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Front hub removal


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Hi guys love the information available here. My son and I are working on a 87 MJ Laredo 4WD. So far we have a lot replaced a lot of items referencing the forum for any help needed. We are trying to remove the front wheel hub assemblies to replace the u-joints and bearings. We have removed the 3 bolts and the axle nut, shouldn't it come off the truck? Is there something that I'm missing? We have even tried a 5lb slide hammer to no avail. I thought that it might be frozen on the axle, but the axle slides in and out. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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Its going to be heavily frozen to the knuckle. Try a chisel between the ear of the unit bearing (by where the bolt threads in), and the knuckle. I usually put it on an angle away from the hub, so if it starts to break it free, I can keep going and make more room. If that doesn't work, you need a bigger hammer.

 

Rob L.

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I had the same problem on my son's XJ. On the NAXJA website they have a good illustration how to place a small 3" long 1/2" socket extension behind the hub and into the steering knuckle. Start the engine and carefully crank the wheel, the hubs pops right out. Please note this is a dangerous operation to do on jack stands, you do this at your own risk. It does work very well.

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Here's what I do... once all three bolts are out, then come from the backside and put a socket extension in between the u-joint and the cast end of the axle.

 

 

Then start the truck and turn the wheel... pops right out everytime! It'll pull the whole axle out with the hub, but I just put the unit in a bench vise and give the axle a few taps and it too pops right out. Before putting it all back together, it might be a good idea to give the knuckle a little anti-seize where the unit bearing seats.

 

Something else to try anyway... hope this may help too!

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Thank you for the picture of the socket placement. We will stop working on the hubs and reinstall the manifolds we have removed (the exhaust manifold was cracked, I think that's a feature for jeeps) and give it a try with the power steering hooked up. We'll continue to PB Blast and hope for the best. We both have to work tomorrow so we probably won't be able to try again until Wednesday.

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PERSONALLY, I keep "banging bolts" in the trail box for just such purposes. A socket in the axle works well too. Here is a valuable lesson.. ANTI SEIZE IS YOUR FRIEND!!

This is the biggest reason I suggest everyone who wheels do this in there drive way. Cause a trashed axle U Joint is common and SUX to do ankle deep in mud and muck. Its MUCH easier if its been recently apart and anti sleaze was used. One other important tip, KEEP THE NUT ON THE AXLE! If you do try a sliding hammer, the is even more important!! Thoroughly clean the surfaces with a wire wheel and follow that with a coat on the threads of the three bolts as well as the round surface that is the press fit into the knuckle.

 

Its not a tough job. This should be the worst of it. Good luck,

 

CW

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since mine was shattered anyway, i used my favorite tool:

 

21b7s4Gn17L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Likewise, I don't run rotor dust shields anymore so I get a nice straight "line of fire" onto the back edge of the hub flange, a couple whacks on each side and they pop right out.

 

When I'm going to reuse the hub (because I'm just swapping balljoints/ujoints etc) I don't whack the flange, it's bad for the bearings, I use the method CW does except that I have a sacrificial 13mm 12pt socket I use, just put the socket on the bolts, loosen em up a bit, and whack the crap out of them with the UPSH (universal problem solving hammer.)

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I use old hub bolts, put one in till it has only about 1/8" sticking out, BFH till it moves. I think it is helpful to use PB Blaster around the circumference where the hub mounts.

 

 

x2, has worked for me every time too.

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We have been soaking and beating them with the sledge hammer, passenger side has a small gap on the forward edge. We were getting ready to install the manifolds and I looked at the engine mount. Drivers side looked rally bad, so we looked at the passenger side. The passenger side looked ok. Went to the auto parts store and looking at a new one they were both shot. Driverside easy to change bolts are soaking. I'm researching the passenger side now, that oil filter is really in the way. We hope to get it running tomorrow.

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