1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How to remove a front knuckle? And other process-related questions.

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by nitroguy, Apr 3, 2020.

  1. nitroguy

    nitroguy Full Access Member

    Posts:
    97
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    Kalispell, MT
    Question for you guys, I'm knee deep in wheel grease. Reminder: 1984 F350, with what I believe to be a version of the TTB front end? Does that sound right?

    I'm trying to replace my balljoints (among other things). I've got the wheel off, got the caliper off, got the tie rod end off. I pulled the manual hub cap off, got the hubs out (Thanks Haynes manual, I never would have known there was an outer snap ring! Who knew?!)

    But then my manual drops off in helpfulness. Do I take the disc off? Axle? U-Joint? I can't seem to find any guidance, and I really can't seem to figure out how to take this thing apart. I've got the balljoint press "rented" from O'Reilly's, do I need to get another tool to get the axle out?

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. franklin2

    franklin2 Full Access Member

    Posts:
    4,057
    Likes Received:
    582
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Va
    You said you found the outer retaining ring, so it sounds like you have the complete hub assembly out. You now need a special socket you can get at the store, and with a ratchet take the spanner nuts loose. Pay attention how this comes apart. Since you have a older dana 50 axle, I am going to assume you have the two spanner nut setup.

    Take the first spanner nut loose. Then reach up in there and take the washer with all the little holes out. It will have a key in the middle. and it's fitting over a little pin on the 2nd spanner nut. Once the locking washer is out, take the last spanner nut loose. Then you will have a small bearing coming out, and the whole hub/disc assembly will come off. If you happen to want to change the rotors, you have to take a brass rod and drive the wheel studs out, and then the rotor will separate from the hub.
     
  3. franklin2

    franklin2 Full Access Member

    Posts:
    4,057
    Likes Received:
    582
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Va
    The special socket will look something like this. Be careful, there are a couple of sizes. The dana 44 ttb that comes on the f150 and the f250's use the smaller version. You need the larger version that is for the dana 50 and dana 60 frontends.

    P.S. Don't go by the picture below, it may be the wrong size for your application.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. TahoeTom

    TahoeTom Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Posts:
    686
    Likes Received:
    58
    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Location:
    S. Lake Tahoe, CA
    https://www.oilburners.net/attachments/image-21-jpg.59084/
    After removing hub you will need to remove the spindle. KD tool#3910 threads on the spindle and has threads for a slide hammer. You may be able to lever the spindle off without a slide hammer with the tool protecting the spindle threads. A 1 1/8" nut on top of each ball joint secures the knuckle to the axle. I broke my 1/2" breaker bar using a pipe cheater to try and break those nuts loose. Ended up with a 3/4" bar and cheater. Maybe an impact, but doubt it would fit in there.
     
    hesutton likes this.
  5. nitroguy

    nitroguy Full Access Member

    Posts:
    97
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    Kalispell, MT
    Super helpful guys! Thank you! Heading in to town now to pick up the tools, I'll let you know how it goes!
     
  6. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

    Posts:
    5,360
    Likes Received:
    3,603
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Location:
    edmond, ks
    I guess my first thought of "cut a finger off" wouldn't have helped then?
     
    Selahdoor and nitroguy like this.
  7. hce

    hce So can i.... Supporting Member

    Posts:
    1,030
    Likes Received:
    290
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Location:
    Glasgow MT (Official middle of nowhere)
  8. nitroguy

    nitroguy Full Access Member

    Posts:
    97
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    Kalispell, MT
    Hahaha!

    And sure enough, I couldn't get the spindle off without the slide hammer and adapter. Back to oreillys I go! I'm gonna rent the whole store before this is done.

    I might also see if they have that back seal, I think I destroyed one getting the brake off. I'll snap a few pics.

    Thanks for the help so far guys!
     
  9. nitroguy

    nitroguy Full Access Member

    Posts:
    97
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    Kalispell, MT
    Oh man. I'll check that out. I've been in so much scope creep on this project, I've got wood on the ground I gotta move. I started because I needed a clutch firewall reinforcement plate.
    Next thing I know, I've got a new tranny, new tie rod ends, new shocks, a new seat, new ball joints (at some point!) a new heater core, and maybe new fluids in my diffs, transfer case, and new coolant, new brake pads, new brake fluid ....
    You get it. At some point I gotta cut myself off!

    But you're right, I'll check out the bearings.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. nelstomlinson

    nelstomlinson Full Access Member

    Posts:
    600
    Likes Received:
    324
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Delta Junction AK
    Once you get that KD adapter threaded onto the spindle, just start beating it back and forth with a sledge hammer. The adapter will protect the threads. Once it starts to wiggle a bit, you can try the slide hammer if you want. I don't even use the slide hammer, though.

