Knuckle/Steering Preload Question (1 Viewer)

Dec 7, 2017
Steering preload question, this is for a 1/1976 FJ40 front axle w/ new Koyo steering bearings.

I’m finishing up a knuckle rebuild on a 1/1976 front disk axle (long Birfield/small pattern knuckle), and after assembly of the knuckle with the factory shims and torqued the bearing cap & steering arm to 71 ft-lb, I was only getting a preload of 4.47 lbs (2.02 kg)

I’ve read that in order to increase the preload you need to remove an equal amount of shims from both the top and bottom, however I only have one thick shim on the bottom (0.90mm) and one think (0.90mm) and one thin shim (0.50mm) on the top.

Should I just take out the 0.9mm shims and see where the settings will be? Or should I install new shims and try to get the think 0.90mm shim down to 0.70mm or 0.50mm? Will going to a smaller shim on the bottom mess up the knuckle centering? I do not have or have access to a centering tool.

From what I can tell this is the first time anyone has taken this axle apart, so I have no reason to not believe these are the shims/measurements are from the factory. Both sides have the same shim set up, but I’ve only attempted to work the passenger side, I have a feeling I will be in the same situation with the driver’s side.

Thank you for your help!


Jul 20, 2009
Miami, FL
I’ve only done one knuckle job on my 74 small pattern knuckles but doesn’t the preload call for 3.9 – 5.0 lbs? Seems like you’re right in there already.

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