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New Owner To A '78 Chinook Newport


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Hi all!

So excited and happy that this forum exists, I have been all over the web to find resources about Chinooks to self-educate. I'm a 30-yr-old lady who just bought a Newport model.

Are there any other active RV/Chinook/motorhome forums that you like?

I wanted some advice:

After doing all that reading, I'm worried about my back axle breaking. Should I be worried? It's the original 5-lug. according the the title she weighs in at 3,450 lbs.

Do you have any advice for me as a new owner?

Anything I should watch out for, rip out right away, absolutely leave alone etc?

The inside is in pretty good condition for 37 years old, but i plan to take out the carpeting and reupholster the cushions.

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The rear axle should be fine, but absolutely have it checked out. I just had a mechanic put new rear wheel bearings on mine before I took it on too many trips, so I knew they were in good shape. They can inspect the axle shaft while they're there. Just don't load it down more than is reasonable, considering it's alreaded loaded to capacity. Pack light.

Don't rip out anything more than the carpet unless you plan to gut it. It's kind of all connected, and once you get started, you won't stop till everything is out. Which is cool...but if you're not prepared for gutting and rebuilding, don't go down that road.

I gutted mine and have done a ton of work. I'm no expert or skilled mechanic/carpenter/electrician etc, but I've definitely been there and done that, so if you have any specific questions, just ask. I'm around enough to answer but a bit too busy right now to think up the million little things you might run into. So specific questions are good :)

Have fun! They're cool vehicles. Not built as well as some other makes, but considering they've held together this long, they must not be too bad.

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Thanks, all!

I am having her inspected tomorrow afternoon so I will take extra care to request that they take a really good look at the back axle

I am going to get rid of the rest of the carpet, pull out the fridge, and replace some really awful "repair" work that the last owners did (it looks horrible and is kind of non-functional, too).

Thanks for offering to answer any questions, Montana! I will definitely be in touch as soon as i have any specific Newport questions :-)

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Hi all!

So excited and happy that this forum exists, I have been all over the web to find resources about Chinooks to self-educate. I'm a 30-yr-old lady who just bought a Newport model.

Are there any other active RV/Chinook/motorhome forums that you like?

I wanted some advice:

After doing all that reading, I'm worried about my back axle breaking. Should I be worried? It's the original 5-lug. according the the title she weighs in at 3,450 lbs.

Do you have any advice for me as a new owner?

Anything I should watch out for, rip out right away, absolutely leave alone etc?

The inside is in pretty good condition for 37 years old, but i plan to take out the carpeting and reupholster the cushions.

If you don't know the service history of the rig - do yourself a favor, buy some cheap "insurance" and just put two new wheel bearings in back. They cannot be "serviced" other then to be changed. No way to adjust or lube them. All a mechanic at a repair shop is going to do is check to see if they feel loose and spin them to see if they turn smooth. Anybody can do that themselves just by jacking a wheel off the ground.

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Check the Toyota ID plate on the drivers side inner fender. Most homes came with the one ton (metric) 3/4 ton axle. They are larger than the standard 1/2 ton Toyota axles. They have an 8" ring gear. Your ID plate should start with the letter "G" for the axle. i.e. GO82.

This becomes important when buying bearings. If you get the smaller set (1/2 ton) they will not fit your axle.

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If you don't know the service history of the rig - do yourself a favor, buy some cheap "insurance" and just put two new wheel bearings in back. They cannot be "serviced" other then to be changed. No way to adjust or lube them. All a mechanic at a repair shop is going to do is check to see if they feel loose and spin them to see if they turn smooth. Anybody can do that themselves just by jacking a wheel off the ground.

JDE/Zach/Linda/Derek,

where would one go for this check? a truck service place? Toyota dealer?

What would be a guesstimate cost of wheel bearing swap?

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I would stick to a privately owned shop that specializes in Toyota's. No big signs, no retail areas. Small places rely on repeat business and want you back. Big places that can afford advertising could care less.

