Brake Rotor Removal - Suburban 2500 4WD

Discussion in 'GM 6.5 Diesel Engines' started by Big T, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. Big T

    Big T Active Member

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    Looks like I'm paying the price for buying a Suburban from Illinois. In the middle of doing pads and rotors, but cannot get the 4 bolts off holding the hubs. Already broke a Craftsman socket. Bought impact sockets. Did break one bolt free, but it continued to be beligerent and now the bolt head is rounding off.

    So what do I do? I've applied PB Blaster. Do I apply heat? Do I risk ruining my CV boots with the heat? How do I get the bolts that are rounded out?
     
  2. ak diesel driver

    ak diesel driver Active Member

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    I ended up cutting the head off one of mine. They are a specialty bolt so you'll have to junkyard one.
     
  3. Big T

    Big T Active Member

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    What did you use to cut the head off?

    I've got half of them out, the others are not coming. Coincidentally, the front ones on both sides.
     
  4. ak diesel driver

    ak diesel driver Active Member

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  5. jrsavoie

    jrsavoie Recruit

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    If you can use heat try Sea Foam/Deep Creep they are the exact same product. Deep Creep is the aerosol version.
    I've had my best luck with that product for things that required heat.

    You're from California and you bought a Suburban from Illinois?
    What are ya? Crazy?
    Even I try to avoid buying used vehicles from the rust belt.

    Below is where I got my front bearing assemblies if you find yourself in need. Seems to be a good Made in the USA product for a good price.

    Please see http://mibearings.com/HUB_ASSEMBLY_DIAGRAMS.html for diagrams that will help expain the specifications.
    I have also attached images of the hubs below
    Please let me know if these will work for you.
    Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments.
    Thanks,
    Luke Rehmann
    MIBearings LLC
    US Toll Free: 877-929-7280
    Int. +1 231-929-7280
    http://MIBearings.com
    http://www.CVAxles.net
    http://www.CorvetteWheelBearings.com
    Full line of Engine and Undercar Parts.
     
  6. Big T

    Big T Active Member

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    "You're from California and you bought a Suburban from Illinois?
    What are ya? Crazy? Even I try to avoid buying used vehicles from the rust belt."

    By and large, the truck was quite clean and the price was right. Had all the mods folks on this site would want, including programming and ATT and the 4wd that I need. Only body rust was a couple dots on the lower edge of the driver's side barn door which can be easily addressed. The suspension stuff, especially the front, is rusty. That is what I'm paying the price on right now. Otherwise, love the truck and plan to have it many years. For the price I got it, there will be minimal depreciation in value, unlike my wife's Mercedes SLK convertible.

    Should I assume I'm going to need new bearing/hub assemblies? Truck has 160K miles on it. $350 worth of bearing/hubs, new rotors/pads, this getting to be pricey. If I paid someone to do this, it would easily be in the $1200 range by now.
     
  7. Big T

    Big T Active Member

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    Alright, got 4 replacement bolts from the dealer.

    Tried heat and the bolt removers; not happening.

    The bolts are recessed, so a grinder will eat into the steering knuckle. Besides, my grinder is up at our place in Big Bear. So this is not currently an option.

    Trying to drill the bolt heads, but that is very slow going. Also, the drill chuck is rubbing thru the CV boot, so I'll be looking to replace those.

    QUESTION: Can I remove the entire steering knuckle by removing the upper and lower ball joints and sliding it off the axle? If so, then I could get a cleaner shot at drilling this.

    BTW the hub/bearing price at the dealer was $720 for just one side. Yikes! I like the link pricing above much better.
     
  8. ak diesel driver

    ak diesel driver Active Member

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    You won't be able to disconnect the ball joints and get everything to come off because the axle shaft going thru the hub won't let it drop. If you sawsall the ball joints then it can slide straight out.
     
  9. fastjohnny

    fastjohnny New Member

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    Careful use of a torch to melt candle was into the threads has proven time and again to beat any penetrating fluid for me.
     
  10. WarWagon

    WarWagon Well it hits on 7 of 8...

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    You can drop the axles out of the way. Unbolt the flange and then the spline should with a whack (or two dozen) should come out of the hub. CV boot replacements kits should be available without the entire axle shaft.
     
  11. Sunshine

    Sunshine Northern Lights

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    Had the same problem, this guy I know said he could bring home from work this induction heater to get heat into the bolts we go 2 out of 8 the other 6 heads were round,I used Dremel with a flexible axel and Speedclic metal cutter.
     
