Front axel rebuild gone bad

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Aug 18, 2006
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Parts came from Cdan last week and the 54mm socket from Amazon. New wheel bearings and brakes (for a 100) as well..
Got the PS done yesterday, and today got to the point of putting the steering arm, lower bearing, and outer knuckle housing back on. Everything lined up, but male part of steering arm that goes up inside (new) lower bearing did not want to go inside. Took everything back off and set bearing on top of where it's supposed to go on steering arm. Doesn't want to go on, but looks to be the right size....
Put the knuckle housing back on, steering arm snugged properly (tapping as I went). male part of steering arm is about half way up inside bearing. Put the upper bearing housing on, start to tighten the two 17mm bolts. One goes on smooth, one is very tight. Swap and try again. Same bolt is tight now on other side. Bad bolt? Take both bolts off and bad bolt is missing threads, threads are also screwed up in knuckle housing. Machine shop???
But can't get the housing off the steering arm because of the lower bearing does NOT want to come off.
bearing.JPG


Screwed threads on top of housing
badthreads.JPG


I've been putting this off since I bought the LC almost 2 years ago. This is pretty much the only PM thing I haven't done and been dreading it. If I'd known the grease and everything else inside would have looked so good I would have put it off longer.
After two full days (8hrs yesterday, 6hrs today) on this project I'm tired, dirty, and not at all happy. Any help here would be much appreciated.
 

e9999

Gotta get outta here...
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cheers, doesn't look that bad. At worst a new bearing after you pry that one off carefully. And retapping the thread should not be bad at all...

take a breather, a short nap, a massage by the :princess: and you'll be a new man, ready to tackle this in no time! :)
 

scottm

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Bring the bolt to a hardware store that sells taps, match it up, buy the tap and a new bolt. Put a rag in the housing to catch shavings. Put grease on the tap to trap shavings, and turn it through to repair the threads. You should be "chasing" the existing threads, threading the tap through them, not cutting new threads. Running the bolt through the hole should push the grease and chips out where you can remove it with a rag.
 
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On my first rebuild I had a stripped bolt hole on the brake caliper bracket. Some knuckle head at a jiffy-lube or some other cracker-head association used an air hammer to put in the wrong sized bolt. I was really p!ssed off for some reason.

I ended up just tapping it UP to the next size and using a larger bolt.

I think yours is salvageable though.
 
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Aug 18, 2006
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Thanks to all for the advice, especially Scottm - did just as you said with the help of a friend and got it back together. The problem was caused when I mistakenly used one of the bolts for the brake caliper. Same exact bolt, but slightly different threads. I did bag and tag most bolts as I went, but not those...
Got the new brakes on and three quarts of gear lube in and bed-in the brakes. Took it three miles and checked the tires. No play in the DS wheel and the slightest on the PS. Drove 15 miles and checked again. Same except with the wheels off the DS rotor is much hotter than the PS.
Bearings too tight on that side??? Some issue with the brakes??? Any ideas?
 

scottm

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I had a heck of a time getting the bearings loose enough. I had to leave the axle nut slightly loose, then tightening the lock-nut pushed it in to the right tightness.

Glad the threads cooperated. I've learned a lot by fessing up my mistakes to the many old maintenance guys I worked with growing up. And it still works, even though I'm supposed to be smart now, and all the maintenance guys seem much younger.
 

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