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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.

My front wheel bearings are shot and I got new wheel hubs and u-joints ready waiting for install. I figured I'd ask about the bolt head sizes. The reason of course is that my brake caliper sliding pin bolts are allen keys, caliper bracket and wheen hub bolts are 12 point bolts. Except 1 wheel hub bolt that somebody has replaced with a normal 6 point bolt, which is also a bit rounded, possibly due to the previous owner replacing the upper ball joints.

Some sources claim that the bracket and wheel hub bolts are actually metric? Is that also true for the sliding pin bolts? I'd really like to know because I don't want to do any guesswork on crusty 12 head bolts. Also I don't even own any 12 point sockets yet, so I can't try them on. And I know for sure that if you use metric allen keys on UNF allen heads you WILL round them off even if they are in good shape. This goes vice versa too with allens.
 

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Yes they are both metric. I forget if they are 12 or 14mm on the bolts, 14 I think. The Allen is 8 or 10mm. Go to Harbor Freight and get sets of each and there EXTENDABLE 3/8 ratchet to give you some more leverage. What are you doing with the studs on an 01? If they are 14, 9/16 is the same. Go to dealer and replace that one odd ball bolt.
 

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A trick to know once you get the bolts loose.
Screw the bolts out about 1/2 inch,turn the steering wheel all the way to one side.Measure from the axle tube to the wheel hub bolt on the side with the widest gap created from turning the wheel.Cut a piece of 1" cold rolled steel or other scrap of similar size the length you measured.
It helps to have a second person.Have someone in the truck.While you hold the piece of metal between the bolt head and axle tube have person in the truck start the engine and turn the wheel to push the hub out.Once a little pressure is applied to the bolt head you don't have to hold it anymore so get out of dangers way at this point.The hub will push right out.Just be careful and have the person in the truck turn steering slow.
 

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In non rust CA I have never had a problem getting the hub off.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the info. Passenger side hub fell right off thanks to who ever previously worked on it. There was a thick layer of copper grease on the knuckle surface. Getting the brake caliper bracket off was much more challenging, those big bolts were really tight. Wheel hub bolts were almost too loose, I got them off with a breaker bar and cheater pipe very easily. I actually had bought inch sized 12 point sockets for the job and they were more than perfect match to the bolts even though they are metric. 5/8 and 9/16 12 points rounds up to 14mm and 16mm on the 12 points maybe. Hub center bolt was a snug fit to a 43mm socket.

Unfortunately I didn't have the farsight to also order brake backing plates. Not that they showed any sings of being bad, but the part of the plate that was between the knuckle and wheel hub has very little material left on it and thus can't be used on reassembly. So now I'm waiting for new backing plates and relaxing for a bit.

The wheel hub bolts that somebody had replaced were actually in much better condition than I originally thought. They werent rounded at all, they just had so much dirt built up on them that I thought it was going to be much worse. I'm gonna check if the strength of the replaced bolts is 10.9 or greater and if so I think I'm going to keep them on.
 

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In non rust CA I have never had a problem getting the hub off.
Man the first time I replaced a front wheel bearing I didn't know about the Forum or anyone familiar with these trucks and it took 7hours of beating and prying to get the hub out.I don't want anyone to have to go through that.
 
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