Axle nut sticking out

I removed the front left knuckle assembly and took it to an auto shop to have a new bearing pressed in. I installed everything and also did the tie rod and ball joint on my own. The axle nut does not go in as far in as the others, it sticks out some. I undid the strut bolts to make sure the axle shaft was all the way in and it was.

I’m also now getting an ABS error from that wheel which I read can be caused by not the right space between the sensor and the ABS ring. How do I know if the shop did not press the bearing correctly?

It’s for a Subaru Legacy.

You don’t know. They may have not pressed it in far enough, or… who knows? Wrong (too wide) bearing? They need to see it.

On your end - are you sure the inner side of the CV axle is pushed in to the transaxle enough that it “clicked” into place? Was its circlip still there? It can take quite a push or pry to get it in all the way.

I did not hear anything click with the CV axle. I removed the upper strut bolt and loosened the lower one so I could move the knuckle assembly forward and backwards. I will probably try that tomorrow as I want to get the car to an alignment shop today as I’ve been driving it for several days without an alignment.

I may measure the distance of the ABS rings on the front two wheels to see if there’s a difference.

Doing all of this is time consuming and I don’t know if the shop has any kind of warranty on just a bearing pressed and I know they wouldn’t be happy to have to deal with it again without making money.

Sounds like you are on the right track. Did they or did you supply the bearing used? That can make a diff re: who’s responsible for what.

I supplied the bearing, inner seal and outer seal. It’s the matching part number of AutoZone’s Duralast brand.

They’re supposedly ASE certified mechanics though when I brought it in there were two mechanics there and when the owner or manager was talking to them to see who could do it it seemed questionable about their experience pressing bearings based on the conversation I observed.

If I get to measuring the the hub and ABS ring on both wheels and there’s clearly a difference then I’ll feel more confident with contacting the auto shop about it.

The lowest priced ABS sensor I can find online is $50.

I’m thinking that measuring both front ABS rings to the same part of the hub should show if there bearing was pressed in to where it should be.

It’s a bit late for this…but I would never use auto parts store brands for critical parts like this. There’s simply too much of a risk that something is off-spec, poorly made, etc… Either get the OEM dealer parts or have a shop do the job from start to finish.

I don’t think there’s any way you’ll get the mechanics to own up to a mistake, even if they did screw it up. Did you inspect their work after you got the knuckle back? Did everything look like it was pressed in evenly? Can you remove the steering knuckle from the other side and compare the two?

Unfortunately, there’s too many variables here to be able to definitively identify the issue…unless a visual inspect reveals a gross error with installation.

I wouldn’t drive the car another 10 feet if I were you, until you get this figured out. Not just from a poor alignment standpoint. But if everything isn’t fit together exactly as intended, you could be putting stresses on parts and in places that weren’t meant to be stressed…and taking a risk of sudden wheel/steering/suspension failure. If the new wheel bearing isn’t already destroyed, for example, driving on it when it’s not pressed in correctly will do it in for sure.

I understand where you’re coming from with OEM parts, though I don’t see how AutoZone would be in business if they were selling parts that didn’t fit.

That’s a good opinion that you think they won’t own up to their mistakes. I didn’t inspect it as everything look reassembled as it was and it’s my first time doing anything with a wheel bearing. I think the time to remove both steering knuckles would be too much and a risk to altering the alignment. I think I will have to remove both brake assembly’s and rotors to check measurements.

If I can measure that the ABS ring is clearly further away on the repaired one than the untouched one then I’ll contact the shop about fixing it which would also be the cause of the ABS light.

If I go get an alignment today I don’t want to have to do anything to alter the alignment in the near future.

If the top strut (camber) bolt is marked with a Sharpe I don’t think it will be an issue with the alignment to remove that and replace it according to the markings.

It could also be that the axle shaft was not inserted all of the way into the wheel hub as I did not hear a click as shanonia said should occur. If that’s the case then that explains the axle nut and it could be that the ABS sensor was damaged and needs replaced. I’ll probably be working on it tomorrow.

There’s no need to remove the axle shaft from the transmission to remove the hub ass’y, right? Did you remove it anyway? I guess even if you didn’t intend to it might have got dislodged as part of fiddling with it to remove the hub. If the axle shaft got pulled out of the transmission a little, it can sometimes take a slide tool gadget to get it reseated again. If still no joy, I’d be inclined to remove the other hub and compare the two side by side on the bench for any difference now the new bearing is in place. My guess, the new bearing is ok, but the trans end of the shaft is the problem. Generally a shop with common sense would carefully compare the old bearing dimensions to the new one before pressing it in. Did they do that?

The axle nut should be in contact with the hub, in what way is it sticking out? Did you get the axle nut tight enough?

If the wheel bearing or hub was not pressed in completely you will see a difference in the position of the right/left hub in relation to the steering knuckle. More noticeable would be the position of the brake rotor, if the hub is out of position you may not be able to install the brake caliper.

I have answers! What I suspected was right and the shop mechanic over the phone was defensive though said to bring the car in tomorrow. He said their job was just to press the bearing and that was it, even though it’s like 2mm off causing ABS to not work and the axle nut to not thread in by several more millimeters that it should.

