HOWTO: Front Hub/Bearing removal and install - Dakota Durango Forum
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post #1 of 51 Old 10-22-2008, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
djr8505
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HOWTO: Front Hub/Bearing removal and install

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any personal injury, death, divorce that may occur due
to the following of these directions. The views and opions expressed in this walkthrough do
not necessarily reflect those of the staff and/or management of Dakota-Durango.com.


For the purpose of this walkthrough we are performing the maintenance on a 1998 Dodge Dakota
4X4 SLT. Depending on your year/model, some measurements and specs may be different.


REQUIRED EQUIPMENT:

1x hub assembly. Depending on the configuration of your vehicle, there are several choices
to consider. Many of which can be located here: http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/rafr...&parttype=1636

Torque wrench (ratchet or bar type) - to torque parts to spec upon assembly

Jack & jack stands

Wheel chocks

32mm socket - needed to remove axle nut

21mm socket - needed to remove 3x hub flange bolts from steering knuckle (Shallow well works
best)

19mm socket - needed to remove lug nuts from wheel

Breaker Bar - to extract high torque parts

7mm Hex socket adapter - needed to remove the caliper slide pins

Bungie cord/rope - To suspend the caliper system during work

Ball Peen Hammer - removal of hub assembly from steering knuckle

metal chisel - removal of hub assembly from steering knuckle

Pliers - to remove and install cotter pin into axle


OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT:

Nitrile gloves - good for keeping hands clean

Impact wrench (Electric or pneumatic) - makes the overall process easier

socket extension bar

wire brush/wheel

fine grit sandpaper/sanding wheel

Brake parts cleaner

WD40/PB Blaster (or choice penetrating oil) - help loosen rusted parts

Bearing grease

RTV sealant

Extra light source

shop cloths

HUB REMOVAL:

The first step in removing the old hub is to remove the wheel from the front of the truck
If you are not using an impact wrench, the best method is to use a breaker bar and before the
truck is placed on the jack stands break the lugs loose on the wheel using the 19mm socket.
Once the lugs are loose, jack the front end of the truck placing the jack on the frame
and raising the truck until the tire clears the floor of the garage. Place a suitable stand
under the frame and lower the jack. Do not forget to place wheel chocks on the rear wheel to
Keep the truck from rolling when on the jack stands.

Remove the wheel from the hub/rotor assembly and set aside. At this point we should see
the rotor and caliper system on the vehicle.

Remove the cotter pin from the axle and remove the axle nut retaining cap and spring washer.
If you do not have access to an impact wrench, gain the assistance from a second person and
have them apply pressure to the brake pedal to keep the hub and axle from spinning freely. Use the
breaker bar and 32mm socket to loosen the axle nut from the hub assembly. Remove the nut and set
aside. Use of an impact wrench makes this step much easier and quicker to perform.

Use the 7mm hex tool to loosen the caliper slide pins from the steering knuckle. Now that the
caliper system is free from the steering knuckle, gently rotate the caliper clockwise away from the
rotor to remove the caliper. At this time, use the rope/cord to suspend the caliper out of the way
so that there is minimal force on the brake lines.

Next remove the rotor from the hub by gently coercing it with the ball peen hammer and a small
shop cloth to prevent damage to the rotor surface. With the rotor removed, it will be much easier to
see behind the steering knuckle to reach the hub flange bolts.

If the hub flange/bolts appear to have a considerable ammount of dirt and/or corrosion use
the wire brush in conjunction with PB Blaster to help penetrate the threads of the bolts for easier
removal. This next step is extremely difficult if your 21mm socket is not an extremely shallow one.
The issue here is that there is minimal cleance between the CV outer race and the bolt heads for the
Hub flange. A shallow socket helps make things easier to square up (a thin walled socket may be just
as effective). It may help to place a small ammount of force to the end of the axle to push the outer
race away from the steering knuckle to help place the socket squarely on the bolt heads. If there is
a high ammount of corrosion or dirt, the ball peen hammer in symphony with a breaker bar should make
quick work of the three flange bolts. MAKE SURE THAT THE SOCKET IS SQUARE ON THE BOLT HEAD BEFORE USING
THE BAR AND HAMMER APPROACH! You may inadvertantly round the heads if you do not.

With the axle nut and flange bolts extracted, we can proceed to remove the old hub assembly from
the steering knuckle. To facilitate the removal of the old hub, use the metal chisel and ball peen hammer
to convince the hub to separate from the knuckle. In my experience, a standard flat head screw driver
does not transfer enough of the force from the hammer to the seam between the hub and knuckle to break them
loose.

