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Discussion Starter #1
Just started this, after pulling together lots of little bits of information from the internet and youtube. Decided to post it here in one place in case it helps someone else.

Our 2011 Sienna XLE AWD started making a loud bearing grinding noise from the rear end. It was equally loud on each side, so I am convinced its the Diff and not a wheel bearing. The vehicle has about 90,000 miles.

First, this Sienna has a "electro mechanical coupling" between the driveshaft and the rear differential. It is similar, but not identical to a problem with Rav4 that have a "viscous coupling" in the same location. Ours has a vacuum connection and an electrical connection. The Rav4 coupler has no wires. The service bulletin for the Rav4 is available online (Toyota Technical Service Bulletin T-SB-0080-13 or TSB008013). I will try to post it to this thread. Remember, its a little different, but it is very valuable - it gives all the torque specs, lists some inspection criteria, and the correct orange sealant to use (FIPG Sealant: Three Bond 1281, or Equivalent - Toyota Part # 00295-01281).
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Started by chocking the front wheels and jacking the left rear wheel up, and placing a jack stand. Removed the left rear wheel to get more room.

Remove the "skid guard" protective pan that is bolted to the bottom of the differential assembly (14 mm socket)

Loosen the fill plug (just to make sure it can be loosened!) and then drain the diff fluid from the lower plug (they use a 10mm hex "allen key" - I had a socket version of this).

Note the electrical connector and vacuum line near the top of the coupler. They should be disconnected now - remove by hand. Be gentle. The plastic is getting old. I don't think the hose is a drain, since it comes off near the top.

Remove the four nuts that hold the drive shaft to the coupler. 12mm socket and 12mm box end wrench as needed depending on the access.

Now one of the tricks - the studs in the coupler will keep you from removing it. Don't disconnect the drive shaft!!! Get a couple of M8x1.25mm nuts and jamb them onto the studs sticking out of the coupler and unthread them. The nuts I had were 13mm wrench size, which is a weird size, but it worked. You will need two wrenches to do this.

Support the axle with a jack or strap, etc. Don't want it to hit you in the face or smack the ground...

Loosen the four bolts holding the coupler to the differential. 14mm socket. Have your oil pan ready, as a bit more oil will come out when its loose. A couple of taps with a rubber mallet and the sealant and rust broke loose and everything was free. There are a couple of dowels (and a splined shaft) holding the coupler in position, so you have to slide it forward a little bit before it is loose.

Viola!!! If you are replacing it ( 41303-28013 list $1740, available for $1145 from the online discount dealers), just start putting the new one back in.

I am going to try and replace the bearings. See next post for the disassembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Posted some pictures of what it looks like (input end with four bolt holes. Output end for splined shaft. I did take it apart and found the worse sounding bearing is the big one that is marked 95DSF01-NSK. I measured it to be 120mm OD, 95mm ID, and 16.95 mm thick. This is supposed to be Toyota part 90363-95007, which I got online for $31.93. I also ordered the smaller bearing 90363-65004 and the dust deflector 41252-44010, and an oil seal 90310-54001. All together, the order was $76.90 with shipping in the USA. Not sure about the oil seal, will post later if it was really needed or not.

First step in disassembly is to pry off the dust shield from the input end. I just use a mini pry bar as I had ordered the replacement. It seems easily bent, so be very careful here if you are trying to reuse it.

The next step was to unscrew the electrical connector mount and dig the sealant out of the hole the wires pass through so they can move freely, which has to be done before you press the assembly out of the shell. I used a small screwdriver and a small knife. The sealant was not well attached - came out pretty easily.

The next step is to push the assembly out of the housing using a press (or a hammer and a block to protect your work if you don't have a press). The coupler should be positioned with the input flange facing up, and some blocks placed under it to support the edge of the housing, but let the assembly move downward. I also placed another block of wood in the middle to limit how far the assembly could fall, so the wires didn't get broken. Pay attention to those wires!! Position them so they are not getting pinched as you work on the press. Once the assembly is pressed out, it will still be trapped by the wires. You have to hold the assembly and housing together and turn them over as a pair (I held each piece in one hand).

The big bearing stayed in the housing, so I pressed it out next. One of the large plates from my wheel bearing replacement kit fit well enough. It seems that is the most common. I'm waiting for my bearings to arrive, so will use this time to clean up the housing and get rid of the corrosion and grime. Stay tuned for the assembly steps.

Comparing the assembly to the inspection criteria and photos in the TSB, mine seems to pass inspection for reuse, based on the criteria in the RAV4 TSB.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bearings and other little parts arrived from Toyota and I had a chance to re-assemble the coupler. Installed the "big end" bearing using the red Toyota sealant (FIPG) and pressed the outer dust shield on. Attached some photos here showing the match between the Sienna parts and the new parts from Toyota that supposedly don't fit (ha ha).

I cleaned up the old crunchy bearing and used it with a plate from my wheel bearing extractor kit to press the new bearing into place. Again, put a thin coating of the FIPG sealant where the o-ring should have been, then had to clean up the excess that squeezed out the front.

The bearing has a red colored side a black colored side. The red colored side went to the inside of the coupler before, so I put the new one in the same way.

