GM Malibu/Cutlass 1997-2000

Steering Knuckle and Spindle

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Remove the hub nut from the axle shaft and . . .



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Fig. . . . also remove the washer located behind it



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Fig. Remove the brake caliper from the hub assembly and support it using mechanic's wire or another suitable device



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Fig. Remove the rotor from the hub assembly



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Fig. The tie rod end connects the steering gear to the steering knuckle



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Fig. Use a pair of pliers to remove the cotter pin from the tie rod end . . .



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Fig. . . . then remove the retaining nut from the tie rod end



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Fig. A special puller is recommended for removing the tie rod end from the steering knuckle to avoid damaging the tie rod end



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Fig. Use the puller to separate the tie rod end from the steering knuckle



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Fig. Remove the cotter pin from the lower ball joint . . .



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Fig. . . . then, using a wrench, loosen and remove the ball joint retaining nut



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Fig. Use a suitable prytool to separate the lower ball joint/control arm from the steering knuckle



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Fig. Remove the strut-to-steering knuckle mounting bolts . . .



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Fig. . . . then separate the strut from the steering knuckle and remove the knuckle

  1. With the weight of the vehicle still on the wheels, loosen, but do not remove the front hub (drive axle) nut. This may require an assistant holding the brakes to keep the front halfshaft from turning. It is good practice to wire-brush the exposed threads on the outer CV-joint stub shaft and apply a generous amount of penetrating oil before attempting to loosen the hub nut.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove the brake caliper bolts and support the brake caliper to the side with a piece of wire. Do not allow the caliper to hang by the brake hose.
  8.  
  9. Remove the brake rotor.
  10.  
  11. Detach the wheel speed sensor connector, if equipped.
  12.  
  13. Remove the cotter pin and nut, then press the tie rod out of the strut bracket using an appropriate tie rod end puller. Discard the cotter pin.
  14.  
  15. Remove the cotter pin from the ball joint and remove the ball joint-to-steering knuckle nut. Separate the ball joint from the steering knuckle using an appropriate tool.
  16.  
  17. Support the steering knuckle, unfasten and remove the strut-to-steering knuckle bolts then carefully separate the knuckle from the strut.
  18.  
  19. Remove the steering knuckle from the vehicle.
  20.  

To install:

  1. If replacing the steering knuckle, transfer the hub and bearing assembly and the wheel speed sensor (if equipped) to the new steering knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Place the steering knuckle into position and install the knuckle-to-strut bolts finger-tight.
  4.  
  5. Position the ball joint into the knuckle and install the ball joint nut.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the knuckle-to-strut bolts to 133 ft. lbs. (180 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Tighten the ball joint nut to 41 ft. lbs. (55 Nm) and install a new cotter pin. If necessary to align the cotter pin holes, you can tighten the nut up to 50 ft. lbs. (65 Nm). NEVER loosen a nut to install a cotter pin.
  10.  
  11. Install the brake rotor.
  12.  
  13. Install the brake caliper and bolts.
  14.  
  15. Attach the wheel speed sensor connector, if equipped.
  16.  
  17. Install the washer and a new hub (axle) nut. To keep the hub from turning while the hub nut is being torqued, insert a drift pin through the caliper opening into one of the ventilation openings in the brake rotor. This should lock the assembly together. Tighten the hub nut to 185 ft. lbs. (260 Nm).
  18.  
  19. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  20.  
  21. Lower the vehicle.
  22.  
  23. Road test the vehicle and verify proper operation.
  24.  

 
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