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Zerk fitting on front shaft near transfer case - help!

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010-2024)' started by MI4runner2014, Jun 10, 2024.

  1. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:13 PM
    #1
    MI4runner2014

    MI4runner2014 [OP] New Member

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    Is there a trick to getting at the spider zerk fitting for the front drive shaft section closest to the transfer case? It seems extremely difficult to attach to it. I use one of those lock on type ends for the grease gun and it seems like maybe the part you squeeze to attach to the zerk fitting is getting in the way. It seems to be impossible to get it to attach, at least the LockNLube brand one. Sadly I threw away the original tip that came with the grease gun and maybe that might have gotten in there. Any tips on this tight or small clearance zerk would be appreciated.
     
  2. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:18 PM
    #2
    whippersnapper02

    whippersnapper02 New Member

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    I try to face it towards the driver side and up a little to get at it. I forgot if I get it from before the case or after. I also use a lock n lube coupling.
     
    MI4runner2014[OP] likes this.
  3. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:25 PM
    #3
    MI4runner2014

    MI4runner2014 [OP] New Member

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    Thank you so much for your response. I’m going to try it again. I have no clue how you are able to do it with the LockNLube coupling…I spent over 25 mins trying different angles but I will try again mainly from the driver’s side like you suggest. Thanks.
     
  4. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:27 PM
    #4
    whippersnapper02

    whippersnapper02 New Member

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    You have the flexible hose, right?
     
  5. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:33 PM
    #5
    3JOH22A

    3JOH22A Toyota Gigolo

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    - On non-Limited trims, you can freely spin the driveshaft by hand to get to a better position.
    - Unbolt the heat shield over the exhaust crossover pipe for more clearance.
    - Buy a slimmer grease gun coupler at your local Harbor Freight or auto parts store, e.g. - I have a low-profile locking coupler from Amzn: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BYK53L8D/ But you should measure your existing Lock N Lube coupler and verify this one will be an improvement, before ordering:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2024
  6. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:37 PM
    #6
    MI4runner2014

    MI4runner2014 [OP] New Member

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    Yes flexible hose…thanks for responding. The LockNLube coupler seems too large to fit into that area…the little handle you squeeze down gets in the way preventing me from getting it to lock on. Someone was able to still do it with this coupling so I’m going to go at it again tomorrow and if successful I’ll never forget the angle of approach again lol.
     
  7. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:37 PM
    #7
    catbrown357

    catbrown357 New Member

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    Get the needle adaptor that fits into the LockNLube. That's how I get mine done. https://www.amazon.com/LockNLube-Na...efix=locknlube+need,amazon-devices,432&sr=1-3
     
  8. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:40 PM
    #8
    MI4runner2014

    MI4runner2014 [OP] New Member

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    This is excellent advice…I didn’t know you could remove that to gain better access and I’ve never seen these thinner low profile ones before. The LockNLube one seems too bulky so I’m going to try the one you linked at Amazon. But I do love the LockNLube one for all the remaining zerks for the spiders and slides. Thanks for responding!!
     
  9. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:44 PM
    #9
    MI4runner2014

    MI4runner2014 [OP] New Member

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    Another great idea! I never knew this existed heck I’ll order this and the lower profile one someone also suggested. This zerk wasn’t done last year as well because I was stressed for time but this year I’m determined to do it. They say you should do it every oil change but I’ve only done it twice a year. Some don’t do it at all and report going 100k miles with no issues but
    I can’t take the chance.
     
  10. Jun 10, 2024 at 3:45 PM
    #10
    mtnslyr

    mtnslyr New Member

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    Yep, that one was difficult. Taking out this plate made it easier to access.
    IMG_6879.jpg
     
  11. Jun 10, 2024 at 5:30 PM
    #11
    backpacker

    backpacker New Member

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    It gets easier with experience. I've used the LockNLube three times now, and the two important tricks are

    1. Rotate the drive shaft to get the zerk situated to best advantage
    2. Determine what 3-D angle the zerk needs to be approached from (also plays into Item 1)

    Item 2 is a make-or-break step. The coupler will engage correctly from a limited range of angles, so it needs to align well with the zerk body. If you're not close enough to straight on, it's just not going to connect securely. Taking off the plate shown above helps, but you can avoid that if your fingers learn how feel the zerk orientation as accurately as possible.
     
