Converting the Ford Explorer
Automatic 4x4 Hubs to Warn Manual Hub Conversion

Contributed by Matt Bobbitt

Tools needed:

Warn Hubs p/n 29071

conversion kit p/n 27997 (early 90 and later 27 spline axle)

*** for earlier vehicles - p/n 27988 (83-early 90 with 23 tooth spline axle)

Cost of the Hubs and the conversion kit cost $185. Then the cost of the wheel bearing socket was $13. Time to do the conversion at a leisurely pace was about 1.5 hours.

1. Start by removing the center caps of the wheels and then loosen the lug nuts while the tires are on the ground with the 3/4' deep socket. Once the lug nuts are loosened, then jack one side of the vehicle off the ground and secure with jack stands.

2. Remove the lugnuts and the wheels.

3. Once the wheels are off, then you can remove the speed nuts (if present) and the auto-hub from the drive shaft. 4. remove the axle shaft ring with the regular screw driver and hammer (gently). Once the shaft run is removed, the axle shaft spacer can be removed.

5. Now with a gentle pull on the plastic cam assembly, it comes free from the wheel bearing nut.

6. Now you have to remove the locking key from the wheel bearing adjusting nut. Make sure the key is centered with the wheel bearing nut and it comes out very easily with a magnet. They also suggest a paper clip to retrieve it if you don't have a strong magnet.

7. Now with the locking key removed, you have to remove the wheel bearing nut. My was six sided, not the normal 4 sides that you usually hear about. The local parts store did not have a bearing socket large enough to fit it, not even the one for a 3/4 ton Ford. If you have a bearing socket that fits, just remove the wheel bearing nut with that. If not, that is where the chisel and hammer comes in. Pound on the wheel bearing nut on a flat side with enough angle to get it to thread off. Mine was already scored from this service by a local tire company a few years ago, so it made it easier.

8. Now you have everything removed. You need to keep the axle shaft ring and spacer to reuse with the manual hubs. Everything else remove, you can toss it or whatever.

9. Install the inner adjusting nut (nut with the pin - the thickest of the two nuts supplied with the conversion kit from Warn). Torque that to 35 lb-ft to seat everything and then back off 90 degrees and re-torque to 16 lb-in - Nota bene: This is lb-in, not lb-ft.

10. Then install the bearing retainer washer ( the one that is thin with many holes in it) against the the adjusting nut. This washer is keyed, and takes the place of the locking key from the auto hubs.

11. Now install the outer bearing nut and torque to 150 lb-ft.

12. Replace the axle shaft spacer and the axle shaft ring.

13. Install the new manual hub.

14. Replace the wheel and the lugnuts. Torque the lugnuts to 75-100 lb-ft with the wheel on the ground. Then replace the center cap and repeat for the other side.

This is a very easy job to do. If you have never taken apart the hubs on the Fords, allow an extra 30 minutes to figure it out. There is also a lot of other services that you could do at the same time such as: -front brakes -repacking front wheel bearings -The needle bearings inside the spindle need to be greased -the right front drive shaft splines need a bit too -the u-joints in the front need to be checked/replaced as necessary.

Contributed by John Gyekenyesi

I acquired my hubs from Clemson 4 Wheel Center Inc. They advertise in the back of Four Wheeler Magazine. The Warn manual hubs (#29071) were $139.90 for both, the nut kit (Spicer 21588XK) was $17.90, shipping was at a realistic cost of $5.50 to Cleveland. The socket I used is K-D #2467.

If you have an article that covers reinstallation of the brake rotor bearings with the auto. hubs then one socket for the bearing nut is OTC #1936.

Maybe, specify the lug nut socket as 19mm (3/4"), since, it is metric. Oh well.

This is in reference to the 3 plugs in the manual transmission. Another technique, to get at the plugs, is to drop the rear of the trans. I removed the rear cross member and pivoted the engine/trans assembly down on the engine mounts. This gives enough clearance to access the plugs. This was posted by someone else on the Explorer Usenet. Unfortunately, I only copied the text of the post. I don't have the author.






Updated June 13, 1999

All contents of this site Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999 Jeff Singleton. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.