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Broken Rear Axle Linkage

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by RustyTr4ils, Jun 10, 2024.

  1. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:48 PM
    #1
    RustyTr4ils

    RustyTr4ils [OP] New Member

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    I recently found that the upper linkage has broken off my rear axle. Do I need to replace the whole axle? It still drives the same, I noticed because it severed my speed sensor cables.
    IMG_2562.HEIC.jpg IMG_2563.HEIC.jpg

    IMG_2561.HEIC.jpg
     
  2. Jun 10, 2024 at 4:15 PM
    #2
    TRDSD

    TRDSD Warrior of the Wasteland

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    That's some cancerous rust and neglect you have there. I know it's 21 years old, but still. There are preventive measures to avoid it. You might be able to get a fabricator to weld up a new connection, but it needs something solid to be welded to. The level and depth of the rust all around that axle (and everywhere else) needs to be determined first.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2024
  3. Jun 10, 2024 at 4:21 PM
    #3
    Dillusion

    Dillusion Resident A**h***

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    I'd also check the rest of the underside before deciding if it should be fixed.

    Looks like a lot of rust. New axle might fix that issue but more rust issues could pop up.
     
  4. Jun 10, 2024 at 4:33 PM
    #4
    RustyTr4ils

    RustyTr4ils [OP] New Member

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    I'm aware of the rust issues, the other brackets for the rear links don't look great but the frame is solid. Are there any options to redo the rear links?
     
  5. Jun 10, 2024 at 5:01 PM
    #5
    TRDSD

    TRDSD Warrior of the Wasteland

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    Have a fabricator cut out the rust and weld in some new metal brackets. Replace the rear upper links and bushings if they're rusted and shot, which I'm sure they are.
     
  6. Jun 10, 2024 at 6:23 PM
    #6
    RustyTr4ils

    RustyTr4ils [OP] New Member

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    How much do you think that job would be? I feel like if one broke I should replace all the brackets
     
  7. Jun 10, 2024 at 7:00 PM
    #7
    3JOH22A

    3JOH22A Toyota Gigolo

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    ^You may be better off with a salvage yard complete rear axle with fewer miles. Have consideration for what else may fail next - rear diff, wheel bearings, etc. Take a look on car-part.com.
     
  8. Jun 10, 2024 at 7:09 PM
    #8
    RustyTr4ils

    RustyTr4ils [OP] New Member

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    I looked around on car-part, I read some other forums that said they got 5th gen rear axles for cheap by pulling it them selves. I'm in the SLC area, does anyone know of a good place to get a salvage axle?
     
  9. Jun 10, 2024 at 7:38 PM
    #9
    3JOH22A

    3JOH22A Toyota Gigolo

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    ^That's the whole point of using car-part.com, filter by year and by proximity (put in your zip code), then call the salvage yards listed.
     
  10. Jun 10, 2024 at 10:27 PM
    #10
    TRDSD

    TRDSD Warrior of the Wasteland

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    Hard to say. Depends on where you are and what kind of shops are around. You'll need a welding/fabrication shop that deals with cars & trucks, preferably off road. You'll need to have some brackets templated and plasma cut, the rusted sections cut out and then the new brackets welded in - plus replacement of upper links, bushings and hardware needed. It's totally doable, but as others are mentioning, a used axle might be a cheaper, easier swap.
     
  11. Jun 11, 2024 at 12:54 PM
    #11
    R4Adventure

    R4Adventure New Member

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    2.5" Bilstein lift, 1" body lift, 34" tires on 17x9 Method Racing 312 wheels, CBI front bumper with Warn EVO10s winch, full RCI under armor and rock sliders, ARB front and rear air lockers, 8.2" rear axle house swap, etc....
    Unless you have a friend who can weld and fabricate, I agree with replacing your axle housing being the least expensive option. To bad your not closer to Omaha, NE. I have an 8.0" housing that is still in great shape that I'd sell for $100 obo. It's just the housing though. For another $150, I can include the 8.0" third member, but it needs to be rebuilt as the pinion bearing is shot.

    I just did the 8.2 rear axle housing swap and can say that most of your current parts will transfer with a few exceptions. The 3rd member goes without saying. The rear hard break lines are different from the 4th gen to the 5th gen. Also, the rear sway bar axle housing mounting points are also different, but easily remedied by replacing the rear sway bar brackets to the 5th gen ones. Beyond that, everything else is swap-able.

    That being said, the more complete an axle you can get, the better. Mine had mostly damaged parts, if it had them at all.
    • If you can find an 8.2" elock equipped rear axle off a 2010 plus FJ, a 2010-current 5th gen with the Trail or TRD OR package or possibly even a 2010+ Lexus GX460 (this may need to be researched), its worth considering.
    • Another option is to get a non-locked diff off the same year range models listed above and add a locker of your choice when you can afford it. These are more abundant and will save you a lot of money. This is the route I went as I wanted to install an air locker, which is easier to do on a non-locked housing as you will be left with a hole where the factory elocker was mounted.
    All this really just depends on how much you want to invest into your 4Runner.
     