Upon removal, you will probably notice a considerable ammount of corrosion on the inside of the
hub where the bearing is. This is a short sight on the sealing of the bearings from water.


NEW PART INSTALL:

To prep the area for the insertion of the new hub, use the wire brush and/or fine sandpaper to
remove much of the corrosion from the old parts. Use brake cleaner to remove extra residue from the
surface of the knuckle where the new hub will come in contact.

Before the new hub is put in place, pack the inside of the axle/knuckle cavity with bearing
grease to prolong the life of the new bearing by sealing out water.

The new hub may require some minor force to place in the correct location. Once in place, the
new hub should have forced some of the grease out between the steering knuckle and the outer CV race.
Insert the 3 flange bolts into the appropriate locations on the steering knuckle and tighten them by
hand. Use a torque wrench to bring each bolt to 65 ft. lbs. of torque. It is beneficial to use a
bar type torque wrench in this case because of the added clearance over a ratchet type torque wrench.
Torque the bolts in increments to insure that the overall force on the flange remains constant through
the torque procedure.

At this point, check the new hub for any unwanted play or uneven mounting. Repeat the above
steps if an adjustment is required.

To help seal the bearing from the elements, I also placed a thin bead of RTV sealant around the
exterior perimeter of where the hub contacts the steering knuckle. If anyone has any better suggestions
let me know.

Replace the rotor on the new hub assembly after cleaning the faces of the rotor with brake cleaner.
Next untie the caliper system and reinstall placing the bottom of the caliper on the steering knuckle and
rotating the system counter-clockwise into the correct position (this is the reverse of the removal).

Tighten the two 7mm hex caliper slide pins to 22 ft. lbs. Also place two lug nuts on the hub in
the positions opposite from one another and tighten enough to keep the rotor in place.

We require the assistance of a second person again to apply pressure to the brakes as we torque
the axle nut to 180 ft. lbs. using the 32mm socket and our torque wrench. replace the spring washer and
retaining cap on axle and use cotter pin to "lock" the system together. If the pin is badly warn, use
a new pin at this step.

Remove the two lug nuts from the rotor and install the wheel on the rotor/hub assembly.
Tighten the lug nuts until hand tight alternating between the opposite sides of the wheel. this will
keep the force on the rotor and hub equal. Torque the lug nuts to 85 ft. lbs. using incremental torque
and the "star" tightening pattern. This will help prevent damage to the wheel or the rotor from warping.

Replace jack under frame of truck and inspect area to make sure no tools are underneath vehicle
before removing the stands and lowering the truck. Remember to re-torque the lug nuts after a few days
or roughly 500 miles or so.

SUMMARY MEASURES/SPECIFICATIONS:
Axle nut - 32mm 180ft. lbs
Hub Flange bolt - 21mm 65 ft. lbs
Caliper slide pin - 7mm Hex 22 ft. lbs
Lug nut - 19mm 85 ft. lbs


Good luck and happy motoring!


Any suggestions/feedback are greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 51 Old 08-12-2009, 12:56 AM
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Good write up. I need to do mine soon. Can anyone verify the nut/bolt sizes listed in this article will be the same on my '01 dak? Mainly the axle nut and flange bolts. I want to make sure I have everything I need before I start.
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post #3 of 51 Old 08-12-2009, 03:01 AM
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Great write-up, and how to..this is why I like looking here first. Lot's of great info , if you look close.

Airaid C/A intake S/C program, custom dual exhaust,billet grill, stainless rockers,toneau cover,B.F goodies A/T, monroe shocks, clear corners , 3" B/L shorty headers , MTC
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post #4 of 51 Old 08-13-2009, 06:48 AM
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i just did mine the other day...i didnt pack it with grease, didnt think of it actually.....my flange bolts were 15mm and i didnt torque it to 65lbs, i used locktite and tightened it as much as i could without overtightening lol.

