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More Spindle Nut Questions......

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by ut77gmc, Jun 25, 2001.

  1. ut77gmc

    ut77gmc Registered Member

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    I have a '73 3/4 ton D44 axle on my '77 K15. I just did the front axle (ball joints out) and was driving it to work this morning (after a couple of stops) and felt a little slop in my steering. I got out and was able to move the tire by kicking it with my 'cute' shoes (I have to wear dress shoes to work), so I can't kick it really hard. I'm going to flatbed it home.

    The point:
    I'm thinking that my spindle nut has come loose. I was just reading from my search and there was some debate about torque on spindle nuts. I did torque my inner spindle nut to 30 ft. lbs, but had to torque just a little more to get my washer to line up with the keyhole and the pin on the spindle (definently not more than 40 lbs., but in that neighborhood). I then torqued the outer nut on to 80 lbs. and put the hub together.

    Does anyone have any ideas to why that may have backed out/off? The washer was a little hammered (slight wear on the front edge of the keyway) but there looked to be enough beef behind it and the pin slid in the hole in the washer. I'd imagine that I need a new washer (probably for sure now) and maybe some bearings, but did I do anything wrong in the installation process that could have caused this problem?

    '77 GMC K15 LWB.....likes to get muddy
     
  2. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, dude here is the deal. You need to pre-load the bearings first.
    So, first you need to torque the inner down to 50, then back it off then re-torque it to 35. Then if it doesnt line up, first try flipping the lock-washer. If it doesn't line up then you back it off till it lines up, but dont back it off any more than 1/4 of a turn. Then you can torque the outter to 80.

    You need to make sure that the stop pin is still on the inner nut and on the lock-washer, make sure the tooth is still there, the one that slides in the key way of the spindle.

    If this is not what has happened. You may need to go back and double check those 6 nuts that hold the spindle to the knuckle.

    Steve Fox for President, 2004.
    Jimi Hendrix was re-incarnated in 1990 as my....JIMI
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.nashvillek5.freeservers.com>http://www.nashvillek5.freeservers.com</A>
     
  3. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    If all you did was torque the inner to ~30 then it is more than likely loose. I tighten the inner nut while spinner the rotor. I stop when I can no longer turn the rotor by hand. I then back the nut off, torque it per manual specs., install the washer and loosen a little if need be to line the pin up with the proper hole, then I torque the outer nut to manual specs. This allows the bearings to properly seat. As also stated the spindel nuts that hold the spindel on the backing plate could have also loosened. If you haven't already, I would suggest replacing them and using loc-tite or at minimum using loc-tite if you are reusing the old one (just make sure the threads are clean on both surfaces before applying the loc-tite). Hope this helps.

    If you didn't built it yourself, how can you call it yours.......?
     
  4. ut77gmc

    ut77gmc Registered Member

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    10-4.....I did put the 6 nuts that hold the spindle on with the mighty impact, but I'll check those as well. The spindle nut was the only thing that I fought for a while. (I turned it over and over and over.....and over until I could get the pin to match the keyway....made me feel like a real dumb@ss.) I did preload the bearing, but you never do know.....

    '77 GMC K15 LWB.....likes to get muddy
     
  5. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    YOU DID WHAT WITH THE IMPACT???? NO NO NO NO......
    Man those 6 nuts are only supposed to be torqued somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 ft/lbs. At least on 10 bolts fronts. Your dana 44 shouldn't be much more. Look at the Haynes or Chiltons for you specific model front end. Those studs will STRETCH very easily if over torqued. I have f-ed up 2 off them....... That may be what your problem is.

    Steve Fox for President, 2004.
    Jimi Hendrix was re-incarnated in 1990 as my....JIMI
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.nashvillek5.freeservers.com>http://www.nashvillek5.freeservers.com</A>
     
  6. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    One more thing that could have allowed this to come loose is if you did not have the new bearing races seated all the way in. Then they seated while driving and allowed the whole thing to come loose....just a thought

    72K5[​IMG]Led Zeppelin[​IMG]Rock ON![​IMG]
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.geocities.com/baja/5099>http://www.geocities.com/baja/5099</A>
     
  7. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    Its ok, his mechanic freind, allways likes to use the air tools !
    Because its a very expenisive tool(cool) it has to be good ?
    Also it has a special feel to it so the operator know just how tight to get it.
    Just right !!!!!!
     
  8. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I've never had any problems with those inside nuts coming loose and I haven't ever use a torque wrench to tighten them, but I don't go nuts.

