Avenger, Sebring Coupe, Stratus Coupe, 1999-2006

Steering Knuckle

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The steering knuckle is a single casting with legs machined for attachment to the vehicle's upper and lower control arm ball joints. the steering knuckle has the hub and bearing mounted in its center. The axle shaft constant velocity joint stub shaft is splined through the hub and bearing assembly in the center of the knuckle. The steering knuckle also supports and aligns the front brake caliper adapter and caliper assembly. The Steering Knuckle cannot be repaired, replace if damaged. The front suspension steering knuckle is not a repairable component and must be replaced if it is damaged.


NOTE
Before servicing the vehicle, also refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.

Removal & Installation



The steering knuckle is a single casting with legs machined for attachment to the vehicle's upper and lower control arm ball joints. The steering knuckle has the hub and bearing mounted in its center. The axle shaft CV-joint stub shaft is splined through the hub and bearing assembly in the center of the knuckle and the steering knuckle also supports and aligns the front brake caliper adapter and the caliper assembly. If damaged, the front suspension steering knuckle must be replaced as it is a non-repairable component.

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front tire and wheel assembly from the hub.
    WARNING
    Wheel bearing damage will result if the hub nut is loosened and the vehicle is rolled on the ground or the weight of the vehicle is allowed to be supported by the tires.

  6.  
  7. Loosen the hub nut with the brakes applied. The hub and halfshaft are splined together through the knuckle (bearing) and retained by the hub nut.
  8.  
  9. Remove the disc brake caliper, adapter, shoes, and rotor from the steering knuckle.
  10.  
  11. Remove the nut attaching the outer tie rod to the steering knuckle. Remove the nut from the tie rod by holding the tie rod stud with a socket while loosening and removing the nut with a wrench.
  12.  
  13. Remove the tie rod end from the steering knuckle using the Remover Special Tool C-3894-A.
  14.  
  15. Remove the ABS wheel speed sensor cable routing bracket from the steering knuckle.
  16.  
  17. Remove the cotter pin and the castle nut from the lower ball joint stud.
    WARNING
    No tool is to be inserted between the steering knuckle and the lower ball joint to separate the stud of the lower ball joint from the steering knuckle. The steering knuckle is to be separated from the stud of the ball joint only using the procedure as described below.


    WARNING
    When striking the steering knuckle, do not hit the heat shield covering the ball joint grease seal. Bending the heat shield against the ball joint grease seal will cause the grease seal to fail.

  18.  
  19. Turn the steering knuckle so the front of it is facing as far outboard in the wheel well as possible.
  20.  
  21. Using a hammer, strike the boss on the steering knuckle until the steering knuckle separates from the lower ball joint stud.
    WARNING
    Care must be taken not to separate the inner CV-joint during the following steps. Pulling the steering knuckle out from the vehicle after releasing it from the ball joint can separate the inner CV-joint , thus damaging it. Do not allow the halfshaft to hang by the inner CV-joint; the halfshaft must be supported upon removal from the knuckle.

  22.  
  23. Lift up on the steering knuckle separating it from the lower ball joint stud. Use caution when separating the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle so the ball joint seal does not get damaged.
  24.  
  25. Separate the steering knuckle from the outer CV-joint by holding the halfshaft in place while pulling the steering knuckle away from the outer CV-joint.
  26.  
  27. Remove the nut from the upper ball joint stud.
  28.  
  29. Remove the upper ball joint stud from the steering knuckle using Puller Special Tool C-3894-A.
  30.  
  31. Remove the steering knuckle from the vehicle.
  32.  
  33. If necessary, remove the lower ball joint grease seal heat shield on the steering knuckle.
  34.  
  35. If steering knuckle is being replaced, and the hub and bearing is found to be in usable condition, it can be transferred to the replacement steering knuckle.
  36.  

To install:

  1. If required, install the hub/bearing assembly into the steering knuckle before installing the steering knuckle on the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. If removed, install the lower ball joint grease seal heat shield on the steering knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Slide the halfshaft into the front hub/bearing assembly as the steering knuckle is installed onto the lower ball joint stud.
  6.  
  7. Install the lower ball joint castle nut. Do not tighten at this time.
  8.  
  9. Install the upper ball joint in the steering knuckle. Install the upper ball joint nut. Tighten the upper ball joint nut to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Using a crowfoot and torque wrench, tighten the lower ball joint nut to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Install the cotter pin.
  14.  
  15. Install the wheel speed sensor cable routing bracket on the steering knuckle and securely tighten the attaching bolt.
    WARNING
    When installing the tie rod on the steering knuckle, the heat shield must be installed. If the heat shield is not installed, the tie rod seal boot can fail due to excessive heat from the brake rotor.

  16.  
  17. Install the outer tie rod stud into the steering knuckle. Start the outer tie rod attaching nut onto the tie rod stud.
  18.  
  19. While holding the stud of the tie rod stationary, tighten the nut, using a crowfoot and a socket, to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Install the brake rotor, caliper, shoes, and adapter assembly.
  22.  
  23. Clean all foreign matter from the threads of the outer CV-joint stub axle.
  24.  
  25. Install the hub nut onto halfshaft stub axle.
  26.  
  27. With the vehicle brakes applied to keep the braking disc from turning, tighten the hub nut to 150 ft. lbs. (203 Nm).
  28.  
  29. Install the front wheel and tire assembly. Install the front wheel lug nuts and progressively tighten in a crisscross sequence to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm).
  30.  
  31. Lower the vehicle.
  32.  
  33. Set the front toe on the vehicle to the required specification.
  34.  

2.0L & 2.5L Engines
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect battery negative cable from remote negative terminal on shock tower and properly isolate to prevent accidental reconnection.
  4.  
  5. Remove cotter pin, nut lock, and spring washer Cotter Pin, Nut Lock from the front stub axle
    WARNING
    Wheel bearing damage will result if after loosening hub nut, vehicle is rolled on the ground or the weight of the vehicle is allowed to be supported by the tires.

  6.  
  7. Loosen hub nut while vehicle is on the floor with the brakes applied
    NOTE
    The hub and driveshaft are splined together through the knuckle (bearing) and retained by the hub nut..

  8.  
  9. Raise vehicle on jack stands or centered on a frame contact type hoist.
  10.  
  11. Remove front tire and wheel assembly from the hub.
  12.  
  13. Remove front disc brake caliper to steering knuckle guide pin attaching bolts
  14.  
  15. Remove disc brake caliper assembly from steering knuckle.
  16.  
  17. Support brake caliper/adapter assembly using a wire hook and not by hydraulic hose.
  18.  
  19. Remove the braking disc from the front hub/bearing assembly.
  20.  
  21. If vehicle is equipped with 15 inch wheels, remove lower ball joint heat shield from lower control arm.
    NOTE
    Heat shield must be removed before attempting to separating ball joint stud from steering knuckle.

  22.  
  23. Remove nut attaching outer tie rod end to the steering knuckle. Nut is to be removed from tie rod end using the following procedure:
    1. Hold tie rod end stud with a 11/32-inch socket while loosening and removing nut with wrench
    2.  
    3. Remove the tie rod end from steering knuckle arm using Special Tool MB-991113 or a suitable tie rod end remover.
    4.  

  24.  
  25. If equipped with antilock brakes remove the speed sensor cable routing bracket from the steering knuckle.
  26.  
  27. Remove cotter pin and castle nut from stud of lower ball joint at the steering knuckle.
    WARNING
    No tool is to be inserted between the steering knuckle and the lower ball joint to separate stud of lower ball joint from the steering knuckle. The steering knuckle is to be separated from the stud of the ball joint only using the procedure as described.

  28.  
  29. Turn steering knuckle so the front of the steering knuckle is facing as far outboard in the wheel well as possible.
  30.  
  31. Using a hammer strike the boss on the steering knuckle until steering knuckle separates from stud of lower ball joint.
    WARNING
    When striking steering knuckle care MUST be taken not to hit lower control arm or ball joint grease seal.


    WARNING
    Pulling steering knuckle out from vehicle after releasing from ball joint can separate inner C/V joint.

  32.  
  33. Lift up on steering knuckle separating it from the lower ball joint stud.
    NOTE
    Use caution when separating ball joint stud from steering knuckle, so ball joint seal does not get cut. Care must be taken not to separate the inner C/V joint during this operation. Do not allow driveshaft to hang by inner C/V joint; driveshaft must be supported.

