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4x4 Ext. Cab Pickup
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I need to replace my U-joints, as they are original factory joints. After 250k miles, they make a small clunking noise. I have the U-joints and am going to replace them this week, but figure that I should also replace the support bearing on the front section of the drive shaft (right in front of the middle U-joints).

While I was under the truck loosening the drive shaft flange bolts, I tried to see how this bearing is installed on the shaft (and removed from the shaft). It was not readily apparent. I took the rockguard/cover off the back end of the shaft. The flange that attaches to the front of the rear U-joint is welded onto the shaft, so it can't slip off the back of the shaft. Is this a mutli-piece bearing or is the shaft a two-piece splined shaft? It is not readily apparent. The metal housing surrounding the bearing appears to be a single piece; indicating that it has to slip of the shaft. It may be easy to figure out once I have the shaft off the truck, but I would like to know what I am in for before I get that far.


P.S. Is there anything that I should know about the U-joints, or is it a standard installation? Since it has been so long, I am tempted to take tha shaft and bearings to an automotive machine shop (if they still exist around here) and have them press the joints in. The dang truck is so reliable that I am rusty on some of these repairs.
 

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Cressida nut
91 Pickup (Hilux)2wd
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4,586 Posts
My trucks got a 1 pc but I'm going to go out on a limb and make the assumption (we know what happens when you do that...) and say toyota put the driveshaft together the same was as supras and my cressida: once you get the flange bolts off and take the DS apart, there will be a nut on the end in the face of the flange (well recessed in a hole) that you will zip off with an impact gun, then the bearing should slide right off (or get hammered off). make sure you get ALL THE PIECES like shims and washers back in place. I don't know the torque but it's in the neighborhood of 75 ftlbs (+/-25) and re-stake the end.

IMPORTANT: mark the driveshaft flange and shaft where they came apart and line them back up for reassembly. if you don't, the U joints won't line up and it'll vibrate like a SOB and blow your new U joints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I got the driveshafts out without too many problems; only one sticky bolt/nut. There was a nut in the center of the U-joint flange. I haven't taken it off, yet, for a couple reasons. The first is that the top edge of the nut is bent inwards into a depression in the edge of the shaft. I guess that is what you meant by "staked". Somehow, I missed when I read your post. Do i take this off by simply loosening the nut and at the same time letting the drive shaft bend the edge of the nut outward? Can I re-use this nut?

Here is a picture of the nut and the rear drive shaft flange.


The second reason that I have not taken the flange and bearing off the drive shaft is the cost. I learned that the "Center Support Bearing" assembly runs $210 at the local outlet for the national brand automotive store. It seems that there isn't much of a load on this bearing, and that it should not really wear out unless it gets flooded or dirty. I am thinking of leaving the original bearing in place. Any ideas or recommendations?

Here is a picture of the "Center Support Bearing" located in front of the rear drive shaft flange.
 

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Cressida nut
91 Pickup (Hilux)2wd
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4,586 Posts
yes, that's what I mean by staked. you aren't supposed to reuse them but many people get away with it just fine. the easiest way to get it off is with an impact gun but you could do it the old fashioned way too. you could try a small wedge or screwdriver, I don't know how well it'll work, I always used an impact.

if you can feel any play in the bearing, any noise, vibration, grinding spinning it by hand, or the rubbers rotting out it needs to be replaced but you're right, there's not a lot of load on it (accordingly it's a small bearing)

www.rockauto.com has a timken bearing for 85
 
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rock crawler
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While an impact gun is the quickest and easiest way to undo the staked nut, a hammer and small punch is the alternate method. And yes, once you have reinstalled and retorqued the nut use a hammer and punch to restake it.

And even tho there may not seem to be a great load on that bearing, they still go bad frequently. My 81 Corona had a 2 piece drive shaft, and the center bearing went out after only 200K miles.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The bearing seems fine. It spinds smoothly with no roughness, hesitation, or stickiness. The rubber seems a little loose, but doesn't appear to be damaged. How tight is the rubber supposed to be?

I am thinking about returning this one, ordering one online, and doing this repair once I get the online bearing. I don't think there should be a problem doing that as long as the rubber is functional.


P.S. Thanks for the punch and hammer bit. I haven't yet spluged for the impact hammer, yet, so i would have had to rent/borrow one.
 
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