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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got a few requests to do a write-up on how to replace the front wheel hubs as there seems to be a little confusion with the actual procedure.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any damage that may occur to your vehicle during this repair while following this how-to.

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1 - Break all 6 lug nuts and jack the vehicle up using the proper jack positions on the frame.

2 - Once the wheel is in the air, remove all 6 lug nuts as well as the wheel.



3 - Grab a beer and a 32mm 6pt. axle socket and prepare for a fight. Some people would want to remove the cotter pin before you try and break the nut loose, but I like to keep it on just in-case I break a tool and have to use my vehicle to get a replacement.



4 - Have a partner step on the brakes to keep the wheel from spinning. If you are by yourself, you can put the car in 4WD (if equipped) and do it that way. Use a pipe on the end of your breaker bar or ratchet and summon the might of Thor to break the nut loose. I used a 2.5 ft. steel pipe on the end of my Craftsman 18" 1/2" drive breaker bar.

5 - Once you have broken the nut loose, you can remove the cotter pin using a pair of needle nose pliers.



6 - Remove the axle nut from the axle shaft

7 - Remove the two caliper bolts using a 19mm or 3/4" socket.



8 - I keep the rotor in between the pads and set the whole assembly off to the side on a small step stool. This makes re-assembly much quicker.



9 - This is not necessary, but I removed the ABS sensor from the hub itself. I did this just in case I could not get the sensor plug separated, thus giving me the option of cleaning and reusing the old one.



10 - Now for the fun part....getting the ABS sensor plug out of the male connection. The best way to do this from my experience is to wedge a VERY SMALL flat head screwdriver into the small slot in the plug. The slot is about 1/2" down from the little tab that you need to lift up on.

Thanks dreamX for the picture!




11 - Swear at the plug and shame it for being such a PITA

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
12 - Remove the (4) 17mm bolts holding the hub assembly to the knuckle. These are slightly hard to get to and may require using a deep well or flex extension.

Bottom two bolts:



Top two bolts:



12 - Remove the ABS sensor by detaching it from the several pressure fits around the knuckle. Pull it through the hole in the brake dust guard and let it hang.

13 - I used a slide hammer bearing puller on the hub assembly which made removal very easy. I was able to rent it from my local auto parts store for free.



14 - Yank the hub assembly off. It should slide right off the CV shaft. Let the CV shaft rest.



15 - Clean the outer race of the hole with a steel brush or emery cloth in order to remove built up rust/dirt/crap/etc.

16 - If you brake dust guard came off with the old hub assembly, be sure to place it back on BEFORE you put the new hub on. I made this mistake myself.

17 - I put a small amount of anti-seize on the CV shaft and slide the new bearing on.

18 - Since the bearing is meant to be an interference fit into the hole, aligning the bolt holes can be a bit of a pain. A little patience along with small taps from a hammer and another beer did the trick for me.



19 - Run the new ABS sensor through the hole in the brake dust guard and re-fit all of the rubber pressure points along the knuckle. Clean off the old male sensor part and plug it into the new female plug.







20 - Apply anti-seize to the four hub assembly bolts and set them slowly. Alternate bolts as you tighten them progressively. Torque to 44 ft-lbs.

21 - Re-install the brake assembly. Torque the caliper bolts to 136 ft-lbs.



22 - Apply anti-seize to the axle nut and install it back on to the CV shaft. Torque to 101 ft-lbs.

23 - Replace cotter pin with a new one. I got a 6 pack from Advanced Auto for $3. They were a bit longer than what I needed, but I just cut off the excess with pliers.

24 - Put your wheel back on. Torque lug nuts to 98 ft-lbs.

25 - Drink celebratory beer!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How hard was it to access the bolts for the bearing assembly with the axle still in the hub? I didn't even think of doing it this way...saves a lot of time...I gotta redo my drivers side bearing this week.
It really wasn't hard at all. I think I used a shallow socket on the bottom two and a deep well on the top. I used a conventional socket and really didn't fight them at all. The ratchet head will rub on the CV boot slightly but not enough to cause any sort of damage.
 

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Good write up, helped me out today. I included a pic for you if you want to include it in your write-up. I found a really easy way to get the ABS plug apart. I had a a thin nail like poker laying around I used, something as small as a finishing nail would work too. If you slide it through the whole in the female gap, and into the square end on the male side, it holds down the pin that sticks up preventing you from separating them. You can then use both hands, or a screw driver to pull the two plugs ends apart no problem.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good write up, helped me out today. I included a pic for you if you want to include it in your write-up. I found a really easy way to get the ABS plug apart. I had a a thin nail like poker laying around I used, something as small as a finishing nail would work too. If you slide it through the whole in the female gap, and into the square end on the male side, it holds down the pin that sticks up preventing you from separating them. You can then use both hands, or a screw driver to pull the two plugs ends apart no problem.

This is exactly what I did but with a small screwdriver. I will add this pic later tonight. Thanks!
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Great write up. I have done the driver's side and I will probably reference this when I do the passenger side. Only thing I remember doing differently was leaving the truck on the ground to break the axle nut. Thanks again for the refresher!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great write up. I have done the driver's side and I will probably reference this when I do the passenger side. Only thing I remember doing differently was leaving the truck on the ground to break the axle nut. Thanks again for the refresher!
I didn't feel like prying out the plastic cap that covers the axle nut on the alloy rims. If I had steel wheels I would absolutely do it this way.
 

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Good point. I think I took the tire off, popped it out from the back side, then put the tire on again.
 

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Took care of this today. Using the hub puller didn't work as all it did was push the axle back through the hub. I ended up using this how to until it got to pulling the hub. I then used a slide hammer hub puller. It was fantastic! I will load pics of the slide hammer. Rented it from Oreillys. I also had to knock a few lug bolts out to get the puller to mount. Finally, if you put a floor jack under the lower ball joint and raise it up, you can get to the lower hub bolts a tad easier. Thanks for the write up. It was a big help.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Took care of this today. Using the hub puller didn't work as all it did was push the axle back through the hub. I ended up using this how to until it got to pulling the hub. I then used a slide hammer hub puller. It was fantastic! I will load pics of the slide hammer. Rented it from Oreillys. I also had to knock a few lug bolts out to get the puller to mount. Finally, if you put a floor jack under the lower ball joint and raise it up, you can get to the lower hub bolts a tad easier. Thanks for the write up. It was a big help.
I used a slide hammer puller. I will edit the post! Glad it all worked out for you!
 

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Just did it. Thanks a ton. OEM Timken bearing assembly courtesy of the members of this forum for $135 shipped to my door in 2 days rather than some MOOG both quoted shops wanted $229 for. Their $325 and $425 quotes are now a thing of the past.

The thing you may want to add is that you have to pry the old sensor clip out of the wheel well with a flat blade. For a sec I tried to get it out reaching up into that awkward spot. Then I looked at the plastic plugs built into the back of the new one and realized popping out of those holes would make the rest of your tutorial on the sensor plug easier.

Oh, and the parts store didn't have that type of slide hammer for bearings so a buddy advised me to just use the BFH method and beat the old whore off that shaft.

Thanks again. STEP #25 was easily the most critical step!

EDIT: Forgot to mention, that bearing should come with a new cotter pin. Had to make a trip to the store for a new pack of them. Didn't realize it wouldn't be reuseable. Also had to stop roadside to bend the disc brake shield back out of the way from the BFH beatdown. Was trying to think in my head what you could rig up to use as a bearing slide hammer rather than "buying" one from the parts store and returning it for credit. Strange way to "rent" something.
 
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