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View Full Version : Quick question on parts terminology (spindle, hub, knuckle...)



Disco Dan
03-05-2010, 02:59 PM
OK, so I'm having some front driver-side issues, which at first listen, sounded like a simple axle problem (the usual click-click-click on right turns). The only reason I doubted it was an axle issue is because the axle is only 4 years old, and bought new from Toyota. Granted, as we all know, getting a lemon part is not unheard of, either OEM or aftermarket.

Anyway, I've finally narrowed it down to either the hub, bearing, or steering knuckle. Or a combination, thereof. I think I can get the whole assembly in good condition from a local yard, and worst case scenario, can buy a new bearing to put in the assembly.

So my question is this. What is a spindle? Here's the diagram from page SA-8:

http://discodan.org/gfx/celica/reference/axlehub.gif

The diagrams show a bearing, a hub, and a steering knuckle. At first, I thought when people said "spindle" they referred to the outer end of the axle, which is a spline that mates with the hub. Doing some research, it appears that that is in fact what it used to be called on RWD cars, since the front "axles" were just splined stubs. Ours go all the way to the inner boot where they mate with the tripod joint (or tulip joint, as Jeremy calls it). But that didn't make sense with the problem descriptions I was reading; e.g. if someone said "maybe it's the spindle that's the problem", they didn't mean the axle tip, they meant one of the other three components (hub, bearing, or knuckle).

Looking at the Toyota diagram, the knuckle was obvious, the bearing was obvious, so I figured people must mean the hub when they said spindle. Searching the board for bearing/hub issues, I saw quotes like "Replace the hub with the bearing. Or possibly even the spindle" (http://www.celicatech.com/forums/showpost.php?p=30078548&postcount=4). So that seems to indicate a fourth part of this assembly that I'm not aware of, since the hub and the bearing are mentioned, then a separate part is referred to as the "spindle." Does he mean the knuckle?

In addition, on eBay, if I search for "spindle," on our car (run a search for "(1990,1991,1992,1993,90,91,92,93) (celica) spindle" [minus the quotes]), the results are all steering knuckle assemblies.

Anyway, it may just be one of those things like "coil-overs" where people use the terms superfluously.

Any info would be great. Thanks!

Murgatroy
03-05-2010, 03:13 PM
On RWD cars, the 'Spindle' is the actual piece the wheel bearing/hub rides on, similar to what you are thinking of with the axle 'poking' out of the steering knuckle.

The term has become synonymous with 'spindle.'

Have you replaced your ball joints?

Disco Dan
03-05-2010, 03:27 PM
I've actually replaced the right ball joint. Not the left. The problem on the left is most definitely the bearing/hub (may be damage to the knuckle, not sure). As I loosen the axle nut (which has nearly become one with the axle), the hub slides in and out of the knuckle, which tells me the bearing is shot. Not only that, but because the nut has become so stuck on the threads, I have to apply more than 166 lb-ft of torque just to turn it, which means I won't know when it's actually on all the way, and I may over- or under-tighten it, so I'll probably have to get a new axle as well. We'll see. I may do the ball joint while I'm at it, I don't know.

Either way, thanks for the clarification!

KoreanJoey
03-06-2010, 01:53 AM
You realize the axle nut is supposed to be on @ like 180ft/lbs of torque right?

But yes, if the hub moves the bearing and probably the hub too are shot.

Although, clicking is usually the axle. Never heard a wheel bearing click...

grayscale
03-06-2010, 02:07 AM
You realize the axle nut is supposed to be on @ like 180ft/lbs of torque right?

But yes, if the hub moves the bearing and probably the hub too are shot.

Although, clicking is usually the axle. Never heard a wheel bearing click...

Agreed, unless the bearing race is so shot that it is somehow flapping around in there, but not likely.

Disco Dan
03-06-2010, 10:46 PM
Toyota says 166 lb.ft on that axle nut. As I said, it may be a combination of problems, but the primary one is the bearing. Now I just need to figure out how to get the dust cover off of the knuckle, and still be able to put it back on. Those little bolts strip too easily.

KoreanJoey
03-07-2010, 05:53 AM
Toyota says 166 lb.ft on that axle nut.

Yeah, whatever, a lot of torque.

PS: With it being a single race for both inner and outer bearings, you'd have to put it to some ungodly high torque in order to actually damage it. I normally just hit it with my 1/2" impact till it's RFT (really f***ing tight).

Disco Dan
03-07-2010, 05:40 PM
Yeah, whatever, a lot of torque.

PS: With it being a single race for both inner and outer bearings, you'd have to put it to some ungodly high torque in order to actually damage it. I normally just hit it with my 1/2" impact till it's RFT (really f***ing tight).

Haha nice! We live in a condo, and while we have a little storage closet in the basement, lugging an air compressor up three flights and down two and across the parking lot each time I wanted to use air tools would probably kill me. I'm already making a list of requirements for our next house.

So, question. If I can't get the dust shield off, I can't get a proper grip around the knuckle with the bearing press. If I hack off the heads of the little bolts that hold the dust shield on, I can't get the dust shield back on once I'm done with the bearing/hub replacement. Is this a problem?

Seeing how easily dirt and grime can get into the bearing, I'd hesitate to run it without the shield. I've got one more idea for getting the bearing out without removing the dust shield, and if that doesn't work, it's back to the drawing board.