    When you put the spindle back on, bed it in antisieze.
     
  11. nitroguy

    nitroguy Full Access Member

    Posts:
    97
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    Kalispell, MT
    Thank you all for your help! I promised pictures, but, well, my hands were REALLY greasy. I finally broke down and bought some gloves. They might be my new favorite thing in my toolbox, especially when dealing with wheel bearing grease.

    So, I got it done! I went to Napa to get the KD adapter, and the closest one was 1,000 miles away. Parts guy said he always just beats it with a dead blow back and forth and away they go. So, what could it hurt (other than a knuckle, spindle, bearings, seals, and my arm). Sure enough, it came loose.

    And @hce, thank you for the tip. I made sure to check out the spindle bearings in there and they were good! I greased 'em up well and popped them back in.

    @Franklin, your photo helped a ton. Thanks! You're right, that's not the one that works, but the photo helped me narrow down exactly what I was looking for, got the right thing. Thanks everyone!

    So far, I've got new: ball joints, all tie rod ends, shocks, wheel seals, brake pads, and brake fluid.

    And a really messy garage.

    20200406_220910.jpg
     
  12. nitroguy

    nitroguy Full Access Member

    Posts:
    97
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    Kalispell, MT
    So, where I'm at now, I need some random help on various bits I'm working on. In no particular order:

    1. How to drain the front diff
    2. Does anyone use CLR to clear out a radiator? And while I'm here, where's the thermostat everyone says I need to replace?
    3. In my heater box, does my blend door look ok?

    1. How to drain the front diff?
    Back diff is taken care of with an air ratchet and a screwdriver. Glad I did, that fluid was junky! But how do I get the front diff fluid out of there? I got the bolts out, but the front panel seems to be integrated into the entire axle housing!? Any tips? It's weeping out of some of the holes now, but I can't imagine that's the best way.

    20200407_164113.jpg

    20200407_164122.jpg

    2. Radiator and Coolant.
    2a. This is the inside of my drained radiator. Looks pretty, uh, not pretty. Could I put some diluted CLR down there to eat up what appears to be calcium and rust? Or do I just need a new radiator? (if so, I'll just fill this one and run with it. I've not had any overheating issues, but figure now is the time to address any radiator issues before I get there.).
    2b. I've got my coolant drained. Seems like I hear people talk about changing the thermostat and making sure it's the Motorcraft one. Again, no overheating issues, but I'm this far in, I might as well replace it. Right? Is that hard to get to? Where is it on the truck? (I'll go check my Haynes too, but figure I'll start here. Your guys' photos are better).

    20200407_153846.jpg

    3. Heater Box.
    Here's my 'blend door' (is that what it's called?). Looks like a mouse feasted on it at some point. Is that ok? What's a good one supposed to look like? The P.O. bypassed the heater altogether, so I picked up a new HO Heater Core and will plumb it in. Needless to say, I don't know how well it's been working up to now, because it hasn't been working up to now. Any tips here? Or just bolt it in and run.

    20200407_163719.jpg

    3a (bonus question, extra credit). What are those coils inside of the heater box for? They look like they're attached to a relay of some sort?
    20200407_163722.jpg

    Thanks everyone!!!
     
  13. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

    Posts:
    5,360
    Likes Received:
    3,603
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Location:
    edmond, ks
    Those coils and relay are the (I can't remember the right name) resistor that control the fan speed.
     
    nitroguy and DaveBen like this.
  14. cozinsky

    cozinsky Registered User

    Posts:
    46
    Likes Received:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2020
    Location:
    Iowa
    On the front diff there is no drain plug. Once the seal is broken you'll have to remove it from the axle housing to clean and reseal it. To remove it you'll have to pull the axle shafts out and remove the two large bolts that thread into it on the left side.
     
  15. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

    Posts:
    5,360
    Likes Received:
    3,603
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Location:
    edmond, ks
    As my bonus response, I've seen somebody on here say that these aluminum heater cores will get a hole in them from electrolysis. I believe that you have to ground them in order to prevent this. I took a piece of stranded wire and crimped an eye terminal on one end. I attached that the the firewall with the same screw that the hood ground wire uses. I stripped the insulation back on the other end and used another hose clamp and clamped in onto one of the hose fittings on the heater core. The black wire is the heater core ground wire. The braided one is the factory hood ground. The rear clamp on the fitting with two clamps is the one for the ground wire.

    102_3105.JPG
     
    nitroguy likes this.

Share This Page