Click for Build) ....the Grocery Getter OEM+ build....
My Write ups: T-Case Leak? - 231mm TBU - Rear Axle Seals - Trans. Cooler Install - Suped Up Air Comp - Big 3

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Old 06-09-2010, 08:05 PM #15
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Now thats how you do a write up!!!!!!!!!!!! Woah!!!!! Sticky please!!!!
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