English | Dutch
Replacement of a rear axle shaft (Toyota BJ45)
Granada (Spain), May 8th 2016 

Traveling with an old car is not always without problems; and that’s even true for our old Toyota BJ45 jeep. Over the years, we did already some part replacements, but the largest part of the car is still 32 years old, with already 360,000 kilometres on the clock. A few weeks ago we drove in the south of Portugal and heard, while driving, a repeating sound at the rear axle. The frequency of the scraping sound increased with the speed of the car and was more audible when we drove a sharp bend to the right. We drew the conclusion that the left-side rear axle shaft of the jeep is worn out and needed replacement (including the bearing). We had already noticed, some time ago when we replaced a leaking seal, this rear axle shaft has had its days, but that we still could use the car without any problems for a while before replacing it. That was a wrong assumption.

The garage that we can use to work on the car

After we had made a pit stop at a Portuguese garage and jacked both rear wheels off the ground, the problem was obvious. When we rotated the left rear wheel of the car, we heard a scraping noise, and that not the case at the right rear wheel. The left rear axle shaft and the bearing needed to be replaced; that was obvious. Because we knew already for a few months that this axle had to be replaced in time, we had already bought one in the Netherlands for future use. And that was good, because that meant that we didn’t have to look for a good replacement axle in Portugal or Spain. New axle shafts for these Land Cruisers are not made any more by Toyota, so you'll need to find an acceptable copy on the second hand market. And that was what we already did in the Netherlands.

Another luck was that the parents of Edwin had planned a short vacation in southern Spain, a month after we noticed that the axle shaft needed to be replaced. And that meant that we could ask them to bring the axle shaft with them, in their checked-in luggage on the aircraft. We changed our travelling schedule and made sure we were in Malaga by the time that the parents of Edwin came to spend their holidays. During the remaining 1,000 kilometres we drove, until we were in Malaga, we heard the problem increase. Where the noise was at first just barely audible, the volume of the sound increased by the week.

The differential has to be openen to remove the rear axle shaft
In early May we arrived at the vacation address of Edwin's parents, a half hour drive from Malaga. Edwin's parents stayed with friends who have a well-equipped garage, so we decided to do the replacement ourselves. Edwin’s parents had no problems at the airline bringing the axle shaft to Spain, despite the fact that the shape of the axle shaft looks a little bit like a bazooka. The axle shaft of this type of Toyota Land Cruiser is locked in the differential with a locking ring (axle shaft lock), so we had to open up also the differential to remove the axle shaft. We had never worked on the differential before, so we had to puzzle a little bit to put everything neatly together again. The digital version of the car handbook of our Toyota that we have on our laptop, was useful again, as it was already several times in the past.

The removal of the old bearing was also quite a job. For the installation of the new bearing, we have used an old trick. We have put the new bearing in the freezer for a few hours, to make it shrink for a fraction. Just enough to install it without using too much force, because too much force can damage the new bearing. After a few hours the work was done, so we can hit the road again.

The open differential
The worn-out rear axle shaft
Old and new rear axle shaft
Its handy to have a work place handbook of the car
The new bearing

Go back to home pageGo to Articles sectionGo to Columns sectionGo to Photos sectionGo to countries sectionGo to weblog sectionGo to about us