Chrysler Full-Size Trucks 1967-1988 Repair Guide

Steering Knuckle and Ball Joints-4WD

Print

The ball joints should be replaced if there is any looseness or end-play. The steering knuckle and ball joint must be removed to replace the ball joint.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Dana 9
MODELS THROUGH 1984

See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

  1. Loosen the wheel lug nuts.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle, then remove the wheel hub and bearings as detailed in Drive Train of this repair guide.
  4.  
  5. Refer to the Axle Shaft Removal and Replacement, for the detailed removal of the hub and bearings.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Removing the spindle from the knuckle



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Removing the knuckle arm from the knuckle

  1. Remove and discard the O-ring from the steering knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the capscrews from the brake splash shield. On models with disc brakes, remove the brake disc adapter from the steering knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the tie rod from the steering knuckle. On the left side, disconnect the drag link from the steering knuckle arm.
  6.  
  7. Using a punch and hammer, remove the inner oil seal from the rear of the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Carefully slide the outer and inner axle shaft (complete with the U-joint) from the axle housing.
  10.  
  11. On the left side, remove the steering knuckle arm by tapping it to loosen the tapered dowels.
  12.  
  13. Remove the cotter pin from the upper ball joint nut. Remove the upper and lower ball joint nuts and discard the lower nut.
  14.  
  15. Separate the steering knuckle from the axle housing yoke with a brass drift and hammer. Remove and discard the sleeve from the upper ball joint yoke on the axle housing.
  16.  
  17. Position the steering knuckle upside down in a vise equipped with soft jaws and remove the snapring from the lower ball joint.
  18.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Removing the lower ball joint snapring



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Install the lip seal on the stone shield

  1. Press the lower and upper ball joints from the steering knuckle individually.
  2.  
  3. Position the steering knuckle right side up in a vise with soft jaws. Press the lower ball joint into position and install the snapring.
  4.  
  5. Press the upper ball joint into position. Install new boots on both ball joints.
  6.  
  7. Screw a new sleeve into the upper ball joint yoke on the axle housing, leaving about two threads showing at the top.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Install the steering knuckle on the axle housing yoke, then install a new lower ball joint nut and tighten it to 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Tighten the sleeve in the upper ball joint yoke to 6 ft. lbs. (54 Nm). Install the upper ball joint nut and tighten it to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm). Align the cotter pin hole in the stud with the slot in the castellated nut and install the cotter pin. Do not loosen the nut to align the holes.
  4.  
  5. On the left side only , position the steering knuckle arm over the studs on the steering knuckle. Install the tapered dowels and nuts. Tighten the nuts to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm). Install the drag link on the steering arm. Install the nut and tighten it to 60 ft. lbs. (81 Nm). Install the cotter pin.
  6.  
  7. Install the tie rod end on the steering knuckle. Tighten the nut to 10 ft. lbs. (61 Nm) and install the cotter pin.
  8.  
  9. Install the lip seal on the stone shield with the lip towards the axle spline.
  10.  
  11. Install the axle shaft into the housing. Install the brake splash shield and tighten the screws to 13 ft. lbs. (17 Nm). On models with disc brakes, install the brake disc adapter and tighten the bolts to 85 ft. lbs. (115 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Install a new O-ring in the steering knuckle.
  14.  
  15. Clean any rust from the axle shaft splines.
  16.  
  17. Carefully slide the hub, rotor and retainer, and bearing onto the axle shaft, and start the shaft into the housing. Install, but do not tighten, the axle shaft nut.
  18.  
  19. Align the retainer with the steering knuckle flange. Install the retainer screws and tighten them in a crisscross pattern to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Tighten the axle shaft nut to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm). Tighten the nut until the next slot in the nut aligns with the hole in the axle shaft. Install the cotter pin.
  22.  
  23. On models with disc brakes, install the inboard brake shoe on the adapter with the shoe flanges in the adapter ways. Install the caliper in the adapter and over the disc. Align the caliper on the machined ways of the adapter. Be careful not to pull the dust boot from its grooves as the piston and boot slide over the inboard shoe.
  24.  
  25. Install the anti-rattle springs and retaining clips. Torque to 16-17 ft. lbs. (21-23 Nm). The inboard shoe anti-rattle spring must always be installed on top of the retainer spring plate.
  26.  
  27. Install the wheel, and locking hub, then lower the truck. Lubricate all fittings.
  28.  

