Volkswagen Golf/Jetta/Cabriole 1990-1999

Steering Knuckle and Spindle

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Fox

CAUTION
The torque required to loosen the front axle nut is high enough to make the vehicle fall off of jackstands. Make sure the vehicle is on the ground when loosening or tightening the front axle nut.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. With the vehicle on the ground, remove the front axle nut.
  4.  
  5. Raise the vehicle and support with jackstands.
  6.  
  7. Remove the front wheels.
  8.  
  9. Mark the knuckle-to-strut housing for installation alignment.
  10.  
  11. Remove the brake caliper and hang it from the frame using a piece of wire. DO NOT allow the caliper to hang from the brake hose.
  12.  
  13. Remove the tie rod nut and cotter pin. Disconnect the tie rod using a separator.
  14.  
  15. Disconnect the lower control arm from the knuckle.
  16.  
  17. Remove the two strut-to-knuckle bolts.
  18.  
  19. Slide the axle shaft out of the bearing and remove the knuckle.
  20.  

To install:

  1. Install the knuckle onto the vehicle and slide the axle shaft into the bearing.
  2.  
  3. Reconnect the lower ball joint, tie rod end, strut and caliper.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the axle nut. On Fox tighten the M18 nut to 145 ft. lbs. (197 Nm) and the M20 nut to 170 ft. lbs. (231 Nm). On Golf and Jetta tighten to 195 ft. lbs. (265 Nm). On other models, tighten to 173 ft. lbs. (235 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the tire and lower the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Connect the battery cable.
  10.  

1990-94 Cabriolet, 1990-92 Golf and Jetta

CAUTION
The torque required to loosen the front axle nut is high enough to make the vehicle fall off of jack stands. Make sure the vehicle is on the ground when loosening or tightening the front axle nut.

  1. With the vehicle on the ground, remove the front axle nut.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle and remove the front wheels.
  4.  
  5. Detach the brake line from the strut and remove the caliper. Do not let the caliper hang by the hydraulic line, hang it from the body with wire.
  6.  
  7. Remove the caliper carrier and brake rotor.
  8.  
  9. Remove the cotter pin and nut and press out the tie rod end. A small puller is required.
  10.  
  11. Remove the ball joint clamp bolt and push the control arm down to disengage the ball joint.
  12.  
  13. Front wheel camber is set with eccentric washers on the bolts holding the bearing housing to the strut. Clean and mark the position of these washers so they can be reinstalled in the same position.
  14.  
  15. Remove the bolts and take the knuckle and bearing housing off the strut.
  16.  

To install:

  1. Fit the knuckle to the strut and install the bolts. Align the marks and tighten the nuts to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Make sure the axle splines are clean and apply a bead of thread locking compound to the outer portion. Slid the axle into the hub and install a new axle nut. Do not tighten it yet.
  4.  
  5. Fit the lower ball joint in place and install the clamp bolt. Tighten it to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Connect the tie rod and tighten the nut to 26 ft. lbs. (35 Nm), then tighten as required to install a new cotter pin.
  8.  
  9. Install the brake disc and caliper. Tighten the carrier bolts to 92 ft. lbs. (125 Nm) and the caliper guide bolts to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm). Secure the brake line in place.
  10.  
  11. With the wheel installed and the vehicle on the ground, tighten the axle nut to 175 ft. lbs. (237 Nm) on Cabriolet or 195 ft. lbs. (265 Nm) on Golf and Jetta.
  12.  

1995-99 Cabrio, 1993-99 Golf and Jetta


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The halfshaft must be removed from the knuckle-spindle. If it is stuck, use a brass drift and lightly tap it through the knuckle-spindle



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. View of axle shaft nut and washer



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Removal of the knuckle-spindle assembly

  1. Detach the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel cover and or center cap.
  4.  
  5. While the vehicle is still on the ground, loosen the drive axle (halfshaft) retaining nut.
  6.  


CAUTION
Do not remove the drive axle retaining nut if the vehicle is up on jackstands. A significant amount of torque is needed to remove this nut and may cause the vehicle to fall off the stands.

  1. Crack the lug nuts loose at this time.
  2.  
  3. Lift and then support the vehicle with jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front wheel and tire assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove the driveaxle (halfshaft) retaining nut and its washer.
  8.  
  9. Detach the Antilock Brake System (ABS) sensor.
  10.  
  11. Remove the brake disc from the hub.
  12.  
  13. Detach the caliper from the hub assembly.
  14.  
  15. Hang the caliper from a piece of mechanics wire.
  16.  


WARNING
Do not allow the caliper to hang from the brake hose. This will lead to premature hose failure.

  1. Remove the tie rod end nut.
  2.  
  3. Use a tie rod end separator to pull the tie rod end from the steering knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Matchmark the balljoint and then remove the retaining bolts.
  6.  
  7. Matchmark the position of the strut to steering knuckle bolt and then remove the necessary nuts and bolts.
  8.  
  9. Free the steering knuckle from the strut by pulling it out. This is a great time to remove the splined axle shaft from the spindle. If the axle halfshaft is lodged in the spindle use a brass drift and hammer to knock it through the spindle.
  10.  


WARNING
Use caution not to damage the threads on the halfshaft when knocking the it through the spindle.


NOTE
If tapping on the axle shaft ceases to loosen it, use a puller to press it out of the hub.

  1. Once the halfshaft is removed from the spindle, support it so that it does not pull the inner joint out of the socket.
  2.  

To install:


NOTE
Replace all self locking nuts that have been removed from the suspension. Nuts of this design were created with a one time use in mind. They will not stay tight if reused.

  1. Clean and then engage the drive axle (halfshaft) splines with the spindle. Install the nut and use it to pull the driveshaft back into the spindle.
  2.  
  3. Install the steering knuckle with the strut.
  4.  
  5. Align the balljoint with the control arm.
  6.  
  7. Install the control arm to balljoint fasteners.
  8.  
  9. Align the ball joint with the matchmarks that were made and then tighten the fasteners.
  10.  
  11. Install the tie-rod end into the steering knuckle and install the nut. Tighten the nut to 26 ft. lbs. (35Nm).
  12.  
  13. Install the brake discs and then the calipers. If applicable, install the ABS wheel sensor.
  14.  
  15. Tighten the drive axle retaining nut to 66 ft. lbs. (89 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Install the tire and tighten the lug nuts to 81 ft. lbs. (109 Nm).
  18.  

 
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