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Wheel hub loose in Knuckle due to rust

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New to the site and looking for some help on my recently acquired 2002 Avalanche 1500 4x4 with 140k miles.


I was working on replacing the front wheel hub and half-shaft yesterday. Finally got the hub out using an air chisel and hammer. Hub was rusted in pretty tight. So after I got the hub out I used a wire brush on the steering knuckle to remove all of the rust. I put a thick layer of anti-seize on the knuckle and put the hub in. The hub slid right into the knuckle. It was actually so loose that it would fall out if I did hold it in and I could move it slightly around in the hole. I was in a hurry as I was running late for diner with the in-laws and didn’t think about it much at the time. Reassembled everything and took it for a test drive. Truck ran great ABS light went out and everything seemed fine.


Later that evening I started thinking about it and remembered that every other hub I had replaced I had to pull it into the knuckle with the mounting bolts. So now I am thinking that the hub is being held in place only by the three mounting bolt rather than by the tight fit of the hub to the steering knuckle hole.


So do I need to replace the steering knuckle due to the rust enlarging the hole for the wheel hub? I am worried about driving the truck with just the three mounting bolt holding up the front wheel.

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I have never done a hub on a GM before but I recall that the ones I did on a couple dodges and my son's datson were fairly snug, not super tight but need some persuasion, that is why I was concerned about how much play I had on my Avalanche.



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Yea.. mine were slip fit no hammering required both on the 2500 knuckle and the 1500 knuckle. Those mounting bolts are 9/16th shafts grade 10 and in that configuration the hub would have to shear the bolts to separate the hub.. The suspension would fold like a pretzel with the wheel on the top side of the hood before that bearing would walk from the steering knuckle.

IF you are worried about centering the hub in the steering knuckle, depending on the rust, I could see the cause for concern, just understand it needs ALLOT of material missing to be a 'knuckle swap' candidate..

Just bear in mind when rednecks and pretty boys super-lift their trucks, (no offense ladies) with 35 - 40" tires, big inch rims, huge offsets with extra wide tires, they are relying on the very same hardware your relying upon to hold that wheel end on. Provided they don't have a SFA conversion. I'm not metallurgist by any stretch, but those three (or 4 in the heavy applications) bolts likely have an extremely very high tensile strength, whilst being flexible enough to absorb any type of shock loading so I believe you are FINE. Torque on em should be 133Lb/ft on your '02 according to my book. AND DO torque em incrementally.

However, IF the worry is making it apprehensive about driving the truck which it sounds like it is. A trick I've used in the past in OTHER non related applications is wrap some pvc electrical tape flat and high on the shoulder of the bolt (non threaded part), directly under the fanged head to build up the diameter of it. Wrap the tape directly on top of the previous, don't hockey wrap the thing or it won't go back in. Till it fits easily, not tight or snug. I've used Teflon tape for this also.

Oh.. and last thing. The dust covers. (hate em personally) don't remove them without compensating for the thickness of the dust cover metal as that little 16th of an inch creates clearance elsewhere. Otherwise (and I am not sure if this happens to ALL of them, but my '00 did and had me scratching my head for a year) the rotor rubs on the caliper to steering knuckle bracket when the disk gets warm and expands.

PM me if you have any more trouble or questions on ANYTHING related to your truck.

And lastly I am jealous. I want an Avalanche so bad bud. Good for you. I wanna see some pictures.

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