Remove Knuckle And Hub If Replacing Lca + Uca? Lower Control Armageddon Complete

outback97 Dec 16, 2019

  1. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

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    I'm planning on replacing both the upper and lower control arms, and possibly tie rods, on my '06. I'm assuming that it makes sense to remove the knuckle / hub assembly completely and set it aside, right? I'm looking to make it easier to access everything, because I'm betting I'll need to cut at least some of the LCA bolts. And possibly the driver's side rear UCA bolt.

    I've been watching these two videos and I'm doing a lot of the same parts that he's doing, but I'm not planning on replacing hubs.



     
  2. TerryD

    TerryD Total Tease Supporting Member

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    I left mine in there when I lifted mine and changed the LCAs. Suspended it from wires from the fender brace.
     
  3. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    If you're taking thst much apart, I'd say break down the whole thing. But I guess you don't have to. Just feels to me that it would be in the way.
     
  4. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

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    You don't have a choice.... except in the order you want to set it aside. I'm going to assume you know the "pound a cold chisel in the pinch bolt compression slot" trick to remove it from the LCA ball joint.

    I do suggest you take a few minutes and spin the hubs by hand once they are off your truck. If they aren't absolutely smooth as glass, replace them. They should be stiff to spin with no play, but should feel smooth, no bumpy or gritty feeling.

    And if your approaching 100k you might wanna do it anyway.

    If you end up there, buy the Timkin hubs.
     
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  5. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

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    I suggest when you do it, that you remove the ABS sensor from the hub rather than fight with that piece of ufcking shiat connector by the coil bucket.
     
  6. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

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    I just watch some of the stuff that guy was doing to get things apart. Oh dear god. Don't copy his methods. DM me so I can give you my phone number. i'll talk ya through it if ya need.
     
  7. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

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    Thanks for the advice guys.

    I think if I were just doing LCA's then I'd leave it, but since I'm doing the uppers too, it seems like it'll be worth removing.

    That was my thought. Usually when I try to work around things, I find I end up wishing I had just removed them out of the way and saved some frustration.

    Don't assume that I know anything, haha! That's why I'm asking here. I did see that trick mentioned, and I have a chisel on my list of tools.

    Is this the hub?


    I have not noticed any noise from the hubs, but I will check them out. I am worried about the ABS connector, sometimes those stupid plastic connectors can be the hardest part of a job.

    I'll be doing this at my work warehouse during our Christmas to New Year's shutdown, since there's plenty of room there and it's at least somewhat heated. I am compiling a list of tools and parts because I'll be an hour roundtrip from home and it'll suck to go back and forth if I forget a wrench or something stupid like that.

    As for the video, to me it seems like the guy mostly knows what he's doing, so I guess that means I really don't. I have watched other how to's but this one was the most comprehensive, because he was replacing so many parts.

    Open to other suggestions though for sure, and I'll take you up on that Rob, thanks.
     
  8. westslope

    westslope Bought an X

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    Location:
    Wildfire country, BC
    If the WBHA*s are the stock originals and you are replacing UCAs and LCAs, I would definitely replace the WBHAs. No questions asked. Do it in the name of efficiency, do it for peace of mind.

    Start by disengaging the spindle from the UCA and then use the leverage provided by the spindle to remove the CV-axle from the WBHA. The CV-axle can be wired up out of the way. It does not need to be removed in order to replace the LCAs.

    When I did this, I was recommended to replace the outer tie rod ends at the same time. Done. You might want to replace the sway bar end links and bushings at the same time too. Done, too.

    I trust you have a well-thought out strategy for cutting the LCA bolts if necessary.

    * WBHA = wheel bearing and hub assembly
     
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  9. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

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    It's just the fact that he was banging on the nuts with a steel hammer, and prying at the ball joints on the boot side. Both are big no no's. Never hit a bolt or the nut with a steel hammer if you intend on re using it. it's just way too easy to bung up the threads. And prying a ball joint out is about the worst way to get them loose. Two hits with that 2 lb sledge on the steering knuckle where the ball joint goes through it, and out it'll pop. Super easy.

