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Old 04-15-2009, 11:01   #1 (permalink)
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spindle nut not threading back on!

Hi, I know this sounds silly....feel kind of dumb for getting stuck like this. so after replacing the lower control arm, tie rod end, lower ball joint, and strut, I'm ready to put it all back together. But for some reason, the spindle nut won't thread back onto the spindle! I went and bought a new nut, and am running into the same problem. Looking at the spindle itself, there's about 1cm at the end that isn't threaded, could this be the problem? I don't recall having too much trouble getting the nut off, and definately haven't hit the spindle with a hammer or done anything to wreck the threads. The threads look okay to me, maybe a little weird at the end of the spindle, but...I'm hesitant to apply too much force on the nut out of fear of really destroying the threads. Any advice here? If for some reason the spindle threads are screwed up, is that replace-able, and is that very difficult? Thanks for the advice.

Jeff
1996 Ford Taurus Wagon
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Old 04-15-2009, 17:46   #2 (permalink)
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Re: spindle nut not threading back on!

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Originally Posted by hutcho3 View Post
Hi, I know this sounds silly....feel kind of dumb for getting stuck like this. so after replacing the lower control arm, tie rod end, lower ball joint, and strut, I'm ready to put it all back together. But for some reason, the spindle nut won't thread back onto the spindle! I went and bought a new nut, and am running into the same problem. Looking at the spindle itself, there's about 1cm at the end that isn't threaded, could this be the problem? I don't recall having too much trouble getting the nut off, and definately haven't hit the spindle with a hammer or done anything to wreck the threads. The threads look okay to me, maybe a little weird at the end of the spindle, but...I'm hesitant to apply too much force on the nut out of fear of really destroying the threads. Any advice here? If for some reason the spindle threads are screwed up, is that replace-able, and is that very difficult? Thanks for the advice.

Jeff
1996 Ford Taurus Wagon



Hello and good day:

I am sorry to say I believe you may have strip the threads somewhere....the spindle doesn't have a Revers thread on it does it??

That nut should go on smooth...are you sure those threads ok??
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:12   #3 (permalink)
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Re: spindle nut not threading back on!

common problem. The spindle treading is very fine and long. As you remove the nut the threads get very hot and the end threads of the spinde gaul and strip out. You fix this by replacing the axle. i've seen it happen many times. you probably also hit the spinde thread on the inner axle race as you reinstalled the shaft into the steering knuckle wheel bearing. NO it is not a left hand thread.
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:42   #4 (permalink)
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Re: spindle nut not threading back on!

Well, I got it back in. I think you're right about heating and disforming the threads on the spindle....especially at the end, they were obviously deformed. I spent about a 1/2 hour with a fine file and reshaped the threads a little, cleaned them out a little, and with a new spindle nut was able to get it back on there. I was also wondering if the end of the spindle gets deformed by using the hub extractor (the clamp that goes on the lugs, and then pulls the hub off the spindle by screwing in against the spindle).....When I pulled the hub out, it was VERY difficult to do, and had to apply a lot of pressure via that screw. It certainly bored the little divit at the end of the spindle out a little more than it was originally. Could that possibly have "ballooned" the end of the spindle enough to cause difficulties in getting the nut back on there? Just wondering, because I still have the passenger side to do:) Anyway, thanks for the thoughts and advice. I'll be back if I run into other problems on the other side.

As a quick side question, how are you supposed to get that forward mounting bolt for the lower control arm out??? There's a sub-frame in the way, and I tried lifting the engine a little to give enough clearance and couldn't do it. I ended up having to saw through the bolt and get a new one, which I installed upside down since I couldn't get the clearance to put it in as the original was in. I think the passenger side is similar, but I should be able to have enough room to pull that out. Really not looking forward to cutting through any more bolts...

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 04-16-2009, 17:48   #5 (permalink)
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Re: spindle nut not threading back on!

