Knuckle rebuild.

Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
26
 
 
Looking to rebuild knuckles on my 97. Three kits I have found are Marlin Crawler, Trail Gear and Low Range Off Road. Any recommendations out there for which one to use?
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2019
Messages
178
Location
Indiana
Looking to rebuild knuckles on my 97. Three kits I have found are Marlin Crawler, Trail Gear and Low Range Off Road. Any recommendations out there for which one to use?
I've heard good things about Marlin Crawler. I ended up buying a rebuild kit from Cruiser Outfitters. I got the knuckle kit, Koyo bearings, new brass hubs, and aftermarket Japanese stock birfs, shipped to me for $545
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
9,223
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
 
Looking to rebuild knuckles on my 97. Three kits I have found are Marlin Crawler, Trail Gear and Low Range Off Road. Any recommendations out there for which one to use?
If your truck is a DD, don;t use the Marlin Seals. They work better for heavy off road use.

Use Cruiser Outfitters if possible. Unfortunately, they were out of stock late last week when I was looking to buy. @cruiseroutfit
 
Joined
May 15, 2019
Messages
44
Location
Las Vegas
If your truck is a DD, don;t use the Marlin Seals. They work better for heavy off road use.

Use Cruiser Outfitters if possible. Unfortunately, they were out of stock late last week when I was looking to buy. @cruiseroutfit

yes this! I think i just got the last CO set in this week and am in the middle of getting it done.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2017
Messages
187
Location
Fort Polk, LA
Random question, is there a decent way to check bearing wear before pulling the hub apart? I was in the hubs this week tightening up both bearings. Forgot to check the bearings, just wanted some tips on whether or not replacing bearings is worth it if condition is unknown. I know some people advocate for reusing the old bearings because new ones tend to loosen up and do weird things during break in.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
9,223
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
 
Random question, is there a decent way to check bearing wear before pulling the hub apart? I was in the hubs this week tightening up both bearings. Forgot to check the bearings, just wanted some tips on whether or not replacing bearings is worth it if condition is unknown. I know some people advocate for reusing the old bearings because new ones tend to loosen up and do weird things during break in.
As long as they're NOT growling, squealing, or loose, you're good to adjust them to 30-35 LB-FT and keep on truckin'
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
777
Location
KN4YJE LUGOFF, SC
You can check for bearing play, but not wear. Measuring wear would indicate you knew the dimensions of the new parts and are able to measure the used parts against that spec.
To check for bearing play, lift one tire an inch or so off the ground, grab it at 12 o'clock and firmly push and pull it in and out, firmly enough to shake the vehicle. If there is any play you'll feel it as a tick-tock motion. You may even hear it.

Once you have the bearings out and solvent cleaned you can visually inspect them for wear. Things like grooves, fretting, pitting, heat checking....
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2017
Messages
187
Location
Fort Polk, LA
As long as they're NOT growling, squealing, or loose, you're good to adjust them to 30-35 LB-FT and keep on truckin'
I tightened adjusting nut to 35ftlbs and lock nut to 45 ft lbs. It was hard to check preload because my pads contact the rotors slightly on both sides for some reason.
 

77mustard40

SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
1,458
Location
Austin, TX
 
My knuckles were a mess and I didn’t know when they were last serviced so I replaced everything. That said wheel bearings will last a long time, if you know the service history of the knuckles and the spindles and grease are good I wouldn’t worry about the bearings.

If replaced I dont think there is a break in period, if you set the preload correctly you shouldn’t have a problem.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
777
Location
KN4YJE LUGOFF, SC
They're supposed to.... its not like there's a return spring in the caliper. When you release the brake the pressure drops and the pads don't back off, they just stop squeezing the rotor.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2017
Messages
187
Location
Fort Polk, LA
You can check for bearing play, but not wear. Measuring wear would indicate you knew the dimensions of the new parts and are able to measure the used parts against that spec.
To check for bearing play, lift one tire an inch or so off the ground, grab it at 12 o'clock and firmly push and pull it in and out, firmly enough to shake the vehicle. If there is any play you'll feel it as a tick-tock motion. You may even hear it.

Once you have the bearings out and solvent cleaned you can visually inspect them for wear. Things like grooves, fretting, pitting, heat checking....
There was a ton of play prior to tightening up the nuts earlier this week. Now there is no discernible play. If I yoke on it really hard, there is some movement, but that might just be the truck moving lol

luckily I have a solvent tank at work lol. Its usually used for guns but I'll just sneak in there and freshen up my bearings lol
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2017
Messages
187
Location
Fort Polk, LA
My knuckles were a mess and I didn’t know when they were last serviced so I replaced everything. That said wheel bearings will last a long time, if you know the service history of the knuckles and the spindles and grease are good I wouldn’t worry about the bearings.

If replaced I dont think there is a break in period, if you set the preload correctly you shouldn’t have a problem.
My passenger side seals are toast. It just loops like gray/ black slop in there. I'm going to order a kit as soon and Kurt restocks. I've watched the otram vid on youtube like 3 times and read the faq a couple times. I'm actually looking forward to rebuilding the knuckles. I ordered a few hub stud and knuckle stud kits just in case I break or damage a few by banging on em. I already bent 2 hub studs banging on em to get the cone washers out. They seemed to straighten back out as I torqued em down.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2017
Messages
187
Location
Fort Polk, LA
They're supposed to.... its not like there's a return spring in the caliper. When you release the brake the pressure drops and the pads don't back off, they just stop squeezing the rotor.
Takes more effort to rotate the rotors and hubs that I've noticed on any of my other vehicles before. Maybe they aren't binding, maybe there's just really good pressure.
 
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