4wd Hub Replacement

Discussion in 'Stock Suspension + Bolt On Kits' started by Ginger, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Ginger

    Ginger Teh General

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    Written up by Kawamatt2

    Ok guys, heres my little write-up for replacing front hubs/unit bearings and calipers, rotors, pads, and soft lines. This will probably fall by the wayside like all others but at least its not searchable.

    So, to start out, my front pads were wearing pretty thin and the rotors had some noticable warping or buildup resulting in vibration when braking. I decided that after 100000 miles it was about time to go through the brakes from soft line to rotor.

    Here is where we start. As you can see i have already swung the rubber inner fender liner out of the way to easy access to the soft line to hard line connection.
    [​IMG]

    I started with taking loose the calipers from the knuckle. This requires a 3/8" allen socket. I didn't have one so i was out hunting parts before i even got started. :rofl2:
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    With the two caliper bolts removed you can then just "slide" the caliper towards the rear of the truck and move it out of the way. I say "slide" because my pads seemed to be fused to the rotor so liberal use of the rubber mallet was required. The slip the rotor off. Here is what your looking at now.
    [​IMG]

    My next step was to get that old hub off. As you can see from the above picture there are three hole on the lug mounting face that allow access to the hub to knuckle bolts. I believe these bolts were 15mm. The first two on this side came off without a problem. The third was a different story. Had i not known better i would swear that third rear most bolt was welded to the knuckle. I didn't break a 3/8" ratchet but i came damn close to it working that bolt. Our 1/2" impact gun on the highest setting wouldn't touch it either. I could have grabbed a cheater bar and got the mother off one way or the other but at the risk of rounding the head or breaking it off. After some head scratching i remembered i had a shitty little Mapp/Oxy torch i used to sweat some pipe one time. With no alternative options i pulled it out and went to town heating that bolt. A minute of constant heat right on the head of the bolt and she broke loose. This was the first time i had used heat to remove a bolt but from now on i won't tackle any job without a decent torch.
    [​IMG]
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    With the three bolts out i'm ready to to pull the hub. It was at this point though that i realized i had forgotten to take off the hub nut.:pow:
    I threw a wheel back on with one lug and zipped it off with the impact. While i was at it i went ahead and took loose the 6 bolts holding the cv shaft to the center chunk. Figured i might clean it up while i was in there.
    [​IMG]

    Hub removed.
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    CV shaft removed.
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    Now as you can see there is a seal in the knuckle that the shaft goes through. This is so dirt can't get in behind the shaft to the bearings. I didn't know about this seal when i was ordering parts so i didn't have a replacement. Luckily mine was in good shape so i just cleaned it up and will hope for the best. I would recommend anyone doing this to pick up a couple of these just to be safe.
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see where the seal sits on the cv shaft. Make sure you clean both seal and shaft up really good.
    [​IMG]

    Now, after cleaning up the inside of the knuckle and shaft i was ready for the replacement hub.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    These hubs come fully assembled with the abs sensor and wire. I got these from autozone for like $140 or $150 a piece. These are timken units.

    After adding some grease to ease assembly to the outter diameter of the mounting surface of the hub i slid it into the knuckle.
    [​IMG]

    Didn't take any pictures of tightening the hub down but i have a few thoughts on it. Spec calls for 133 ft-lbs on the bolts. I added some anti-seize on the bolts to hopefully avoid having to use heat the next time i service the hubs on this truck.

    Now, don't do what i did and bolt up the caliper without the rotor on. Instead slip the rotor on next.
    [​IMG]
    These are the cheap-ass model napa rotors so we'll see how they hold up.

    If your calipers didn't come loaded go ahead and insert your pads. They only go one way so don't worry about left right or front back.
    [​IMG]

    Position the caliper and insert the caliper bolts and tighten them up.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. 99z28monster

    99z28monster I'm Awesome

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    Nice write up, will def use this as a reference in the future.
     
  3. HighRollerRich

    HighRollerRich Texas

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    great write up.
     
  4. zach

    zach Newbie

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    Good stuff, and good quality pics too. Great work!!
     
  5. z70one96

    z70one96 Newbie

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    im about to have to do this on my z71, im going to replace the inner and outter tie rods, pitman arm, idler arm, hubs. my truck has 252,000 miles on original parts in the front end except for the ball joints i replaced last year.
     
  6. tattooed4life

    tattooed4life HMFIC

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    Nice write up I just did the drivers side on my 97 1500 plow truck, I have done them before but it has been a long time and this made for a great refresher. My only problem is that I had one bolt that was so rusted and rounded off that I had to weld a junk socket to it and break it free by hand to get it out. It worked but it sucked!!
     
  7. chevy_man

    chevy_man I'm Awesome

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    Nice. Only thing I have to add is that in my experience, the hubs last long enough that they are fused to the knuckle with rust before they need replacement. Therefore a big hammer and a frustrating beating to get the bearing out of the knuckle is usually required.
     
  8. alger388

    alger388 Newbie

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    good write up indeed, im going to do stainless russell lines i believe and then get my pads/rotors warrantied just because so everything is all new again, caliper, pads, rotor, lines. I remember doing a hub replacement on my 97 s-10 blazer, not too too bad.

    We need pics of that dudes truck or something, i love it
     
  9. trx88

    trx88 I'm Awesome

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    there ar ethree bolts holding that hub to the steering knuckle, and tehy are always a pain in the ass

    i know because of my junkyard activities my buddy needed a steering knuckle and it took us five or six trucks

    to get one because of these three bolts.. the trick is patience lots of pb blaster liquid wrench or kroil

    and to use a deep well impact socket on a half inch breaker bar, put a post driver or some type of long heavy pipe

    on the end of the breaker, and very very slowly and firmly let the pipe down or push it down slowly and firm

    if you go too fast it will round over, the next week we did them on my truck and this is how it worked

    i also really really liked the whole welding a junk socket to it than turning it,,, hahahahahah
     
  10. trx88

    trx88 I'm Awesome

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    also that seal is a pain to seat, its called a "wheel seal" and most people think your crazy or the guy at part store tells you its in with the hub but its not

    the best way to get it seated without taking the knuckle off is to cut a piece of plywood in a circle that size with a sabre saw and hammer on that
     

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