Knuckles were next - how scared should I be of these in this condition? (1 Viewer)

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89831EB0-51EF-4093-8009-96A1B28AD099.jpeg


I’ve been collecting my parts/tool list, feeling pretty confident between OTRAMM and 6th Gear Garage’s YouTube vids, and then got under to take a good luck. Yikes.

The odd thing is that these look like this. Then I drained the front diff to swap fluid and feared the worst. Nope. Oil was absolutely beautiful. And the knuckles look like this. Just bizarre to me.

Anywho, I’ve read up on the sanding/wire cup refinishing and painting, etc. I assume I’ll have to do that. Anything else I should just assume I’ll need based on this? Like Birfs?
 
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Cheese and crackers those knuckle balls look dry. Is there any grease in those knuckles?

Anyway, I would just tear them down, clean them up and fill everything with grease again. Do the knuckles pop when making hard turns? If not, repack everything, clean it all up and go.
 
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Yeah, it’s pretty incredible/terrifying that they are completely dry.

It drives surprisingly well, looking at them. It pops a little at full lock, but I try not to do that regardless.

It will see daily driver use and some mild expedition/camping type use. No crawling or anything high stress, so hopefully she’ll hold up after this baseline.

Hopefully.
 
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Damn your balls are dry! They need ointment.
Luckily it comes in 14 oz tubs of moly-grease that can be injected into the inspection port at the top of the knuckle.

Well don’t stare at them, it makes me self conscious!

I’ll give it a shot. The only driving before a rebuild has really been just around the block after baseline maintenance. Worth the effort or just park it and tear them down?
 
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Up to you, if they are popping an snapping like a boar hog all pissed off I'd tear them down and rebuild. If they aren't makeing rude noises, shoot them full grease and see if it works. When I bought mine it's knuckles weren't quite that dry, I refilled them and they've been fine. One side seems to run a little a little wetter than the other, just a matter of time till they need a full rebuild.
 
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Up to you, if they are popping an snapping like a boar hog all pissed off I'd tear them down and rebuild. If they aren't makeing rude noises, shoot them full grease and see if it works. When I bought mine it's knuckles weren't quite that dry, I refilled them and they've been fine. One side seems to run a little a little wetter than the other, just a matter of time till they need a full rebuild.

May as well give it a shot. I considered a tear down as part of my baseline, but if it will at least hold and use some fresh grease then I could address other things and at least drive it. Good call!
 
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Chattanooga, TN, USA
Hard to give specific advice or predictions without knowing more about your rig. But yes, those balls are dry!

Generally, if you do decide to service and rebuild the knuckles, don't be intimidated. It was one of the first jobs I did on my new-to-me 80, and the OTRAMM videos are excellent. Also used the FSM as I went along. You've got it.
 

LandLocked93

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I'll add the obligatory - "The spindle nuts get 35ft-lbs, not 35in-lbs." Read that somewhere. lol
I consider my self a boomer, so I went with 45ft-lbs for "good" measure. 💪
Don't want to go back in unless the whole thing is destroyed. Makes it more worth the effort.
 
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Well, there are people out there who think just the inside of the birf bell needs to be greased, probably the last person in there was one of them. :rolleyes:
 
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Fatally Flat FL
Thanks to all!
Yes, it can be amazing what some people think is “good enough” on vehicle maintenance.

Good points on the u joints as well - was just looking at replacements as well. Unless I’m completely amazed at what I find, I’ll probably just replace. Pending the 30 years old milestone (and a cool Florida antique tag) I lean towards just replacing some of this stuff as opposed to getting into an unwinnable war with decades of gunk and pending rust.

I guess that’s why I just asked originally about going ahead and ordering new birfs before I even started. Something tells me it ain’t gonna be pretty in there.
 

LandLocked93

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Also meant to add, be sure to lightly sand your balls to remove as much rust as you can. Leaving it on there will chew up your ball felts pretty well I imagine. All things being equal, there should be a thin film of birf moly that is constantly refreshed everytime you turn a corner. Hard to imagine that even coastal air contact would overcome that film to rust your balls.
But I don't live in such a region, so take that for what little it may be worth.
 
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Fatally Flat FL
Man. I’m learning a lot about ball maintenance.

All makes sense. I really only mention replace to avoid doing the same tear down twice, but I’d certainly rather it be a cleaning and prep job versus building a new truck one piece at a time.

From reading other threads is sounds like a drill and a cup brush and get after it, with a good anti-rust paint after for a good smooth finish and some protection.

I actually bought the truck from a non-coastal area. Which is actually kinda worse I suppose, as that “custom finish” is more from neglect than environment.
 
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Yeah those look pretty crusty. The good news is that they will probably clean up fine with some elbow grease. Follow OTRAMM's videos, like you mentioned, for the tear down. As for the ball part of the axle housing, a liberal coat of fluid film once you get everything reassembled will help ward off the rust. And FF won't hurt anything so you don't have to worry about not getting it on anything....except your brake rotors...lubing those is generally frowned upon. :D
 
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Madison, WI
I had bought an LC that looked like that years ago. It was fairly pitted too. During a reseal I sanded wire wheeled it using a drill. I then rubbed JB Weld all over, sanded it down with fine sand paper then polished. Worked really well.

The pitting was about as bad as a golf ball pits.
 
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Fatally Flat FL
lp2k - That would be awesome, and thanks for the offer! That does bring a good point though, I should probably change my location to something useful versus sarcastic. I’d be afraid to drive it that far until after the job! I’m up in the panhandle near Ft Walton Beach/Destin! I’ll look up the vendor though - got the name, what shop does he run? (And thanks for the point out on bearings. That was a question.)

Wrencher93 - thanks for mentioning that here! I had heard of fluid film before but could never remember the name when trying to order some. Now my dumb azz has a reference.

Not to mention, I’m just down the road from you in Shalimar, right next to Eglin AFB. Your rig is awesome, man. Where do you off-road/camp?

Vsatking - thanks for that, I’ve heard of the method before in reading around here, I’m interested. I’ll get a closer inspection once I get a good clean and start sanding, and if I find putting as bad it seems like it will be I think I might give that a shot.
 
Joined
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Gotha, Florida (near the dog)
yea 5-6 hours from you to me with axles like that would be tough.
look for otramm on youtube. he has it on his channel.

your grocery list is as follows:
  1. rubber seal set (PM Ranma as he can get you the OEM stuff with the bearings delivered to your door really cheap)
  2. 54mm socket, do not use a screwdriver to take off the 54mm nut, u need to put it back in and torque it right (2 nuts per side, 4 nuts) these nuts are $10 a pop, do u want to whack $40 in nuts with a flat head screwdriver and gouge them? I dont
  3. Inner race driver for the inner race seal (wits end sells it, google the shop) I have it, u could use alternatives but im pretty sure, u want to use wits end driver as you have wear on the axles themselves (DO NOT FORCE THE OLD SEAL OUT) U can seriously gouge that soft metal in there. use proper tools.
  4. the 17mm which hold the caliper, was the hardest part for me. just get some good breaker bars that can give the right leverage when removing it, u may want to turn the wheel so u can get access.
  5. get a brass wire wheel for a drill, helps to spin some or all of the surface rust off.

im down for cruiser talk all the time, PM me if u need anything. i did this for 2x trucks already


went from ashy to classy
 

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