    I sent ya my number. Let's talk.
     
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  10. jsexton

    jsexton Wheeling Supporting Member

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    I replace the UCA, then replace the lca. No need to remove the spindle and the uca holds it so bad things don’t happen. I support the bottom of the spindle with a block of wood also.
     
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  11. westslope

    westslope Bought an X

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    Location:
    Wildfire country, BC
    Personally, I would remove the spindle from the UCA, use the spindle to help remove the CV-axle from the WBHA, wire the CV-axle out of the way and then remove the spindle from the LCA and walk it over to a work bench.

    Once on the work bench, it is easy/easier to remove the WBHA from the spindle and then clean the spindle, in particular sand critical areas of the spindle with fine wet/dry sandpaper, e.g., P400. On the work bench, it is easy to apply anti-seize, install the new WBHA and properly torque the bolts.

    Once this is done, and assuming the vehicle is resting on jack stands, sit on a chair and push the LCA down with your feet. That will make it easier to get a reciprocating saw blade or other instrument in position to cut through the camber bolts. It is possible to make 3 cuts and then avoid having to make a 4th cut by wiggling the LCA out.

    You want to be careful cutting out those camber bolts so providing lots of room to work makes things easier.

    Then attach the spindle/knuckle to the newly installed LCA and use the leverage of the knuckle to help insert the CV-axle into the new WBHA.

    Then attach the spindle to the new UCA. An impact wrench will help if the UCA ball-joint bolt decides to spin.

    Throughout this process, the hydraulic jack can be useful for supporting and pushing up on the LCA as required.
     
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  12. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

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    Thanks again for the helpful replies guys. It seems like cats can be skinned in more than one way, and there are personal preferences for how to get it done, so I'm grateful for the different perspectives. Since I'm planning on replacing tie rods on only the driver's side, and that should be the only side I need to cut a UCA bolt (hopefully) my process could vary between driver and passenger sides. As for cutting the bolts, I have some of the Diablo thick metal cutting blades. I may get a few more to have on hand, I could return them if unused.

    I had a great conversation with @IM1RU and he had some really helpful advice. Tips I have picked up that may vary from what is shown in the videos I linked:

    Ball joints can (almost always) be released by banging with a BFH on the thick metal that the taper shaft goes through
    Verify the nut can be completely removed from the ball joint, before rethreading it back on slightly and then removing the joint
    If you're gonna try to tap a stuck bolt out, use a wood block between the metal hammer and the bolt
    It may be easier to remove the wheel speed sensor from the hub rather than separating the plastic connector
    Use a chisel in the gap of the pinch bolt to help removal
    Pickle forks will mess up boots and/or joints... more of a last resort tool
    Antiseize is your friend (learned this a while back, but good to remember it)
     
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  13. westslope

    westslope Bought an X

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    162
    Location:
    Wildfire country, BC
    Lots of good points.

    Would add that I tried to remove the ABS/wheel speed sensor from the old WBHAs while they were on the work bench. At one point, I gave up and just tossed the old WBHAs into the recycle depot.

    The plastic connector is truly a uber-tedious, monumental pain to remove but a good idea if replacing the WBHAs.

    I used a crow bar to open up the gap. Worked well.


    I am also keeping a journal so if I have to re-do some of this in a few years time from now, I will have a reasonable record of what worked and what did not.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
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  14. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

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    Rockauto has the Timken SP450701 on closeout for $77, about half the price they were the other day. Picked up a couple of those, glad I waited a couple days to buy.
     
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  15. westslope

    westslope Bought an X

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    Nice! Terrific timing. Me thinks you must have horseshoes up you know where.
     
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  16. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

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    We'll see about the horseshoes when I try to remove the LCA's. I'm betting on 4/4 being seized up, and Diablo sawzall blade sales figures spiking in my area!

    The price went back up this weekend, so I'm glad I got the order in when I did. Strange that it briefly dropped that low. I just got a tracking number and it's supposed to ship out later today.
     
