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Tacoma cv axle needle bearing - acute failure?

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016-2023)' started by Bugout, May 14, 2024.

  1. May 14, 2024 at 4:58 PM
    #1
    Bugout

    Bugout [OP] Member

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    Hi Gang,

    Just lifted my Tacoma (~2.5-3") and I suspect the vibration that has shown up on the driver side is from the stock CV axle needle bearing. I just ordered the ECGS bushing. However, I can't replace it prior to my next out of town trip for work, which will be about 700 km round trip.

    My question is whether the needle bearing generally fails slowly or do they tend to fail quickly and ugly (i.e., shrapnel in the front diff)?

    Thanks
     
  2. May 14, 2024 at 5:04 PM
    #2
    faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr Til Valhalla

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    You should be just fine for the trip
     
  3. May 14, 2024 at 5:16 PM
    #3
    TnShooter

    TnShooter The TacomaWorld Stray

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    Never seen one come apart in the truck.
    I've seen them come apart AFTER the CV axle was removed.
    And 99% of those cases were user induced, by breaking the bearing race beating the removal tool in. (I did that myself)

    If you wear the needle bearing or CV out in 700km. You have other issues.

    In short, Drive it. You'll be fine.
    I went about 1 year before I "fixed" / replaced mine. Which was about 7,000 miles.
     
    gudujarlson likes this.
  4. May 14, 2024 at 6:04 PM
    #4
    Bugout

    Bugout [OP] Member

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    Perfect - thanks!
     
    TnShooter likes this.
  5. May 15, 2024 at 8:07 AM
    #5
    BabyBilly

    BabyBilly Well-Known Member

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    This guy had a catastrophic failure

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/metal-sticks-in-front-diff.830963/
     
  6. May 15, 2024 at 8:49 AM
    #6
    ppat4

    ppat4 Well-Known Member

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    Just added toolbox and roof-rack to haul my fishing boat 100's of miles into the backwoods every week. Goodrich K02s, Bilstein 5100 front and back, no lift.
    I am on my third driver side needle bearing. Off road weekly for almost 6 years on this Taco.

    The first was catastrophic failure. Whole left side went in one shot. Wheel hub, cv axle, and needle bearing. Missed seeing a bad deep washout at speed. Thought my back would break it hit so hard and I figured a tow out that day. It was driveable, but crazy wheel play.

    In that case, I could grab the cv axle at the front diff and lift it up and down almost a half inch both ways. So put in another OEM bearing.

    The replacement OEM bearing went again just a few months ago. Again, I could grab the cv axle at the diff and move it around freely with no muscle effort required. A lot of slop. This time I put the ECGS bearing in.

    There will be a little play in and out (1/8 inch or so) on both driver and passenger side. That is normal play.

    So just check both sides. Get under, grab the metal housing on the CV at diff and move it up and down, and in and out. If both sides of vehicle are about the same with that 1/8 inch play, then no worries and you need to do nothing.

    If driver side is “significantly” worse than passenger side then a good idea to change it out.
     
  7. May 15, 2024 at 9:02 AM
    #7
    Bugout

    Bugout [OP] Member

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  8. May 15, 2024 at 9:04 AM
    #8
    Bugout

    Bugout [OP] Member

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    Ya, not much play currently to the extent that if it wasn't for the obvious vibration only in two wheel drive in that front left side (a week after the lift) I would never have assumed it was the bearing.
     
  9. May 15, 2024 at 10:42 AM
    #9
    Old Man Tan 4x4

    Old Man Tan 4x4 Well-Known Member

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    Usually they fail slowly, but when they do it can be catastrophic...I've only heard of one or two instances of a catastrophic failure but they do happen. I drove my truck with the needle bearing vibes for about 6k miles before I replaced it with the ECGS bushing. Id wager you'll be fine for your trip, but you should definitely change it out sooner than later.
     
  10. May 15, 2024 at 10:49 AM
    #10
    gudujarlson

    gudujarlson Well-Known Member

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    I’ve seen zero evidence of an actual failure of the bearing that wasn’t more than likely caused by user error when extracting it. I suspect this is mostly urban legend. That or it’s only happening to a small majority that have exceeded engineering specs or just had some bad luck. People do report a vibration going away post replacement though.

    Personally I have yet to experience any vibration that I could attributed to the cv axle needle bearing or any other issue. I only have ~2” lift in front though.

    From my limited knowledge of mechanical engineering, a needle bearing is a more optimal choice than a bushing for this particular use case. The speed is high and the load is low. I have seen a small blurb from EGCS stating that lifting the IFS causes and unintended load on the bearing workout much explanation.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2024
  11. May 16, 2024 at 5:52 AM
    #11
    aroma

    aroma Well-Known Member

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    I have just found some play in my left side CV. I have been chasing a slight vibration for a while. No lift. I am thinking I will replace with a factory bearing and a rebuilt cv axel only on the left side and see if it helps. 275k miles on the needle bearing. I am not seeing the benefit of the egcs bushing for my situation.
     

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