  12. Jun 10, 2024 at 5:42 PM
    #12
    garoto

    garoto New Member

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    I am having trouble rotating the drive shaft. Transmission is in neutral. Transfer case is in neutral. What am I missing? I try to rotate the driveshaft by hand and I encounter reasonable gear like resistance.
     
  13. Jun 10, 2024 at 5:47 PM
    #13
    catbrown357

    catbrown357 New Member

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    You're not going to be able to rotate the rear (main) driveshaft with the wheels on the ground. Front, yes. And, I hope you don't crawl under your vehicle with both the transmission and t-case in neutral unless you have the wheels chocked. Good way to die.
     
  14. Jun 10, 2024 at 5:53 PM
    #14
    backpacker

    backpacker New Member

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    Yeah, rear is trickier. Chocked or on jackstands is the way to do it.
     
    Stoney Ranger and garoto[QUOTED] like this.
  15. Jun 10, 2024 at 6:00 PM
    #15
    garoto

    garoto New Member

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    I have them choked for sure. I know better than to get squashed by a 5000lb machine.

    Neither front or rear will rotate with wheels on the ground. So that’s good to know. Makes the job much harder than I anticipated.
     
  16. Jun 10, 2024 at 6:05 PM
    #16
    Stoney Ranger

    Stoney Ranger New Member

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    Chok the front wheels, then lift both rear tires off of the ground so they can turn freely. Driveshaft will then move freely, too. ( You didn't mention if you had the rear tires lifted )"Reasonable gear resistance" to my mind seems normal. There's more than a 100 lbs. of weight, diff gears, tire/wheel combo, axles, and the friction factor, you're trying to move by twisting the drive shaft. It won't spin easy like a top. But it should spin.
     
  17. Jun 10, 2024 at 6:06 PM
    #17
    catbrown357

    catbrown357 New Member

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    I always do mine when I have all four off the ground on jackstands at 5000 mile intervals for oil changes and tire rotation. Not sure about you, but mine is a Limited with AWD. Need to have the front and rear off the ground to rotate drivelines.
     
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  18. Jun 10, 2024 at 6:16 PM
    #18
    Stoney Ranger

    Stoney Ranger New Member

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    The front drive shaft will spin with the wheels on the ground, if it is not engaged in 4WD.
     
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  19. Jun 10, 2024 at 7:53 PM
    #19
    Yamahamer

    Yamahamer New Member

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    Remember that LocknLube makes those couplers in two different lengths...a long one for the places like you're talking about so the part you squeeze is much further away.
    locknlube.jpg
     
    2Toys likes this.
  20. Jun 11, 2024 at 12:33 AM
    #20
    garoto

    garoto New Member

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    So I did the job, and here are all my findings.

    The car and finding the zerks:
    1. I did not have to lift the car.
    2. I can rotate the FWD drive shaft freely with my hand if the car is in 2L and park. This is not the case if the transmission and transfer case are in neutral.
    3. I can’t rotate the rear drive shaft at all unless I lift the car. Instead, I just rolled the car forward 6-10 inches and all zerks positions worked out for me.
    4. I did the full job while the car was on park and not lifted.

    The Lube:
    - I used valvoline superior performance lithium NGLI 2 for all four spider joints. Two in the RWD shaft and two in the FWD shaft.
    - Valvoline superior performance lithium with moly NGLI 2 for the two yolks. One in the FWD shaft and one in the RWD shaft.
    - I used a coupler attached to my gun. I highly recommend doing that. If you don’t you might get the hose stuck on your zerk. I almost did. Use a coupler. Lock N Lube from Amazon is a good one. Makes attaching to the zerk and removing a breeze.
    - For the spider joints I pumped until the grease started coming out. Then cleaned a bit.
    - For the yolks, I pumped 5 pumps. I then removed the zerks with a long 7mm socket and bounced the car around to relieve pressure. I had no extra grease on the rear. But the front one had a bit that came out after bouncing the car around for a bit.

    While the FWD spider coupling was hard to attach to, it wasn’t all that terrible. I didn’t have to remove any skids. It’s easier to reach from the passenger side.

    Also the FWD yolk and spider joint clearly had more grease than the rear. Because they get used less often.

    All in all it wasn’t a hard job, it was just tedious because it was the first time doing it. And there was a lot to learn. The job gets dirty and messy quickly if you’re not careful, grease manages to get everywhere if you touch it.
     

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