I recently did this swap, and learned a lot in the process. You all know how I like to consolidate things and get all the right info in one place, and that's what I want to do here. This is not intended to be a step-by-step write-up on how to do it; instead it is a place where all the common questions are answered, and a place to ask other questions that arise. I think I can probably answer whatever comes up.
OK, First off, you do need
the knuckles (also called spindles) front and rear, to mount the SRT Brembos. There's no way around that. The brakes are only a good deal if they come with the knuckles. The hardest part of this job is finding knuckles. The dealer wants some $700 each
for the rears, and even used from Cleveland Pick-a-part, they're $750 a pair, if they happen to have them.
You do not need to replace the front dust shields - they're the same part number for all LX's. The rears are different according to model. You will need an SRT parking brake adapter plate ($25 or so each) - or you can grind yours down to clear the new calipers. (Part numbers 5170 482AA and 5170 481AA for the SRT parking brake adapters). I ended up grinding mine - if you have a Sawzall or jigsaw and a grinder/file, then I'd do that, and save $50.
You'll need two new front axle nuts, and dust caps (cheap). (6504 007 for the Axle hub nuts; 4779 253AA for the dust caps).
You'll need a digital copy of the Factory Service Manual for looking up the individual steps and torque specs. Don't do this kind of job without the manual. Here's
FactoryD's link to those.
Here's a picture of everything except the dust shields, hub nuts, and hub dust covers:
So here's a list of parts you'll need:
Hardware to mount everything
New front Axle Hub Nuts and dust covers
Rear Parking Brake Adapter Plates
Info on the swap itself:
The front swap is pretty straight-forward, mostly popping balljoints. You can rent the "5pc. Front End Service Set" (Kit #3, they call it) from Checker/Kragen for about $80, which is refundable when you return it.
You NEED to replace the front axle hub nuts, and you need to torque them down to 184 ft-lbs. You're not allowed to guess. You'll want to put a jack under the front shock before you pop the top balljoint from the control arm.
The rears are a little bit more complicated, but not terrible.
To get started, use the 32mm socket to remove the axle nut. (157 ft-lbs) If both wheels are off the ground, you'll need to apply the parking brake or have a buddy with his foot on the pedal, to keep the rear axles from turning. Once that's loose, remove the rear calipers and rotors.
Here's what you're looking at:
Then you need to remove the hub from the axle, by backing out the four external Torx (E14) bolts a turn each at a time. You want the bolts to stay in place, as you pull the hub off towards you. Those same bolts hold the parking brake adapter plate on as well, so you want them to remain where they are, as you pull the hub towards you. Also, there's not really room to remove the bolts out the back - the CV joint is right there. This does take some time to work the bolts out a bit at a time, moving from one to the other.
Here are the four external Torx-head bolts that secure the rear hubs to the knuckles:
Here's where they are located, on the backside of the knuckle (the four countersunk holes):
Once the hub is off, you can remove the parking brake assembly, which you need to do in order to replace or grind the plate:
Here's what it'll look like if you don't - see where it intrudes into the caliper:
Here's what you need to cut/grind off:
And here's how it clears after you do:
Once you've got all that taken off, you'll have the knuckles exposed, and ready to be removed. You have to remove and remount all the suspension links that meet at the rear knuckle.
For orientation, here's the driver's side knuckle, installed, but everything still loose:
As you remove the hardware from the old knuckle, place it all on the new one, so it all goes back in the right place, facing the right way. The larger washers may be on the bolt or the nut, but they always face a bushing:
Here's how to remove the rear knuckle from the Spring link (final step of removing the rear knuckles):
This is the bolt that secures the spring link bushing through the knuckle (12mm Allen key):
Once that bolt is removed, you need to separate the bushing from the knuckle, and it's tight. There's a notch at the bottom of the spring link bushing:
You need to pry on that notch, from behind, with a lever of some sort. I love my motorcycle tire levers for this (and lots of other things besides):
Here you can see it coming loose. You need to pull it out the back as straight as you can - don't let it bind.
When that link is detached, so is the knuckle. To replace the knuckle, take a look at that opening (on the replacement part - not the one you just took off), where the spring link will mount - you may need to press the steel sleeve out away from that opening in order to make room for the spring link bushing to go back in. What happens is that the 12mm Allen bolt draws that sleeve into contact with the bushing sleeve - that's why it's so tight coming out. You can squeeze that sleeve out enough to get the bushing back in, and when you tighten that joint back up, you will see the sleeve reappear and come back into contact with the bushing's sleeve. If you have new parts, the sleeve will be retracted into the knuckle already - but if you're installing used parts, take a look at that sleeve - first, make sure it's there, and not damaged - and then retract it so the inside face of it is flush with the knuckle before trying to get the spring link bushing in there. This is the trickiest part of the whole operation, but only if you're not expecting it - once you see what has to happen, it's a cinch.
Here's why you're going to all the trouble:
As for tools:
You'll need some different balljoint poppers for the fronts, and as I said, the #3 Front End Kit for rent at Checker/Kragen works great.
You'll need a torque wrench accurate up to at least 190 ft-lbs or so. Front hub nut torque is 184 ft-lbs. Rear hub nut torque is 157 ft-lbs.
You'll need a 36mm socket for the front axle nuts, and a 32mm socket for the rears.
You'll need an External Torx E14 socket to remove the rear hub from the knuckle.
You'll need a 12mm Hex (Allen Key) 1/2"-drive socket, to remove the bolt securing the knuckle to the Spring link bushing.
You'll need a good prybar with a curled end - like a motorcycle tire lever. This will make you feel like a hero, instead of a goat, when you go to detach the rear knuckle from the Spring links, trust me.
OK, you'll need a bunch of common tools, but I think that's it for the specialty stuff.
This is not a swap for a beginner, but if you're comfortable with your tools, and you can find all the parts for a reasonable price (like less than $1500 for EVERYTHING), then go for it.
If you want better brakes than these, for less money, and a MUCH easier swap, look at the Wilwoods.