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post #5 of 51 Old 08-18-2009, 12:39 PM
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Ok, my moms hub bearing is pretty bad... everytime you turn to the left, even a hair it starts humming really loud. I have been told and heard alot of different things and just want to clear it up. Its an 03 Dakota 2wd with 2wheel ABS. I can replace either the bearing, or the whole hub, correct? If I were to just replace the bearing, how hard would it be without a press? Any suggestions on doing it without a press?
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post #6 of 51 Old 08-19-2009, 07:36 AM
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Ok, well I figured it out... took the semi-cheap way out, and bought a cheapo autozone hub assembly ($80). It looks different than the one above, I guess being an 03 they changed it a bit. All I had to do after removing the rotor was loosen the spindle nut which was a 1-5/16 not sure the metric size. Then the hub slid right off, lubed up the spindle slid the new one on and reversed the other steps. Also the brake caliper bolts were a 21mm. I bought a 7mm hex that I didnt need, but it was only 3bucks. Besides the small differences this was very helpful. Finally no more loud humming noise when I barely turn the wheel to the left!


Edit: maybe it was different cuz mine is not a 4x4 ... DUH! :-P
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post #7 of 51 Old 08-19-2009, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
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Ok, well I figured it out... took the semi-cheap way out, and bought a cheapo autozone hub assembly ($80). It looks different than the one above, I guess being an 03 they changed it a bit. All I had to do after removing the rotor was loosen the spindle nut which was a 1-5/16 not sure the metric size. Then the hub slid right off, lubed up the spindle slid the new one on and reversed the other steps. Also the brake caliper bolts were a 21mm. I bought a 7mm hex that I didnt need, but it was only 3bucks. Besides the small differences this was very helpful. Finally no more loud humming noise when I barely turn the wheel to the left!
Did you put a new spindle nut on?
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post #8 of 51 Old 10-01-2009, 04:32 AM
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Smile Great Instructions

djr8505, your instructions were great. I had to chisle and hammer a bit, but the hub did come loose. When it did, I felt, "OH, YES!"

I did this on my 2000 4X4 dakota that had ABS on the front hubs as well. That is the only reason I had to replace that hub, is that the ABS sensor went bad. I bought the hub for $135 (Parts Master).

The only difference in my model was the 3 bolts holding the hub to the knuckle. They were 9/16 or 15mm. 9/16 fit better and allowed room for the socket. When used with extension bars, I was able to use a ratchet wrench and even my torque wrench on those bolts with no difficulty.

I unplugged the sensor wires (just above the fender liner) by first pushing the plastic retaining pin out, allowing me to pull the plug into view in the wheel well.

Also, once the hub was off the knuckle, I used a good 10mm socket to loosen the two bolts that hold the splash shield (?) in place. I had to move this shield in order to remove the old ABS wire and reroute the new one through it.
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post #9 of 51 Old 10-21-2009, 04:21 AM
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hey guys, approximately how long did it take for you guys to complete this swap out? (with or without air tools)

98 Durango 318, FB tb, HS 1.7 RR, K&N FIPK, Borla cat-back
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post #10 of 51 Old 10-21-2009, 04:58 AM
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Time

Swithoff, it took me a day. I got all the hardware off, except the hub, in about an hour or so in the morning. Then it took me an hour of whacking the chisel and hammer to loosen the hub. I finished reassembling everything by mid afternoon. Now keep in mind, I did not use any power or air tools, and spent some time walking back and forth to my neighbors' houses to borrow some tools that I didn't have. Plus I'm not that experienced as a mechanic, and this is the first hub job I've ever attempted (and hopefully last).
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post #11 of 51 Old 10-21-2009, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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It took me a couple of hours. I didn't have air tools but I did us a Harbor Freight electric impact wrench. I guess I got lucky with removing the hub with a ball peen hammer and metal chisel. The hardest part was torquing the hub mounting bolts after installing the new hub.

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post #12 of 51 Old 10-22-2009, 01:34 AM
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well, with the help of djr's write-up, hopefully it'll only take me a few hours to do this when the time comes. Do any of you think it would have helped to spray some PB between the triangular mating surface of the hub to the knuckle, to knock it loose?

98 Durango 318, FB tb, HS 1.7 RR, K&N FIPK, Borla cat-back
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post #13 of 51 Old 11-19-2009, 01:39 PM
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front hub assembly replacement on my r/t need other parts?

do i need new tie rods any other parts other than the the front hub assembly before i start to take a part my front end? such as tie rods axle nuts cotter pins?
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post #14 of 51 Old 11-19-2009, 01:55 PM
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it would be in ur best interest to get new cotter pins...and while ur there with everything apart either replace or check ur balljoints and tierod ends.

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post #15 of 51 Old 11-19-2009, 04:42 PM
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nice write up


stickey please

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