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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Sport Wheel Axel Nut?

Hey everyone.

I got 4 new tires and stock sport wheels. I now have to replace a wheel bearing and for our cars it is the entire hub assembly. So I am going to do the job myself, and have already got a 3/4 torque wrench, but keep only finding 1/2 33mm sockets that can be bought locally.

Another thing is I am not sure if the sport wheels had a grease cap on them that can come off, but it looks like there is a indentation in the center of the wheel that could be pried off. of course I do not want to damage the wheel.

Best advice I found so far is chock the wheels and use a breaker bar while the vehicle is on the ground, which sounds good. Would I hurt my 3/4th torque wrench if I used that and ordered a 3/4th socket online to remove the nut? Should I be using lock tight when I torque the nut down to 250lbs?

In the end it looks like I will be taking off the tire, using my spare (I think it has a hole in the center as well) to apply weight to the axle. Than use a brake bar 1/2 and a 33mm 1/2 nut, than either buying a 3/4 33mm nut, or a 3/4 to 1/2 adapter piece.

Really my big question is does the indent I see pop off, and if so, is there a chance I wont be able to keep it on reliably anymore due to say a snapped clip or something. The rest is just if you happen to want to comment on it. One way or another I think I know everything I need to for this job.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 09:52 PM
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Front bearings are a cinch, took me under 30 minutes both times I've done it. Take off the wheel then remove the caliper and rotor. Remove the grease cap with a flat blade screwdriver then use a 36mm socket (or a 1 7/16") to remove the hub retaining nut (these can be rented from AutoZone). Do not re-use this nut, buy a replacement when you get your new hub/bearing. The old hub should slide right off. Installation is the reverse of removal... tighten the nut to 196-254 ft-lbs. I was able to do this using an old pipe over the end of an old 1/2" socket easily enough.

Only thing I don't understand is which notch you're talking about. If you're referring to the notch in the wheel so you can pry off the center cap there shouldn't be a need to do that since you can already get at the lug nuts. Just break all five loose with the car sitting on the ground then jack up the wheel and proceed with the replacement. There isn't any need to have weight on the spindle to remove or replace the retaining nut either, just be sure you've got jack stands where they need to be.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by theterminator93 View Post
Front bearings are a cinch, took me under 30 minutes both times I've done it. Take off the wheel then remove the caliper and rotor. Remove the grease cap with a flat blade screwdriver then use a 36mm socket (or a 1 7/16") to remove the hub retaining nut (these can be rented from AutoZone). Do not re-use this nut, buy a replacement when you get your new hub/bearing. The old hub should slide right off. Installation is the reverse of removal... tighten the nut to 196-254 ft-lbs. I was able to do this using an old pipe over the end of an old 1/2" socket easily enough.

Only thing I don't understand is which notch you're talking about. If you're referring to the notch in the wheel so you can pry off the center cap there shouldn't be a need to do that since you can already get at the lug nuts. Just break all five loose with the car sitting on the ground then jack up the wheel and proceed with the replacement. There isn't any need to have weight on the spindle to remove or replace the retaining nut either, just be sure you've got jack stands where they need to be.
It is on the outside of each lug nut, and is an indent in the sport wheel. Almost looks like you could pull it off by putting a screwdriver between it and prying.

The replacement nut that rock auto offered is 33mm, so I thought I needed a 33mm socket. About wanting it accessed while the wheel is on it is to keep the axle from moving when I try to loosen it otherwise it will be like trying to loosen a torqued down lug nut. Most people show a breaker bar and the proper socket, and some show a jack holding the socket up to keep it level and help your leverage and prevent bending the bar.

If there is a way to keep the spindle from moving while there is no weight on it, I don't know about it. I saw a you tube video where a guy took a pipe and drilled a hole in it 4 inches from the end, but this on a wheel bolt, and as he turned it, it wedged up against the ground preventing movement.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 06:07 AM
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The front spindle won't move while you're tightening the nut, as long as it's still bolted to the upper and lower control arms.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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The front spindle won't move while you're tightening the nut, as long as it's still bolted to the upper and lower control arms.
Well I should have the parts Saturday and will try on Sunday. I will come back with results of the circular indent once I look on the inside of the wheel and a follow up of the hub nut. Every nut from rock auto was 33mm, so I will be disappointing if the one on my axle is 36mm.

