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Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 10-17-2010
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Replacing a front spindle

Hey guys,

I'm getting ready to re-place a broken spindle on my 2 WD 2001 Ranger Edge and I really need some help.
The person that owned the truck before me hit a telephone pole and some other things but in the process the whole wheel got ripped off because the spindle just broke off.
I just removed the rotor and brake caliper from the wheel and I guess the end of the spindle fell on the ground.(I thought maybe it would still be in the grease cap but it wasn't)(The wheel bearing came right out and there's a peice of metal broke off)
I just need to know what size wrenches I need and if I'll need any special tools.
I did a search on this and couldn't find any old threads on this subject. I even looked in my Haynes manual and that thing is pretty useless.

Any help would be greatly appreciated,

Brian
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Old 10-17-2010
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The Chilton's/Hayne's manuals tell you the procedure, but no socket sizes. Get the frame secured in the air on stands. Put your floor jack under the LCA and put pressure on it. Use the truck's weight to your advantage. Remove the two cotter pins on the LBJ and the OTRE. Take a hammer and beat the bottom of the OTRE til it pops out of the spindle. Get whatever socket you need for the LBJ nut and unthread it some while leaving the nut a couple threads on. Leaving it threaded on will catch the spindle when you knock it loose from the lower ball joint. Take your BFH and beat the **** out of the knuckle til it pops off the LBJ. There's a certain spot made for beating on. It's behind the rotor and it's somewhat obvious since it's a big open area you can strike. I can't really describe it well in text. Disconnect the UBJ retaining bolt and knock the joint out of the spindle. Finish unthreading the LBJ nut and the spindle is ready for removal.

The Chilton's/Hayne's manuals have their place for rough outlines on procedures. Those literally what taught me what I knew in the beginning. But useless for telling you little tricks like I just did above. Be careful of the spring....you don't want to really lower that jack until you get a spindle back in place. Also, me wary that you have the correct spindle. '01 they changed rotor sizes and in turn, where the caliper bolts to the spindle are in different locations.
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Old 10-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
The Chilton's/Hayne's manuals tell you the procedure, but no socket sizes. Get the frame secured in the air on stands. Put your floor jack under the LCA and put pressure on it. Use the truck's weight to your advantage. Remove the two cotter pins on the LBJ and the OTRE. Take a hammer and beat the bottom of the OTRE til it pops out of the spindle. Get whatever socket you need for the LBJ nut and unthread it some while leaving the nut a couple threads on. Leaving it threaded on will catch the spindle when you knock it loose from the lower ball joint. Take your BFH and beat the **** out of the knuckle til it pops off the LBJ. There's a certain spot made for beating on. It's behind the rotor and it's somewhat obvious since it's a big open area you can strike. I can't really describe it well in text. Disconnect the UBJ retaining bolt and knock the joint out of the spindle. Finish unthreading the LBJ nut and the spindle is ready for removal.

The Chilton's/Hayne's manuals have their place for rough outlines on procedures. Those literally what taught me what I knew in the beginning. But useless for telling you little tricks like I just did above. Be careful of the spring....you don't want to really lower that jack until you get a spindle back in place. Also, me wary that you have the correct spindle. '01 they changed rotor sizes and in turn, where the caliper bolts to the spindle are in different locations.
Hey Shane,

Thanks for responding to my thread but could you please translate the acronyms?
I'm pretty sure LCA stands for Lower Control Arm but after that I was clueless ...lol
And I'm surprised to hear that the Edge has front coil spings after always hearing about the torsion bar suspension.
This isn't the first time I had to deal with a broken spindle. I had a 2 WD Ranger back in 1999 It was a 99 Ranger Sport and some lady run a red light and I crashed into the front of her car and the whole wheel snapped off with the rotor just like the 2001. Are these things made to snap off, or are they just that weak?

