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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

I've recently discovered a serious radial play on the left front drive shaft where it connects to the diff case. Now last summer I had an oil leak on this side, replaced the seal, thought everything was fine, but apparently that's what I thought...

I know that the shaft rotates on the needle bearing that is inside the diff case, so my question is - do you think it's just the bearing, or something worse like the shaft itself or maybe the gear case is worn out?

I searched the forums but all I found were seal leak cases, no mentions of the bearing failure. I know that it'd be hard to tell exactly what went wrong without actually disassembling the unit, but maybe someone had the same thing happen. I'd love to have all parts on hand before I start tearing into the diff...

2007 AT 4WD FJ, 137k miles, good synthetic oil for the last 100k miles with regular changes, zero noise from the diff and it drives smooth as it should be.
 

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Can you measure the play? Fairly new to FJs, long time tacoma guy. Lots of people replace with EGCS bushing.. You have a lift? No noise you said, usually presents as noise that goes away in 4x4 if the needle bearing is bad.

Devil's advocate: Did you replace the seal? Absolutely sure the CV is seated all the way in?
 

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How did you discover the issue if the FJ is driving smooth? And not making any unusual noises?

The excessive play you described could be caused by a bad needle bearing. But usually you’ll feel / hear the vibration. Before I replaced the bearing in my 2014, it would vibrate / hum between 40 - 60 mph.


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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, it’s in all the way and the snap ring is locked. I noticed this while being under the truck and just checking stuff. Here’s how it looks -
I posted the video as shared by link only, so maybe it’d have to be clicked on.

No, totally no hum or noise, while driving.

So people had these bearings fail? RH side is perfectly solid, but that’s the tube side, so a bit different in construction.
 

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I’m surprised you’re not getting noise / vibration with that much play. But since you’re not, I personally wouldn’t worry about replacing the bearing. I’d wait until it comes time for cv axle replacement and do both at the same time.

If/when you decide to do the job, here is the bushing that replaces the needle bearing. The job is pretty straight forward. You’ll also need a needle bearing puller (ECGS sells them, but you can likely buy one second hand or borrow one). And I’d recommend having a bearing puller on hand in case it doesn’t want to come apart willingly.



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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks!

I'm thinking of doing this together with the the steering rack maintenance to decrease the "overall downtime" :D
 
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