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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought an 86 2.8L V6 Blazer 4x4 off of a friend and I'm fixing a few problems. One is with the driver-side brake caliper. The bolt that holds it to the steering knuckle was loose and it turns out that the threads on the knuckle had been stripped. Some crappy shop had tried to tap a nut to the other end of the bolt to hold the caliper together, but the brake pads weren't even making contact with the rotor and this was causing excessive work for the other side caliper and overheating the brakes on that side.

So, I need to replace the driver's steering knuckle. Any suggestions on where to find the part -- I guess a junk yard, right? As far as replacing it, it looks like I have to drill out the rivots holding the balljoint to the upper arm and replace the balljoint, as well. Is this correct? Is this a difficult procedure?

Thanks,
Brian
 

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Phoenix
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The best place to find the part would be a salvage yard. It is not necessary to replace the ball joints, but with the age of the vehicle they most likely need it. The job is not difficult, a shop manual would be helpful. The entire job can be done in as little as 1 1/2 hours if everything comes apart easily or it could turn into a all day job if everything is frozen with rust.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the insight. If I can do it myself, I will go ahead and replace upper and lower balljoints. I've done a lot of suspension work on my <gasp> Honda, but I've never seen anything requiring actually drilling out rivots.
 

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Phoenix
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There are a couple of othe ways, you can chisel the heads off or I have used a die grinder with a cut-off wheel to remove them.

It might be possible to salvage the knuckle you have by using a Heil-coil insert to repair the threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Excellent! HeliCoil insert -- that might work out perfectly and save some unnecessary trouble and expense. I picked up the 7/16'-20 insert kit today and will try to to the thread repair/insert this weekend. Hopefully I will remember to post how it turns out.

Thanks for the help and suggestions,
Brian
 

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Used the HeliCoil insert kit - 7/16" to fit the caliper bolt. The caliper bolt holds in place now, but I need to be careful any time I pull it, because it does grab the threaded insert and turn it out just a bit. I may need to go back in with a locking insert next time I get around to it.

For now, I have working brakes on all four corners, and this solution saved me hours of time replacing the steering knuckle. Thanks for the help, and especially the HeliCoil suggestion!
 

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Phoenix
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It has been awhile since I last used a Heil-coil but I was thinking that I installed them with red loctite. Red has to be heated to 400 degrees to remove where the blue can be removed with hand tools.
 
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