4X4 front hub Assy? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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4X4 front hub Assy?


February 4, 2010
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City, State
Santee, Ca.
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 Explorer 4X4 4.6L
I have an 03 Explorer 4X4, & last week I changed one of my front hub assemblies, & found it more difficult than my Jeep. This is because Ford put the three bolts that attach the hub to the spindle, to near where the axle goes thru the spindle, thus not allowing enough room for a normal 3/8" dr. 15mm socket. I ended-up using a short socket that was disigned as a serpentine belt tool, but I still had to force on the socket. My long-winded question is: Does anyone know of a special socket arangement for this? Thanks!

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The only socket that worked for me was a Snap-on that had a thinner wall than other brands. IIRC, I also used an open end as well.

It is a pain!

Take off the axle bolt and push back on the axle as you loosen up the bolts.
You'll get it. I used a 1/2 inch drive short socked with a short extension.
The other trick is an offset 15 mm wrench.

The new hub I bought came with new bolts. I just loosened each bolt 1/8" and cut them off with a hacksaw, took 30 minutes from wheel off to wheel back on. The bolts thread into the hub itself you will be throwing it away anyway.

I used PB blaster and a long 1/2 inch swivel wratchet. Works great and take about 10 mins if you take your time. The short socket was a 3/8 with the short extension and an adapter to the 1/2.
Sorry about the miss post above.

All excellent answers! Thanks! to everyone. The Snap-On truck stopped by where I work last night, but I forgot about going on it? I'll pick-up as short as, & as thin as a 15mm socket I can get, & also a deep offset wrench would work well. I too, was able to use my ratchet & socket about 3/4 of the way, & had to finish it off with an open-end wrench. I especially like the answer about taking the axle nut off, because I noticed while using the puller, the axle does push inboard a fair distance, & this would be enough to eliminate the tight clearance. Awesome! Help

Craftsman 12-pt 15mm socket did the trick, very thin wall and it worked well. Also grab the 15mm deep offset while your there. . .the 6pt impact was way to thick.

I used the 12-pt + 6" extension and was able to get in there. wrecker bar or impact air will help. To remove i used a slide hammer on the Axle puller/pusher and it came right off.

offset box end wrench worked for me.