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Vanco Big Brake Kit

Almost there.....not too much left and the steering knuckle will be removed.  Next, remove your tie rod from the steering knuckle.  Your tie rod may not look like mine.  I've been using the Toys by Troy true cross-over steering for the past four years.  I finally replaced the 1 ton tie rod ends just before going to Moab for the 7th Annual JeepsUnlimited Moab Run this I can't complain about the low maintenance cost of this steering setup.

To remove your tie rod, remove the cotter pin from the stud and then unscrew the castle nut with the appropriate wrench.  Leave about 3 or 4 threads engaged on the nut (do not remove it).


Using a large hammer (OK, I admit this isn't a very large hammer but the again, I installed these tie rods just a couple of weeks ago and was certain they wouldn't be rusted in place), strike the front of the steering knuckle.  The resulting blows will jar the tie rod stud loose from the tapered steering knuckle hole.  The castle nut that you did not remove will prevent it from falling out. 


The upper ball joint is next.  Remove the cotter pin (new cotter pins are included in the big brake kit) and then remove the castle nut.  Note that in the above photo, I had already knocked the steering knuckle loose (forgot to snap the photo earlier). 


And finally, repeat the same process on the lower ball joint by removing the cotter pin and removing the nut.  When you have verified that the stud threads are in good shape, screw the nut back onto the stud, engaging about 3 or 4 threads.  You need to ensure that the nut can be removed as some times the end gets a little nicked on the trail.  Once the knuckle is knocked loose, there is nothing to hold the stud while you unscrew the nut so you need to be certain it will come off easily.


Once again, using a large hammer (I opted for a brass one this time as it was bigger than the one I used on the tie rod and my knuckles haven't been off the TJ since I bought it), strike the knuckle on the little shelf (at the location circled in red).  The resulting downward blows will jar the steering knuckle off of the ball mount studs and the lower castle nut that was left on will prevent the knuckle from dropping on your toes (you are wearing flip-flops, right?.....seriously, I hope you are not!).  Now remove the nut and set the steering knuckle aside.  Do NOT throw the knuckle away as it is worth some bucks when you return it to Vanco for your core charge.


With the knuckle now removed from the vehicle, I turned my attention back to the Warn hub.  The wheel studs on the Warn hub conversion attach the rotor to the hub.  In order to mount the new rotor that came with the Vanco kit, I had to first remove the old rotor from the hub.  I used my hydraulic press to push the studs out of the hub.  In order to avoid damaging the stud threads, I screw an old stock lug nut onto the thread and then slip a 3/4" socket over the lug nut.  Finally, the ram of the press is lowered down onto the top of the socket (a nice flat surface and quite a bit larger than the 1/2" stud) and pressure is applied to push the stud out.  This is repeated for the remaining four studs.

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