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  1. Ah, you must be frustrated with your 5th gear problem, but such is the life of a mechanic. On the upside, removal & re-installation gets easier every time. Good luck.
  2. I am just about done with this project, I have everything together besides the brakes, steering linkages, cotter pins, torquing of some bolts, and a test drive! Saturday will be the day, hopefully. Ultimately I decided not to paint the knuckles and hubs, due to time constraints, lack of proper paint, and reminding myself that it doesn't really matter if my knuckles are painted or not. However, it is a bit disappointing to see the new knuckles rusting after only one rainfall. I am sure that rust on the new hubs and shocks is not far behind! Thanks for the help along the way. i will share driving impressions in a few days.
  3. Lowell, was this your first time rebuilding a manual transmission? I am curious how long it took you. Looks like a fun job, thanks for sharing.
  4. My pleasure, thank you. I don't know enough about bearing design to tell if the SKF bearings are larger than the Timken. Looking again, however, I do like how the SKF wheel flange meets the bearing at visible, parallel faces, whereas the Timken (& Mopar?) units have a taper that obscures the inner seal - but you can't really see this in my photos. Unfortunately I discarded the old Mopar unit hubs before I knew this was an issue, therefore I can not test fit into the new Mopar knuckles. The Mopar hubs (53007449) go for nearly $250/ea (edit: ~$135 on eBay) - don't tempt me ...
  5. Moses, thank you. An update: First, I received my Mopar knuckles. They clearly are a nicer product than the Crown hubs. Nicer finish, slightly better machining at key points (caliper/pad slides, connection to tie rod ends, etc). The knuckle has markings inscribed, I suppose these indicate the manufacture / inspection dates (?), whereas the Crown has no markings whatsoever. All holes/taps are nicely centered on the casting, whereas they might be off-center on the Crown - they are still properly located/oriented in relation to each other but it doesn't look as nice. I will not say that the Crown is a bad product, but the Mopar is nicer. Crown was about $80/ea, these were ~$170 each. I will splurge on the Mopar parts here, and will return or sell the Crown parts. Second, I received the SKF unit hubs. They are very nice. Compared to the Timken, it is tough to say what is the better product, they both appear to be top notch. The SKF has a larger seal at the back/inner side, with no recesses where water or mud might collect, but the bigger seal might be more vulnerable to damage. The Timken has more machined surfaces, not sure if this is good or bad. The SKF is a darker color of steel. The SKF turns more easily by hand - however I presume that the Timken's will break in nicely. The Timken has more numbers/codes engraved into the front than the SKF. I wonder which is more corrosion-resistant? Lastly, regarding fit of the unit hubs into the knuckles. a) The Timken units fit into both the Crown & Mopar knuckles with the same, tiny bit of play - maybe 0.5mm at most - a good fit but NOT press fit. b) The SKF hubs fit in exactly the same manner into both sets of knuckles - with a touch of play. c) The cheapo, economy unit hub that I bought & returned from my local shop also fit into both knuckles with the same touch of play. Therefore, I must conclude that the tiny bit of play between the unit hubs & knuckles is acceptable. I will use the Timken unit hubs into the Mopar knuckles. Some photos. Crown on left, Mopar right: Crown caliper/pad slides: Mopar: Crown: Mopar: SKF left, Timken right: SKF: Timken:
  6. I have purchased Mopar knuckles and SKF unit hubs. Upon receipt in a few days I will evaluate the fit of the parts of each manufacturers. My feeling is that the Crown knuckle is out of spec, but we'll see.
  7. However, I may have a problem and I am looking for advice. While replacing the axle u-joints on the bench, I test fit the new Timken unit hubs (PN 513084) into the new Crown Automotive steering knuckles (52067576 & 52067577). I noticed that it wasn't a press fit - the hub easily slid into the knuckle, with a tiny amount of play, about 0.5mm - a nice fit, but there definitely is a touch of movement - not press fit by any means. I also test fit the Timken unit hubs in the removed factory Mopar knuckles. Here, the unit hubs also slipped into the knuckle with with minimal effort, no "pressing" required, however there was just about zero play. Is this correct? When I removed factory hubs from the factory knuckles, it was a tight fit, and took a lot of pounding on the loosened hub bolts to remove. Maybe that was mostly rust filling a tiny gap with time, but should there ANY play at all? The 3 hub-to-knuckle bolts are only 75 ft-lb each (compared to 5 wheel lugs nuts at 100 ft-lb each). If this is improper, I wonder if it is the Crown knuckles, or the Timken unit hubs. I avoid Crown parts; these knuckles are the only Crown bits used for my overhaul, but admittedly these cast knuckles do appear to be nicely made - the casting looks as good as the factory Mopar knuckle. There are extra holes drilled & tapped, presumably for other similar vehicles. These were ~$80/each. The only other knuckles available are Dorman, or Mopar. I found Mopar knuckles for about $170/each (an extra $180+). If this is normal, great. If not, I'll happily buy Mopar - I am not sure why I didn't in the first place. I am now questioning the quality of the Crown knuckles and the Timken unit hubs altogether, but as mentioned they do appear to be quality parts otherwise. Regarding cast parts, is there a really difference in quality between brands? I think I will buy SKF unit hubs, and Mopar knuckles, so that I can properly evaluate and compare. Alex
  8. I am surprised to hear that your new shop has no lift! Thanks as always for the advice. Maybe one day I can afford te OTC truck lifts, but as a shadetree mechanic with no garage and only a dirty driveway, that will have to wait. Seems like a good option for you, however. A quick update: Steady but slow progress due to two weekends New York 20-degree weather, plus a snowstorm, and I was out of town for awhile. The worst work is complete, namely the endless scrubbing/cleanup, and rust proofing (with POR-15, the end product looks great). I have installed the new springs / shackles / bushings, and reinstalled the axles so that I could attempt removal of the the previously-seized axle hub nuts. After weeks of soaking with penetrating oil, and the purchase of a 3/4"-drive 36mm socket, they came off with minimal effort. Finally, I removed the unit hubs and knuckles.
