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Old 05-31-2023, 03:05 PM #1
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4R needs rear axle bearing and seal

So I was getting this slight clunking noise when in reverse. I took it to a shop and they said the rear left axle bearing was bad and seal was bad. The quote is around $950 to repair. I generally go to the dealership but they have really gone downhill and hardly even pick up the phone (service department).

Another shop said that they just replace the axle with a re-manufactured one. I'm not sure which way to go. I could call another dealer but that's maybe 30 miles away so it sucks riding my bike 60 miles on a stormy work day, off top of everything. Any thoughts on what to do?
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Old 05-31-2023, 04:44 PM #2
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Most mechanics should have the tool to press out the bearing. That replacement axle setup is kinda pricey I see looking at RA. I didn't realize that was even an option. Look at youtube videos on how it's done and you'll see the tool. One last tidbit, be prepared to replace the e-brake cable for that wheel as they have a tendency to break when being removed.

Hopefully that does fix your clunking noise but I'm a bit skeptical.
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Old 05-31-2023, 05:21 PM #3
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Thanks for the information, Mike! I think Ill take a look since he said my diff fluid was leaking out. The repair sounds like the reasonable approach.
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Old 05-31-2023, 10:08 PM #4
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Yea the diff fluid leaking is the axle seal. I would only replace the rear axle if it is cheaper than replacing the parts (IE it was cheaper to replace my LCA than replace the bushings and ball joint)

I think I paid around 800 for just my axle seal
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Old 06-01-2023, 03:22 PM #5
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Well, you'd think it should just be the axle seal but I replaced mine twice and still have a bit leaking out. The first time I used aftermarket, the original seal was worn out but I still had quite a bit of leakage after the swap. Then I put an OEM seal in and was meticulous about making sure all surfaces were clean. Way less leakage but I still have some. I also replaced the breather before the seals. Makes my wonder if the bearing is loose on that side (passenger) but I don't feel like messing with it.
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Old 06-04-2023, 07:00 PM #6
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I have done both seals on my 99 4runner and 07 fj cruiser. The retainer on the axle has a bevel and in some trucks that bevel is too close to the axle seal allowing lube to get past it as the bearings wear. Buy a bearing from rock auto and new axle seal from toyota and have a shop do the work. Look for any bearing made in Japan. I think the BCA bearing is stamped japan, look at the pictures. Most are just rebranded but made from the same factory.

Here are two threads I started for the axle seal leak. The fj cruiser has the same setup as our 4runners.

If you want to do it yourself, you will still save money after buying all the parts and tools.
20 ton press harbor freight $180
Bearing removal tool on ebay $110
Bearings $60-$80
Seal $15
Fluids and misc items $100

You can see how close the actual seal lip rides near the bevel, top line in first picture. The second line is the dust lip mark. Flipping the retainer so the bevel faces outward solve the problem. It wont damage the seal when installing it this way either.

Rear Axle leak & bearing replacement | Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum


A possible solution to leaking axle seals
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Last edited by Drcoffee; 06-04-2023 at 07:11 PM.
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