Planning to do knuckle rebuild in March... HAMOM (Charlotte) or should I tacklet this myself? (1 Viewer)

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Now that I will be getting a 2nd vehicle, my LC is no longer my daily driver, and I'm no longer rushed to get it back on the road ASAP. With that said, we have a long drive planned this summer, and I want to get all the leaks addressed, starting with the knuckles.

I would love to schedule a HAMOM, but I'm guessing that this is no longer a thing because of Covid-19. If I follow OTRAMM's video on YouTube, is this something an amateur person like myself able to tackle? Or should I take it to a shop? I know every post I read about this, everyone says it's easy, just messy. I always doubt my abilities, and the last thing I need is to be stranded on the side of the road because of something I did (or did not) do. HAMOM is a great idea, because I can rely or more knowledgeable people if I'm stuck or confused. I'd like to do this or get this done in March.
 

izzyandsue

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You are right, everything is relative. Easy for some can be a nightmare for others, and it has nothing to do with knowledge sometimes. The video i found to be right for me is Jonesy offroad, link to part 2 below, part 1 is easy to find. Depends on when on march you are doing it, I can lend a hand, and we can still follow Covid rules, I don’t take chances there either as I know science laughs at politics.
For example, I did it myself the first time, JohnV came by and gave some pointers. Otherwise the Jonesy video was good enough, and having the right tools. I watch the video a few times, until I could almost repeat his words, got a bunch of supplies like paper towels, brake cleaner, plastic baggies, garbage bags, clean towels, bearing grease, knuckle grease, gloves, carboard, and put my ipad in a ziplock so I can use it outside to watch the video again. I used that last one, a lot. Like you, my 80 is my fun truck so if I screw it up, oh well... The worse thing is that a bolt breaks and you need to drill it out. I don’t like doing that and at that point would turn it back to pros. In the end, it is a risk balancing equation, could be a simple one day deal, or 3 days of “why am i doing this”.

If you end up deciding on having it done, near us, Railside auto has experience working on 80s, and they are pretty good at getting it done right. You don’t need to go downtown and wait a month for an opening in a shop.

On the other hand, are your knuckles seeping a lot or the birfields clicking while turning? Feel free to email me anytime at izzysanchez1@icloud.com if you want to chat offline.

 
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Hey Izzy! Thanks for your response. Believe me, I found myself in too many situations over the years where I'm talking to myself and saying "what the heck am I doing" (politically correct version). I'd be doing this the week of March 21st (my 50th birthday... way to celebrate, huh?). I'll be getting Outfitters knuckle rebuild kit soon and hope to have all the tools and supplies I need to do the job.

I'd also like to replace my shocks and springs while I'm in there. I'm guessing it would be the perfect time to do it while doing the knuckles. The Jonesy videos are great. I believe I used his video on how to replace brakes. And your tip on Railside was great. I brought my LC this past summer to get the AC working.

If you are available that week, and/or if I get strong interest to help with this, I'll go for doing this myself. Otherwise, I'll see where my confidence level is at in March. If it's low, I'll just bring it to Railside.
 

NCFJ

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I think that doing it yourself, with the help of a few knowledgeable club members is something you should do. I am sure that paying attention to Covid standards will slow the process a bit but it can be done. Rebuilding a front axle has become a right of passage over the years. a standard if you will. I guarantee that after you get it done, you will feel that you can now tackle anything that comes along. They really are not all that complicated as vehicles go.

NIKE-Just Do It! :)
 
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I would definitely love to do this job instead of a shop. Just depends on my confidence and assistance from some members here. So, far I've done all the work on my LC. I'd like to keep that going.
 
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Its a 1 maybe a 1 1/2 banana job. I think the hardest part you will run into is getting the lower trunion bearing to stay and setting the wheel bearing preload.

Just take your time, use a quality kit and you will be fine.
 

izzyandsue

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I am in uwharrie the 20th, teaching a 4WD class, but can help otherwise, let me know your timeline when you get closer. 50 is the new 30, thats what I know. which my knees got the memo though...
 
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I just did mine for the first time with help from my friend Chris here in Charlotte; happy to drop by and help out when I can assuming masks required
 

Green Hell Mustang

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@NY2NC you can do it yourself. It's totally doable.

