Instructions to replace both front hub assemblys'
Difficulty Level: 6/10
(assuming average shade tree w/average hand tools and some knowledge of brakes, wheels, rotors, etc..)
This is a very common problem among these trucks, escpecially if they have higher mileage. I have replaced both of mine, and I can tell you from experience, that is is NOT going to be cheap. 1st I HIGHLY advise NOT to use Used parts for this repair. The amount of work to replace them is not worth what you will save on the used ones, and you do not know what kind of abuse the used ones could have on them.
The best price you are going to find on these (Assuming it is a 4WD) is around $205-$218 per assembly. Advance and AutoZone are going to be a few bucks cheaper than the Ford Service Dept., but Ford usually always has them on the shelf. I chose to get mine directly from Ford, this way there is no question of fit, compatiblity, or quality.
Replacing the hub assemblies is not hard, per se, providing you have the right tools and some patience. Virtually, the only specialty tools you will need are:
-A HAYNES MANUAL!!,
-The Axle Nut socket (ask Advance Auto to look the truck up and tell you what size it takes. Prob about a 36mm depending on the year),
-a large 1/2" rachet,
-a good breaker bar,
-and a wedge or chisel to separate the hub assembly from the bracket.
The remainder of the tools needed are standard and metric sockets and wrenches that you should already have (otherwise, stop here and take your truck to a mechanic!)
I HIGHLY recommend having a Haynes Manual for the truck, before you start this repair. They are $21 and THEY ARE ESSENTIAL! If you follow the repair step by step, you will be fine.
If you are too cheap to buy a $21 Haynes Manual on a repair costing over $400, stop here and take your truck to the mechanic!
This Solution I am providing, will be a summary of what the repair entails, I am only giving my "take" on how difficult the repair is.
1. Set the truck on jack stands and remove the front tires.
2. Remove the brake caliper assemblies (2 bolts), and hang them out of the way with wire or a zip-tie. (This is a good time to check your brake shoes and rotors, too. If they need replaced, now is the time. They are not that expensive, and this is a good opportunity to take care of them, IF they are worn.)
Approx. Shoes = $35 / set & Rotors = $23 / ea
3. Remove the Caliper brackets (2 bolts)
4. Hold the hub in place with a long pipe or lug nut wrench, and remove the Axle nut from the center of the Hub. (If nut is "staked", use a screwdriver, or chisel to un-"stake" it.)
5. Remove the clips holding the rotors onto the wheel studs, then remove the rotors.
6. Remove the 4 bolts from the back side of the Hub Assemblies.
7.Try pushing the drive axle toward the motor on the inside of the hub, if it doesn't move freely, you may need to get it started with a gear puller or tap it slightly with a hammer. It will not come out of the back side, but it should move a good 2" or so inside there.
(Now for the "hard" part)
7. Use your chisel or steel wedge to force between the hub assembly and the bracket. This will be a long process, because the hub (if original) will be set into the bracket good and tight! Give it time, work the chisel or cone shaped punch in one side of the hub, work it loose, then go to the other side. Back and forth, until it breaks loose. It might help to spray WD-40 down in there once you get a small gap started, and let it sit for an hour or so.
8. Be sure to take care not to damage the drive axle when removing the hub assembly.
9. Once the hub assembly is out, let the drive axle rest on the bracket, clean the inside of the bracket out and spray it full of white lithium grease. Spray grease on the drive axle shaft, and the portion of the new hub assembly that will slide back into the bracket also.
10. Line up the bolt holes on the new hub and bracket and insert the drive axle shaft into the back side of the new hub. Gently hammer tap the new hub back into place and bolt it back into place with the 4 bolts on the back.
11. Reassemble all the parts in reverse, and you are done!
Like I said, you MUST have a Haynes Manual before starting this repair. If you take your time and do it step-by-step, you should be able to do the repair yourself and save several hundred dollars in labor! Be careful and Good Luck!
Mar 28, 2010 |
2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac