View Poll Results: How should I fix it?

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  • helicoil

    1 100.00%
  • drill out and tap to next size up

    0 0%
  • do nothing

    0 0%
  • use grease in there and not 85x140 dun worry about it

    0 0%
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Thread: The threads in the steering knuckle are stripped,,,

  1. #1

    The threads in the steering knuckle are stripped,,,

    Trying to rebuild the front of my cj3b and when I went to put the spindle back onto the steering knuckle one of the six bolts stripped out the threads in the housing. How hard is it to Helicoil? Or should I just drill it out and tap it to the next larger Bolt? Just so happens to be one of the lower ones so the possibility of a leak is very high in my opinion. Thanks for your help or suggestions in any other way maybe I should just get a new one?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    How hard is it to Helicoil? About 5 on a scale of 1 - 10.

    I could usually get a Helicoil into aluminum back when I had to work for a living, but I've never had to try working into a ferrous metal.

    I'd put in a Helicoil if you have the tool and skill to do it right. Or, as someone talked about yesterday - go find someone who does it for a living and just pay him to do it right. Drilling and tapping takes about as much work and when you're done you have an odd bolt in the mix.

    As for the suggestion to "use grease in there and not 85x140...", there has been a long running discussion about steering knuckle lubrication on this forum and other Jeep sites."Knuckle pudding", a mix of grease and oil, or John Deere corn head grease seem to be the best recommendations for knuckle lube.
    Last edited by LarrBeard; 06-19-2019 at 07:36 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    Grouser, if you know how to drill and tap, you should be able to use any of the thread repair types. I use a lot of Heli-Coil inserts. They were the first. There are many types now. My block was repaired with EZ-Locs. We used to install Heli-Coils in all aluminum racing blocks prior to installing any fasteners. Back in the day the aluminum blocks did not come with thread inserts installed. When you are yanking motors down several times, stainless inserts last a long time! If you don't feel comfortable, I would go to a small machine shop. Let them use their choice of tread repair. If they wont let you watch, you may want to ask someone who will. It would be a good thing to be comfortable with thread repair. You will almost certainly be doing it again on a CJ!

    The lube in the knuckle. Follow LarryBeard here. There is a lot out here on what to use. Use something made for the closed knuckle Dana axle. Don't mix your own. Here's the deal. The knuckle cavity is "sealed" by the gaskets, wipers and seals. The "King Pin Bearings" are not and, the U-Joints had their seals removed. The idea was to run everyting in a bath of lube. A large bath of lube. This was good when it was OK to loose a little lube to the environment, as long as you refilled. They leak. Use something like this https://torqueking.com/product/777/c...RoCadEQAvD_BwE

    Here is what I do and recommended at Tech Service, to "Closed Knuckle users" Treat the king pin bearings like wheel bearings. Pack them well and install. Use SEALED greasable or, non-greasable U-Joints. USE all the seals and gaskets. This will create a "Dry" sealed environment. You need to remember that if you do this, you need to re-pack the king pin bearings every now and then and, grease the U-Joint if it is greasable. I prefer the Top of the line SPICER sealed non re-lubeable. They are the strongest and, will last a long time. They are not cross drilled. This gives them a higher torque capacity. Good luck!
    Last edited by bmorgil; 06-19-2019 at 08:30 AM.

  4. #4
    I've done a helicoil before and they can be tricky. My main concern is the thickness of the material I'm trying to repair. I haven't been able to look at it close enough to tell but it seems like it's an awfully thin area to repair. I don't have U joints in the knuckle it's the ball joint system not zeppa but the other one can't think of the name right now. Thanks for all your guys's help. Work in progress

  5. #5
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    Grouser, you have plenty of meat there for the Heli-Coil or the EZ-Locks. I used Heli-Coils on my striped knuckle. I have disassembled and reassembled them several times since, while fitting an oversize axle shaft. They come up to torque every time. They may stick out the back a bit but, no big deal. Just make sure you bust off the drive tab. The EZ-Lock style might be a better choice. If I do another I am going to use them. Keep in mind a new knuckle can be had for around $60. Used ones can go for a lot less on the WWW.

    If you are sticking with the "Bendix" type joint, make sure you use an EP type grease. All types of automotive "torque transmission through an angle devices" require Extreme Pressure grease. If you google Grease for Closed Knuckle Axles and Manual Steering Boxes you will get a few choices. The lube is referred to sometimes as a "0" lube or a "00". It is the same stuff you should be using in your steering box. It cannot flow. It needs to be thick like honey. It reminds me of STP engine treatment from the 60's and 70's. A little thicker.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 06-19-2019 at 05:32 PM.

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