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Old 06-04-2010, 10:35 AM   #1
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13mm twelve point bolts that are holding the hub and bearing assembly onto the steeri

Hi guys,

in the process of doing my first u joint replacement on the front wheel...just trying to get access at it first...

I have three 13mm twelve point bolts that are holding the hub and bearing assembly onto the steering knuckle. Mine look original, meaning 17 years of Vermont winters and corrosion. Have soaked both sides with PB Blaster over night, again this AM, hit with hammer etc - don't know how I can get the top middle one with the impact wrench, doing that one last. Was going to start trying to spin them with my impact gun today after work....any other recommendations to get them out? I don't have the ability or skill to deal with these if they break / strip.

I have been told heat...anything I can mess up down there with heat? I have a small propane torch...not mapp gas. The mapp was so much more expensive...is it worth getting it? If heat is advisable, would it be done right before I try to spin them, and do I try to heat the bolts or the surrounding metal?


Thanks for any input which will get them out successfully!

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Old 06-04-2010, 04:53 PM   #2
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the bolts new are 1/2 12point, but 13mm works better when there rusted. my jeep spent 7 years in detroit, had no problems removing bolts. try putting the box end on bolt and tap other end with big hammer. not the proper use of tools, but it works. heating the bolts should not be a problem, you should probably change bearings anyway. buy new bolts too.

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Old 06-04-2010, 05:20 PM   #3
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Just did this job to my 94 2 weeks ago without air tools. Use a breakerbar to get them started. Had no probs. I live in NY so I can relate to the whole rust issue. Whole job took 2hrs. REMEMBER WHICH WAY YOUR DUST COVERS GO BACK ON!!! Don,t ask!!!!
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:29 PM   #4
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wow - that wasn't as hard as I had anticipated with the look of the bolts. used my jack handle as a breaker bar and got all three to spin, same thing with the axle nut. everything moves...which was my big goal for the night, so tomorrow I can work on the u joint itself hopefully, again this is my first time with any of this. I sprayed the u joint with PB blaster, hopefully it will come off the yoke with as little resistance as I found tonight.

...time for pizza and baseball.

thanks again,
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:26 PM   #5
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are you in for a surprise. so before you ask. small socket that fits inside of yoke ear and hit with hammer. then the clip is under the cap, its a 3/4 clip. use screw driver and hammer to push out, this is why you hit the end with the hammer and socket to release presure on clip. turn over and repeat. I hate doing axle u-joints. It helps to put larger socket under yoke on the ground or solid table. lots of hammering. If you have a vice or press it makes this a whole lot easier.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:07 PM   #6
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i do have a bench vice, and about 8 feet of open space on the bench. I am just going to pull the axle shaft out, put it in the bench, and then start to see how to get thing apart.

I am sure I will be back with some noob questions....

later
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:22 AM   #7
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First time I did front ujoints I BROKE my bench vise! They did not want to come out.
I went to Harbor Freight and bought a $20 ball joint removal tool and used that.
It is sometimes a little tricky to keep it aligned straight but has the benefit of being able to use an impact wrench to apply the pressure.
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:20 PM   #8
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I forget about specialty tools. since I'm a hammer mechanic, if it don't move I get a bigger hammer. I do plan on getting that tool at harbor freight, make things a little better on the trail.

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