I filled in the hole for the wires so that thicker section can cure, it will get a second coat when the flange is sealed up during installation.

Hope to put it on the Sienna tomorrow.

The last photo is the instructions that came with the Seal Packing 1281 - Toyota FIPG Transmission. It says "to clean both surfaces with solvent, apply a 1 to 1.5 mm bead of sealant, then assemble within 15 minutes. Engine may be started in 1 to 2 hours. Hardens to become rubberlike in 15 to 16 hours".

The ThreeBond 1281 website says it skins over in 10 minutes and can be "Instantaneous sealing for pressure- and firing test". So, I will assume it sets up in 10 minutes or less, and can be put into service in an hour or two. That's my best guess. Wish this point was more clear.
 

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Beautiful write-up on this repair! Can't wait for the next installment.

On comment about the Rav4 TSB that you referenced. You'll note that this applied to the 2006-2012 series of that model, and IIRC, this was the basic hardware that was also used on the Gen-II Sienna (2004-1010) and first generation Highlander. It was an always engaged AWD system using a viscous coupling. The next generation of the Sienna and Rav4 abandoned full time AWD in favor of a slip sensing system with electromagnetic clutch.
 

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I don't have a AWD but enjoyed reading the post. Thanks for the details and the writeup and agree with the poster above that this should be a sticky
 

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This was a good post to follow as I used this as a guide to tackle this myself instead of buying the entire unit.

my additional notes:

you definitely need a new dust shield as prying the old one destroys it

the small bearing part number is wrong

and yes be really careful when pressing it out bc it’s not held in by much and a gentle tap will free it - my wires pulled out and I had to older them back in

also I think my unit might be too far gone as fluid was pretty dirty/burned and the metal has bluing which means it got really hot - either way I might as well slap it back in and see how it goes.

the job is very easy and straight forward and there’s a lot of room and access
 

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Just following up - the small bearing nsk number is 6911v. Also wtf is that oil seal for? I am returning the oil seal and the wrong bearing part.

all you need is the dust shield, the big bearing, the 6911v bearing, some diff fluid, and some rtv sealant - i think this job was even easier than a wheel bearing job

My wires did pull out due to my carelessness so I had to grind off the plastic and solder the wires back on and then epoxy over everything

thanks a bunch for this post as $100 and an afternoon is a lot better than $1200
 

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As a new owner of a 2015 Sienna AWD, I find this thread very interesting. I need to figure out when should have the transmission and rear diff case fluid changed.
 

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Great write-up! Thanks for taking the time to share it.

I've got a couple quick questions. we have a 2014 XLE AWD Sienna. I ordered the parts listed here a month or so back. With the virus making it's rounds, I figured it was a good time to pull the sienna aside for some attention.

1) My dust shield is definitely different. I need to find the right part number for it.
2) The big bearing I took out has the same number on it as the original one posted here. However, like the replacement one posted here, the new one doesn't have the external oring and it is wider than the original. Overall, it looks the same. Is this ok?
3) I must have missed it but the original housing has a large seal for the large bearing. I'll get it ordered.
4) I haven't really looked at the other bearing, I sort of stopped when I saw the large bearing difference and the dust shield difference.

I'm seeing a different set on eBay that looks more like what I have but they are different part numbers and the large bearing has the groove but no oring.
*couldn't post link....newbie

What is some of your insight to all of this? I really need to get the right parts ordered. Otherwise this thing will be apart for about 2 weeks.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The bearing I got had no o-ring, I used the FIPG to seal around it. I have not had a leak, so think that worked fine. I don't think the bearing was wider.

Don't know about the dust shield - the one I got seemed to match exactly.

Are you getting your parts from a Toyota dealer or aftermarket?
 

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The old bearing and dust shield are on the right. The new parts are on the left. The dust shield is obvious. The large bearing I think will work. It is thicker and doesn't have the oring.

When you ran a bead of FIPG around the bearing, did you just wipe off the excess on the inside housing walls?

I'll tell ya, when you look up the parts on ePay, the ones from Canada and they are listed for a Highlander, sure do look like it...at least the dust shield does.

Lastly, whenever you try to search any of these parts, they always say superseded by part #XXX which is the whole assembly= $$$$

Is there a place where I can look up the individual parts?

Thanks again!
 

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Did mine about 6 months ago. The noise is now back. Like others mine came with no o ring. I just used the seal packing stuff to make a gasket between the viscous coupling housing and the rear differential. Guessing after reading this thread I was supposed to use that to make a seal around the outside of the bearing and the housing? It sure was a tight fit so I don't even know how that would work. Or maybe the bearing just isn't cut out for the job. All I know is I now have to do it all again. At least I have a bearing press now and I know how to do it quick. I'm thinking I might just spring for the pricey $1200 part
 

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I ordered the parts (by number) from McGeorge Toyota Online Parts. They didn't match my VIN (as several people have said, the part finder will point you to the whole assembly). I added a note to the order saying I know they don't match my VIN, but I want these parts anyway, They shipped them. The parts I got were identical matches for my vehicle, except for that missing o-ring on the bearing.
 

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I moved this thread from GEN-3 General Discussion to Problems & Repairs.
 
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