Dodge Colt/Challenger/Conquest/Vista 1971-1989 Repair Guide

Front Wheel Drive

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Hub, Knuckle and Wheel Bearings

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1979-83 and 1984 Non-Turbocharged


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Fig. Fig. 1 Install a spacer selection gauge on the hub and tighten the nut to specification



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Fig. Fig. 2 Press fitting the hub using a special tool such as MB990776-A



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Fig. Fig. 3 Spacer chart



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Fig. Fig. 4 Exploded view of the front hub and knuckle assembly on the 1979-83 and non-Turbo 1984 front wheel drive vehicles



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Fig. Fig. 5 Removing the outer bearing inner race from the hub, using special tool MB990560



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Fig. Fig. 6 Spacer selection gauge installation on the 1979-82 front wheel drive vehicles



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Fig. Fig. 7 Exploded view of the hub and knuckle on the 1984 Colt Turbo and 1985 Colt and Vista models

A press and several special tools are needed for this procedure.

  1. Remove the halfshaft.
  2.  

Keep the bearing spacers separate for installation.

  1. Remove the caliper, and suspend it out of the way, without disconnecting the brake line.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the tie rod end from the knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the strut from the knuckle and remove the hub and knuckle assembly.
  6.  
  7. Pry the hub and knuckle assembly apart. If separation is difficult, mount the knuckle in a vise and drive out the hub with a plastic mallet. Drive out the oil seals, bearings and races with a brass drift.
  8.  
  9. Inspect all parts for wear and damage; replace any suspect parts.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Install the outer races of the inner and outer bearings, using a brass drift or press. If a press is used, 4,400 lb. installation pressure is necessary.
  2.  
  3. Apply lithium based wheel bearing grease to the inside of the knuckle, the oil seals and bearings. Thoroughly pack the bearings making sure that clean grease permeates all cavities.
  4.  
  5. If separated, assemble the hub and rotor. Torque the bolts to 36 ft. lbs.
  6.  
  7. Install the inner race of the outer bearing using a brass drift. Using a driver, install the outer oil seal.
  8.  
  9. Using special tool MB990776-A, hold the inner race of the outer bearing, while pressing the hub into the knuckle. 1,100 lb. of press pressure is needed.
  10.  
  11. After installing the inner race of the inner bearing, install the inner oil seal.
  12.  

At this point, the correct spacer between the front axle and hub must be determined. The spacers are vital for establishing front wheel bearing preload.

  1. Install spacer selection gauge MB990768 on the hub and tighten the nut to 14-15 ft. lbs. Prevent the tool from turning while tightening the nut.
  2.  
  3. Rotate the hub and tool several turns to seat the bearings.
  4.  
  5. Install a dial indicator on the tool and load about 5mm of travel on the indicator, then zero the dial.
  6.  
  7. While holding the threaded stud of the tool with a wrench, back off the nut until travel no longer registers on the gauge. Note the total indicator reading.
  8.  

Be sure that the tool does not turn during this procedure. Hold it in a vise if necessary. Be sure to back off the nut SLOWLY to give an accurate indicator reading.

  1. Repeat Step 16 and average the two readings. Use the averaged reading to calculate what spacers will be needed. Use the following chart as a guide:
  2.  
  3. Install the spacer in the hub with the chamferred side toward the knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Install the hub and knuckle. Observe the following torques:
  6.  



Axleshaft Nut: 88-130 ft. lbs.
 
Knuckle-to-Strut: 55-65 ft. lbs.
 
Ball Joint-to-Arm: 70-88 ft. lbs.
 
Lower Arm-to-Strut: 70-88 ft. lbs.
 
Knuckle-to-Tie Rod: 11-25 ft. lbs.
 

1984 Turbocharged Colt

1985-89 Colt and 2-WD Vista

The following procedure requires the use of several special tools

  1. Remove the axleshaft nut.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the car with jackstands positioned so that the wheels hang freely.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheels.
  6.  
  7. Remove the caliper and suspend it out of the way without disconnecting the brake hose.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the lower ball joint from the knuckle.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the tie rod end from the knuckle.
  12.  
  13. Using a two-jawed puller, press the axleshaft from the hub.
  14.  
  15. Unbolt the strut from the knuckle. Remove the hub and knuckle assembly from the car.
  16.  
  17. Install first the arm, then the body of special tool MB991056 (Colt), or MB991001 (Vista) or equivalent on the knuckle and tighten the nut.
  18.  
  19. Using special tool MB990998 or equivalent, separate the hub from the knuckle.
  20.  

Prying or hammering will damage the bearing. Use these special tools, or their equivalent to separate the hub and knuckle.

  1. Place the knuckle in a vise and separate the rotor from the hub.
  2.  
  3. Using special tools, C-293-PA, SP3183 and MB990781 or equivalent, remove the outer bearing inner race.
  4.  
  5. Drive the oil seal and inner bearing inner race from the knuckle with a brass drift.
  6.  
  7. Drive out both outer races in a similar fashion.
  8.  

Always replace bearings and races as a set. Never replace just an inner or outer bearing. If either is in need of replacement, both sets must be replaced.

