Chrysler Full-Size Trucks 1989-1996 Repair Guide

Steering Knuckle

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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

Model 44 Axle
  1. Refer to the Front Drive Axle Removal and Replacement for the detailed removal of the rotor hub and bearings. Also refer to the Locking Hub section.
  2.  
  3. After removing all necessary brake parts, remove the caliper adapter from the steering knuckle. Remove the six nuts and washers from the spindle to steering knuckle. Remove the splash shield. Take a soft hammer, hit the spindle lightly to break it free from the steering knuckle arm.
  4.  
  5. Remove the axle shaft assembly.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the tie rod ends from the steering knuckles. On the left side, disconnect the drag link from the steering knuckle arm.
  8.  
  9. On the left side, remove the nuts and washers from the steering knuckle arm. Tap the steering arm to loosen it from the knuckle. Remove the arm.
  10.  
  11. Remove the cotter key 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.
  12.  
  13. 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.
  14.  
  15. Clean all parts and examine for wear. Replace any worn parts.
  16.  
  17. Press the lower ball joint into position and install the snapring. Press in the upper ball joint. Install new boots on both ball joints.
  18.  
  19. 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).
  20.  
  21. Install the sleeve into the upper ball joint yoke and tighten to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm). Install the upper ball joint nut, tighten to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm). Align the nut with the hole in the ball joint stud and insert a new cotter pin.
  22.  
  23. Position and install the steering arm on the left knuckle, tighten to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm). Install drag link, tighten to 45 ft. lbs. (61 Nm). Align and install new cotter pins.
  24.  
  25. install the axle (refer to the front axle removal and installation procedure).
  26.  

Model 60 Axle

See Figures 1 and 2

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 axle shafts.
  4.  
  5. Alternately and evenly remove the four bolts that retain the spindle cap to the knuckle. This will relieve spring tension.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Tap the spindle with a soft mallet to remove it from the steering knuckle

  1. When spring tension is relieved, remove the bolts.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the needle bearings from the spindle

  1. Remove the spindle cap, compression spring and retainer. Discard the gasket.
  2.  
  3. Remove the four 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. hex socket. Discard the upper kingpin and seal.
  10.  

The upper kingpin is tightened to 500-600 ft. lbs. (678-813 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, and the lower bearing cup.
  2.  
  3. Coat the mating surfaces of a new lower kingpin grease retainer with RTV silicone sealer.
  4.  
  5. Install the retainer in the axle yoke bore so that the concave portion of the retainer faces the upper kingpin.
  6.  
  7. Using a bearing driver, drive a new bearing cup in the lower kingpin bore until it bottoms against the grease retainer.
  8.  
  9. Pack the lower kingpin bearing and the yoke bore with waterproof wheel bearing grease.
  10.  
  11. Using a driver, drive a new seal into the lower kingpin bore.
  12.  
  13. Install a new seal and upper kingpin into the yoke using too D-192. Tighten the kingpin to 500-600 ft. lbs. (680-816 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Install the knuckle on the yoke.
  16.  
  17. Place the tapered busing over the upper kingpin in the knuckle bore.
  18.  
  19. Placer 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).
  20.  
  21. Place the retainer and compression spring on the tapered bushing.
  22.  
  23. 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).
  24.  
  25. Install the axle shafts and lubricate the upper kingpin through the zerk fitting and the lower fitting through the flush fitting. The lower fitting may be lubricated with Alemite adapter #6783, or equivalent.
  26.  

2WD DAKOTA
  1. Raise the vehicle and support safely.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the brake caliper and rotor from the steering knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the tie rod end from the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect both ball joints from the steering knuckle.
  10.  
  11. Remove the steering knuckle from the vehicle. Remove the splash shield and the steering arm from the knuckle.
  12.  
  13. The installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Tighten the steering arm to knuckle nut to 217 ft. lbs. (294 Nm).
  14.  

4WD DAKOTA
  1. Raise the vehicle and support safely. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pin, nut lock and spring washer from the end of the CV driveshaft. Remove the hub nut and washer.
  4.  
  5. Remove the brake caliper and the rotor from the hub.
  6.  
  7. Remove the bolts that attach the wheel hub to the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the wheel hub from the steering knuckle and the stub shaft.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the tie rod end from the knuckle.
  12.  
  13. Remove the torsion bar from the lower suspension arm.
  14.  
  15. Disconnect the stabilizer bar from the lower suspension arm.
  16.  
  17. Disconnect both ball joints from the steering knuckle.
  18.  
  19. Remove the steering knuckle from the vehicle and remove the bearing seal from the knuckle.
  20.  

To install:
  1. Install the wheel hub on the steering knuckle and tighten the retaining bolts to 110 ft. lbs. (149 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Fill the cavity between the seal lip and the knuckle with multi-purpose lubricant. Position the new seal in the bore at the inner side of the knuckle and seat it with tool C-4698, or equivalent.
  4.  
  5. Lubricate the contact surface area of the CV driveshaft wear sleeve with grease and install the steering knuckle, engaging the splines of the CV driveshaft with those in the wheel hub. Tighten the upper ball stud nut to 105 ft. lbs. (142 Nm) and the lower nut to 120 ft. lbs. (163 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the torsion bar.
  8.  
  9. Install the stabilizer bar and shock bolt.
  10.  
  11. Install the tie rod to the steering knuckle and tighten the nut to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Tighten the hub nut to 190 ft. lbs. (258 Nm). Install the spring washer, nut lock and a new cotter pin.
  14.  
  15. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  16.  
  17. Set the front suspension height so that the difference between the distance from the surface that the tires are on to the lower suspension arm inner pivot and the distance that the tires are on to the outer end of the arm is 1-1 1 / 2 in. (25-38mm).
  18.  
  19. Align the front end.
  20.  
  21. Road test the vehicle.
  22.  

 
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