    The spindle nuts are a PITA. Mine come loose once in a while too. Seems that even if you get them all lined up and everything they'll come loose anyway. Check them again and see if you did everything properly.

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  9. ut77gmc

    ut77gmc Registered Member

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    UPDATE:

    All right here's the damage. I have wiped out a wheel bearing. (Outside one for sure). What's left of the bearing has welded itself to the spindle and I can't force it off with conventional hammering/punches etc. without probably incurring damage to my hub (that may be a little hard to find as it's one of the older style 3/4 tons with the Spicer hubs...).

    The only way that I think I can save the thing is to possibly heat up the assembly with a torch or something while at the same time using a punch to knock the 'bearing' loose.

    Just to clarify.....the impact just spun the nut on most of the way. It's an old worn out POS Snap-On unit that needs to be rebuilt and will barely torque to 50-60 lbs. or so. I may have gotten the spindle nut a little tighter than I expected, but I'm still not sure what caused the failure. The other side, I did exactly the same procedure on, doesn't seem to be affected at all. It looks like it should.

    Anyway, ideas on how to remove the hub assembly without damage would be greatly appreciated, and I'm aware I'll probably be searching the Pick 'N' Pull yard for an early spindle and maybe a hub after I'm able to get things off.

    '77 GMC K15 LWB.....likes to get muddy
     
  10. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    Someone just the other day was saying something like the only diff. between 1/2t and 3/4t
    was the no. of lug's. So you can go to your local yard and since there no diff. you can hand pick the best one
    (Spindel).
     
  11. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    take it to a machine shop and have it pressed out. did you forget to properly pack that bearing?
     
  12. californiak5

    californiak5 1/2 ton status

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    Hey Ex,

    Are your eyes brown? Because think you are almost full of it.

    HaHaHaHa [​IMG]...........no diff. What about the old external hub 44's (around 76 and older) vs the newer (around 77 and newer) internal hub assemblies. I believe there might be a little diff there. But I've been wrong before. [​IMG]

    See Ya,
    Keith

    [​IMG] <font color=green>Born to Drive My K5</font color=green> [​IMG]
     
  13. ut77gmc

    ut77gmc Registered Member

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    I packed the bearing with an axle bearing grease until the old, skanky black grease all had worked out and I had fresh new yellowish grease in there.

    I can't get the hub off to take the spindle off to get it pressed off. That's my current dilemna. Any suggestions would be appreciated..

    '77 GMC K15 LWB.....likes to get muddy
     
  14. RaisedK5

    RaisedK5 1/2 ton status

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    Can you get in there and cut the cage off, if so you might be able to get all the little bearings off and tehn slip the hub off over the race thats stuck on the spidle, if you can't get it off that way but can get in there to cut it, try cutting most of the way through the race and then spliting it with a chisle, thats how i get diff bearings off without a press, im thinking a sawsall with an abrasive blade to cut though the harderned steel? Any body else got any ideas?

    and Keith you're right there are differences, i have the 74 3/4 ton front end in mine with the external hubs and the bearings are different from my sisters 90 3/4 ton Sub, which is supposed to be the same from 77-91 so i think when they changed the 1/2 ton bearings in 77 they made the 3/4 tons the same too. Any body know for sure?

    RaisedK5

    "Of all the things I've lost, I think I miss my mind the most!"
     
  15. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    " Any body know for sure? "

    How cares, this is all just opinion !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    No one want's the FACT's
    He said, she said, no one has any printed verifiable FACT's
    Do you know what went on in ther GM Factory around 1975 ?
    Was it built on a Monday of a Friday ?
    Good luck
     
  16. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    He he, sorry my answer does not agree with you !
    These people are filling my head with all the right opinions.
     
  17. californiak5

    californiak5 1/2 ton status

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    LMAO..........right opinions........wrong facts..........it's all good. [​IMG]

    See Ya Bro,
    Keith

    [​IMG] <font color=green>Born to Drive My K5</font color=green> [​IMG]
     
  18. 502Burban

    502Burban 1/2 ton status

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    Somebody please let me know if this is a stupid idea [​IMG], but you might try to rig a good sized slide-hammer to the wheel studs and give it a good slam or three. Just a thought...

    Robb
    '73 GMC Suburban - 502DFI
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://community.webshots.com/user/robbrj>http://community.webshots.com/user/robbrj</A>
     
  19. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    There are differences! The early D44s use larger bearings and spindles, etc. However, you can go get the newer parts and swap them on if you want, just make sure to get spindles, backing plates, rotors that fit that setup, and internal hubs.

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     

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