Broken knuckle stud - getting set to rebuild knuckles (1 Viewer)

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I have a knuckle rebuild kit, and planning on doing this job next week.

I was just under the truck wiping off grease from the knuckles and relocating my (clogged) diff breather. While wiping grease I found that the passenger side forward inner knuckle stud was sheared off! The nut was freely spinning and I pulled out the broken stud with my (rubber gloved) bare hands. Wonder how long it had been like that. Should I replace all of the studs and hardware on both sides, just one side, or just the broken one? Will I be opening another can of worms trying to get the non-broken studs out? Getting set to place yet another order from Wits' End.
Thanks!

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Huh...might be worth waiting for. Don't do any hard wheeling, just slow going on jeep roads, but I have 33" tires.

Will it be ok to drive around (on pavement) for a couple of weeks like this? The other nuts are on super tight.

I could use red loctite instead of waiting for the nut huggers if I'll need to fix this sooner.
 
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Huh...might be worth waiting for. Don't do any hard wheeling, just slow going on jeep roads, but I have 34" tires.

Will it be ok to drive around (on pavement) for a couple of weeks like this? The other nuts are on super tight.

I could use red loctite instead of waiting for the nut huggers if I'll need to fix this sooner.
With missing one stud, you are now doing the same load with only 75% of the support. The others will fail soon.

I had one shear off, two more fall out, and the last one was less than finger tight.

I replaced all of mine the next day. Then I replaced them again when I got in there with a full rebuild.

When these come apart, it can be disastrous and dangerous.
 

clx16

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Will it be ok to drive around (on pavement) for a couple of weeks like this? The other nuts are on super tight.
Can you keep it under 20mph? The problem here is, potential death of you or someone near you. I am sure someone has stories of going years on 2 etc but you cranking the wheel hard at just the wrong moment to avoid hitting something or someone (because people are unpredictable), or hit a bump or it just finally let's go from fatigue (you already provided evidence that has started) and it may be game over for someone. Replace the studs. The nut huggers can go on later and it is easy. Don't wait for nuthuggers if you need this vehicle to drive .

IMHO worth what you paid for it.
 
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Thanks for the responses. I'll keep it very slow until I get it fixed. Looks like it's possible to get the arm off to access the studs without taking apart the whole knuckle, right? I have been watching the videos of knuckle rebuilds, and they always remove the steering arm after the whole thing's apart.
 

LandLocked93

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You need to get the remaining stud piece out of the the bottom of the knuckle. This will require a kit used to remove sheared bolts.
 

TYM4FUN

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Thanks for the responses. I'll keep it very slow until I get it fixed. Looks like it's possible to get the arm off to access the studs without taking apart the whole knuckle, right? I have been watching the videos of knuckle rebuilds, and they always remove the steering arm after the whole thing's apart.
I had the same thing happen to me a few months ago. I replaced all the studs at that time on just the one side. Then I will replace all 8 when I do the axle job coming up.

 
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I find these things great at getting it busted bolts and studs.
You only need ¼ of stud for them to grip if you have the right size.

View attachment 2707312
These Irwin removers are fantastic. I used them to get off my very beat up oxygen sensor nuts. They worked brilliantly. There are knock offs that look just like them, but I say go with the Irwin brand. You're only going to get one good shot at at getting that nut/stud off before you have to cut, drill and tap.
 

mudgudgeon

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These Irwin removers are fantastic. I used them to get off my very beat up oxygen sensor nuts. They worked brilliantly. There are knock offs that look just like them, but I say go with the Irwin brand. You're only going to get one good shot at at getting that nut/stud off before you have to cut, drill and tap.

Agreed.

I use them with a cordless impact driver when possible too
 
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These Irwin removers are fantastic.
That's cool. I will have to measure the broken stud to determine how much will of it is sticking out of the knuckle. I am away from the vehicle for a few days though. Just guessing by looking at the broken stud, looks like it probably sheared off without much left sticking out.
 
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Did the knuckle rebuild. Took two long afternoons plus a full day. Thanks to the FAQ and some youtube videos, including OTRAMM's, it wasn't too hard. Pays to do your homework first! Also helps to have a father-in-law who lives nearby and has every possible tool you could need!
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So much cleaning. I used about 4 cans of O'Reilly's degreaser and several cans of brake cleaner, and 3 rolls of paper towels. Birfields and axles looked good. Had never had any clicking, so I left them alone, just cleaned them well and loaded them with new grease. Splines did not seem too worn. There was a lot of grease in my diff oil and the left side knuckle was full of oily grease. I'd replaced and relocated my clogged diff breather last week, and I suspect the left inner axle seal was bad.

About 3 years ago I started hearing grinding sounds from the left knuckle and it was out of grease, so I filled it, and had no more noise since then.

There were a few metal shards on the left side ABS sensor. No metal bits on the diff drain plug magnet.

I got the broken knuckle stud out with an ez-out, after drilling a 1/4" hole in it. It had broken off below the knuckle surface.
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(what are these star-shaped gaskets for? An older model vehicle? Mine's a 1996. I could find no reference to these anywhere)

The other knuckle studs were tight but easy enough to get out with channel locks. I did not have to remove the ball joints (that made it a little tricky to line everything up for reassembly, but it wasn't too hard). I used the same # of knuckle shims (1) that were on there before. I could only check the steering preload on the left side, and it was fine. Got wheel preload set. No play in the wheel at all. Everything torqued to spec.

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Nice to see this whole thing with all of its parts instead of a big greasy blob!

Test drove and everything seemed great. Steering was smooth, no weird noises.

Then I noticed something that I hadn't noticed before (maybe I wasn't paying attention): Hitting a bump, only when there is no load on the drivetrain, there's a clunking sound. If I'm just coasting, or in N, it will make the sound, but if I am accelerating or if I've downshifted, I don't hear it.

Jacked up the front end again - no play in the wheel - and realized I'd forgotten to grease my drive flanges/splines. Did that. There is probably 1/10 or so rotational play in the wheel before the driveshaft turns; from what I've read, that's OK. I do hear a bit of a mechanical clunk when I rotate the wheel with some force - sounds like maybe it's in the center diff or driveshaft CV joint. When the wheels are on the ground there is no play in the front driveshaft/CV joint. Any clue what this could be?
 
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LandLocked93

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Your studs are so much longer than mine. :facepalm:
Did the brass sleeve in the hub look good? Bearing race steps on the hub shaft still...stepped?
What is the history of the front lca bushes? Could be worn and clunking when the arm articulates w/o (drive) load?
Same with anti-roll bar, panhard, and that other ones bushes?
Springs fully seated? Drive shaft yokes geased, u/joints in good shape? Third member pinions tight 'n right?
lol the play in the steering wheel is ok...until it isn't. Lots to chew on here for that fix. The garage-fix debate rages. I'll know soon if my bet on 44120-60180 resolves it. Done everything else to no avail. Only thing left.
 

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