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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Today I went through and changed the u-joints on the front axle of my truck. Job was pretty straight forward. I did use the trick using the power steering to free up the wheel bearings. Worked like a charm..... The only issue I had was getting the u-joint caps out of the axles. They were rusted solid, and the last person who did it marred the out of the knuckles. Nothing that a die grinder and some finess won't solve. A torch would have made it a lot easier but alas I am out of gas. After everything was cleaned up anti-seize was liberally applied and everything went back together easy...

No more click clank click clank while turning.

Total cost:
100.00 auto zone "wheel joint"
9.00 anti-seize
18.00 beer
1100.00 new tires

No one looking at my truck clanking along priceless
 

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I did my drivers side a couple years ago. Tried everything I could think to get that hub off. bought a slide hammer and beat on it for hours. nothing. Finally I put the torch to it and that did it. I ended up frying the ABS sensor though so be careful if you have resort to a heat like I did.

My pass side is bad now :banghead: definately NOT looking foreward to the job.

did you put greaseable joints back in? I heard both good and bad reviews about them but ended up using one on my drivers side. I just make sure its greased every time I change the oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Howdy,

Search the forum there is a post about removing the hub using your power steering. It works like a charm. Basic overview is;

1. Remove tires, caliper, rotor, hub nut,
2. Wd40 everything
3. Loosen all of the bolts that hold your wheel bearing in place (4)
4. Back the wheel bearing bolts out until the threads of the bolts are flush with the holes. ( looking at it from where the rotor used to be)
5. Take your socket and extension (no ratchet) rest the socket on one of the top bolts that hold your hub on.
6. Start the truck and slowly rotate the steering wheel until the socket extension is resting on the lip of the axle housing. So what you should have is all the bolts backed off, socket on the head of one of the top bolts wedged against the axle.
7. Now just keep "gently bumping" the steering wheel. This will apply a ton of force to the bolt head and that will in turn push the hub assembly out.
8. Then switch sides (top bolt) and repeat.

I only pushed a little on each side and went back and forth a couple of times, that way I knew I would not over stress the bearings.

It literally took 5 minutes to press out the hub with no damage, heat, or frustration. Took about 4 hours to do both sides and a oil change.

As for the heat I only wanted that when I was trying to get the u-joint bearing cap out of the knuckle.

Hope this makes your next joint replacement a whole lot easier.

Jim
 

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why do two sides if only one is bad? I understand preventative maintainence but I don't see any reason to replace a good joint. I'm still able to use the 4x4 right now. The joint is still functional, but I noticed a little play when I inspected it last week so I know its time.
 

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If 1 side is gone then the other has the same wear & tear so most likely soon to follow! Would you just replace 1 rotor & pads if the other side wasn't all the way gone
 

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Does the axle shaft just pull out of the differential, or do you have to remove the diff cover and remove a keeper? About to tackle this job on my 07. Do the bearing caps have the teflon around them like the driveshaft does?
 

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Does the axle shaft just pull out of the differential, or do you have to remove the diff cover and remove a keeper? About to tackle this job on my 07. Do the bearing caps have the teflon around them like the driveshaft does?
Yes, just pull it out straight & level so you don't mess up the seals. You will lose some axle fluid so stuff a clean rag in there after you get the axle out & get some axle fluid. No on the teflon. I took mine to a driveline shop & they charged me $40 to take the old joints out & the new ones in! Do a search & you will find that there's a good write up with pics.:thumbsup:
 

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I have done mine the hard way with a hammer and took about 4 hours and lots of sweet and blood and then the easy way in about 2 hrs with my 8 year old helping me with the power steering and didn't break a sweet.
 

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I tried the power steering trick on mine but had no luck. My last resort was going to Harbor Freight and getting a 12 ton hydraulic gear puller. I know its bad for the hubs but it sure made quick work of getting those hubs off. A couple of months later I got new hubs from Rockauto.com for the piece of mind and just in case factor. As for getting the u-joint caps out, you can rent a ball joint press from an auto parts store or buy one from Harbor Freight like I did. If you can cut out the middle of the u-joint first then it makes it easier to press out the caps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I tried the power steering trick on mine but had no luck. My last resort was going to Harbor Freight and getting a 12 ton hydraulic gear puller. I know its bad for the hubs but it sure made quick work of getting those hubs off. A couple of months later I got new hubs from Rockauto.com for the piece of mind and just in case factor. As for getting the u-joint caps out, you can rent a ball joint press from an auto parts store or buy one from Harbor Freight like I did. If you can cut out the middle of the u-joint first then it makes it easier to press out the caps.

I had a 30 ton press that was bending the knuckle rather than moving the U-joint caps. And of course I ran out of acetoline about the same time as my truck was up in the air with no axles in her... :doh: but a RBFH and a couple of hours and the caps were out.

I can't believe the power steering did not push your hubs out. There is a sh!t ton of force there. Glad to hear that the pulled worked for you though. I was trying to avoid buying new hubs at all costs, and I could not believe how much the dealer wanted to do the job.

I going to open up a garage and charge 30% off for any one who comes in with either beer or skimply dressed eye candy for me.:drool2: lol
 
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