  17. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

    Messages:
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    Update time. I've been working on this for a couple of afternoons now. Currently have everything removed from the passenger side (knuckle, UCA, LCA, coilover, outer tie rod) and everything except the LCA on the driver's side removed. I also installed a new inner tie rod on the driver's side so I can finally adjust toe; the old one's adjusting nut was seized.

    To answer my original thread title's question, yes, it's probably best to remove the knuckle and hub out of the way if you're doing both UCA and LCA and you are going to have to cut your LCA bolts.

    The LCA bolts on the passenger side were well stuck in the bushings, so I had to cut them out. I'm sure I'll have to do the same on the driver's side. The Diablo blade has been awesome, so far it's cut through all four LCA bolts / bushings on the passenger side, and the trapped UCA bolt on the driver's side, plus the tie rod, and it's still cutting pretty well.

    Here's the existing hub assemblies in their spindles. The passenger side turns smoothly with minimal noise. The driver's side is definitely in need of replacement. There is a dry scraping feeling to it, and a knock when you pull on it.

    Short video here, driver on left, passenger on right:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/bFYirm3byRBn1AUdA

    I don't have a complete maintenance history from before I bought it, but I did find a reference in the previous owner's notes that the passenger hub was replaced around 72K miles. I'm at 120K miles now so it makes sense the the original hub on the driver's side is shot and the passenger at 50K miles is still good.

    I received my Timken replacement hub assemblies from Rockauto. They look good, but they're quite stiff to turn... and not as smooth as I had expected.

    Is it normal for replacement hubs to have quite a lot of resistance to turning? I bought two and both of them feel about the same.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2019
  18. westslope

    westslope Bought an X

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    Location:
    Wildfire country, BC
    Normal? I have no idea. But both of mine were hard to turn out of the box before installation. Once installed, both new Timken WBHAs seemed to work just fine. Easy enough to turn.

    It is possible to cut just 3 LCA camber bolts and then wiggle the LCA out. See if that works on the other side.

    I am very happy that I completed the passenger side before doing the driver side. The driver side served as a handy reference and then I managed to do it much faster than the passenger side with the benefit of learning.
     
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  19. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

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    Yes, thanks for the tip. I did three cuts this time. Still on the first saw blade, what a beast.
    8226E272-83F1-4CC3-B302-E93A7D813EF0.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2020
  20. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

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    @outback97
    Yes, supposed to be stiff.....completely normal.... Replace them both.
     
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  21. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

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    Thanks. Ok another question. Best way to clean up the knuckle and hub mounting surface? I was thinking brass wire cup brush in a drill. westslope mentioned 400 grit wet/dry paper. Steel wire brush seems like it’d be too abrasive and scratch things up. But there’s a lot of corrosion and schmutz on this knuckle, so maybe I need something stronger.
     
  22. westslope

    westslope Bought an X

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    Location:
    Wildfire country, BC
    FWIW, I did a first relatively 'light' pass on the spindles with a stiff wire brush. I moved it like one might use an ordinary nylon bristle toothbrush emphasizing a quick back 'n forth vibrating motion.

    That said, I avoid wire-wiring brushing the smooth parts that are designed to fit snug to the WBHA and was very gentle with the mating surface of bolt holes.

    I also soaked the critical areas with gelled/liquid rust remover which were then thoroughly rinsed in lukewarm water and dried out.

    WD-40 fish oil based lubricant is great for cleaning up exposed metal surfaces likes this. Spray generously. Rub hard with a stiff nylon dishwashing brush. Once the spindles were clean enough (subjective call), I soaked the non-mating areas with Krown Rust treatment (many other brands would also do).

    Fine wet/dry sandpaper can be used as is, with water or with oil. If used with water -- which I did not -- make sure to dry thoroughly. I might have initially used some emery cloth to sand down hardened rust accumulation and then followed up with finer P400 paper.

    There is no point in using finer grit paper IMO. The anti-seize material may not hold as well if the metal surfaces are too smooth.

    --------------------------------------

    Frankly I might have gone overboard. Born and raised in eastern Canada can make one downright paranoid about metal oxidation especially the experience of losing 2 vehicles to rust.