Last edited by BlackRanger04; 10-18-2010 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 10-18-2010
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here ya go man

UCA-Upper Control Arm
LCA-Lower Control Arm
UBJ-Upper Ball Joint
LBJ-Lower Ball Joint
OTRE-Outer Tie Rod End
BFH-Big ****ing Hammer
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Old 10-18-2010
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here ya go man

UCA-Upper Control Arm
LCA-Lower Control Arm
UBJ-Upper Ball Joint
LBJ-Lower Ball Joint
OTRE-Outer Tie Rod End
BFH-Big ****ing Hammer
Thank You

Last edited by BlackRanger04; 10-18-2010 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 10-18-2010
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Shane gave me a lot of good info, but I still have a few more questions.
1. When I put my floor jack under under the lower control arm how much does it need to be lifted?
2. When I pry the spindle out of the ballstud won't the spindle shoot up because of the presure on it?
3. Do I need to rent a sping compressor tool?

IMO it's crazy that the spindle is a one piece unit because the very end of it broke off.
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Old 10-18-2010
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1: Enough to put the spring under compression. Doesn't need much, but enough so that the LBJ moves up a couple inches from full drop, but without lifting it enough so the frame comes off the jackstand. A good middle point is what I do.

2: No...you're using the weight of the truck to your advantage. If you look under the truck, you'll see the top of the spring is in a bucket in the frame and the bottom is in a bucket in the LCA. Any springing downward is taken care of via that jack under the LCA and the weight of the truck. The BJ's at top and bottom of the spindle are nut side down. So the only way the spindle will go after being un-popped from the BJ's is down. Which is also why you leave that bottom BJ nut threaded on a couple turns when knocking the spindle loose from the LBJ.

3: You're not removing the coil right? Even if you do, you really don't need a compressor of any kind. I've never used one on stock trucks or lowered trucks. Only time I've used 'em is installing lift coils where you're cramming something 18" tall into a 12" hole. lol.



Hopefully all that was understandable. I've beat these front ends apart so many times, it's almost second nature.
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Old 10-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
1: Enough to put the spring under compression. Doesn't need much, but enough so that the LBJ moves up a couple inches from full drop, but without lifting it enough so the frame comes off the jackstand. A good middle point is what I do.

2: No...you're using the weight of the truck to your advantage. If you look under the truck, you'll see the top of the spring is in a bucket in the frame and the bottom is in a bucket in the LCA. Any springing downward is taken care of via that jack under the LCA and the weight of the truck. The BJ's at top and bottom of the spindle are nut side down. So the only way the spindle will go after being un-popped from the BJ's is down. Which is also why you leave that bottom BJ nut threaded on a couple turns when knocking the spindle loose from the LBJ.

3: You're not removing the coil right? Even if you do, you really don't need a compressor of any kind. I've never used one on stock trucks or lowered trucks. Only time I've used 'em is installing lift coils where you're cramming something 18" tall into a 12" hole. lol.



Hopefully all that was understandable. I've beat these front ends apart so many times, it's almost second nature.
Thanks for your help Shane ... It sounds like you've done this a few times.
I wish you could fly out here and help me on this project.
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Old 10-19-2010
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Thanks for your help Shane ... It sounds like you've done this a few times.
I wish you could fly out here and help me on this project.
Had it been three weeks ago, I would've told ya to book my ticket! Now, too busy. lol.
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Old 10-21-2010
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A day from hell!
I'll give more details, when I have recovered, but I'm just going to post a few pictures of what I had to do.
The first thing that went wrong was that the ball joint stud was bent, so I had to go to the parts store and spend $48 on a new one(They told me I needed a special tool to press the old one out and press the new one in) They charged me a $160 deposit and then it didn't even work. Then to make matters worse, the salvage yard sold me the wrong spindle! The upper ball joint stud would not go into the spindle for sh**. The spindle looks exactly the same, but the hole was a few thousands smaller.

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Old 10-21-2010
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This is the top of the spindle where the upper ball joint is suppose to fit into but it won't fit into the hole on the new spindle. Does the whole need to be reamed out or did they sell me the wrong part?

