Axle Knuckle Pushing Wheel Right?

mudgudgeon

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I would suggest only re-torque wheel bearings, and change tie rod ends and with torture of, feel how freely the knuckles rotate BEFORE you drive into a full rebuild of the knuckles.
Do this, and drive it before rebuilding knuckles.
If you're axle housing is bent, you'll have rebuilt the knuckles and hubs for nothing.

Someone familiar with these cars should be able to re-torque the front wheel bearings in about 30-45 minutes per side. For a novice, allow a couple of hours per side.
They are commonly torqued with not enough preload, and will be loose. Any play at all is a problem.

knuckle should rotate freely and smoothly through full range of movement, not like this one

 
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So much ignorance of terminology and not knowing what to look at here.

I am so sorry you bought this truck, when you don't know enough to ask questions about it.

This truck was a toy.

Good luck on getting it back to be a "driver".

You could have SO many issues here that will only present themselves as you whittle through the issues.

Worn out bushings
Wheel bearings
Custom control arms
Possibly bent REAR control arms that cause it to pull one direction

Just so much....... :(
 

ppc

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First thing is to get the alignment specs which will give you insight as to what's going on. Post that info here for suggestions on the next step.
 
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I would suggest only re-torque wheel bearings, and change tie rod ends and with torture of, feel how freely the knuckles rotate BEFORE you drive into a full rebuild of the knuckles.
Do this, and drive it before rebuilding knuckles.
If you're axle housing is bent, you'll have rebuilt the knuckles and hubs for nothing.

Someone familiar with these cars should be able to re-torque the front wheel bearings in about 30-45 minutes per side. For a novice, allow a couple of hours per side.
They are commonly torqued with not enough preload, and will be loose. Any play at all is a problem.

knuckle should rotate freely and smoothly through full range of movement, not like this one


I think I’m getting confused on the torquing of wheel bearings. Is that where you would torque down where the shaft pokes out of the hub?
 
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First thing is to get the alignment specs which will give you insight as to what's going on. Post that info here for suggestions on the next step.
I guess I will take to Firestone and see if they can attempt an alignment and give me that. Will have to wait until I’m back from NM.

And no, I did not take the cruiser. Just going in my wife’s car and won’t be doing any wheeling or trails.
 
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So much ignorance of terminology and not knowing what to look at here.

I am so sorry you bought this truck, when you don't know enough to ask questions about it.

This truck was a toy.

Good luck on getting it back to be a "driver".

You could have SO many issues here that will only present themselves as you whittle through the issues.

Worn out bushings
Wheel bearings
Custom control arms
Possibly bent REAR control arms that cause it to pull one direction

Just so much....... :(
I’m not sorry. I’m up for learning — I just came to these forums because it was highly recommended and I had a pressing issue that I couldn’t fully explain and was having to use terminology that I was hearing from others.

I am okay with re-doing the front end if that’s what it takes, and I’ll know it’s done correctly and with what parts. It’s always hard when you’re going into something virtually blind.

I do have a very mechanically inclined friend that rebuilds classics all the time that can lend me some expertise, as well.
 

mudgudgeon

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Right.. only thing I don’t want to end up doing is spending a ton of money on all of these other components and replacing them just to have to take them all back out and into a new housing

Wonder if I’d save money just biting the bullet now and buying a whole new axle.

Original owner said it’s the factory housing but he replaced the internals minus the diff

You may not have bent housing. Things like this need some diagnosis which can take a process of elimination.
Unfortunately, it's very difficult to see if a housing is bent slightly.

Making sure wheel bearings are ok before an alignment check is part of that process of elimination. If wheel bearings are loose enough, your alignment numbers will be meaningless.

Wheel bearings are inside the hub, behind the domed dust cap, and the flange. If you jack up your front wheel and spin it, they are what the hub, and wheel rotate on.

Wits-End-poster-version2.png


 
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You may not have bent housing. Things like this need some diagnosis which can take a process of elimination.
Unfortunately, it's very difficult to see if a housing is bent slightly.

Making sure wheel bearings are ok before an alignment check is part of that process of elimination. If wheel bearings are loose enough, your alignment numbers will be meaningless.

Wheel bearings are inside the hub, behind the domed dust cap, and the flange. If you jack up your front wheel and spin it, they are what the hub, and wheel rotate on.

View attachment 3097966

Okay, that’s what I thought! And only real way to check a housing bend is if I feel resistance pulling the birf out, yeah? If I get the bearings tightened, try an alignment, and things still aren’t kosher?
 

mudgudgeon

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I’m not sorry. I’m up for learning — I just came to these forums because it was highly recommended and I had a pressing issue that I couldn’t fully explain and was having to use terminology that I was hearing from others.

Stick around, there's no better place for gaining knowledge and assistance with your new hobby.

You can be sure, any issue you will ever have with your cruiser has been experienced before, figured out, repaired, upgraded, improved, modified etc a dozen times or more.