    In addition to lots of sanding experience on a large variety of surfaces, I restored a teak dining room table a couple of years ago and then coated with a long varnish (heavily thinned boiled linseed oil (BLO) and Spar Urethane). Close to 20 coats by the time I got done...... God knows how many passes of sanding I did before starting to work in the BLO. It looks terrific. A similar (obsessive) approach makes walnut furniture just 'pop'.

    Regular folks with normal lives and lots of binding time constraints may choose a different path.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
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  23. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

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  24. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

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    Update time. Getting closer to wrapping this up. I had a setback with my passenger side LCA. This is from a set I bought a long time ago from a TNX forum member, so they were used but appeared to be in good shape. Getting the lower ball joint into the knuckle was a struggle. The driver's side went in smooth using a chisel and a bottle jack under the knuckle. But the passenger side fought me so much, then when I finally got it in, the knuckle had too much resistance to turning and it would bind. The range of motion was limited and it made it very hard to get the upper ball joint into the knuckle. I could tell there was something off but couldn't figure it out for the longest time. I uninstalled and reinstalled the knuckle a few times until I finally noticed this.

    IMG_1222.jpg

    It took me taking the old LCA and setting it side by side to see that this wasn't normal, and literally crawling around on the ground looking at different angles. When I looked at it from a right angle to this view, I didn't notice anything wrong because I couldn't see the bend. It just looked normal to me.

    Autopsy on the bench later. I cut off the boot since there wasn't much to lose. One of the old LCA's on the left, my passenger side "lower miles" LCA on the right.

    IMG_1240.jpg

    Figuring this out drove me crazy for a day. But now I have installed a new Moog LCA and it looks like it'll work fine. The quality of the Moog one is definitely a step down from OEM. And the shock mount tabs didn't line up very well. But other than that I think they'll work all right.

    IMG_1245.jpg

    Everything except the axle nuts and wheels are re-installed and torqued. I used the bottle jack to preload the arms before torquing the UCA, LCA and shock mount bolts to spec.


    Any opinions on blue thread locker or anti-seize for the axle nuts?
     
  25. westslope

    westslope Bought an X

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    Location:
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    Well the axle nuts are supposed to be torqued to 101 ft-lb.

    I would use anti-seize and not worry about it.
     
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  26. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

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    Antiseize is the consensus based on a few knowledgeable folks. Wheels back on the ground and alignment is next. Thanks.
     
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  27. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

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    I have never seen a bent ball joint like that. I saw one break, but not bent.
     
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  28. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

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    Yeah it didn't even occur to me to check for something like that. Unless I saw it from the right angle it looked normal to me. I think my good luck in finding the hubs for half price needed to be balanced out!

    Going back out to work today to adjust the tie rods and drive it to get the alignment checked. Can't wait to see how it feels, hopefully the clunks are gone.
     
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  29. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

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    As far as I can tell, I got the camber and toe dialed in pretty good on Saturday afternoon, but didn't have time to bring it in anywhere to have it checked professionally. Drove it around the industrial park on some quiet streets, and it was tracking straight and feeling great. The steering feels tighter, it's more responsive, and definitely less clunking going over bumps. I took it out on the highway briefly and got it up to 60. All still looked and felt great, though the steering wheel was off maybe 5-10 degrees from center. I adjusted the tie rods for that, but still need to take it back out on the road to verify it's back to center.

    I was daunted by the prospect of doing this but so far I'm really happy with the end results, and I learned a lot. Thanks again for the patient, helpful advice I received in this thread.
     
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  30. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

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    You are still going to get a real alignment? I hope.
     
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  31. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

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    I'm at a minimum taking it in to Big O for a free alignment check, just ran out of time to do that on Saturday. In the meantime we have other cars to drive.

    I'll see where it sits, and if necessary, have a professional get it dialed in. I am very curious to see how close I got it, because it feels really good right now.
     
  32. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X

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    My DIY alignment was pretty solidly in spec except the RF toe missed the green by .01 degrees.
     

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  33. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

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    That's actually amazing. Nice work man.
     
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