Replacing a Birfield

I haven’t yet busted a Birfield joint on the trail, but just in case, I’m making a list of tools and tricks to make replacing it on the trail as easy as possible.


  • Hammer, brass drift, flathead screwdriver, needlenosed vise grips: Useful for popping out the cone washers. The hammer and screwdriver are also good for bending the tabs on the washer between the axle nuts.
  • 10 mm socket: To remove/install Aisin hub cover.
  • 12 mm socket: To remove/install Aisin hub.
  • 14?? mm socket: For some hub internals.
  • 17 mm socket: To remove/install brake caliper.
  • 54 mm socket: To remove/install axle nuts. I couldn’t find this size, but a 2-332” is close enough. NAPA carries this size. I filed the paint off of the inside edge of the socket and now it works fine as a 54 mm.
  • Snap ring pliers: For the C-clip on the end of the axle.


File the C-clip: Before hitting the trail, file some grooves in the C-clip, so you can grip it with the snap ring pliers.

Updated January 1, 0001