I think I get what your saying about the nut not causing the hub assembly to spin since it just holds the bearing/hub to the axle, and the axle should not spin. Still kinda makes me wonder why people have a problem with removing it as I have seen in videos

In this one I see the person tighten it and it spins the hub http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql7xb...eature=related

In this one the person loosens the hub nut the way I think I should with what looks like the spare on it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_um-77hZWY

Thanks for all the info. Makes me feel like I am more prepared than necessary which should make things go smoother.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 05:42 AM
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Your youtube movies are of front wheel drive cars.......

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 08:23 AM
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I found a 1-1/4 inch socket fit my rear wheel bearing better than the 33 mm. I had a 3/4" 1-1/4 socket and used it instead of the 1/2" 33 mm I bought.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Your youtube movies are of front wheel drive cars.......
I keep forgetting that a ton of drivers have FWD. Is there any harm in loosening and tightening the nut to the L/UCA's with the weight off the ground? I am guessing the weight of the car exceeds whatever I could do on a daily basis.

The hub I just got says Koyo on it and came in a MC bag lol. Anyone know if that is the oem part? Also I know the original hubs were keyed with yellow to indicate where the valve stem should be closest to, but this one does not have that, boooo.

Any advice or just put it on and live with it. I still have a 90 day on my alignment.

Thanks for clearing that up for me DLF, and thanks for the advice Dusty, I think harbor freight actually has that socket unlike the 33mm one lol.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 12:31 PM
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The LCA and UCA bolts MUST be tightened with the car loaded. You can remove/replace the hub nut with the car unloaded.

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Last edited by DLF; 10-09-2010 at 01:01 PM.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Well I got home and my nuts are here, but I ordered two Dormans because they were cost effective to order that way and I figure I will need to replace the passenger side eventually of course.

Beyond where you put the socket on the nut is a ring and on one it spins freely on the other it is stuck in place and can be moved 1mm left or right or with force can be cranked around to a 360 spin. Which is the one I should use? I figure I am going to have to ask rock auto for a new part to be safe :/.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2010, 07:02 AM
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Are you talking about play in the bearing in the new hub? That is normal since the two halves of the inner race aren't clamped together. It will tighten up once you torque it down on the spindle.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2010, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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This is not the hub nut but it will let me explain easier.



where the 10's and F is at is like a washer that is connected to the hub nut. This spins freely on one of the nut's I have, the other it does not, requires force, and is leaving a discoloration from metal scraping metal. I don't think there is supposed to be that much friction there.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2010, 05:17 PM
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I think there should definitely be play because other wise you won't be able to torque it down correctly because the friction will lead you to believe that it's tighter than it actually is
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2010, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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I think there should definitely be play because other wise you won't be able to torque it down correctly because the friction will lead you to believe that it's tighter than it actually is
Rock auto got back to me and said they were sending another Hub Nut and told me to throw the bad one away.

As for the MC hub assembly they said it was a drop ship from MC so Koyo must be the OEM choice. It stinks that it is not color keyed but I guess I will be looking at the difference in price for Koyo compared to MC wheel hubs for the next part.

I'll come back Tuesday with results using the free spinning nut and Koyo Hub.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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I found a 1-1/4 inch socket fit my rear wheel bearing better than the 33 mm. I had a 3/4" 1-1/4 socket and used it instead of the 1/2" 33 mm I bought.
I bought this from harbor freight http://www.harborfreight.com/21-piec...set-40996.html

Also a adapter set to go from 1/2 to 3/4 and a 1/2 25 inch breaker bar. The reason I got the SEA 12 point set here is because it had a chart that said metric conversions. 1-5/16th is supposed to be equal to 33mm. With that said it fits perfectly snug in the 1-3/8th socket. $40 after 20% off coupon (found a bunch that last three months in road and track magazines and motor cycle from same company). The 3/4th ratchet seems flimsy when choosing loosen or tighten.

Also I checked the contents when I got to my trunk and the case was starting to break on the inside. I went back in and the manager told me to get back in the one checkout lane for a exchange. I told him you just say me leave seconds ago, and he said they could not send it back unless they had a return receipt. I guess this explains why it was the LAST one on the shelf. I walked out of there with the tool, and will return it later now, after I use it. I left a nice feedback with the suggestion of not forcing people to buy broken stuff because you can't figure out how to return known broken items beforehand. Whatever could be worse and I guess that's what you get in this price range.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Well the job went OK. Koyo is what I pulled off and what I put on.