1985-88 MODELS

See Figures 5, 6, 7 and 8

The ball joints should be replaced if there is any looseness or end-play. The steering knuckle and ball joint must be removed to replace the ball joint.

  1. Loosen the wheel lug nuts.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle, them remove the rotor hub and bearings, as described in Drive Train of this repair guide.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Pressing the lower ball joint from the knuckle on 1985-88 models



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Pressing the upper ball joint from the knuckle on 1985-88 models



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Pressing the lower ball joint into the knuckle on 1985-88 models



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Pressing the upper ball joint into the knuckle on 1985-88 models

  1. After removing all necessary brake parts, remove the caliper adapter from the steering knuckle. Remove the six nuts and washers which fasten the spindle to the steering knuckle. Remove the splash shield. Using a soft hammer, hit the spindle lightly to break it free from the steering knuckle. Examine the bronze spacer and needle bearing. The left spindle does not have needle bearings. Replace any worn parts.
  2.  
  3. Remove the axle shaft assembly; make sure to remove and discard the old seal.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the tie rod ends from the steering knuckles. On the left side , disconnect the drag link from the steering knuckle arm.
  6.  
  7. On the left side only , remove the nuts and washers from the steering knuckle arm. Tap the steering arm to loosen it from the knuckle. Remove the arm.
  8.  
  9. Remove the cotter pin from the upper ball joint nut. Remove the upper and lower ball joint nuts. Use a brass drift and hammer to separate the knuckle from the axle yoke. Remove and discard the sleeve from the upper ball joint yoke.
  10.  
  11. Position the steering knuckle upside down in a vise. Remove the snapring from the lower ball joint with a pair of snapring pliers. Press the lower ball joint first, then the upper from the steering knuckle.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Clean all parts and examine for wear. Replace any worn parts.
  2.  
  3. Press the lower ball joint into position and install the snapring. Press in the upper ball joint. Install new boots on both ball joints.
  4.  
  5. Position the steering knuckle into position on the axle housing yoke. Install the lower ball joint nut and tighten to 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the sleeve into the upper ball joint yoke and tighten to 6 ft. lbs. (40 Nm). Install the upper ball joint nut, tighten to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm). Align the nut with the hole in the ball joint stud and insert a new cotter pin.
  8.  
  9. Position and install the steering arm on the left knuckle, and tighten to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm). Install drag link, and tighten to 60 ft.lbs. Install the tie rod ends, and tighten to 10 ft.lbs. (61 Nm). Align and install new cotter pins.
  10.  
  11. Install the axle shaft assembly, using a new seal.
  12.  
  13. Install the splash shield, then attach the spindle to the steering knuckle.
  14.  
  15. Install the caliper adapter pad, and any brake parts which were removed.
  16.  
  17. Install the rotor hub and bearings, as described in Drive Train .
  18.  
  19. Install the wheel and lower the vehicle.
  20.  

Dana 60

See Figures 9, 10, 11 and 12

For this job you'll need a torque wrench with a capacity of at least 600 ft. lbs. (813 Nm).

  1. Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the caliper and pads.
  4.  
  5. Remove the axle shafts.
  6.  
  7. Alternately and evenly remove the 4 bolts that retain the spindle cap to the knuckle. This will relieve spring tension.
  8.  
  9. When spring tension is relieved, remove the bolts.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: Remove the spindle splash shield

  1. Remove the spindle cap, compression spring and retainer. Discard the gasket.
  2.  
  3. Remove the 4 bolts securing the lower kingpin and retainer to the knuckle. Remove the lower kingpin and retainer.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tapered bushing from the top of the upper kingpin.
  6.  
  7. Remove the knuckle from the axle yoke.
  8.  
  9. Remove the upper kingpin from the axle yoke with a piece of 7 / 8 in. (22mm) hex-shaped case hardened metal bar stock, or with a 7 / 8 in. (22mm) hex socket. Discard the upper kingpin and seal.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: Remove the upper kingpin

The upper kingpin is tightened to 140-600 ft. lbs. (677-813 Nm).