  34.  
  35. Separate the steering knuckle from the outer C/V joint.
  36.  
  37. Separate steering knuckle from outer C/V joint by supporting the driveshaft while pulling steering knuckle away from the outer C/V joint
  38.  
  39. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the upper ball joint stud to steering knuckle attachment
  40.  
  41. Remove the upper ball joint stud from the steering knuckle using Special Tool C-3894-A or a suitable ball joint puller.
  42.  
  43. Remove steering knuckle from vehicle.
    NOTE
    The bolt-in type front wheel bearing used on the vehicle is transferable to the replacement steering knuckle if bearing is found to be in usable condition.

  44.  

To install:

  1. If required install a hub/bearing assembly into the steering knuckle before installing steering knuckle on vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Slide drive shaft back into front hub/bearing assembly.
  4.  
  5. Install steering knuckle onto the ball joint stud in lower control arm.
  6.  
  7. Install the steering knuckle to lower ball joint stud castle nut.
  8.  
  9. Install upper ball joint in steering knuckle. Install the steering knuckle to upper ball joint nut.
  10.  
  11. Torque the upper ball joint castle nut to a torque of 45 ft. lbs. (62 Nm)
  12.  
  13. Using a crowfoot and torque wrench, tighten the lower ball joint nut to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm)
  14.  
  15. Install cotter pins in upper and lower ball joint studs.
  16.  
  17. If equipped with antilock brakes install the speed sensor cable routing bracket on the steering knuckle and securely tighten the attaching bolt.
  18.  
  19. Install tie rod end into the steering knuckle.
    1. Start tie rod end to steering knuckle attaching nut onto stud of tie rod end.
    2.  
    3. While holding stud of tie rod end stationary, tighten tie rod end to steering knuckle attaching nut
    4.  
    5. Using a crowfoot and 11/32-inch socket tighten the attaching nut to 45 ft. lbs. (61 Nm)
      WARNING
      The ball joint seal boot heat shield must be installed. If heat shield is not installed, ball joint seal boot can fail due to excessive heat from brake rotor.

    6.  

  20.  
  21. Install or connect the following:

    Lower ball joint heat shield on the steering knuckle
     
    Brake rotor
     
    Brake caliper assembly on steering knuckle. Caliper is installed by first sliding top of caliper under top abutment on steering knuckle. Then installing bottom of caliper against bottom abutment of steering knuckle.
     
    Brake caliper assembly to steering knuckle guide pin bolts and torque to 16 ft. lbs. (22 Nm)
     

  22.  
  23. Clean all foreign matter from the threads of the outer C/V joint stub axle.
  24.  
  25. Install washer and hub nut onto stub axle and torque the nut to 180 ft. lbs. (244 Nm)
  26.  
  27. Install the spring washer, hub nut lock, and new cotter pin. Wrap cotter pin prongs tightly around the hub nut lock.
  28.  
  29. Install front wheel and tire assembly and torque the wheel nuts to 95 ft. lbs. (129 Nm) in a crisscross pattern.
  30.  
  31. Lower vehicle.
  32.  
  33. Set front wheel toe on vehicle to required specification.
  34.  

2.4L & 3.0L Engines
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect battery negative cable from remote negative terminal on shock tower and properly isolate to prevent accidental reconnection.
  4.  
  5. Remove or disconnect the following:
    NOTE
    Leave the nut on the ball joint when using a puller to separate it from the knuckle to prevent damage to the shaft threads.



    Hub assembly
     
    Wheel speed sensor, on vehicles equipped with ABS
     
    Brake caliper assembly
     
    Brake rotor
     
    Cotter pin
     
    Drive shaft nut
     
    Tie rod end link from knuckle
     
    Stabilizer bar end link from knuckle
     



    Lower ball joint from knuckle
     
    Knuckle from strut
     

  6.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Knuckle to strut and torque the bolts to 221 ft. lbs. (300 Nm)
     
    Lower ball joint to knuckle and torque the nut to 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm)
     
    Stabilizer bar end link and torque the nuts to 33 ft. lbs. (44 Nm)
     
    Tie rod end; torque the nuts to 21 ft. lbs. (29 Nm) and install a new cotter pin
     
    Drive shaft nut; torque the nut to 167 ft. lbs (226 Nm) and install a new cotter pin
     
    Front hub assembly and torque the bolts to 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm)
     
    Brake rotor
     
    Brake caliper and torque the bolts to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm)
     
    Wheel speed sensor
     
    Check the wheel alignment
     

  2.  