By going through a specific series of steps with the ABS diagnostic connector under the steering wheel and two pins hidden in electrical tape, decoding flashes of the ABS light on the dash I obtained 3 ABS error codes. That was thanks to internet forums and photos within them. By searching online with one of the names of one of the codes in quotes I discovered an official looking “diagnostic chart”.

I already found out about testing the ABS sensor connector with a multi-meter which I did and found it to be at 0.99k Ohms which is within the range of “0.8 and 1.2kΩ” specified on the diagnostic chart. So the sensor appears to be fine. They’re also clearly durable and made to be exposed to the elements.

Another diagnostic test is the gap between the end of the ABS sensor and the face the the ABS tone ring. The diagnostic chart says it should be within “0.9 — 1.4 mm” apart.

After searching online at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes (for current in-store availability) and in person at Lowes I could not find a feeler gauge which is used to measure small gaps.Eventually I looked on Autozones website and found a “mini” one for only $2.99. Now I see that it is more of if not an automotive specific tool.

After removing the wheel, the brake assembly and the rotor, I had access to the end of the ABS sensor and the tone ring. I put in two about 0.88mm feeler gauges and there was still more space. So that’s over 1.6mm apart which the specs. say there should be a maximum of 1.4 mm in space. This offset also explains why the axle nut sticks off the end of the shaft by about 2-3mm when torqued to 130 ft. lbs.

So it’s clear that the bearing/hub b press is off by several milimiters in one or more areas causing the ABS sensor gap to exceed specs. and the axle nut not being able to go on all the way.

Whether the auto shop will make the adjustment at no additional cost is to be seen. They do have the word “Honest” in auto shops name, which is a franchise.

Like I said the attitude of the mechanic guy on the phone was we did what we were supposed to do which was press a bearing and we have no more responsibility for anything. He even used an example of buying chicken from somewhere not liking the taste, which is ludicrous because it’s not about me not liking it it’s about functionality and being able to use it the way it should, which is with ABS and the axle nut going as far in as it should to indent it for safety.

If they do not want to do the adjustment to the steering knuckle assembly, I will find a place that will and may take the auto shop to small claims court to recover my costs.

I did not remove the axle shaft from the transmission. I paid a guy like $80-$100 two different times to install both front ones awhile ago because I could not get the axle nuts loosened.

Apparently they didn’t measure or it’s off by several millimeters. Please see my latest topic reply for all the details.

It’s sticking out as in the outer edge of the axle nut goes beyond the edge of the end of the axle shaft by a guess of 2-3mm, whereas before the bearing press and all the other wheels currently the end of the axle shaft extends 1-3mm beyond the outer edge of the axle nut. There’s also the discovered issue of the ABS sensor to ABS tone ring gap.

Please see my latest topic reply for all the details.

Please see my latest topic reply for all the details.

When I discovered the ABS sensor to ABS tone ring gap is greater than the manufacturer specs. of 1.4mm max I knew I discovered the ABS error source. It also explains the like guessing 3-5mm issue with the axle nut.

When I called the shop and was connected with one of the mechanics there was definitely a defensive tone and he compared my complaint to buying fried chicken from somewhere and not liking the taste.

He has asked me to bring the whole vehicle into the shop so they can look at it though made no promises of adjustments or acknowledgement of any service warantee or guarantee. He basically said that their job was to press the bearing and they did that so that’s all they’re responisble for.

It is possible that the bearing was not pressed into the knuckle completely but I would expect the hub to be located inward from the proper location. It may be that the replacement bearing is wider than the original bearing, you may have received the wrong bearing.

It’s definitely the right part number. There’s multiple things that get pressed different ways from what I’ve seen online. The fact that the size of the ABS gap coincides with the gap of the axle nuts outer edge over the end of the axle shaft is clear to me that the bearing/hub press is off by 2-4 millimeters. (edited, instead of off, more accurately needs adjustment )

Also, the shop had the old bearing and the new bearing so it was in front of them to check though I know I have the right part number of the one that was pressed into place.

So, it actually looks fairly simple other than the work to remove and reinstall the steering knuckle assembly.

The hub needs to go in about 2-3 more millimeters.

So I feel like the source of the problem is clear and solved now, now I just need the shop to be rationale and admit that and do the adjustment at no additional cost to me.

Good for you for your excellent diagnostic work there OP. Seems you got to the bottom of the issue straight away. If all the shop tech needs to do is press the bearing/hub together again until they seat properly, I doubt there will be a complaint, they should be happy to make things right & do this gratis. I have to say though, it is sort of hard to imagine the two parts didn’t seat properly the first time, given the force placed on the parts by a typical press. So it is possible there is a remaining problem yet to be discovered. The shop I think is saying the job the agreed to do was only to press the two parts together, and they are not responsible if the two parts won’t press together correctly, which seems reasonable since they are not supplying the parts. Whether they should have measured the dimensions of the two bearings before doing the pressing, reasonable people could disagree about that I suppose. But common sense says they would do that measurement imo. I certainly would. I guess the next step is easy to describe: Press on!

Well I think a small claims judge would agree that they are the professionals and they need to return the parts to me to the same standard as it was brought in which is the proper ABS gap which I think correlates to the axle nut should able to go in as far as it did before and should for safety reasons.

I don’t think it was pressed in far enough in the first place, we’re only talking about 2-3 millimeters. The way it is now with the hub being about 2-3 millimeters out farther than it should is the same as when I first got it. So there hasn’t been any movement in it since it was returned to me.