GM Buick/Oldsmobile/Pontiac/Full-Size 1975-1990 Repair Guide

Knuckle and Spindle

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



In order to perform this procedure, you will need a tool for forcing ball joint studs out of the control arms. It would also be helpful to have a tool that will permit you to press the tie rod end out of the steering knuckle. A special tool for seating the tie rod ends when installing them back into the knuckles, GM J-29193 or equivalent, will ensure proper seating.

  1. Raise the vehicle and support it securely under the frame. Do not support the lower control arm yet.
  2.  


CAUTION
Some brake pads contain asbestos, which has been determined to be a cancer causing agent. Never clean the brake surfaces with compressed air! Avoid inhaling any dust from any brake surface! When cleaning brake surfaces, use a commercially available brake cleaning fluid.

  1. Refer to Brakes and remove the brake caliper. Then, refer to the procedure for removing the brake disc in the sameand remove the disc and hub.
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  3. Remove the three bolts attaching the water shield to the steering knuckle. Remove the shield and its gasket. Disconnect the tie rod ends from the steering knuckle as described later in the "Steering" section in this information.
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  5. Pry the knuckle seal off the knuckle carefully in order to avoid damaging the knuckle sealing surfaces and discard the old seal.
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  7. Remove the cotter pin and then loosen the ball joint stud retaining nut just a turn or two on both upper and lower ball joints. You want just enough clearance to break the ball joint studs loose in the control arms.
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CAUTION
The nuts must remain on the studs with plenty of extra threads in order to prevent the release of spring tension.

Use an appropriate special tool to press the upper and lower ball joint studs out of the control arms until the nuts bottom out against the arms.


CAUTION
There is tremendous spring pressure forcing the lower control arm downward. You must assure yourself that you have a floor jack or other appropriate means to safely and securely support the lower control arm by the area under the spring in the next step; otherwise, remove the spring as described earlier to eliminate spring tension.

  1. Securely support the lower control arm by the area directly under the spring. You can locate a floor jack directly under the control arm and raise it just until is contacts the control arm to do this. Then, remove the nuts from the ball studs.
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  3. Remove the tie rod end cotter pin, nut and rod end using a tie rod puller tool J-6627-A. Refer to the "Steering" section in thisfor assistance.
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  5. Raise the upper control arm for clearance and rock the knuckle outward so the ball stud clears the knuckle. Then, pull the knuckle upward and off the lower ball joint stud and remove it.
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  7. Inspect the tapered holes in the steering knuckle, cleaning out dirt and checking for any out-of-roundness, cracking, deformation, or other damage. Replace the knuckle if there are any such indications or dangerous front end problems could result.
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To install:
  1. Position the knuckle onto the lower ball joint stud and then raise the upper control arm, working the upper ball stud into the tapered hole in the top of the knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Install the ball joint stud nuts, torque them, and install the cotter pins as described under "Ball Joint" removal and installation earlier in this information.
  4.  


CAUTION
It is vitally important that the tie rod end seat fully in the steering knuckle. You may want to use a tool such as GM J-29193 or equivalent to ensure complete seating. This tool is installed over the partly assembled knuckle and tie rod end and its nut is torqued to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) to draw the tie rod end into the knuckle.

  1. Install the tie rod end into the steering knuckle. Install the nut and torque it to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install a new shield-to-knuckle splash shield and install the shield, torquing the three mounting bolts to 120 inch lbs. (14 Nm). Grease its lips with wheel bearing grease and carefully install a new grease seal.
  4.  
  5. Repack the wheel bearings, install the hub and rotor, and readjust the bearings.
  6.  
  7. Install the caliper and remaining parts in reverse order, referring to the "Caliper" removal and installation procedure in Brakes .
  8.  

 
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