Chrysler Front Wheel Drive Cars 6-CYL 1988-1995 Repair Information

Steering Knuckle and Spindle

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Except Premier and Monaco

See Figures 1 through 15

  1. Remove the cotter pin, nut lock and spring washer from the threaded outer end of the front axle.
  2.  
  3. The car should be resting on the floor with brakes applied. Loosen the hub nut and lug nuts.
  4.  
  5. Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands. Remove the front wheel(s).
  6.  
  7. Remove the hub nut.
  8.  
  9. Remove the bolts and washers attaching the brake caliper to the steering knuckle. Slide the caliper off the knuckle and support it (with strong wire or cord) in a position that will not put excessive pressure on the brake hose.
  10.  
  11. Slide the rotor off the wheel studs.
  12.  

  1. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the tie rod stud. Press the tie rod end off the steering arm with an appropriate tool (C-3894 or equivalent).
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the brake hose retainer from the strut damper. Then, remove the pinch bolt which secures the ball joint stud in the steering knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the outer sway bar mounting brackets and rotate the sway bar down and out of the way.
  6.  
  7. Push the lower control arm down to remove the ball joint stud from the bottom of the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Pull the steering knuckle assembly out and away from the driveshaft.
  10.  

Care must be taken not to separate the inner CV-joint during this operation. Do not allow the driveshaft to hang by the inner CV-joint; the driveshaft must be supported.

  1. Remove the steering knuckle-to-strut damper attaching bolt and cam bolt.
  2.  

Note the location of the cam bolt, it must be installed in the same location and position when the steering knuckle is installed back onto the strut damper.

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Fig. Fig. 1: With the vehicle still on the ground, remove the cotter pin, nut lock and spring washer from the end of the axle



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Fig. Fig. 2: Loosening the hub nut while the vehicle rests on the ground is much easier and safer than with the vehicle on jackstands



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Fig. Fig. 3: After removing the brake caliper, support it from the vehicle's frame rail with wire or cord



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Fig. Fig. 4: Once the brake caliper is removed from the hub, the rotor slides right off of the hub



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the cotter pin and nut from the tie rod stud, then use a puller to remove the tie rod end



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Fig. Fig. 6: Loosen, then remove the pinch bolt and ...



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Fig. Fig. 7: ... disconnect the outer ends of the sway bar from the control arms



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Fig. Fig. 8: Pry the lower control arm down and remove the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 9: Remove the brake caliper bracket to gain access to the front 2 hub-to-steering knuckle bolts



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Fig. Fig. 10: Remove the 4 hub-to-steering knuckle attaching bolts ...



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Fig. Fig. 11: ... and remove the hub assembly from the steering knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 12: Unfasten the 2 strut-to-steering knuckle bolts, then remove the steering knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 13: Use the special installation tool to insert the new seal into the steering knuckle until flush, and ...



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Fig. Fig. 14: ... make certain to apply grease to the wear sleeve and seal as shown



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Fig. Fig. 15: An exploded view of the front steering knuckle and related components-except Premier and Monaco

To install:

WARNING
The knuckle and bearing mounting surfaces must be smooth and completely free of foreign material or nicks.

  1. Install the hub and bearing assembly into the steering knuckle, if removed. Install the 4 hub and bearing assembly-to-steering knuckle attaching bolts and tighten them in a crisscross sequence to 45 ft. lbs. (65 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Position a new seal in the recess on the back of the steering knuckle. Assemble the Installer Tool (C-4698 or equivalent), then install the seal into the steering knuckle until it is fully seated in the recess. Inspect the wear sleeve on the CV-joint housing and replace it if necessary.
  4.  
  5. Install the knuckle back on the strut damper. Install the strut damper-to-steering knuckle attaching bolt, cam bolt, washer plate and nuts. Tighten the bolts to 75 ft. lbs. (100 Nm) plus an additional 1 / 4 turn. Be sure that the cam bolt is installed in the same position it was removed from.
  6.  
  7. Lubricate the full circumference of the seal (and wear sleeve) with Mopar® Multi-Purpose Lubricant or equivalent.
  8.  
  9. Slide the driveshaft back into the hub and bearing assembly and install the steering knuckle onto the ball joint stud.
  10.  
  11. Install the original (or equivalent) steering knuckle-to-ball joint stud, pinch bolt and nut. Tighten the pinch bolt to 105 ft. lbs. (145 Nm) for 1992-95 vehicles and to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm) for 1988-91 models.
  12.  
  13. Install the tie rod end into the arm of the steering knuckle. Install the tie rod end-to-steering knuckle attaching nut, then tighten to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm). Install a new cotter pin into the tie rod end.
  14.  
  15. Install the brake disc over the wheel studs. Then, install the brake caliper over the disc. Position the caliper adapter over the steering knuckle. Install the caliper adapter-to-steering knuckle attaching bolts and tighten them to 160 ft. lbs. (217 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Attach the brake hose retainer to the strut damper and tighten its mounting screw to 10 ft. lbs. (14 Nm).
  18.  
  19. Clean the axle threads, then install the washer and axle hub nut.
  20.  
  21. While having an assistant sit in the vehicle and apply the brakes, tighten the axle hub nut to 180 ft. lbs. (244 Nm). Install the spring washer, nut lock, and a new cotter pin (the nut lock has a slot in the outer edge which must line up with the hole through the end of the driveshaft). Finally, wrap the two ends of the cotter pin tightly around the end of the nut lock.
  22.  
  23. Install the wheel lug nuts as tight as possible with the vehicle still off of the ground.
  24.  
  25. Lower the vehicle until some of its weight is resting on the tires, then tighten the lug nuts to 95 ft. lbs. (129 Nm).
  26.  

