Front axle on Mitsu Triton - how much float?

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 20:18
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Hi, I have a friend with a Mitsu L200 1995 model (Triton in Oz - we are in Vanuatu) dual cab. He has a nasty noise coming from the front end. I had a look at it and there seems to be a lot of movement where the right hand axle shaft emerges from the diff housing. There is movement in all directions - both parallel to the axle and also up and down. I'm thinking this isn't normal and there's probably a dead bearing in there. Can anyone with more experience of these models tell me if there is in fact a bearing there?

Thanks, Tim.
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Reply By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 23:42

Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 23:42
Most likely the CV joint (CV joint should limit the in-out movement). It shouldn't be too hard to drop the DOJ (inner joint) out and press the driveshaft from the hub bearings. If it is the CV (outer joint) it will be pretty obvious on the removal of the shaft. It should move smoothly across all angles, but not pull in or out parallel to the length of the shaft. If it does pull out, undo the clips on the boot and have a look. There is usually a circlip that holds the "spider" onto the end of the axle that has come off and been digested by the joint, or that the "cup" (going to the wheel) is cracked that cause the noise and symptoms you gave.

The DOJ will move in all directions to a lesser degree (in and out too) and is theoretically the weaker of the joints. It should not "pop out" completely, if it does there should be a circlip just inside the top of the cup which may have been dislodged. Everything else as per CV joint.

Next step would be to examine the joints on the other side as the "reflected" vibration from one bad joint can destroy or come close to destroying all the others, along with some of the bearings given enough time. Needless to say having done all this, replacement hub bearings and possibly diff outer bearings may be a good idea.

This is just a general guide, but should at least give you a starting point.

Let us know how you go with it.
AnswerID: 25254

Follow Up By: zigglemeister - Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 12:13

Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 12:13
Thanks Gary for that very detailed response, I appreciate it. I've got a couple more questions, though. I don't have the L200 here to look at at the moment unfortunately, but I'm pretty sure it was much the same as my 4Runner except that the front diff on the 4Runner is more to the right of the vehicle, whereas on the L200 it's more to the left. Anyway, looking at the 4Runner, there's the diff housing itself, then a flange, then a cylindrical section about 4 inches long or so (still parallel to the diff housing), then the boot is on the cylindrical section and the axle slopes down to the CV and thence to the wheel. Now, I'm assuming the DOJ you're talking about is located within that cylindrical section. But it is outside the actual diff housing. Wouldn't there be a bearing just inside the end of the diff housing to support all that? Because that is where the movement is, on the L200. (Hope I'm right that they're similar!)

Secondly (revealing my ignorance here :-) ) - what does DOJ actually stand for?

Thanks again, Tim.
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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 16:12

Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 16:12
Tim,

"... then a flange, then a cylindrical section about 4 inches long or so...", this IS the DOJ ( "...what does DOJ actually stand for?...",
Double Offset Joint).

There are two main constuction methods in the short arm of the front diffs. To tell the difference look right at the inside of the DOJ (close to the diff). If there is no pin visible then (1) applies, if there are bolts or a pin is visible then (2) applies.

(1) One uses the diff carrier bearing as the output bearing with just an oil seal to seal the diff housing (the DOJ cup has a splined shaft attatched to it which inserts straight into the diff carrier). To remove these usually takes a few whacks with a rubber mallet to get the internal retaining clip to collapse a bit and allow the DOJ to be withdrawn from the carrier.

(2) The other uses a seperate bearing (similar to the "long arm" of the diff housing) with the DOJ usually mounted on a flange or a "female" splined socket onto a stub axle going int the diff carrier. For the flange just unbolt the joint. For the splined shaft there should be a pin that goes through the back of the DOJ and the axle. You may need to remove a part of the suspension to allow the wheel/hub assy to be pulled out to give enough clearance to free the DOJ from the splined shaft.

Once again I am concerned that you say the axle (between the DOJ and CV) can be moved parallel to its length, as the ONLY way this could happen is if the CV (outer) joint has come to grief (as I mentioned earlier). If the axle you refer to is within the diff carrier then my guess is that the construction is similar to (1).

Once again just a general guide (insert legal disclaimer here) :-)

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FollowupID: 17128

Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 16:15

Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 16:15
Tim,

Apologies,

"...look right at the inside of the DOJ (close to the diff)...", should read "...look right BEHIND the DOJ (close to the diff)...".
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FollowupID: 17129

Follow Up By: zigglemeister - Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 16:47

Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 16:47
Okay, thanks again for that, Gary, it's very helpful. Looks like I'll probably be pulling it apart next week, so we'll see how it goes then.
Tim
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FollowupID: 17132

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