InstallingD44 Reid Racing knuckles

Discussion in 'Differential & Driveline' started by 77 K20, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    Found some on sale. These will be required when I go to crossover steering. Never replaced knuckles before- and at the same time I will be replacing the axle shafts.

    What should I replace while I'm in the area?

    -axle seals? (timken?)
    -bearings? (timken?)
    -???

    -the upper/lower ball joints will be replaced. What is a good reliable heavy duty brand? ------Moog?
    -Proforged 101-10149/101-10150
    -Spicer: 706116X
    -Yukon Gear and axle YSPBJ-011
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  2. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Inner/outer bearings and races, along with the inner seal. If you feel like going all out, you can replace the spindle bushings too, although that's much easier with a special (or homemade) tool. There's also a special socket to set the preload on the ball joints.

    I usually just get NAPA's SKF stuff. And Moog ball joints.
     
  3. dvdswan

    dvdswan Full Access Member

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    I don't know how plentiful your junkyards are out there but you can get a factory flattop r/s knuckle (pre-76 dana 44) and have it machined to have crossover/high steer setup. I spent 20 on a knuckle and 40 on having it machined and drilled.

    16157403_large.jpg
     
  4. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    I already ordered both knuckles. They should be here in about 2 days. Junkyards here are pretty much worthless.
    I do have a question on the tie rod mounting. I have the "nut up" style currently. The new knuckles are supposed to be "nut down" raising the tie rod bar. Looks like that is what you have... Dp you know if I am still able to use the factory steering stabilizer? Your setup looks a lot different.
     
  5. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    Ordered I think all the seals and in the inner/outer bearings. Finally found a nice exploded pic of the D44 but it was a jeep version. Might be similar? There are also spindle bearings and seals it looks like.

    I went out driving yesterday trying to make it to the top of one of the local mountains and had to use 4 low for part of it. I have found that when in 4 low with a lot of stress on the driveline I hear a pinging noise and a creaking/squeaking noise coming from the front end. This is the 3rd time I've heard this noise. Possibly dry bearings? or the axle ujoints were dry and not happy about the stress?

    I'll be inspecting all the parts when I tear it down to try and find what was making this noise.
     
  6. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Iirc, the nut up or down doesn't change the position of the tie rod, because the two versions of the knuckle have the arms cast at different heights.
     
  7. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    Ok, thanks. I had read somewhere that it will move your tie rod and if you are going to go with a used one like what dvdswan did then you had to make sure you had the same type on the driver's side. But when looking at what I have now the tie rod can't move up a whole lot as it will then hit/interfere with the leaf springs.

    The fun of researching online... so much fun weeding out strange and conflicting information.

    The new knuckles and axle shafts came today. I bet the UPS guy wasn't too happy. They are pretty heavy.
     
  8. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    http://offroaddesign.com/catalog/HDsteeringknuckles.htm

    I found at a source that had some info about "nut up" vs "nut down".

    If you want both knuckles, order the "nut down" version, it will raise the tie rod up a few inches for better clearance and they are a direct swap onto the newer axles.
    The '76 and older GM knuckles are "nut down" style.
    '77 and newer GM knuckle are tapered from the bottom so the castle nut is above the knuckle, we call this "nut up" style.
     
  9. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I still think the tie rod location stays about the same. I don't think ANYONE takes into account the fact that the two knuckle styles are cast differently.

    I stole a few pictures from current threads here to make my point. Nut up and nut down styles are shown here:

    100_4613.jpg

    IMG_4869[1].JPG

    IMG_0500.jpg
     
  10. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    I guess I'll just have to take some before and after pictures- cause looking at what you posted with against a pic of mine I think there is a difference. In the last pic you posted the tie rod is very close to the leaf springs pack. I have the same springs and my tie rod is a few inches away:

    [​IMG]

    The real interesting thing I noticed is that in the first pic you posted it looks like maybe a 0.5" spacer is inserted between the steering stabilizer and the welded on bracket on the axle. The second picture there is no spacer. I do not have the spacer on mine...

    I'm thinking I should find/make a spacer to help raise my stabilizer (if need be).

    Wonder why GM switched how they mounted the tie rods? Ultimately it doesn't matter much. But do enjoy learning new things.
     
  11. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I didn't notice the lack of spacer. All mine have one, they are included in the hardware kit.

    I'm not saying the tie rod is in the exact same location, just that the difference is marginal. Certainly nowhere near a few inches. The distance between the springs and the tie rod can vary, depending on the arch of the springs and also which type of tie rod is installed. The ones with the bigger ends will put the rod higher or lower, depending on which way it mounts in the knuckle.

    GM may have changed it for ease of replacement. With the nut down style, you only have so much room to get the tie rod up and out of the knuckle before it contacts the spring.
     
  12. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    Well shit. Today was hell. Went to a mechanic friends shop to use his lift. Truck is still there as it is not drive-able.

    Installed new axle shafts, axle U-joints, and the reid knuckles. It does move the tie rod up. My before measurement was 2.75" from the tie road to the spring pack. This was measured on the lift- the axle was drooping down.

    Now- the tie rod is about 1/16" of an inch when the tires are straight. When the steering wheel is turned then the tie rod moves upward on the one end and hits the leaf spring. Moved the truck out of the shop. On "flat" ground and the wheels straight the tie rod is hitting the leaf spring on one side (ground not 100% flat).


    Second issue- since the tie rod is now mounted upward I had to flip the tie rod around to mount it. The steering stabilizer now cannot be used as it is a tapered fit. The taper is now facing outward.

    Why couldn't I hear about ANY of this before I started and F'ed my truck up? I can't be the only one in the world to do this.

    Guess I'll call ORD and then Reid Racing tomorrow to try and figure out what the hell I'm supposed to do now.
     
  13. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    [​IMG]

    This doesn't show the tie rod hitting- as the axle is at full droop. Once weight is on it, then the springs flatten out.
    I'm guessing if I use 1" zero rates then it might work...

    Should have just left it alone.
     
  14. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting. Are the arms on the Reid knuckles cast higher up than the factory flat top knuckles? They almost have to be?
     

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