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Converting to new style 2WD hub assemblies.


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I need new ball joints, and was wondering while replacing them if I can throw on the knuckles from a newer style 2WD beam? Or even a Dana 30? I'm assuming they would fit fine, I'd just need to find the dummy spindles that hold the hub assemblies together. anybody know where I could find those?

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AFAIK, based on quite a bit of research, the newer 1994+ 2WD knuckles should work fine on the older 2WD beams. I would like to do this also because it would allow the use the universal 94+ 2WD/4WD front brake rotors and calipers. BUT, since I have not done it, can't say for sure. Best place to find the knuckles of course is from a low mileage XJ at your local PnP, unless you want to go new. Why don't you give it a shot and let me know? :cheers:

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Understand that. :D The spindle is replacable on the 90 and below 2WDs I'm pretty sure, but on the 91-93 models it's not. I have a 91, so if the spindle goes, you need a new knuckle, it's one piece. I have to dig into the parts manuals to be sure on the 90 and below models, but I'm sure on the 91-93's. But the newer 2WD 94+ drive knuckles should fit both of the 2WD axle beams, and they show a replacable spindle. Wish I could be more helpful, but maybe someone who has actually done this can chime in.

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Couldn't you just use the outer stub shaft from a 4wd axle instead of the dummy shaft? It is just there to hold the unit bearing together.

I was thinking the same thing. But I can't see ANY reason to make this conversion. It'll mean buying new hubs, new rotors, new calipers, new pads ... and every time a hub goes bad you're looking at another $125 to replace, compared to ... what, for a standard wheelbearing and grease seal? $20?

 

This swap does not strike me as being a great idea.

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Couldn't you just use the outer stub shaft from a 4wd axle instead of the dummy shaft? It is just there to hold the unit bearing together.

I was thinking the same thing. But I can't see ANY reason to make this conversion. It'll mean buying new hubs, new rotors, new calipers, new pads ... and every time a hub goes bad you're looking at another $125 to replace, compared to ... what, for a standard wheelbearing and grease seal? $20?

 

This swap does not strike me as being a great idea.

 

I have to agree. I like the spindle style set up with greaseable bearings.

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  • 2 weeks later...

well if you lack the facility and the skills replacing it as one unit instead of repacking a new bearing saves alot of time and headache. But like you guys said for the extra 100 bucks its not worth it. you could replace 6 bearings and repack for the cost of one hub.

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well if you lack the facility and the skills replacing it as one unit instead of repacking a new bearing saves alot of time and headache. But like you guys said for the extra 100 bucks its not worth it. you could replace 6 bearings and repack for the cost of one hub.

Having fought a few XJ/MJ unit bearing assemblies and having repacked conventional front wheel bearings countless times from my gearhead racing/autocross days -- there's no way on God's green earth you can replace a hub bearing unit faster than you can pop the bearings and repack. Not even close.

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All true, but the old style one piece hub/rotors are 2 to 3 times the cost of the newer rotors, and are getting harder to find, as well as the old calipers. The wheel bearings are a common size, so they will prolly always be available. Just thinking waaaay down the road it might be cost effective. Not planning on doing it, just thinking. :cheers:

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well if you lack the facility and the skills replacing it as one unit instead of repacking a new bearing saves alot of time and headache. But like you guys said for the extra 100 bucks its not worth it. you could replace 6 bearings and repack for the cost of one hub.

Having fought a few XJ/MJ unit bearing assemblies and having repacked conventional front wheel bearings countless times from my gearhead racing/autocross days -- there's no way on God's green earth you can replace a hub bearing unit faster than you can pop the bearings and repack. Not even close.

 

I said if you lack the skills man. once you learn to do it its easy. its like teaching a guy to fish instead of catching dinner for him if you know what i mean. On my MJ I did the front brakes and when looking at the hubs i had the one piece units as well no packing required it looked to me like you had to remove 3 bolts and then the old hub would come off after the brake system is removed.

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To change the hubs you must:

 

* Remove the caliper

* Remove the rotor

* Remove the nut holding the axle and hub together

* Remove the three bolts holding the hub unit in the knuckle

* Beat the old hub unit out of the knuckle. This can take 5 minutes, but more offten it's closer to 5 hours (per side)

 

 

To pack the old-style bearings you must:

* Remove the caliper

* Remove the cotter key locking the axle nut

* Remove the axle nut

* The outer bearing now falls out into your hand

* Remove the hub/rotor, pop the seal on the back, and the inner bearing falls out

* Pack some grease into the bearings

* Install rear bearing in hub, tap a new seal in place

* Reassemble

 

15 to 20 minutes per side would be working slowly.

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To change the hubs you must:

 

* Remove the three bolts holding the hub unit in the knuckle

* Beat the old hub unit out of the knuckle. This can take 5 minutes, but more offten it's closer to 5 hours (per side)

 

Back out the bols, but don't remove them. Stick another bolt between the head of a bolt and steering knuckle. Start engine, turn wheel, and the power steering system will easily press the hub/unit bearing out of the knuckle.

 

Took me 15-20 minutes to replace a 22 year old hub rust welded in place with 140,000 miles of use.

 

An impact ratchet for the spindle nut is a must have.

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