  9. Moses, thank you. The Jeep looks precarious - but is quite stable. It would be nice to take the "lift" to the next level with a scissor lift or larger jack stands. The existing steering knuckles have significant divots worn into them where the brake pads slide on the knuckle. I am aware that I can weld & file as a repair, but I am trying to get this done reasonably quickly and don't want to break out the welder. They weren't cheap at $80/ea but they are a nice, shiny compliment to the unit hubs. Indeed, I have a factory service manual! And a Jeep parts catalog. Speaking of unit hubs: I read your article where you replaced the unit hubs on an XJ: http://www.4wdmechanix.com/XJ-Cherokee-Front-Wheel-Hub-Replacement?r=1 I quote: "llus. 17: A light coat of protective, heat resistant paint will help prevent rusting. When using paint in this manner, apply a thin, even coat and do not layer. After torquing wheel nuts in place, drive the vehicle briefly and re-torque nuts to compensate for paint settling." This is a nice finish to a thorough job, and I might use your idea on the new unit hubs & knuckles. I like the coating on the exposed threads of the axle shaft and hub bolts. May I ask, what paint did you use? I am considering Eastwood's Chassis Black, but it is not heat resistant. Maybe an epoxy primer? I will be sure to re-torque the lugs as suggested. I'll be sure to update in a week or two. Thanks again. Alex
  10. Moses and @biggman100 @BadDriver4x4 thanks for taking the time (a full year ago!) to respond to my inquiry. A little update: I found a mechanic out in Suffolk County, NY who is supposedly the local Jeep expert. I drove the hour to visit, nice guy, knows his stuff, but I think he was a bit un-enthused about me supplying all of my own parts, and he has a full schedule - and he knows that an picky, educated customer with a rusty Jeep is a bad value proposition! He never got back to me with a quote. Well, arm be damned, I decided to take my time and do the work myself. Some parts: - Full brakes (calipers/rotors, drums/cylinders, new soft lines) - Axles (front u-joints (Spicer), ball joints (Spicer), knuckles, hubs (Timken), bolts, lug nuts) - Susprension (Old Man Emu springs/bushings/shackles/u-bolts) - Steering linkages/links - Plus all-new hardware (McMaster), and MOPAR parts where they made sense or where they are still available. Besides the springs it is essentially stock, just a mild lift. - Lastly, some brand-new MOPAR lamps & lenses, and a nice new Made in USA "Softtopper": http://www.softopper.com/jeep-suv-tops/jeep-wrangler-yj So far I have taken her all apart and I am just about complete with rust removal & treatment (POR-15, I couldn't pass on the opportunity to tackle some rust - dropped the tank too). I am using a lot of Omix-Ada parts also, and am pleased with the quality. I also am impressed with the Centric calipers, which are nicely zinc-plated. The job is taking longer than anticipated (going on 3 weeks) but I can not wait to experience the difference, "before & after", after 230,000 hard miles. Cheers! Some photos here & attached: http://imgur.com/a/GXhzV
  11. Hi folks, thanks for having me. I've owned my '95 YJ since 2002, in that time I've totally rebuilt the Jeep (meticulously swapped out the I4 for the I6), put 230k miles on her, and acquired another Jeep ('01 XJ). Been a member of JeepForum.com and several other boards since then. Anyway, I'm the type of mechanic who uses a torque wrench on his oil pan drain bolt. A couple of years ago I permanently injured my arm, and I still work on the Jeep but not as easily as I once could. Here in NYC / Long Island, there is a lot of talent, but I have some serious difficultly meeting the type of detail-oriented quality mechanic that I want. I've met lots of good guys at decent shops, but most of them are sloppy, never read a shop manual, rarely pick up a torque wrench. Quick to use the wrong fluids, substitute an improper bolt. A lot of times that is OK on a Jeep, but I want better. Does anybody a) know any great mechanics in NY, or b) have any tips on how to find a great mechanic myself?
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