Rear hub, wheel bearing and seal (full-floating axles) — removal, bearing/seal replacement and installation


1. Remove the axle shaft (see Axleshaft (rear) — removal and installation).

2. Loosen the rear wheel lug nuts, raise the rear of the vehicle and support it securely on jack stands. Block the front wheels and remove the rear wheels.

3. Remove the brake caliper and bracket together as an assembly. Remove the brake disc (see Brakes).

4. Remove the retaining ring and key (if equipped) from the end of the axle housing.

5. Remove the adjusting nut, using a special socket available at most auto parts stores.

6. Pull the hub assembly straight off the axle tube.

7. Remove and discard the oil seal from the back of the hub.

8. Use solvent to clean the bearings, hub and axle tube, then spray the bearings with brake system cleaner, which will remove the solvent and allow the bearings to dry much more rapidly.

9. Carefully inspect the bearings for cracks, wear and damage. Check the axle tube flange, studs and hub splines for damage and corrosion. Check the bearing cups (races) for pitting or scoring. Worn or damaged components must be replaced with new ones.

10. To further disassemble the hub, use a hammer and a long bar or drift punch to knock out the inner bearing cup (races).

11. Remove the retaining ring, then knock the outer bearing cup from the hub.

12. Clean the old sealing compound from the seal bore in the hub.

13. Inspect the brake disc (see Brakes).

14. Reassemble the hub by reversing the disassembly procedure. Use only the proper size bearing driver when installing the new bearing cups (races).

15. Lubricate the bearings and the axle tube contact areas with wheel bearing grease. Work the grease completely into the bearings, forcing it between the rollers, cone and cage.


16. Make sure the axle housing oil deflector is in position. Place the hub assembly on the axle tube, taking care not to damage the oil seals.

17. Install the adjusting nut and adjust the bearings.


18. Rotate the hub, making sure it turns freely.

19. While rotating the hub in the normal direction of rotation (forward), tighten the adjusting nut to 50 ft-lbs. with a torque wrench. Again, this will require the special socket, which is available at most auto parts stores.

20. Back the nut off until it’s loose, then tighten the nut hand-tight with the special socket.

21. If necessary, turn the nut counterclockwise to align the closest slot in the nut with the keyway in the spindle, then install the key.

Caution: Don’t turn the nut more than one slot to achieve alignment.

22. Install the retaining ring.

23. Wiggle the hub assembly; you shouldn’t be able to detect any play, but the hub should turn freely. There shouldn’t be any preload on the bearings, but there shouldn’t be any free-play, either.

24. Install the axle shaft (see Axleshaft (rear) — removal and installation) and lower the vehicle.

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