Driving without a snap ring for roughly 8,000 miles... (1 Viewer)

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Hey guys a little stuck here trying to lop either upper or lower steering knuckles, I have both the tool and tried just a hammer. Any one have any advice or tips? Hpw hard and rough can I treat these components
 

AlpineAccess

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Hey guys a little stuck here trying to lop either upper or lower steering knuckles, I have both the tool and tried just a hammer. Any one have any advice or tips? Hpw hard and rough can I treat these components
If you are talking about the ball joints, you will want to back the nut off until it covers the end of the bolt. Leave it on to protect the threads. On the upper I support the lower control arm with my jack, and I use a 2lb metal hammer to hit straight up on the upper ball joint bolt.

On the lower, same thing but put some padding underneath the lower control arm in case the spindle slips and you drop it when the ball joint releases.

You may need to use a bigger hammer. Or use a ball joint/gear puller. You can tension the puller and then hit the end of the puller head with a 2lber to break a stubborn ball joint loose.
 
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So I got the upper ball joint off, trying to get the axle put now with the LBJ in place, not budging at all. Any positioning tips to make it easier to putt out the spindle?
 

ramangain

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Wait, so upper ball joint disconnected, LBJ still connected? At this point, it's easiest to just remove the other castle nuts and pop the ball joints loose to remove spindle. Only a bit more work. Hub/disc still attached?
 
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Wait, so upper ball joint disconnected, LBJ still connected? At this point, it's easiest to just remove the other castle nuts and pop the ball joints loose to remove spindle. Only a bit more work. Hub/disc still attached?
LBJ would not budge tried heat, puller tool, and a brass hammer. Couple of the drive flange studs were cross threaded on the way in. I had to throw in the towel and looks like I am having a shop put it in, pretty disappointed I couldn’t get the last bit of the job done. Going to have to order some studs.

how do you know if your spindle bearing id bad? There was some brass ring hanging loose around the axle, didn’t get a pic. Do you have an image of a good or damaged spindle?
 

ramangain

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That brass ring sits inside of the seal and keeps the spindle bearing in place. I think the spindle seal keeps it there. How is your spindle seal?
 

AlpineAccess

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Leave the castle nut on the lower ball joint bolt to cover the threads and end from getting mashed, and use an a steel BFH. You can also use an air hammer to break it loose as it's friction and corrosion that hold them in. Just get another castle nut in advance as both techniques use it sacrificially. If you have a second set of hands have them out a pry bar in. The upper should have been done last FYI as the upper control arm provides tension to help separate the lower.

It's possible to get the CV out without disconnecting the LBJ but a pain in the butt and easy to damage the dust seal, splines, etc. when reinstalling. Worth it to just disco the LBJ and take the whole spindle off to clean and service.
 
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That brass ring sits inside of the seal and keeps the spindle bearing in place. I think the spindle seal keeps it there. How is your spindle seal?

Everything else seemed fine and all in place, the grease didn't look nearly as bad either.

Leave the castle nut on the lower ball joint bolt to cover the threads and end from getting mashed, and use an a steel BFH. You can also use an air hammer to break it loose as it's friction and corrosion that hold them in. Just get another castle nut in advance as both techniques use it sacrificially. If you have a second set of hands have them out a pry bar in. The upper should have been done last FYI as the upper control arm provides tension to help separate the lower.

It's possible to get the CV out without disconnecting the LBJ but a pain in the butt and easy to damage the dust seal, splines, etc. when reinstalling. Worth it to just disco the LBJ and take the whole spindle off to clean and service.
I tried yanking the CV off with just the UBJ, no luck. One of the castle nuts got mashed I put them in upside down the next time and it worked with popping the UBJ.

Going to be giving it another shot at a friends shop on Tuesday. Ordered new flange studs, castle nut and a diff seal in case.
 

ramangain

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I'm still a bit miffed. The axle won't remove from the spindle, or won't remove from the front diff?
 
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I tried yanking the CV off with just the UBJ, no luck. One of the castle nuts got mashed I put them in upside down the next time and it worked with popping the UBJ.

Going to be giving it another shot at a friends shop on Tuesday. Ordered new flange studs, castle nut and a diff seal in case.

Did you separate the axle from the differential with a pry bar or brass punch first?
 
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I'm still a bit miffed. The axle won't remove from the spindle, or won't remove from the front diff?
I tried jimmying the axle out of the spindle with the LBJ still attached, I could not for the life of me get the last inch or so out of the spindle. Then I figure maybe I could hit the axle with a brass hammer and a pry bar to pop it out the diff, this didn't worth either. So I have opted to take it to my friends shop use some strong power tools to pop the LBJ.
Did you separate the axle from the differential with a pry bar or brass punch first?
I tried seperating the axle from the diff with a pry bar, couldn’t get it to come out. Might just be that I couldn’t position myself to hit it hard enough. Going to try again with the truck on a lift. Tried doing either side first like I said above in this post. Might just have been me being too cautious. Will give it another shot with the spindle hopefully off Monday/Tuesday.
 

AlpineAccess

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Don't hit on the ball joint bolt. Hit the flat spot on the knuckle arm.

This occasionally works when something is stuck. The rest of the time I put a nut over the ball joint threads and hit that nut.
 

AlpineAccess

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I tried jimmying the axle out of the spindle with the LBJ still attached, I could not for the life of me get the last inch or so out of the spindle. Then I figure maybe I could hit the axle with a brass hammer and a pry bar to pop it out the diff, this didn't worth either. So I have opted to take it to my friends shop use some strong power tools to pop the LBJ.

I tried seperating the axle from the diff with a pry bar, couldn’t get it to come out. Might just be that I couldn’t position myself to hit it hard enough. Going to try again with the truck on a lift. Tried doing either side first like I said above in this post. Might just have been me being too cautious. Will give it another shot with the spindle hopefully off Monday/Tuesday.

I have had success getting out quite a few (7 or 8) sticky CVs, by taking ratchet strap and wrapping one end around the CV at the diff a few times so that it secures itself (wrapping around the cylinder of the CV closest to the diff) and hooking itself under itself so friction holds it.

Either have someone help you by pulling on the other side of the strap, or if solo, hook it onto an immovable object and apply some tension. Around 20-30 lbs is likely more than enough. Then using a brass drift and hammer, hit the CV away from the diff using the flat notches on the CV where it connects into the diff.

The constant outward pressure of the strap loads the clip holding in the CV, so when you impact it, the load is applied to the clip, it compresses, and the CV slides out. If it's not preloaded, the clips can have the habit of recoiling back into their seat causing much frustration.
 
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Update: took the car to a friends shop to use his tools and replaced the axle, rebooted the ball joints, repacked bearings (they were fine!), replaced a bunch of hardware too. Bunch of half assed stuff from the last guy in
The OTHER axle also had its snap ring off but it was OEM and the flange and spline looked good so I put a new snap ring w the right clearance on and its good. Might change in the future.
Going to be paranoid for a bit driving but I think this is it for this chapter of my cruiser’s life.

Thanks @ramangain @TheForger and everyone else who has helped me out!

Right axle for sure was out for at least a couple thousand miles, who knows how long I was running the dual snap ring delete.
 

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