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A better view of the broken spindle
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Old 10-21-2010
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no u shouldnt need to ream it out take a chizel and hammer it into that slot a little bit to expland the hole slightly and the ball joint should slide in with a little wack with the BFH
it probily just a tinny bit of rust on that spindle that holding u up from getting it to slide together
hope that helps
the tool they sent you home with is the right tool you need to do the lower ball joint it may just not have the right adaptors
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Old 10-21-2010
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no u shouldnt need to ream it out take a chizel and hammer it into that slot a little bit to expland the hole slightly and the ball joint should slide in with a little wack with the BFH
it probily just a tinny bit of rust on that spindle that holding u up from getting it to slide together
hope that helps
the tool they sent you home with is the right tool you need to do the lower ball joint it may just not have the right adaptors
I thought that would have worked too, I actually used the end of a pry bar and beat it down in the hole trying to expand it. Then I took a file to the upper ball joint stud, I filed all the way around it. (I hit the upper control arm many times with the BFH and it still wouldn't go down in there.)
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Old 10-21-2010
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?? maybe your ball joint is bent
or the mazda / ford spindle diff maybe they gave you a mazda one ??

bring the spindle to a autozone and see if u can find out if a new balljoint will fit ?

Last edited by 0ranger99; 10-21-2010 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 10-21-2010
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do you have any measuring caliper to measure the differance in size ?
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Old 10-21-2010
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Check the part number against what rockauto.com recommends.
If it doesn't match, obviously take it back. You could always try to bring the spindle into the parts store but I doubt it's going to do any good...?
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Old 10-21-2010
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Wait I totally didn't read that. lol

Have you tried heat/ice? Heating the end of the spindle up a little would make it expand, and freezing the ball joint stud would make it contract. It really shouldn't be needed though unless the stud is bent or something.
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Old 10-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0ranger99 View Post
do you have any measuring caliper to measure the differance in size ?
Yes, I have some dial calipers back home, I'm going to measure the old spindle and see how much bigger it is.
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Old 10-21-2010
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Wait I totally didn't read that. lol

Have you tried heat/ice? Heating the end of the spindle up a little would make it expand, and freezing the ball joint stud would make it contract. It really shouldn't be needed though unless the stud is bent or something.
Hey Brian,

Thanks for the tip ... I'm really gonna throw the heat to the spindle hole tomorrow.
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Old 10-21-2010
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It may or may not help, I don't know. If the parts do not match up it's not going to do a lot of good. But if it is just a tight fit, maybe...?
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Old 10-21-2010
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If the parts do not match up it's not going to do a lot of good.
I agree. If it doesn't work by just pushing it on then something is wrong.
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Old 10-22-2010
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Yeah, yall are right ... if the dia. is .005 smaller, I don't think the heat will help.
I'm gonna clean the hole out real good with some sand paper before I measure it.
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Old 10-22-2010
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The spindles for coil sprung trucks use a upper bj that is smaller than a torsion bar truck like you have. You must have got a spindle off a 2 wheel drive xl or xlt, which are coils. Call the junk yard up and ask him what suspension was on the truck it came from. If it didn't have torsion bars, your not going to make it fit.

Although, on another site there was a guy who took one into a machine shop and they made the hole bigger and it worked.
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Old 10-23-2010
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The spindles for coil sprung trucks use a upper bj that is smaller than a torsion bar truck like you have. You must have got a spindle off a 2 wheel drive xl or xlt, which are coils. Call the junk yard up and ask him what suspension was on the truck it came from. If it didn't have torsion bars, your not going to make it fit.

Although, on another site there was a guy who took one into a machine shop and they made the hole bigger and it worked.
Hey C C,

You're exacty right ... after removing the "wrong" spindle today I put them side by side and noticed a lot of differences and I also measured the hole and it's around 80 thousands smaller. My Ranger Edge spindle has like a backward C shaped stop on it too ... where the other one has a little flat stop. So, I'm 99.9% sure it came off of a Ranger XLT with coil spings.
I'm going to take it back on Monday and get my money back. I told them it was for a T-bar suspension but they obviously didn't give a sh**. I'll just take my beatin and go to the big salvage yard and pay full price.

Thanks for everbody's help on this.

Brian

Last edited by BlackRanger04; 10-23-2010 at 08:26 PM.
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