  1. Thoroughly clean and inspect all parts. Any suspect part should be replaced.
  2.  

To install:

  1. Pack the wheel bearings with lithium based wheel bearing grease. Coat the inside of the knuckle with similar grease and pack the cavities in the knuckle. Apply a thin coating of grease to the outer surface of the races before installation.
  2.  
  3. Using special tools C-3893 and MB990776, install the outer races.
  4.  
  5. Install the rotor on the hub and torque the bolts to 36-43 ft. lbs.
  6.  
  7. Drive the outer bearing inner race into position.
  8.  
  9. Coat the out rim and lip of the oil seal and drive the hub side oil seal into place, using a seal driver.
  10.  
  11. Place the inner bearing in the knuckle.
  12.  
  13. Mount the knuckle in a vise. Position the hub and knuckle together. Install tool MB990998 and tighten the tool to 147-192 ft. lbs. Rotate the hub to seat the bearing.
  14.  
  15. With the knuckle still in the vise, measure the hub starting torque with an inch lb. torque wrench and tool MB990998. Starting torque should be 11.5 inch lbs. If the starting torque is 0, measure the hub bearing axial play with a dial indicator. If axial play exceeds 0.2mm, while the nut is tightened to 145-192 ft. lbs., the assembly has not been done correctly. Disassemble the knuckle and hub and start again.
  16.  
  17. Remove the special tool.
  18.  
  19. Place the outer bearing in the hub and drive the seal into place.
  20.  
  21. Assemble and install the knuckle.
  22.  

4-WD Vista


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Fig. Fig. 8 Exploded view of the hub, bearing and knuckle on 4WD Vista models



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Fig. Fig. 9 Pressing out the outer wheel bearing on the 4WD Vista models

The following procedure requires the use of several special tools.

  1. Remove the hub cap and halfshaft nut.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the car on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front wheels.
  6.  
  7. Drain the transaxle fluid.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the lower ball joint from the knuckle.
  10.  
  11. Remove the strut and stabilizer bar from the lower arm.
  12.  
  13. Remove the center bearing snapring from the bearing bracket.
  14.  
  15. Lightly tap the double off-set joint outer race with a wood mallet and disconnect the halfshaft from the cardan joint.
  16.  
  17. Disconnect the halfshaft from the bearing bracket.
  18.  
  19. Using a two-jawed puller secured to the hub lugs, press the halfshaft from the hub.
  20.  
  21. Unbolt the strut from the hub. Remove the hub and knuckle assembly from the car.
  22.  
  23. Install first the arm, then the body of special tool MB991056 (Colt) or MB991001 (Vista) or equivalent on the knuckle and tighten the nut.
  24.  
  25. Using special tool MB990998 or equivalent, separate the hub from the knuckle.
  26.  

Prying or hammering will damage the bearing. Use these special tools, or their equivalent to separate the hub and knuckle.

  1. Matchmark the hub and rotor. The rotor should slide from the hub. If not, insert M8X1.25 bolts in the holes between the lugs and tighten them alternately to press the hub from the rotor. NEVER HAMMER THE ROTOR TO REMOVE IT!
  2.  
  3. Using a two-jawed puller, remove the outer bearing inner race.
  4.  
  5. Remove and discard the outer oil seal.
  6.  
  7. Remove and discard the inner oil seal.
  8.  
  9. Remove the bearing snapring from the knuckle.
  10.  
  11. Using special tools C-4628 and MB991056 or MB991001, remove the bearing from the knuckle. Using a driver, drive the bearing from the knuckle.
  12.  

Always replace bearings and races as a set. Never replace just an inner or outer bearing. If either is in need of replacement, both sets must be replaced.

  1. Thoroughly clean and inspect all parts. Any suspect part should be replaced.
  2.  

To install:

  1. Pack the wheel bearings with lithium based wheel bearing grease. Coat the inside of the knuckle with similar grease and pack the cavities in the knuckle. Apply a thin coating of grease to the outer surface of the races before installation.
  2.  
  3. Using special tool C-4171 and MB990985, press the bearing into place in the knuckle. Install the snapring.
  4.  
  5. Coat the lips of a new hub-side seal with lithium grease. Using a seal driver, install the seal. Make sure it is flush.
  6.  
  7. Install the rotor on the hub.
  8.  
  9. Using special tool MB990998 or equivalent, join the hub and knuckle. Torque the special tool nut to 188 ft. lbs.
  10.  
  11. Rotate the hub several times to seat the bearing.
  12.  
  13. Mount the knuckle in a vise. Using MB990998 and an inch lb. torque wrench, measure the turning torque. Turning torque should be 15.6 inch lbs. or less. Next, measure the axial play using a dial indicator. Axial play should be 0.2mm. If either the axial play or the turning torque are not within the specified values, the hub and knuckle have not been properly assembled. You will have to do the procedure over again. If everything checks out okay, go onto the next step.
  14.  
  15. Remove all the special tools.
  16.  
  17. Using a seal driver, drive a new seal coated with lithium grease, into place on the halfshaft side, until it contacts the snapring.
  18.  
  19. Assemble and install the knuckle.
  20.  

 
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