The FORD grease cap was something else. it's really like a dist shield. I was unsure of how to get it off when simple prying did nothing and it looked plastic like to me. So I pierced it from the center to find it was metal, and prying here is no good because you have a better chance of damaging the spindle thread for the hub nut. I ended up piercing the edges and prying it out that way, but this kinda makes it not usable. I banged it to look right, filled it with all purpose grease, and put it back, it will probably be fine until I find where the heck to buy the part. When I do the passenger side I am going to try large pliers and twist and pull it off now that I know there is a metal core.

As for the Hub nut I used the emergency jack to hold the 1-3/8th socket attached to an 8 inch extension level and the 20 inch breaker bar in the 3/4th kit to break it free. I had to bounce on it a bit. Tightening was same, except at the end I used the torque wrench and set it to 230lbs and tightened. the rears are supposed to be 250, the fronts are 188-246 or something and the tool has a +-4% variance.

As for my original question, I would say it can not come off. The stud holes are there for the lugs to thread onto. If that portion could come off than the lugs could not hold anything in place except that center part. Seems kinda obvious now.

Sorry to get off topic and thanks for all the help everyone.

P.S. old part sounded loose and marble like, new part is great, just wish it was keyed on one of the studs.

Last edited by Burner1515; 10-12-2010 at 08:11 PM.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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I wondered why the new nut was smaller than the old, but it seemed to just get enough bite that it could hold the center bearing in place and let the hub spin on it's own. After my last post I was looking around, saw the MC wheel hub is about $25more now and looked at spindle nuts again. Apparently I bought a set of 2 rears instead of a front or two fronts. So I ordered a new front and decided not to chance it and have finally found a place that carries a Dorman replacement. Orielly's. http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...eyword=615-098

The new nut has no play on the washer (the nut is one solid gold piece) and is still slightly smaller than oem, but larger than the rear. This required a 1-1/2 socket (felt a little loose but worked). I just got the 'new' rear nut in the mail, and it does not spin easily. This leaves one free spinning and two semi sticking. This makes me believe it does not matter if they spin as long as they are torqued correctly since the hub spins and the bearing stays still.

It was easier doing the job since the caliper did not have to be removed, just the grease cap (still need to find a replacement for that, but I am tired and it's raining). I also put some blue thread locker on the threads to be safe, says it is serviceable. I could not find locktight, just this and a red version that says you need to heat it to 500 degrees to remove parts once it sets.

-Feeling very stupid and frustrated

Last edited by Burner1515; 10-13-2010 at 10:55 PM. Reason: finally finished job
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Just for the sake of helping future searches who find this thread and since I did the pass hub today.

1: buy the Hub $76, New Axel nut (make sure it's front), and grease cap $5. I bought all these from silver state ford except the axle nut, your call, oem is like $15-25, dorman from oreilles is like $10. Shipping from SSF is $13 for all orders under 100 or 150 or something, which is less than it should cost. I went OEM Koyo because I wanted to and also finding the darned Grease caps is about impossible except from SSF or special order from Ford dealer. Your choice, but I bought one hub from them, 2 grease caps, and that was it. I bought the nut from Rock Auto (other nut from oreilles) and a MC hub from them.

2: Loosen lugs on side your replacing, jack up side your replacing, chock all other wheels, remove wheel.

3: Remove both bolts for caliper bracket, and remove caliper, pads, and bracket all together. Suspend in air with rope/wire (any points the hydraulic hose makes contact with, put cloth/towel in-between), or let it seat on a extra jack stand (my choice). Note this makes it a bit more difficult to slide the assembly back onto the rotor, but it can be done and is easier than disassembling the caliper bolts, finding a good place to keep the pads, possibly re-greasing/anti squeal compound etc....

4: Remove rotor.