Depending on how many miles are on your truck since the last rebuild, I would also take the opportunity to check out the CVs (birfield axles) while you are in there. Generally checking how things have worn over time is a good idea. It's a good opportunity to replace things that have worn out or that are looking tired, specifically the CVs. Be sure to take the time to check the wear on the inner axle oil seal journals too. If they are worn, it might be a good idea to pick up one of these while you are getting parts for the axle rebuild. It helps you to set the new oil seal back a bit from the original wear point on the oil seal journal. This way, if the journals are worn out, you don't end up with a leak after doing the rebuild.

It's a dirty job, but it's quite fun to do.
 
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Its a 1 maybe a 1 1/2 banana job. I think the hardest part you will run into is getting the lower trunion bearing to stay and setting the wheel bearing preload.

Just take your time, use a quality kit and you will be fine.
That... or dealing with cone washers. LOL. I'd agree the job difficulty isn't high, but it's time consuming and DIRTY! Good thing paper towels aren't still hard to come by.
 
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On a related note... I think the club had the knuckle centering tool at one point in time. Am I imagining that? Not necessary in most cases, but I'll need to do a reseal on my front end sometime in the future and it's certainly due to knuckle swap and Longfield installs years ago (without the SST). Sorry, don't mean to hijack.
 

GLTHFJ60

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The only time you need the knuckle centering SST is when you've either:

1. Put different knuckles on your housing than what it came from the factory with (think hellfire/6-shooter install)
or
2. You've lost the shims while doing a rebuild.

The club does have a knuckle centering SST, but 99.99% of the time, no one needs it. Keep track of the shims on disassembly and that SST is not at all necessary.
 
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The only time you need the knuckle centering SST is when you've either:

1. Put different knuckles on your housing than what it came from the factory with (think hellfire/6-shooter install)
or
2. You've lost the shims while doing a rebuild.

The club does have a knuckle centering SST, but 99.99% of the time, no one needs it. Keep track of the shims on disassembly and that SST is not at all necessary.

Yeah, didn't mean to sidetrack this thread, but thought I would ask. @NY2NC won't need it, but I sure wish I had it when I did mine back in the day since I had swapped in mini knuckles and Longs. Glad to hear it's available as I'll certainly put it to use this spring or summer at some point for a reseal.

Now back to the regularly scheduled program - apologies for the hijack.
 

little_joe

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Now that I will be getting a 2nd vehicle, my LC is no longer my daily driver, and I'm no longer rushed to get it back on the road ASAP. With that said, we have a long drive planned this summer, and I want to get all the leaks addressed, starting with the knuckles.

I would love to schedule a HAMOM, but I'm guessing that this is no longer a thing because of Covid-19. If I follow OTRAMM's video on YouTube, is this something an amateur person like myself able to tackle? Or should I take it to a shop? I know every post I read about this, everyone says it's easy, just messy. I always doubt my abilities, and the last thing I need is to be stranded on the side of the road because of something I did (or did not) do. HAMOM is a great idea, because I can rely or more knowledgeable people if I'm stuck or confused. I'd like to do this or get this done in March.

Everyone else has provided great input: I'll just re-emphasize, do it yourself and have a few folks over. You'll have the luxury of this not being on your DD, so no rush.

I had a HAMOM to do the knuckles on my 80 like 10+ years ago. We had so many knowledgeable. seasoned folks show up which was awesome and still very appreciated. However, what I got from it - never having done it before - is it really is easy, confidence-inspiring, and oh-so-rewarding. I was then able to contribute back when others did the same job.
 
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Wow, I haven't gotten to check the responses until just now. Thank you all for the offer of assistance. The only issue is my driveway is small (one car driveway/one car garage). Hopefully, that is enough space. But I definitely would like to start on this Monday, March 22. I'm basically off from work all week.
 
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Also, is installing new shocks and springs feasible? Or is that another separate job altogether?
 

roadstr6

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Also, is installing new shocks and springs feasible? Or is that another separate job altogether?
I’d say that shocks and springs are a different job. The knuckle rebuild will take the better part of a day, even with help. The shocks and springs project would be difficult to do at the exact same time as the knuckles because they occupy roughly the same space on the truck (at least the front ones do). Too many hands and people in each other’s way. To do the knuckle job and shocks/springs consecutively would be a two day total job.

Question...are you adding lift springs and shocks, or just replacing stock for stock?
 
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Replacing stock with stock height. And that's ok. The knuckle rebuild is more important right now.
 

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