  12. Big T

    Big T Active Member

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    I was thinking Dremel, but did not know whether they had a metal cutter that would do the job. I'm still going to replace hubs, axles and ball joints while doing this. I figure that the truck is at half life (162K miles) and all the parts in this area are showing the wear, so there's no sense in trying to half ass it such as rebooting an axle when new ones are just $70. So new axles, new hub bearing, new ball joints, new rotors, new pads, probably new calipers, new brake hoses. Am I missing anything?
     
  13. jrsavoie

    jrsavoie Recruit

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    I have used stud remover sockets on rounded heads with good luck before.

    If you are replacing the bearing assembly and axel assembly I'd use the torch and heat things up a might. I'd stay away from the ball joints unless you are replacing them also. I've been having to replace my ball joints at about 230,000 miles but have many that are over that.

    Don't buy the new Cardone axles. They are made in China. The Cardone rebuilts are done in Philidelphia I believe.
     
  14. Big T

    Big T Active Member

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    I failed with the stud remover sockets, even after applying torch through the rotor vents.

    Already tried the torch as I assumed I was replacing bearings and axle assemblies. The boots on the lower ball joints are cracked, so they're due.

    Thanks for the info on the new Cardone axles.; I'll go with the remans. Might as well do it all while I'm in there.
     
  15. jrsavoie

    jrsavoie Recruit

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    Since they are being replaced can you just cut the rotors out of the way without heating things up to much or blowing sparks where you don't want them?

    I'd heat the bearing assemblies red hot and then hit the bolts with Sea Foam and give it one last shot. If you still have a stud socket that will grip the heads

    Do you have the tie rod pulled off? That allows you to turn the steering assembly further for easier access.

    I also took the shock loose at the bottom.

    If you get in a good position and have a small cutting tip for your torch you can surgically remove the offending bolt heads.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  16. Big T

    Big T Active Member

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    Cutting the rotors out of the way seems like a bear of a job. The bolt remover impact sockets just don't bite well enough to get the job done. Can't get a perfectly straight shot at the bolt head due to the CV Axle boot and the remover socket jump up off the bolt head. Already the Craftsman remover socket is rounding on the inside. I've shot the hell out of it with PB Blaster through the rotors. How would Sea Foam do any better? I just can't get a good grip on these bolts anymore. I either need to buy the Dremel with cutting attachment, or drive up to Big Bear to get my corded drill, grinder, sawsall and have a party.
     
  17. jrsavoie

    jrsavoie Recruit

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    I've had much better luck with Sea Foam on parts that need to be heated than anything else.
    I also rate Knocker Loose a ways ahead of PB.
    My stud remover sockets are Snap-on. Sometimes brand makes a Difference. The Snap-On man is 7 miles away and will open for people 7 days a week as long as you don't abuse him. The Craftsman store is 20+ miles away and never open when I'm there.

    You should be able to pull the axle and get it out of the way. Since you are replacing them you don't have to be gentle.

    Take the tie rod end and shock bottom lose first if you haven't already. I would try to get the axel out of the way for my next step.
     
  18. Big T

    Big T Active Member

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    Heres some pics of what I'm facing on the passenger side:

    Split boot on lower ball joint:
    [​IMG]

    Failed drill attempt on lower bolt:
    [​IMG]

    Rivets attaching upper ball joint:
    [​IMG]

    Upper front bolt did come out some, then froze and rounded the head:
    [​IMG]

    Same situation on the driver's side. Son is bringing down my sawsall, grinder and drill. I'll work on HID mod in the interim.:rolleyes5:

    Looks like my upper ball joint attaches via rivets. I assume I grind through the rivets to remove? Can't tell on lower ball joints. Press fit? If so, how do I get the upper part of that ball joint out if I cut though it with the sawzall?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  19. WarWagon

    WarWagon Well it hits on 7 of 8...

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    Yes drill out or grind the rivets to get the ball joints off.

    You should get 16 new studs if they are not in hand. I doubt you will have luck pounding them out being that rusty. Reassembly with the old rusty studs can also be a pain.
     
  20. Big T

    Big T Active Member

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    How do I knock loose the bottom portion of the upper ball joints before I cut them? There's no room to swing a hammer.

    How do I remove the bottom ball joints once I cut thru them?

    How will I know that I've knocked them loose?

    Will the A-arm drop down? Do I need to support it?

    Yes I'll buy new studs, but no hurry as this is going to take a couple weekends. I'm still working in Chicago during the week.
     

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