GM Full Size Vans 1987-1997 Repair Guide

Steering Knuckle

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Independent Front Suspension

See Figures 1 and 2



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the steering knuckle assembly - 1987-95 models with an independent front suspension

  1. Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheels.
  4.  
  5. Dismount the caliper and suspend it out of the way without disconnecting the brake lines.
  6.  
  7. Remove the hub/rotor assembly.
  8.  
  9. Unbolt the splash shield and discard the old gasket.
  10.  
  11. Using a ball joint separator, disconnect the tie rod end from the knuckle. The procedure is explained later in this Section.
  12.  
  13. Position a floor jack under the lower control arm, near the spring seat. Raise the jack until it just takes up the weight of the suspension, compressing the spring. Safety-chain the coil spring to the lower arm.
  14.  
  15. Remove the upper and lower ball joint nut.
  16.  
  17. Using tool J-23742, or equivalent, break loose the upper ball joint from the knuckle.
  18.  
  19. Raise the upper control arm just enough to disconnect the ball joint.
  20.  
  21. Using the aforementioned-mentioned tool, break loose the lower ball joint.
  22.  
  23. Lift the knuckle off of the lower ball joint.
  24.  
  25. Inspect and clean the ball stud bores in the knuckle. Make sure that there are no cracks or burrs. If the knuckle is damaged in any way, replace it.
  26.  
  27. Check the spindle for wear, heat discoloration or damage. If at all damaged, replace it.
  28.  

To install:


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Exploded view of the steering knuckle assembly - 1996-97 models with an independent front suspension

  1. Maneuver the knuckle onto both ball joints.
  2.  
  3. Install both nuts. On 10/1500 series and 20/2500 series, tighten the upper nut to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm) and the lower nut to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm). On 30/3500 series, tighten both nuts to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm). On 1996-97 models, install the ball stud nut and tighten it to 94 ft. lbs. (128 Nm) on the lower nut and 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm) on the upper nut.
  4.  
  5. Install the cotter pins. Always advance the nut to align the cotter pin hole. NEVER back it off! On the upper nut which was originally tightened to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm), don't exceed 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm) when aligning the hole. On nuts tightened originally to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm), don't exceed 130 ft. lbs. (176 Nm) to align the hole.
  6.  
  7. Remove the floor jack.
  8.  
  9. Install a new gasket and the splash shield. Tighten the bolts to 19 ft. lbs. (26 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Connect the tie rod end.
  12.  
  13. Install the hub/rotor assembly.
  14.  
  15. Install the caliper.
  16.  
  17. Adjust the wheel bearings.
  18.  
  19. Install the wheels.
  20.  
  21. Have the alignment checked.
  22.  

I-Beam Front Suspension
  1. Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheels.
  4.  
  5. Dismount the caliper and suspend it out of the way without disconnecting the brake lines.
  6.  
  7. Remove the hub/rotor assembly.
  8.  
  9. Unfasten the bolts retaining the anchor plate, splash shield and the steering arm.
  10.  
  11. Pull the anchor plate and splash off the knuckle and let the hang by the tie rods.
  12.  
  13. Unfasten the anchor plate-to-splash shield retainers and separate both components.
  14.  
  15. Disengage the steering arm from the tie rods.
  16.  
  17. Remove the brake hose bracket retainers and the bracket and the gaskets.
  18.  
  19. Remove the steering knuckle caps.
  20.  
  21. Unfasten the lock pin retainers and remove the lock pin.
  22.  
  23. Remove the king pin from the steering knuckle by driving it out with a hammer and drift. The spacers and bushings will be driven out also.
  24.  
  25. Remove the steering knuckle, dust seal, shim, and thrust bearing.
  26.  

To install:
  1. Install new bushings in the bores, then ream them to 1.1804-1.1820 in. (29.982-30.022mm).
  2.  
  3. Install the steering knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Prelube and install thrust bearing, then install shim and dust seal.
  6.  
  7. Prelube the king pin, then install the king pin, lock pin and insert the spacers in the reverse order of removal.
  8.  
  9. Install the washer and nut, then tighten the nut to 29 ft. lbs. (40 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Install the gaskets and caps.
  12.  
  13. Install the brake hose bracket, washers and tighten the bolts to 5 ft. lbs. (7 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Install the bolts and washers and engage the splash shield to the anchor plate and install the bolts, washers and nuts to attach the anchor plate and steering arm to the steering knuckle. Tighten the bolts to 12 ft. lbs. (16 Nm) and the nuts to 230 ft. lbs. (312 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Connect the steering arm to the steering linkage.
  18.  
  19. Install the hub/rotor assembly.
  20.  
  21. Install the caliper.
  22.  
  23. Adjust the wheel bearings.
  24.  
  25. Install the wheels.
  26.  
  27. Have the alignment checked.
  28.  

 
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