I do agree with @BILT4ME in so much as a modified, non standard toy is gonna present some curly issues. You'll have to not only figure out what the issue is at times, but also when the previous owner has used non standard parts, or screwed something up, butchered it etc
 

mudgudgeon

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Okay, that’s what I thought! And only real way to check a housing bend is if I feel resistance pulling the birf out, yeah? If I get the bearings tightened, try an alignment, and things still aren’t kosher?
Pulling the birfs may not present any issue with a minor bend.
Some very careful measuring of the housing is the only definite way to know it's bent. They are such an irregular shape, measuring is not straight forward.
Wheel alignment check will give you all the critical measurements in relation to steering geometry. This is built in to them housing, so essential it will indicate if there's a problem with the housing.
 
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Pulling the birfs may not present any issue with a minor bend.
Some very careful measuring of the housing is the only definite way to know it's bent. They are such an irregular shape, measuring is not straight forward.
Wheel alignment check will give you all the critical measurements in relation to steering geometry. This is built in to them housing, so essential it will indicate if there's a problem with the housing.
10-4. Sunday night I will pull the wheels, tighten bearings, take it to Firestone Monday morning for alignment. The hub will require a 54mm socket, is that correct? Saw another thread where someone was having issues with right size
 
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I’m not sorry. I’m up for learning — I just came to these forums because it was highly recommended and I had a pressing issue that I couldn’t fully explain and was having to use terminology that I was hearing from others.

I am okay with re-doing the front end if that’s what it takes, and I’ll know it’s done correctly and with what parts. It’s always hard when you’re going into something virtually blind.

I do have a very mechanically inclined friend that rebuilds classics all the time that can lend me some expertise, as well.
You don't have to be sorry. It's your truck now.

Ignorance is not bad. It's not your fault. You just don't know what you don't know.

Stupidity is bad.
They are very different things.

Your work on this truck will give you experience and wisdom. Cherish it.
I highly recommend you do the work yourself. Buy the tools, buy the right parts, read and watch to learn. Then you will eventually be able to tell on your own when you talk to the alignment shop that they are idiots and are trying to sell you work that they themselves have no idea what they are referring to.

Put on your big girl panties, pull out your wallet and we'll push you down, kick you a few times, then help you get back on your feet, all while spending your money.

Give back what you are being given and don't cry about it.
 
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mudgudgeon

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10-4. Sunday night I will pull the wheels, tighten bearings, take it to Firestone Monday morning for alignment. The hub will require a 54mm socket, is that correct? Saw another thread where someone was having issues with right size
Yes, 54mm
 
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The reason I suggest diving straight into rebuilding the hubs is because it's probably the first thing any new owner should do after brakes (safety first, most of the time), and because it will reveal a lot about what's going on. Plus, your pictures show quite a lot of what looks to me like grease diluted with gear oil, which is a common problem caused by worn axle seals and possibly exacerbated by grooves worn by the seals. Besides, it's way too common for previous owners' "expert mechanics" to use entirely the wrong grease.

If it turns out that your axle housing *is* bent, I don't see why you can't reuse nearly every part on a replacement. It's at least as likely that your trunnion bearings are wrecked and, as @mudgudgeon mentioned, you could try to get around the issue using offset trunnion bearings.
 
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The reason I suggest diving straight into rebuilding the hubs is because it's probably the first thing any new owner should do after brakes (safety first, most of the time), and because it will reveal a lot about what's going on. Plus, your pictures show quite a lot of what looks to me like grease diluted with gear oil, which is a common problem caused by worn axle seals and possibly exacerbated by grooves worn by the seals. Besides, it's way too common for previous owners' "expert mechanics" to use entirely the wrong grease.

If it turns out that your axle housing *is* bent, I don't see why you can't reuse nearly every part on a replacement. It's at least as likely that your trunnion bearings are wrecked and, as @mudgudgeon mentioned, you could try to get around the issue using offset trunnion bearings.
I was under the impression the birf wouldn’t come out if bent enough, but yes planned on reusing as much as possible if I have to get a new housing. Really hoping I won’t have to do that, though.
 
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I was under the impression the birf wouldn’t come out if bent enough

I have no experience with that problem, but I'd think that if the housing were bent sufficiently to prevent the Birf and inner axle from coming out that you would be able to see it. If your housing *is* bent, it's on the order of one degree or less.
 
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I have no experience with that problem, but I'd think that if the housing were bent sufficiently to prevent the Birf and inner axle from coming out that you would be able to see it. If your housing *is* bent, it's on the order of one degree or less.
the above seems logical to me. If you can't extract the axle due to a bent housing, or???; well then, I guess that would explain quite a bit. :bang:

For background, I purchased in April of '21 a "babied" LX450 that was, how shall we say? A bit messy in the Birf department. I knew that at purchase time. A kit from Cruiser outfitters did the trick (of course). As mentioned previously, doing the work yourself is the best way to get a "feel" for your vehicle. As much as I like my local guy (mechanic) Steve, I wouldn't let him do anything other than AC and alignment on my beast, and, 'cause he's a cool guy; he's totally good with that. Full disclosure, I have a solid Taco as my backup vehicle, so I don't stress when my LX is down for "attention.":wrench:

remember, keep the :beer: for celebrating success, not for therapy;)
 
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Yeah, whisky is for therapy.
 

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