  12. Jun 11, 2024 at 4:38 PM
    #12
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette Kwik Fab

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    Wonder if that's the mount people often break.

    I say this because I have maybe 6-7 different people that have messaged me for a new mount, yet not a single person has given me any measurements.

    I've made plenty for a 3rd Gen.
     
  13. Jun 11, 2024 at 4:49 PM
    #13
    RustyTr4ils

    RustyTr4ils [OP] New Member

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    I've been looking at rear axle assemblies, I can't believe how expensive the salvage yard ones are. The e locker ones are 2500 to 3500 for a decent one. I wanted to get one with the e locker just to not waste the opportunity if i need a new axle anyways.

    For finding an axle I have a few questions, will a tacoma rear axle work? I know they are leaf sprung but is there a way to convert it? Also would a 5th gen 4runner axle assembly be able to fit without issues? Also if anyone knows a pick n pull within around 4 hrs of salt lake city that would have an fj or 4runner that would be great. The places that list the already pulled parts are very pricey and I haven't found a pick n pull that has a 4runner or fj listed.
     
  14. Jun 11, 2024 at 4:56 PM
    #14
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette Kwik Fab

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    No; you would have to not only chop off the leaf spring center pin/mounts but you'd need to add new rear lower link mounts as well as the bottom seats for your coils.

    It is significantly easier doing what I mentioned and getting a welder to clean up said axle and weld the new mount on for ya.
     
    R4Adventure likes this.
  15. Jun 12, 2024 at 4:37 AM
    #15
    R4Adventure

    R4Adventure New Member

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    2.5" Bilstein lift, 1" body lift, 34" tires on 17x9 Method Racing 312 wheels, CBI front bumper with Warn EVO10s winch, full RCI under armor and rock sliders, ARB front and rear air lockers, 8.2" rear axle house swap, etc....
    I agree with Kwikvette regarding swapping a Tacoma axle housing. If budget wasn't a concern, it would be a cool option as the Tacoma has a bigger rear end, but the amount of custom fab work required to make it work would be high.

    As mentioned earlier, I just did an axle housing swap from a 5th gen 4Runner. Its an easy, direct bolt in swap.
    There's plenty of posts that cover this.

    The long and the short is - whats your budget and long term goals with your current 4Runner? With brackets breaking on the axle housing, whats the condition of the rest of your frame and parts?

    That said, if I were you, I would do a thorough inspection of your current housing, looking for cracks or other brackets that are starting to fail. It probably be worth just stripping all the rust off to see what you have. If it's just a few brackets that are needed, call an off road shop(s) in your area. If they don't do welding, they probably know a few shops that do. Get a quote of the cost. This will give you a ball park on what your looking at for the fab route. Honestly, if you don't plan on making a major investment in your 4Runner, this will be the less expensive route.

    ---------------

    If it helps, I can break down what it cost me to do the 8.2 axle swap. I went looking about 4 months ago and could only find one housing that had the factory elocker. It was over $3,000 and not local to me. Adding a locker to a non-elocked axle will be cheaper and offer you more locker options.

    I found a housing of a 2010 4Runner that was local to me. I spent $1,400 on the housing assembly plus about $1,200 to have the 3rd member sent off to ECGS to rebuild with an ARB air locker and re-gear to 3.56's. In total, you could be looking at around $2,600 if you do most of the work yourself. Note that my cost does not include the air compressor required for the air locker. If you got an aftermarket elocker, they cost a few hundred more, but they don't need an air compressor. Also note that if you can find an 8.2 rear that you can pull at a salvage yard for less, that's an even bigger savings.

    Here's what I bought from the salvage yard:
    [​IMG]

    I sanded the housing pretty good and repainted it before assembly. In my case, I had to strip down the housing and swap over the axles w/outer bearings, brakes and other hardware from the factory 8.0 housing.
    [​IMG]

    I would also not recommend buying another 8.0 if you plan to run bigger tires and do any off-roading as the rear 8.0 on the 4th gen's are prone to breaking the ring and pinon. This happened to mine.

     
  16. Jun 12, 2024 at 5:04 AM
    #16
    RustyTr4ils

    RustyTr4ils [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the info, it sounds like a locked 8.2 is out of my budget. I bought the car for 9k so I'm not looking to invest a third of the value. If I can find a scrapyard 8.2 I'll certainly go with that but if nothing comes up I'll hope I can save my current axle housing. My main other concerns are that the brackets that connect the upper links to the frame look rough, although the main beams look fine. I also just wonder what else is going to start breaking due to rust and terrible suspension. I don't do extreme rock crawling but I spend lots of time offroad, I go every 4-5 days.
     

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