You DO NOT use the puller on the bearing hub. That was your problem. Man are you lucky. You got the nut back on. It can be done as you found out. Lots of time and patients. That bearing hub is steel and the steering knuckle is aluminium. You take a very sharp chisel and slowly tap around the knuckle where it joins the hub. Use LOTS of WD40. It was the bearing puller that screwed up your axle thread. I've never used a
puller on those cars. You could also seriously damage the transmission and the C.V. joints by compressing the shaft and pushing it into the transmission. That hub is a bastard to get out but it will come out without a puller. When you reinstall the hub put on lots of anti seize. You may keep the car and have to pull it out again. Heaven forbid.
I'm confused about the " forward mounting bolt for the lower control arm ". Are you
talking about the radius rod just under the rad support on the very front of the sub frame ? My wife has the same car. I've replaced everything you are doing. The ball joint
comes out with the steering knuckle. Was the lower control arm damaged ?
HINT. before you work on the other side soak every part you want to remove with
weasel piss and let it sit over night if you can. Then soak it again before you start.
Remember that stuff burns when you heat it. Chime in again if you need more help. I'll do
what i can. Good luck.
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:11   #6 (permalink)
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Re: spindle nut not threading back on!

I think what I meant to say was steering knuckle, instead of bearing hub. I didn't actually pull the bearing out of the knuckle, just pulled the whole knuckle off the spindle. I was following what the Chilton said.....To get the ball joint out, you have to pull the whole steering knuckle off the spindle, so that's why I used that extractor kit. I thought that's how you're supposed to get the knuckle off, I couldn't see any other way of doing it. So to pull the knuckle off, was I doing that right or is your idea of the chisel the right way to go? I just can't imagine how that would work....

The lower control arm forward bushing was shot...I could wiggle it a couple inches forward and back! So while putting another control arm in, I figured we might as well replace a bunch of typically worn parts down there.

Any way, If I was pulling the knuckle off the spindle incorrectly, can you please let me know for sure, and let me know how it should really be done so I don't destroy my tranny or CV joints? Thanks again!
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Old 04-17-2009, 16:17   #7 (permalink)
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Re: spindle nut not threading back on!

I'm tring to guess at what you are doing but it seems you just want to separate the
axle from the knuckle. Push the axle back and remove the knuckle ? Normally you bush the axle back with your thumb. The puller you have is actually a pusher. It pushes the
axle out of the bearing and pulls it back if it is stiff and rusted. Got a problem car coming in with a computer problem. Have to get back to you.
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Old 04-20-2009, 18:50   #8 (permalink)
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Re: spindle nut not threading back on!

Yep, that's exactly what I'm doing. I need to pull the knuckle off the spindle to replace the ball joint (right?), so the only way I know how is to use the "pusher" and push the spindle off the hub/knuckle assembly. There was no possible way I could've pushed that off by hand, it took a lot of force with a long wrench to do it last time.

So if there's a better way of doing this, I'd love to hear it (especially if I'm doing something that possibly damages the CV joints / transmission). I'm hoping to dig into the passenger side tomorrow night, so I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:14   #9 (permalink)
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Re: spindle nut not threading back on!

You are doing nothing wrong. The steering knuckle has to be completely removed and
sitting on the floor. Once everything is unbolted a 10 minuet job to remove the knuckle.
Be very carefull installing the ball joint. It must go in PERFECTLY straight. One thing that
confused me on your first post was the " spindle " That car doesn't have a spindle unless
it is a rear wheel drive, and it isn't. Steering knuckle, ball joint, and strut. The so called
spindle is the threaded part of the half shaft. ( axle ).
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:39   #10 (permalink)
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Re: spindle nut not threading back on!

Ahhh, yes....the verbage gets me confused too. Sorry to be misleading, I'm just not knowledgable on what everything's technically called. I always thought spindles and half-shafts were the same thing. Well anyway, thanks for helping out and correcting me when needed. I'll let you know how the other side goes.

Jeff
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