  1. Using a 2-jawed puller and step plate, press out the lower kingpin grease retainer, bearing cup, bearing and seal from the axle yoke lower bore. Discard the grease seal and retainer, as well as the lower bearing cup.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 11: Pressing out the lower socket assembly

To install:
  1. Coat the mating surfaces of a new lower kingpin grease retainer with RTV silicone sealer.
  2.  
  3. Install the retainer in the axle yoke bore, so that the concave portion of the retainer faces the upper kingpin.
  4.  
  5. Using a bearing driver, drive a new bearing cup in the lower kingpin bore until it bottoms against the grease retainer.
  6.  
  7. Pack the lower kingpin bearing and the yoke bore with waterproof wheel bearing grease.
  8.  
  9. Using a driver, drive a new seal into the lower kingpin bore.
  10.  
  11. Install a new seal and upper kingpin into the yoke using tool D-192 or equivalent. Tighten the kingpin to 140-600 ft. lbs. (677-813 Nm).
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 12: Installing the seal and lower bearing cup

  1. Install the knuckle on the yoke.
  2.  
  3. Place the tapered bushing over the upper kingpin in the knuckle bore.
  4.  
  5. Place the lower kingpin and retainer in the knuckle and axle yoke. Install the 4 bolts and tighten them, alternately and evenly, to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Place the retainer and compression spring on the tapered bushing.
  8.  
  9. Install a new gasket on the knuckle. Position the spindle cap on the gasket and knuckle. Install the 4 bolts and tighten them, alternately and evenly, to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Install the axle shafts and lubricate the upper kingpin through the fitting and the lower fitting through the flush fitting. The lower fitting may be lubricated with Alemite adapter No. 6783, or equivalent.
  12.  

Dana 70

See Figure 13

  1. Loosen the wheel lug nuts.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel.
  6.  
  7. Remove the hub and drum.
  8.  
  9. Remove the brake support.
  10.  
  11. Remove the spindle.
  12.  
  13. Remove the axle shaft.
  14.  
  15. Disconnect the tie rod ends from the knuckles.
  16.  
  17. On the left side only , disconnect the drag link from the knuckle arm. Remove the steering knuckle felt and oil seal retainers.
  18.  
  19. Remove the bolts from the lower bearing cap, then remove the cap and shims.
  20.  
  21. Record the thickness of the shims for later use.
  22.  
  23. Remove the nuts from the top of the knuckle arm or upper bearing cap.
  24.  
  25. Using a vise, remove the arm from the knuckle and bronze bearing. Discard the Woodruff key. Collect and record thickness of the shims.
  26.  
  27. Remove the knuckle housing, felt and oil seal.
  28.  
  29. Remove the upper and lower bearing cones.
  30.  
  31. Clean and inspect all parts thoroughly. Replace any worn or damaged parts.
  32.  
  33. Remove damaged bearing cups with a brass drift.
  34.  

To install:
  1. Place new felt and a new oil seal over the end of the axle housing.
  2.  
  3. Install the knuckle arm or upper bearing cap and the original shim pack on the knuckle housing, then tighten the retaining nuts or bolts.
  4.  

If a new shim pack is used, it must be 0.060 in. (1.5mm) thick.

  1. Coat the bronze cone with multi-purpose chassis lube and press it into place on the upper bearing pivot. Make sure that the cone is properly positioned on the key.
  2.  
  3. Seat the bearing cups in the yokes of the axle housing. Slide the knuckle over the yoke and position the bronze bearing cone in its cup.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 13: Proper alignment of keyway on the sleeve-to-steering knuckle

  1. Pack the lower bearing cone with multi-purpose chassis lube. Tilt the bottom of the knuckle outward and insert the lower cone into its cup. Return the knuckle to its proper position, then install the lower bearing cap and original shims. Tighten the bolts.
  2.  

If a new shim pack is used, it must be 0.055 in. (1.4mm) thick.

  1. Using a torque wrench on the outer, upper bearing retainer nut, check the bearing preload. It should be 15-35 ft. lbs. (20-47 Nm) with the knuckle turning. If not, add or subtract shims, as necessary.
  2.  
  3. Attach the oiled felt and oil seal to the knuckle housing with the retainers and screws.
  4.  
  5. Connect the tie rod ends and drag link.
  6.  
  7. Install the axle shaft, spindle and brake support.
  8.  
  9. Install the hub with a new gasket. Install the drum and wheel.
  10.  
  11. Fill the knuckle with SAE 140 lubricant to the level of the fill plug. Lower the vehicle.
  12.  
  13. Have the front end alignment checked.
  14.  

