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2004 4Runner front axle rebuild

Hey guys, Got a question.

Stats first, I know: 2004 4Runner, 235K miles, 4WD, Limited, still runs great. :wink:

According to the Toyota techs, the front axles need to be rebuilt every 100K miles - because of boot failure, nothing else. But, as we all know, if you ignore the failed boot, the joints will quickly follow. A rebuild kit with the boots is ~$35. New axles are a tad more expensive.

Well, the first time the boots failed right at about 120K. I rebuilt them, and it all seemed to go well. I’m at 235K now, and they failed again (one, actually, but a full rebuild for both sides is in order).

The dealer kit comes with both boots, clips, oetiker rings, grease, the works. It’s a decent kit. I have all the tools I need, I’m very familiar with the truck, and have done this procedure before. So why am I posting at all?

The kit comes with a hard plastic boot (for the outer CV joint), and a soft rubber boot for the inner joint (I don’t know what the style is called). It also includes two different greases. One’s a synthetic (white) grease. The other is a regular (black) grease.

The question: Which grease goes in which boot? Memory is failing me. :frowning:

Thanks for the assist.

Perhaps a visit to the Toyota repair guys will yield the answer. I usually start with the guy at the parts window. They’ve always been happy to help me. He’ll have access to the Toyota repair procedure and that specifies which is which. He might even print a copy for you.

Caveat: that “service” is not universal. I recently ran into a turkey at the dealership in Nashua NH that wouldn’t even give me a part number. I’ve personally had terrible service there the few times I’ve been there in the past ten years, and it’s getting worse. IMHO that’s costing them money in lost business. The stories I could tell…
The guys in Manchester have always been great.

Black grease outer, according to this forum:

@auto-owner I searched google, yotatech, and a few other sites (including this one) before posting. Never came across that thread. Thanks.

@“the same mountainbike” I can call, and might tomorrow just 'cause, but since I searched here and it wasn’t found, thought I’d give you guys a shot, and an addition to the database.

As a general rule, this site is a fantastic resource. I don’t need much (thankfully), but when I do, it’s normally here, somewhere. If I hear different, I’ll post up.

Black grease is for the outer joints, yellow is for the inner. The grease for the inner joint in usually thinner, it is pourable.

BTW, I have checked the Toyota repair manual for trucks that I was working on, it doesn’t indicate which grease to use and the number on the grease packets gave mixed information when searched.

When I re-booted and serviced the outer CV joints on my early 90’s Corolla, the replacement boots came with a packet of CV packing grease, a sort of dark green color. I doubt that applies to your 4-runner, but that’s what I used and it has worked fine.

fyi, there’s been some comments here about diy’ers having difficulty removing the outer CV joint on some versions. On my Corolla there’s a circ-clip which is easy to remove and the joint just pulls right off the axel. That’s how I do the service myself, remove the CV joint and clean the works and reapply the grease, trying not to lose the ball bearings in the process. They seem to have a mind of their own and will roll into the nether-regions of the shop never to be found again if you don’t be careful to watch them all the time.

Anyway, the problem noted by others was on those designs there was no circ-clip, so the cv joint couldn’t be easily removed from the axel in a non-destructive way. Instead it had to be cut away from the axel if you wanted to remove it. Then you’d have no option but to replace it with a new one.

I’m with Nevada on this one. The black or gray grease goes in the outer joint.

Suggest OP defers to the pros above on which color of grease goes where. I’m just a driveway diy’er myself and have no grease-color knowledge other than what color of grease came with my replacement boot.

I've personally had terrible service there the few times I've been there in the past ten years, and it's getting worse. IMHO that's costing them money in lost business. The stories I could tell...... The guys in Manchester have always been great.

That’s good to know…I bought my Highlander in Nashua. But only been back for the 2 free oil changes. I wasn’t impressed with the sales people at Ira. Got a much better deal in Nashua for the same vehicle.

I tend to buy only original parts, mostly from It’s the Toyota/Lexus Conicelli dealership in Conshohocken, PA. They’ve been very good so far, and the prices beat everything else I can find.

About 35K ago I replaced all 4 corner braking parts - primarily because after 200K they’d given me good service, but I was starting to see warning signs it’d need to be done, and figured this was a good time to do it. All parts bought from them. One front disc arrived with a dent on the corner - most certainly from shipping - and they replaced it without question. Took a picture and e-mailed it in. In the picture I could see a tiny crack that I couldn’t see looking at the part itself. No questions, here’s another, send the bad one back.

If you call them, you can tell they’re busy, as they’re very to the point, and no chit-chat. I’m cool with that, I don’t need lots of conversation, anyway. I just need the parts. As long as you can wait for the shipping (discs came in a few days), they’re a pretty good resource to keep in your back pocket. They also accept PayPal, and all major credit cards.

So the call was made, the part numbers detailed, and here we are. The two types of grease can vary, but in general…

Toyota P/N: 90999-94214, black grease, may be labeled raremax UBZ. 260 gram tube.
This is for the inner joint (referred to as the tripod, or tulip joint).

Toyota P/N: 90999-94161, light brown grease, may be labeled raremax SLF. 232 gram tube.
This one is for the outer CV joint.

The reason for the different greases is that the different bearing in the joints have different shear values, and require different greases. The outer (CV) joint also has the harder plastic cover, mostly to put up with road debris, and not for any other reason.

Seems to be a lack of consensus here on which color grease goes where. Good to know what you found out by calling your source OP, thanks.

I’ll go off-topic . . .

I’ve thrown many boots at cv axles over the years, and I’ve usually used aftermarket boot kits. Near as I can tell, the grease for inner and outer was the same

I’m saying it was the same, because I always replace inner AND outer boots at the same time. If I’m taking an axleshaft off the vehicle, there’s no way I’m not doing both boots. And as long as that axle was quiet, I’m not considering new cheap chinese axleshafts. I’d rather reseal a quiet factory axle with torn boots, versus turning in my core for a new chinese axleshaft of QUESTIONABLE quality

I never had any problems with the generic grease, and all of the cars I did, racked up a lot of miles afterwards. No noises, no problems

When I serviced my 1970’s VW Rabbit’s CV boots, the replacement boots didn’t come with a grease packet. The service manual said to use moly-grease, worked fine.