5: Remove grease cap. Earlier I destroyed the drivers side, hence why I recommend replacing with oem part. You can however salvage it somewhat (or possibly all together if you are extremely patient). I take a small screw driver and use it to help make a small hole between the hub and cap. The cap is aluminum and the hub will not be damaged (your replacing it anyway) so if you put it between this line and use a hammer or mallet it will pierce the aluminum, which than will give you leverage to push the screw driver away and popping the dust cap out a bit. Switch to a larger screw driver and repeat. This will only give you so much room and you will rotate the hub and try prying in and area where there is not so much open room. I found that this is once again impossible because there is not enough bite to grip the tiny metal lip, so once again you will be making another hole and repeating initial procedure but with the larger driver. It's up to you what you do from here because it can be removed without piercing it anymore, but it's faster to do so and replace the part if you want. Note that as long as the cap is intact and you made holes along the line I mentioned only, you can reuse this cap at your own discretion. I replaced because I wanted to be absolutely sure no problems would crop up, but I kept the passenger side because it looks like it could be reused in a pinch. You will be hammering this part back on and the hole you created should be near impossible to tell meaning most likely dust and debris will not get in.

6: Use a 3/4th set to get the nut off. I used a 8 inch extension, 20 inch breaker bar, 1-3/8th 12 point socket and a jack to remove the OEM nut. Make sure all wheels are chocked well and I used the jack to keep the extension, breaker bar, and socket level. This worked well. Remove nut and discard or put with aluminum cans for recycling. Do not leave this lying around where someone may use it for something, including yourself for a future job. It is not safe.

7: Brake clean the rust/dust off the spindle. It probably makes almost no difference, but it's what I recommend. Make sure there is no dust/rust that got stuck to the spindle where the hub will stay. (I believe I neglected this part on the drivers side, so maybe it does not matter as much. but cleaning everything is a good idea anyway, the new hub should have some base grease to help it slide on and off, and the OEM after 100k seemed to still be fine on the drivers and passenger side when removing)

8: If using Dorman Gold nut with no spinner on it, than you will use all the same tools as above with the added help of a 3/4th torque wrench, 3/4 ratchet wrench (I baby my torque wrenches), and a 1-1/2 12 point socket.

Note: I know these should not vary, but I was really glad I purchased the entire SEA Wrench set from Harbor Freight and it was like $40 using a 20% off coupon. If I would have purchased only what I needed this would have been a huge PITB once I tried to put back on the new Dorman nut, also the 33mm that was specified would most likely not have worked even if I bought all OEM parts for this portion.

Use a pinch of threadlock, or permatex blue, near the final threads before the hub and spread it a bit. Make sure nut is going on straight so it does not damage spindle threads. You will not get far, start using ratchet in reverse of removal procedure until it gets pretty darn tight and hub has no play anymore. Now torque down to between 196-254lbs. I chose 230 since my wrench has a +-4% variance still putting it within range. Again make sure there is NO play.

9: Tap on the grease cap, you can wait, but I did mine at this point.

10: Place rotor back on and caliper/bracket assembly on rotor. It's best to wiggle the caliper portion and attempt to hold the rotor in flush place. This worked for me along with more wiggling to get both bracket bolts back on. Start off hand tightening to make sure there is no odd angle resistance. Again I still believe this is easier than removing all the bolts and pads and applying new grease as necessary.

11: Put the wheel back on, tighten nuts in star pattern, lower vehicle, and use torque wrench to make sure all nuts are evenly torqued down between 85lbs and 105lbs. I choose 95lbs because it's dead center.

12: test drive time.

This whole job should take you as stated above 30 mins. I started at 11am, and was done before 12. I know the first time I did it it went on for maybe closer to two hours because I was double checking and I still messed it up originally because of the mistaken nut used. Keep in mind I work behind a garage and my tools need to be transported from the house to the garage making pretty much all jobs I do longer especially when I have to up and go get a different tool from inside the house.

Hope this helps anyone and ends up saving you $90 in labor lol. I think I was quoted about $190 for the entire drivers side, and they would have reused the old nut as I was not being charged for a new nut. The tools are an investment but as a few posts above mine have said you can borrow them from a local parts place like autozone etc. the 3/4th torque wrench is essential, as I have not seen a easy going 1/2 torque drive go up to 250lbs.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 02:35 PM
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The Snap-On 1/2" torque wrench I picked up at a local pawn shop (for $25) does 250 ft/lbs. Actually, can do 265 ...

But yah, it's hard to find one unless you check the pawn shops.
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