Sebring/Stratus Sedan And Sebring Convertible
  1. Raise vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the front tire and wheel assembly from hub.
    WARNING
    Wheel bearing damage will result if hub nut is loosened, then vehicle is rolled on the ground or the weight of the vehicle is allowed to be supported by the tires.

  4.  
  5. Loosen hub nut with brakes applied. The hub and halfshaft are splined together through the knuckle (bearing) and retained by the hub nut.
  6.  
  7. Remove the disc brake caliper, adapter, shoes and rotor from steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the nut attaching outer tie rod to steering knuckle. Remove nut from tie rod by holding tie rod stud with a socket while loosening and removing nut with wrench.
  10.  
  11. Remove the tie rod end from the steering knuckle using Remover, Special Tool C-3894-A.
  12.  
  13. Remove the ABS wheel speed sensor cable routing bracket from steering knuckle.
  14.  
  15. Remove the cotter pin and castle nut from lower ball joint stud.
    NOTE
    No tool is to be inserted between the steering knuckle and the lower ball joint to separate stud of lower ball joint from the steering knuckle. The steering knuckle is to be separated from the stud of the ball joint only using the procedure as described below. When striking the steering knuckle, do not hit the heat shield covering the ball joint grease seal. Bending the heat shield against the ball joint grease seal will cause the grease seal to fail.

  16.  
  17. Turn steering knuckle so front of it is facing as far outboard in wheel well as possible.
  18.  
  19. Using a hammer, strike boss on steering knuckle until steering knuckle separates from lower ball joint stud.
  20.  

Care must be taken not to separate the inner CV-joint during the following steps. Pulling steering knuckle out from vehicle after releasing from ball joint can separate inner CV-joint , thus damaging it. Do not allow halfshaft to hang by inner CV-joint ; halfshaft must be supported upon removal from knuckle.

  1. Lift up on steering knuckle separating it from lower ball joint stud. Use caution when separating ball joint stud from steering knuckle so ball joint seal does not get cut.
  2.  
  3. Separate steering knuckle from outer CV-joint . Separate steering knuckle from outer CV-joint holding halfshaft in place while pulling steering knuckle away from outer CV-joint .
  4.  
  5. Remove the nut from upper ball joint stud.
  6.  
  7. Remove the upper ball joint stud from steering knuckle using Puller, Special Tool, C-3894-A.
  8.  
  9. Remove the steering knuckle from vehicle.
  10.  
  11. If necessary, remove lower ball joint grease seal heat shield on steering knuckle.
  12.  
  13. If steering knuckle is being replaced and hub and bearing is found to be in usable condition, it can be transferred to replacement steering knuckle
  14.  

To install:

  1. If required, install the hub/bearing assembly into steering knuckle before installing steering knuckle on vehicle.
  2.  
  3. If removed, install the lower ball joint grease seal heat shield on steering knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Slide halfshaft into front hub/bearing assembly as steering knuckle is installed onto lower ball joint stud.
  6.  
  7. Install the lower ball joint castle nut. Do not tighten at this time.
  8.  
  9. Install the upper ball joint in steering knuckle. Install the upper ball joint nut. Tighten upper ball joint nut to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Using a crowfoot and torque wrench, tighten the lower ball joint nut to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm) and install the cotter pin.
  12.  
  13. Install the wheel speed sensor cable routing bracket on steering knuckle and securely tighten attaching bolt.
    WARNING
    When installing tie rod on steering knuckle, the heat shield must be installed. If heat shield is not installed, tie rod seal boot can fail due to excessive heat from brake rotor. Install the outer tie rod stud into steering knuckle. Start outer tie rod attaching nut onto tie rod stud.

  14.  
  15. While holding stud of tie rod stationary, tighten nut using a crowfoot and socket to:
    1. 1999-03 Models: 45 ft. lbs. (61 Nm).
    2.  
    3. 2004-05 Models: 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm).
    4.  

  16.  
  17. Install the brake rotor, and caliper, shoes and adapter assembly.
  18.  
  19. Clean all foreign matter from threads of outer CV-joint stub axle. Install the hub nut onto halfshaft stub axle.
  20.  
  21. With vehicle brakes applied to keep braking disc from turning, tighten hub nut to 150 ft. lbs. (203 Nm).
  22.  
  23. Install the front wheel and tire assembly. Install the front wheel lug nuts and progressively tighten in crisscross sequence to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm).
  24.  
  25. Lower vehicle.
  26.  
  27. Set front toe on vehicle to required specification.
  28.  

 
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