Since I needed to remove my 3rd member again to replace another broken set of ring and pinion gears. I decided to make a little set by step write up of how to remove and re-install a e-locker 3rd member.
The overall process and method to remove/install a e-locker 3rd member is fairly easy. I feel just about anyone with the proper and the right tools can do so with out using too many curse words or having any busted knuckles lol.
In order to get started, you should have the following tools and supplies to make your life easy:
drain pan or bucket
brake clean/parts cleaner spray can
ultra grey rtv silicone gasket maker
3 quarts oil- Lucas 85w140 Dyno oil is what EastCoastGearSupply recommends
small pocket screw driver
regular size screwdriver
14mm wrench x2
2 jack stands
hydraulic floor jack
First thing that should be done is to place a wheel choke in front of one of the tires to help secure your taco when it gets jacked up. Now, place a hydraulic jack under the rear differentail and jack that sucker up so you can place your jack stands in place along the frame rail. Don't forget to remove the rear wheels as well. Do the obvious thing and make sure you are working on a nice level flat surface so nobody get hurts.
Don't be like this guy:
The proper way:
Once everything is up in the air and sitting on jack stands the next step will be to drain the gear oil from the differential. This stuff is stinky. Some of the special additives used in gear oil is Sulphur-Phosphorous and that is what causes the smell.
Using a 24mm socket, remove both the fill plug and drain plug:
In the Toyota Factory Service Manual it states to remove the brake lines at the drum brakes. I skip that step and i have created my own shortcut that saves precious time. This shortcut keeps the brake lines intact and you won't have to bleed the brakes as a final step when re-installing the 3rd member.
What I do is I remove the brake line hangers along the axle housing. This allows me to pull out the axles far enough in order to remove the 3rd member.
Using a 12mm socket or wrench remove these brake line hanger bolts:
Remove the e-brake hanger from both sides:
It's now time to remove the ABS sensors. You should be careful when removing the sensors. You must use a small flat tip screwdriver, there is a little tiny clip inside that you must press down in order to pull each sensor. Using a pocket screwdriver makes your life so much easier when doing this.
Using a pocket screwdriver to press down on the clip, you have to press down on the clip and pull at the same time:
Now it's time to remove the drive shaft from the 3rd member. You will need (2) 14mm wrenches and a paint marker or something similar for marking. Sometimes when connecting the drive shaft back and in the wrong place can lead to drive line vibrations. That's why it's always a good idea to mark exactly where it was connected to the flange.
Mark a spot on the drive shaft and pinion flange like so using a paint marker:
Using (2) 14mm wrenches remove the 4 bolts that secures the drive shaft to the pinion flange:
I like to ziptie the drive shaft around the muffler hanger to keep the drive shaft out of the way: