Removal & Installation
The steering knuckle is a single casting with legs machined for attachment to the vehicle's upper and lower control arm ball joints. The steering knuckle has the hub and bearing mounted in its center. The axle shaft CV-joint stub shaft is splined through the hub and bearing assembly in the center of the knuckle and the steering knuckle also supports and aligns the front brake caliper adapter and the caliper assembly. If damaged, the front suspension steering knuckle must be replaced as it is a non-repairable component.
- Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle.
Remove the front tire and wheel assembly from the hub.
WARNINGWheel bearing damage will result if the hub nut is loosened and the vehicle is rolled on the ground or the weight of the vehicle is allowed to be supported by the tires.
- Loosen the hub nut with the brakes applied. The hub and halfshaft are splined together through the knuckle (bearing) and retained by the hub nut.
- Remove the disc brake caliper, adapter, shoes, and rotor from the steering knuckle.
- Remove the nut attaching the outer tie rod to the steering knuckle. Remove the nut from the tie rod by holding the tie rod stud with a socket while loosening and removing the nut with a wrench.
- Remove the tie rod end from the steering knuckle using the Remover Special Tool C-3894-A.
- Remove the ABS wheel speed sensor cable routing bracket from the steering knuckle.
Remove the cotter pin and the castle nut from the lower ball joint stud.
WARNINGNo tool is to be inserted between the steering knuckle and the lower ball joint to separate the stud of the lower ball joint from the steering knuckle. The steering knuckle is to be separated from the stud of the ball joint only using the procedure as described below.
WARNINGWhen striking the steering knuckle, do not hit the heat shield covering the ball joint grease seal. Bending the heat shield against the ball joint grease seal will cause the grease seal to fail.
- Turn the steering knuckle so the front of it is facing as far outboard in the wheel well as possible.
Using a hammer, strike the boss on the steering knuckle until the steering knuckle separates from the lower ball joint stud.
WARNINGCare must be taken not to separate the inner CV-joint during the following steps. Pulling the steering knuckle out from the vehicle after releasing it from the ball joint can separate the inner CV-joint , thus damaging it. Do not allow the halfshaft to hang by the inner CV-joint; the halfshaft must be supported upon removal from the knuckle.
- Lift up on the steering knuckle separating it from the lower ball joint stud. Use caution when separating the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle so the ball joint seal does not get damaged.
- Separate the steering knuckle from the outer CV-joint by holding the halfshaft in place while pulling the steering knuckle away from the outer CV-joint.
- Remove the nut from the upper ball joint stud.
- Remove the upper ball joint stud from the steering knuckle using Puller Special Tool C-3894-A.
- Remove the steering knuckle from the vehicle.
- If necessary, remove the lower ball joint grease seal heat shield on the steering knuckle.
- If steering knuckle is being replaced, and the hub and bearing is found to be in usable condition, it can be transferred to the replacement steering knuckle.
- If required, install the hub/bearing assembly into the steering knuckle before installing the steering knuckle on the vehicle.
- If removed, install the lower ball joint grease seal heat shield on the steering knuckle.
- Slide the halfshaft into the front hub/bearing assembly as the steering knuckle is installed onto the lower ball joint stud.
- Install the lower ball joint castle nut. Do not tighten at this time.
- Install the upper ball joint in the steering knuckle. Install the upper ball joint nut. Tighten the upper ball joint nut to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm).
- Using a crowfoot and torque wrench, tighten the lower ball joint nut to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm).
- Install the cotter pin.
Install the wheel speed sensor cable routing bracket on the steering knuckle and securely tighten the attaching bolt.
WARNINGWhen installing the tie rod on the steering knuckle, the heat shield must be installed. If the heat shield is not installed, the tie rod seal boot can fail due to excessive heat from the brake rotor.
- Install the outer tie rod stud into the steering knuckle. Start the outer tie rod attaching nut onto the tie rod stud.
- While holding the stud of the tie rod stationary, tighten the nut, using a crowfoot and a socket, to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm).
- Install the brake rotor, caliper, shoes, and adapter assembly.
- Clean all foreign matter from the threads of the outer CV-joint stub axle.
- Install the hub nut onto halfshaft stub axle.
- With the vehicle brakes applied to keep the braking disc from turning, tighten the hub nut to 150 ft. lbs. (203 Nm).
- Install the front wheel and tire assembly. Install the front wheel lug nuts and progressively tighten in a crisscross sequence to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm).
- Lower the vehicle.
- Set the front toe on the vehicle to the required specification.