Premier and Monaco

See Figures 16 through 23

The front wheel hub and bearing must be removed as a unit before the suspension knuckle can be removed. This is the only service situation where the wheel hub and bearing are removed together.

  1. Slightly loosen the wheel lug nuts. Remove the hub cover, cotter pin, nut lock and slightly loosen the axle hub nut.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front wheel(s).
  6.  
  7. Wrap a heavy shop cloth or towel around the outer CV-joint boot to protect it.
  8.  
  9. Remove the brake caliper. Do not disconnect the brake hose from the caliper. Hang the brake caliper from the vehicle's frame with strong wire or cord in such a way as to not allow the brake hose to support the caliper weight.
  10.  
  11. Remove the halfshaft hub nut. If the hub nut was not loosened when the vehicle was still resting on the ground, a holding fixture may be required to hold the wheel hub/rotor when removing the nut.
  12.  



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Fig. Fig. 16: Once the vehicle is raised and the wheels have been removed, use a holding tool (easily made) to keep the hub from turning when loosening the axle hub nut



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Fig. Fig. 17: To remove the outer end of the drive axle from the hub, use a puller type tool to push the axle out

  1. Push the halfshaft inward, to disengage the shaft splines from the wheel hub splines. If it does not push out easily, use a screw type puller (steering wheel puller) to press the shaft from the hub.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rotor from the hub by removing the rotor safety nuts. If these safety nuts are damaged by removal, replace them with new ones.
  4.  
  5. Rotate the wheel hub as necessary and use the access hole in the hub to remove each wheel bearing-to-suspension knuckle Torx® head bolt. Reinstall the brake rotor onto the wheel hub, attach a puller plate to it that can be used with a slide hammer and pull the rotor/hub assembly from the suspension knuckle. Use care to keep dirt and debris from the bearing as the hub assembly is removed.
  6.  
  7. Loosen but do not remove the stabilizer bar inner bracket retaining bolts at the engine cradle. Remove the stabilizer bar outer bracket retaining nuts at the suspension arm and remove the bracket from the retaining bolts. Note that the stabilizer bar outer bracket retaining nuts also retain the ball joint to the suspension arm. Move the stabilizer bar away from the suspension arm and reinstall one of the nuts on either of the ball joint retaining bolts.
  8.  
  9. Loosen but do remove the nuts and bolts at the bushings that attach the suspension arm to the engine cradle.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 18: If the safety nuts are damaged during removal, use new ones for reassembly of the rotor to the hub



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Fig. Fig. 19: Rotate the wheel hub to loosen the Torx® head bolts through the access hole in the wheel hub

  1. Remove the ball joint stud pinch bolt and disengage the ball joint stud from the suspension knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Note that the 2 bolts that hold the bottom of the MacPherson strut to the suspension knuckle have splines under the bolt head. This keeps the bolt from rotating. Turn the nuts (not the bolt heads) until they are almost at the end of the bolt threads. Tap the nuts with a brass hammer to loosen the bolts and disengage the splines. Remove the nuts and pull out the bolts. Remove the knuckle from the halfshaft.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Position the steering knuckle over the halfshaft and insert the ball joint stud into the knuckle. Install the pinch bolt. Note that there is a recess (groove or keyway) machined into the ball joint stud. The pinch bolt must be seated in this groove. Tighten the pinch bolt to 77 ft. lbs. (104 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Position the knuckle to the strut and install the through bolts. Note that the splines under the bolt heads must be properly aligned in the strut hole. Tap the bolts in place and install the nuts. Use a wrench on the bolt head to keep the bolt from turning and stripping the splines when the nut is tightened.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 20: A slide hammer will most likely be needed to pull the hub assembly out of the steering knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 21: Loosen the outer stabilizer bar bracket retaining nuts, then swing the arm down and away from the lower control arms

  1. Remove the ball joint retaining nut and position the stabilizer bar at the suspension arm. Position the outer bracket on the stabilizer bar and install the nuts but do not tighten yet. The ball joint nuts must not be tightened until the vehicle is lowered, the tire and wheel assembly is installed and the suspension is supporting the weight of the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Position the wheel bearing and hub over the halfshaft and insert it into the knuckle with the hub splines mated with the halfshaft splines.
  4.  
  5. Remove the brake rotor from the hub. Rotate the hub, as necessary, and use the access hole in the hub to install each wheel bearing-to-knuckle Torx® head bolt. Tighten each bolt to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm). Install the brake rotor.
  6.  
  7. Install the halfshaft-to-wheel hub nut. Use an appropriate holding tool to keep the hub from rotating while tightening the nut to 181 ft. lbs. (245 Nm).
  8.  


WARNING
Do not use an impact wrench to tighten the halfshaft-to-wheel hub nut. Use a torque wrench only to tighten the nut. It is also essential that the halfshaft-to-wheel hub nut be tightened to the specified torque of 181 ft. lbs. (245 Nm). In addition to retaining the wheel hub on the halfshaft, the specified torque also establishes the wheel bearing preload.

  1. Install the brake caliper, tire and wheel assembly and lower the vehicle.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 22: Loosen and remove the ball joint retaining pinch bolt, then swing the control arm down to release the ball joint from the steering knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 23: Lastly, remove the 2 strut assembly-to-steering knuckle attaching bolts

  1. With the vehicle weight being supported by the tire and wheels, tighten the suspension arms-to-engine cradle nuts and bolts at the bushings to 103 ft. lbs. (140 Nm), the stabilizer bar outer bracket retaining nuts to 60 ft. lbs. (81 Nm) and the stabilizer bar inner bracket retaining bolts to 21 ft. lbs. (29 Nm).
  2.  

Depress the brake pedal several times to seat the brake pads before moving the vehicle.

 
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