How To Remove the Front Wheel Hub

Removing a front wheel hub, or "rotor" in many cases, is basically the same on most vehicles.

4x4's usually require the removal of an axle, but that is for another article.

First you need to remove the wheel cover, there are special tools for this, and most people still just use a plain old "screwdriver". Remove the "lug nuts" next, and carefully remove the tire from the vehicle.

You should now be looking at the hub or rotor.

Now you must remove the brakes, usually disk brakes on the front. Most disk brake assemblies have two bolts on the back of the disk cylinder. The "back" means the opposite side from the tire.

After removing the bolts, simply lay or hang the disk brake cylinder to the side, carefully keeping track of those disk brake "pads".

Now look to the center of the hub. Many times there will be a small cap covering the "bearings". There is also a special tool to remove this, but a screwdriver works well enough.

Next you will see a "good size" nut with "slots" cut in it, and usually a pin through the shaft. Some call this a "cotter pin" but there are other names for it.

Remove the "pin" and the "nut". It should not be really tight.

Now it's time to get some grease on your hands. Hold one hand over the front "hole" of the hub and use the other hand to slowly pull the hub towards you.

There you go! You should have the hub or rotor completely removed from the vehicle.

Before replacing it, you will probably want to put a new seal in the rear, and be sure to clean it well and put plenty of new grease on those bearings.

When tightening the nut on replacement, simply tighten until you feel resistance when turning the hub, then back off about 1/4 turn. Replace the pin, and the cap, and you are ready to put the brakes on.

If the brake cylinder will not fit back on, it is probably because it moved out some during the time it was off the hub. Just take a "C-clamp" and ease it back in a little ways. Please don't use a hammer on it, those cylinders are usually made of aluminum or a "nylon" composite, and they can be brittle.

Now you can put the tire and wheel cover back on and move to another wheel.


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