F-375

See Figures 14, through 18

  1. Loosen the wheel lug nuts.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the front end on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheels.
  6.  
  7. Remove the brake drums. See Brakes .
  8.  
  9. Matchmark the drive flange and the hub.
  10.  
  11. Remove the nuts and lockwashers, then install puller screws using the 2 threaded holes in the flange.
  12.  
  13. Pull the flange from the hub.
  14.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 14: Removing the male drive joints

  1. Remove the hub and bearings.
  2.  
  3. Remove the attaching bolts and pull the brake supports from the knuckle. Wire them up and out of the way.
  4.  
  5. Using a soft mallet, tap the spindle from the knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Pull the short outer shaft and female section of the universal drive assembly from the axle housing.
  8.  
  9. Pull the male section and long inner shaft from the housing.
  10.  
  11. Discard all seals and seal bushings.
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 15: Knuckle flange oil seal

  1. Disconnect the tie rod from the knuckle flange arm.
  2.  
  3. Remove the steering knuckle flange oil seal assembly.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 16: Flange removal

  1. If the left knuckle is being removed, disconnect the drag link from the steering arm.
  2.  

Before disassembling either knuckle, matchmark the upper and lower halves. They are not interchangeable from side to side.

  1. Remove the dowel pins and bolts securing the knuckle halves, then remove the knuckle halves from the axle housing.
  2.  
  3. Remove the bearing cones from the axle housing trunnion pins.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the steering arm from the left knuckle flange.
  6.  
  7. Remove the upper bearing cap from the right knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Fasten the steering knuckle flange bearing shims for each knuckle to either the steering arm or bearing cap to facilitate adjustment of the bearings during assembly.
  10.  
  11. Remove the flange lower bearing cap and gasket.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Clean all parts thoroughly in a safe solvent. Inspect all parts for wear and/or damage, and replace any defective parts. Replace all seals and gaskets. Replace any bushing that shows signs of wear.
  2.  
  3. Drive a new seal and bushing into the end of the housing. The seal lip should face inwards.
  4.  
  5. Install the Woodruff key into the housing upper trunnion pins.
  6.  
  7. Coat the bearing cones with chassis grease, then install the bronze cone on the upper trunnion pin and the roller bearing on the lower trunnion pin.
  8.  
  9. Install the upper and lower knuckle halves on the housing, then install the dowel pins and bolts.
  10.  

Don't tighten the bolts and nuts until the dowel pins are in place.

  1. Install the flange lower bearing caps and gaskets.
  2.  
  3. Place the bearing adjusting shims on the top of the steering knuckle flange assemblies.
  4.  
  5. Attach the steering arm to the left side and the bearing cap to the right side.
  6.  
  7. Adjust the knuckle flange bearings. This adjustment is always done with the axle shafts removed. To adjust the bearings:
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 17: Flange bearing adjustment

    1. Place a torque wrench on one of the bearing caps or a steering arm bolt.
    2.  
    3. Move the knuckle through its turning range until the bearings roll smoothly. Note the torque reading during the knuckle travel. The reading should be 25-271/2 ft. lbs. (33-37 Nm).
    4.  
    5. If necessary, correct the adjustment by adding or removing shims. Shims are available in thicknesses of 0.005 in. (0.12mm), 0.007 in. (0.17mm) and 0.020 in. (0.5mm).
    6.  


  1. Install the knuckle flange oil seal using new felt and gaskets.
  2.  
  3. Install the pressure spring in the oil retainer end.
  4.  
  5. Saturate the felt with clean oil and install it in the retainer ends flush with the retainer.
  6.  
  7. Connect the tie rod and drag link to the knuckles.
  8.  
  9. Pack the axle shaft U-joints with chassis lubricant. Install both the inner and outer axle shafts. Note that the shafts have numerical mating marks. Identical numbers should be mated during assembly.
  10.  

On some axles, the mating numbers are not identical. That's okay as long as the axle operates satisfactorily.

  1. Position the spindle and brake supports on the knuckle. Install the bolts and lockwashers.
  2.  
  3. Pack the wheel bearings and coat the inside of the hubs with wheel bearing grease.
  4.  
  5. Adjust the wheel bearings by turning the inner adjusting nut tightly, then backing it off 1 / 6 turn.
  6.  
  7. Install the lockring, making sure that the pin on the inner nut enters one of the holes in the lockring. It's okay to move the inner nut slightly to position the pin.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 18: Front axle housing alignment

  1. Install the outer nut and torque it to 14 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the drive flange, using a new gasket.
  4.  
  5. Coat the flange and drum contact surfaces with anti-seize compound and install the drum.
  6.  
  7. Install the wheel, then lower the vehicle.
  8.  

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo