Using the Toyota front Axle SST

When rebuilding the knuckles on the Toyota straight axle, it is important to get the bearing preload set correctly. Additionally, it is essential that you get the axle shaft centered in the oil seal to prevent it from causing leaks down the road.

This article show you how to use the Toyota Special Service Tool to set up the knuckle. Many old time Toyota owners have this tool, and a few clubs around the country have purchased them to share amongst their members.

Begin by attaching the assembly to the end of the housing as shown in the picture below. It is important to have the bearings in place then this is done.

Torque down the SST assembly on the end of the housing until the proper preload is achieved at the end of the arm.

Measure the height of the torqued assembly to get the first part of the shim thickness - calculation "A"

Scribe a centering line on the shaft with the part of the tool that fits into the end of the axle housing where the seal goes.

Measure height of knuckle to determine second shim measurement - Calculation "B"

Attach spindle to knuckle and scribe a second line to determine centerline of knuckle - measure the distance between the two scribed lines to get measurement "D".


Total shim thickness "C": C = A - B

Lower shim thickness "E": E = D - 3mm (0.118")

Top shim thickness "F": F = C - E

Once the shims are calculated, install them along with the steering arms and bottom caps. Torque to specs and recheck preload with fish scale.

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