Saturday, February 02, 2008

A Little Light Reading

With a new car comes a new auto manual. I have owned the manual for every car I've ever owned since my 1989 Mazda 323. That car really took me everywhere. It met it's untimely demise in Arizona of all places. It overheated really bad and warped the valves inside. That was right after I had changed the clutch. I did that work myself too, though it would go much faster now. I digress. Back to light reading. Today I got the Haynes manual for my Land Cruiser. I already had the Chilton manual (same type of book, just different publisher) which unfortunately turned out to be useless. For some reason the Chilton folks decided they would combine the Land Cruiser manual with the one for the Toyota T100 and Pickup. That's all fine and good, but the Land Cruiser is built so different from these other trucks that it may as well have been a manual for a Ford Model T. Since I've only had the Haynes manual for a few hours I haven't been able to really get to know it, but I know it has some helpful info about the major job that I'm planning: front axle rebuild.

Up until 1998 Land Cruisers were built with a solid front axle featuring full floating axle shafts.
Basically, this means that the drive train was built as beefy as 3/4 ton full size pickups. As I have said in a previous blog, the Land Cruiser legacy is found in African deserts and the Australian Outback and the truck was designed to handle it. This front axle rebuild will involve tearing down the front axle including the wheel hubs, steering knuckles, and axle shafts, cleaning it all, regreasing it all, and putting it all back together like the day it was first brought to be in that Japanese factory. I should be able to do it in one eight hour session provided I can get my loving wife to bring me some tacos about midway. The nice thing is I can do it myself. Last time I did something major on a car I got my buddy Ben to help me. That was a transmission swap and when you are flat-backing in the driveway for a job this major there is now way you can do it alone simply because the transmission weighs so much. I've been researching on and have found a wealth of information about the job. Some of the guys on the site consider your first axle rebuild to be a rite of passage for Land Cruiser owners. Well, here goes nothing.


At 3:33 PM, Blogger Chelsea said...

Yeah, but he forgot to tell you about the additional parts he ended up with after his last big project. It's always a bad sign when you get done with a project and you still have nuts and bolts that you have no idea where they came from.
Good news thought, the truck didn't fall apart!

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Tom said...

You know, lots of pros have extra parts, they just don't tell you about it.
You see, I had an extra of one size and not enough of another. I just bought another of the big one because I had a hole to put it in. The smaller one was a mystery because where can you put a bolt if you don't have a hole?


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