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steering knuckle

jah81592

Explorer Addict
Joined
June 12, 2005
Messages
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City, State
Corner, AL
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer Sport
Are the steering knuckles the same for the 2wd and 4wd? I have only owned 2wd Explorers in the past. I currently have a project going on and need this information. All the information you can provide for a 2001 Explorer sport 2wd and 4wd (knuckle, brakes, setc.) would be great. I am aware that the front bearings go from an old school packed grease style (bearings inside the brake rotor) versus the 4wd is a hub assembly. This is where I am a bit fuzzy-does the knuckle have a spindle that bolts to it in the same manner as the hub assembly for the 4wd? It seems like this would be too easy but I have only found one style of hub assembly for this application thus making me very confused. Pics would be great. Thanks in advance.
 



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Are the steering knuckles the same for the 2wd and 4wd? I have only owned 2wd Explorers in the past. I currently have a project going on and need this information. All the information you can provide for a 2001 Explorer sport 2wd and 4wd (knuckle, brakes, setc.) would be great. I am aware that the front bearings go from an old school packed grease style (bearings inside the brake rotor) versus the 4wd is a hub assembly. This is where I am a bit fuzzy-does the knuckle have a spindle that bolts to it in the same manner as the hub assembly for the 4wd? It seems like this would be too easy but I have only found one style of hub assembly for this application thus making me very confused. Pics would be great. Thanks in advance.
@jah81592
2WD uses the same type spindle as in cars forever. 4WD uses a spindle with a large hole in it, through which fits a wheel hub which is a separate piece from the steering knuckle; the hub contains the bearings, and a flange which 3 bolts secure it to the knuckle. The drive axle shaft passes through the bearings and is splined to the rotatable part of the hub, held together with a big nut.

Here are some pics taken when I replaced my front bearing hub.
The aluminum bar keeps the hub from turning while loosening the nut.
front_10.jpg


The nut removed.
front_11.jpg


Used the end of this axle puller, to remove the hub from the spindle.
front_12.jpg




Remove the wheel speed sensor behind the hub flange:
front_14.jpg




Then pull hub from knuckle:
front_13.jpg



The old hub & bearing, left, new with new speed sensor and bolts.
front_16.jpg


I'll share a trick I learned: the 3 bolts enter the hub from the back, and their heads interfere when wrench with the CV joint. In fact, the bolts have smaller than standard heads because of this. Most guys bust ball joint loose, pull knuckle away to gain access. Don't need to do that, turn wheels fully one way, get access for box-end wrench on one bolt, turn fully back the other way, get the other two. imp
 






Short answer is no, 2WD and 4WD/AWD knuckles are not the same. There is no spindle on the 4WD/AWD knuckle. The hub assembly has the wheel lugs and the CV axle goes through the center of the splined hub and holds the hub assembly together. From what I've experienced I believe the brake calipers are the same.
 












Good picture explanation imp. The 4WD/AWD spindles are unlike the 2WD for sure, I've never had the 2WD 2nd gen trucks.
I'm like those who disconnect the upper BJ, it's very easy and makes access to the hub bolts simpler. I use a long swiveling 3/8" ratchet and short 15mm socket on all three hub bolts. I've never had to use a puller on the hubs, they've all just tapped out easily. I always loosen the hub nuts when the tires are still on the ground.

Ditto, welcome back James, I hope all is well too.
 






That is exactly what I thought about the knuckles. As far as the upper and lower control arms I haven't seen a difference there. Thanks for the replies. Yes all is well.
 






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