Linda S

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Check the Toyota ID plate on the drivers side inner fender. Most homes came with the one ton (metric) 3/4 ton axle. They are larger than the standard 1/2 ton Toyota axles. They have an 8" ring gear. Your ID plate should start with the letter "G" for the axle. i.e. GO82.

This becomes important when buying bearings. If you get the smaller set (1/2 ton) they will not fit your axle.

You kind of lost me. Toyota switched to a slightly larger rear-axle assembly in their pickup trucks in 1975. The Hotchkiss center-section got slightly beefed up. Axles and wheel bearings and weight-bearing capacity stayed the same from 1972 up to around 2000 for all the semi-floating rears. Made no difference if used in a standard pickup, bare cab & chassis, or a motorhome. Then in the early 80s - Toyota increased the diameter of the axle-tubes to a bigger ID and also set the spring perches further apart. Wheel bearings and differential stayed the same. The differential in a 1978 Chinook is the same as used in a 1978 pickup and the same as used in a late 80s full-floating rear. The one slight difference is the tooth count. One is 4.11 to 1 ratio and the later isd 4.10 to 1 ratio. When V6s or turbos came into use the differential got beefed up slightly but the wheel bearings stayed the same.

1972 Toyota mini-truck has a wheel-bearings that measure 1.57" X 3.54" X .90". Axles are 1.57" diameter.

1995 Toyota Tacoma minitruck - wheel-bearings that measure 1.57" X 3.54" X .90". Axles are 1.57" diameter.

1995 Toyota T100 - wheel-bearings that measure 1.57" X 3.54" X .90". Axles re 1.57" diameter.

2000 Toyota Tundra with V8 - slight improvement - wheel-bearings that measure 1.57" X 3.54" X .1.1". Axles still 1.57" diameter.

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JDE/Zach/Linda/Derek,

where would one go for this check? a truck service place? Toyota dealer?

What would be a guesstimate cost of wheel bearing swap?

Yep, just any old garage/shop. Nothing different about your vehicle other than its size. Some smaller shops might not be able to get it up on their lift, so let them know what you have.

I avoid the dealership like the plague.

Rear bearings won't be cheap. I don't remember what I paid exactly, but I had my front and rear bearings replaced, and it was a lot. I almost think $600-ish, but I'd have to look back at receipts. One of those things, though...If you can't do it yourself, you're stuck paying, and this is not something to neglect.

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JDE/Zach/Linda/Derek,

where would one go for this check? a truck service place? Toyota dealer?

What would be a guesstimate cost of wheel bearing swap?

I've worked in professional shops and also ran my own for 40 years plus. I can't say I've ever seen a direct correlation between a large shop, small shop.big sign, no sign - when it comes to quality of work. Some big places are strict and work on flat-rate can sometimes be cheaper then a small place. My point being you can't always "judge a book by its cover." Go by word-of-mouth if possible.

The Toyota semi-floating rear is set-up nearly exactly the same as a Ford F150 full-size 1/2-ton truck of the same vintage. If fact, it kind of looks like Toyota copied Ford.

The job goes like this. The axles get pulled with the brake-backing plates attached. Then (usually) the axles get sent to a machine shop to have the old bearings and lock-rings pressed off and new bearings and lock-rings pressed on. Granted some places have their own press and do the work themselves (I do).

Each bearing and lock-ring is $40-$60. Then you need new axle seals - and whatever worn-out brake parts that get found along the way. If wouldn't make much sense NOT to make the sure the brakes were perfect while all apart.

Anybody with some mechanical expertise, some metric wrenches - and some Ford 1/2 ton truck experience should have no trouble with these little Toyotas.

Here's what the axles, bearings, and plates look like.

post-6578-0-74607700-1431611437_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-37653700-1431611439_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-61306900-1431611440_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-93985800-1431611441_thumb.jp

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