FX4 Level II -- wrong kunckle!!?? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 02-19-2012
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Icon6 FX4 Level II -- wrong kunckle!!??

Hey all, this is my first post but I have been reading for some time.

I have a 2005 FX4 Level II that was wrecked, repaired (kind of), and sold to me for too cheap! But as I sink plenty of time and money into this thing, I continue to find some really odd fixes done by the previous owner. For example, putting the chromed FX4 grille on the Level II, or scrapping the Alcoa's in favor of XLT wheels...

Anyway, I was changing the front brakes since I didn't know what was on the truck, and to my surprise the rotors on the left and right were different sizes. The one on the right was a 12" rotor like what is supposed to be on there, and the one on the left a 10.25" rotor. The hubs appear to be the same (lugs attached to hub and not rotor, like on 2wd), as do the upper and lower control arms. I bought two 12 inch rotors thinking I could just slap the new one on there and all would be well, but then the caliper wouldn't fit on the front left. Blaming the caliper, I bought a rebuilt one (to the tune of $56), only to discover the new one doesn't fit either. Of course the old one was traded in on the core, so I guess I just get to eat that cost.

Long story long, it appears that the knuckle that he put on this truck after it was wrecked is wrong. I have no idea what it came from, but the correct caliper, hubs, and control arms fit it, but the bolt hole locations for the caliper are too close to support a 12" rotor. So my question is, can I just replace the knuckle with the correct one and be okay? And if so, where can I find the correct one? There are several on ebay, but I don't want to get the wrong one again.

Thanks in advance. Oh, as a side note, my brand new caliper 'clunks' when I first hit the brake pedal. Everything is tight, new clips installed, no play in the pads. I cannot figure out why it clunks. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 02-19-2012
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It sounds like he put on a pre '01 knuckle on it, someone please correct me if I am wrong but any 2001+ 4x4 knuckle should work
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Old 02-19-2012
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Thanks. Do I need to worry about any of the other hardware not fitting? Hub, control arms, etc...?
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Old 02-19-2012
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Don't think so. I've heard the knuckles are interchangeable.
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Old 02-19-2012
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Not positive on what year it happened, but there are two different knuckles out there due to the brake size increase.

I know my 01 used the smaller brakes than my current 04, but not sure what year they went bigger...maybe 03 or 04 IIRC?.......
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Old 02-19-2012
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Well I'm sure these parts are dime a dozen, just buy an 04'+ 4x4 knuckle and you are safe
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Old 02-19-2012
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Pretty sure the 2002 models still used the smaller rotors. 2003-present use the larger size rotors.
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Old 02-19-2012
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The change over happened around feb 2003 some 03 trucks have the smaller brakes and some have the bigger brakes depending on build date.

like others have said, find a new knuckle swap it in get an alignment and you will be golden!
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Old 02-20-2012
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Originally Posted by mikerider View Post
like others have said, find a new knuckle swap it in get an alignment and you will be golden!
Agreed... that'll fix it!
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Old 02-22-2012
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Thanks! There is no better resource than the forums. Just a ridiculous amount of knowledge on this truck floating around
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Old 02-22-2012
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Maybe somebody can help me out with a noob question. Do level 2's come with live front axles? As I understand it, a live axle just means all the shafts and components spin, but they are disengaged in the transfer case. I'm just trying to understand what all is missing from my frankenstein truck, and I'm pretty sure the axle's on mine are live.
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Old 02-22-2012
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Anything 2001+ is live.
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Old 03-01-2012
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So I hate to 'reopen' a thread that hasn't seen commentary in a week, but I was finally able to locate a new knuckle locally for $75, which is as good as I could find on ebay too. Anyway, I'm going to try and tackle it this weekend, and while I'm in there I thought I'd go ahead and replace the ball joints and the tie rods (tie rods failed state inspection). I've found a few threads and youtube videos on how to change out the tie rods and the lower ball joints, but I'm left with a couple of noob questions on the knuckle and upper ball joint.

For one, when I have the knuckle off, I will be removing the entire hub assembly from the old one and placing it on the new one, correct? By that I mean I won't have to deal with wheel bearings or anything as they are in that assembly. Anything I should know about getting the hub assembly off?

Also, for the upper ball joint, are they not replaceable? It seems all I can find in parts stores is a new upper control arm with ball joint installed.

Thanks for any help
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Old 03-01-2012
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The bearing comes out as a hub assembly. One big nut on the CV axle and three bolts from the back.

The upper arm comes just as a whole arm, two bolts on the frame side and one pinch bolt at the knuckle. Simple swap!
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Old 03-01-2012
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Nvm fullscale beat me to it :p
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Old 03-01-2012
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Wow, I might have to have the hub assembly pressed out? Or do you mean the bearings? I wasn't intending to replace the bearings.

Thanks for the quick replies
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Old 03-01-2012
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It can be in there pretty snug but you won't need to press it out. A few good whacks with a dead blow hammer might be necessary though!
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Old 03-01-2012
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I'm down with that. No better way to vent your maintenance frustrations
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Old 03-01-2012
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If it's in there tight the best way I found while doing mine is to thread the bolts back in most of the way on the back of the hub assembly and hit them... working around them in a circle so it doesn't try to bind when coming out.
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Old 03-02-2012
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Mine was insanely stuck, had to use a hydro press (probably just becuase I had one) I didn't feel like hammering rusty crap anymore haha
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Old 03-02-2012
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lol rust in BC? Wouldn't have expected that!
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Old 03-03-2012
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Thanks again everyone for the tips. I was able to get the tie rods, both inner and outer, and the knuckle replaced along with a new lower ball joint. It came apart just as suggested, and I was fortunate enough that with a few taps of the hammer the hub came right out. Overall the job was pretty easy, but I did have to buy a 32 mm socket for the axle to the tune of ~$13. O'well, its a good thing to have around.

I have attached a picture below of the old and new rotors and the knuckle. Its pretty obvious which rotor is new, and you'll also notice its a bit bigger. I didn't measure it, but I think the bigger one is 12 inches and the small one 10.25. Also, the knuckle with the dust shield on it is the new one. If you look at the brake caliper holes in it you will see that they are each about 3/4" further away from the hub circle than the one on the left. Everything else fit identically--tie rods, hubs, caliper.

Good luck to those looking to accomplish this for themselves. Let me know if anyone needs the smaller one. If people demonstrate any interest, I'll put it in the classifieds.
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FX4 Level II -- wrong kunckle!!??-img_0900.jpg   FX4 Level II -- wrong kunckle!!??-img_0901.jpg  
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Old 03-03-2012
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Good to hear that everything went as planned. Nice work!
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Old 03-04-2012
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As I was working on the other tie rod end inner today, I realized I have no idea what that little hydraulic line that goes into the boot is. Does this thing serve a purpose? Is it just a breather tube or something?
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Old 03-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shimee619 View Post
As I was working on the other tie rod end inner today, I realized I have no idea what that little hydraulic line that goes into the boot is. Does this thing serve a purpose? Is it just a breather tube or something?


Breather tube that connects to the other side.
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