Jeep CJ 1945-1970 Repair Information

Front Hub and Wheel Bearings



Sodium-based grease is not compatible with lithium-based grease. Read the package labels and be careful not to mix the two types. If there is any doubt as to the type of grease used, completely clean the old grease from the bearing and hub before replacing.

Before handling the bearings, there are a few things that you should remember to do and not to do.

Remember to DO the following-

Remove all outside dirt from the housing before exposing the bearing
Treat a used bearing as gently as you would a new one
Work with clean tools in clean surroundings
Use clean, dry canvas gloves, or at least clean, dry hands
Clean solvents and flushing fluids are a must
Use clean paper when laying out the bearings to dry
Protect disassembled bearings from rust and dirt. Cover them up
Use clean rags to wipe bearings
Keep the bearings in oil-proof paper when they are to be stored or are not in use
Clean the inside of the housing before replacing the bearing

Do NOT do the following-

Don't work in dirty surroundings
Don't use dirty, chipped or damaged tools
Try not to work on wooden work benches or use wooden mallets
Don't handle bearings with dirty or moist hands
Do not use gasoline for cleaning; use a safe solvent
Do not spin-dry bearings with compressed air, otherwise they will be damaged
Do not spin dirty bearings
Avoid using cotton waste or dirty cloths to wipe bearings
Try not to scratch or nick bearing surfaces
Do not allow the bearing to come in contact with dirt or rust at any time

2-Wheel Drive Models
  1. Raise the front of the vehicle and safely support it on jackstands.
  3. Remove the wheel.
  5. Remove the front hub grease cap.
  7. Remove the cotter pin and locknut.
  9. Pull out on the brake drum slightly to free the outer bearing and remove the bearing.
  11. Remove the drum and hub.
  13. Using an awl, puncture the inner seal and pry it out. Discard the seal.
  15. Remove the inner bearing.
  17. Inspect the bearing races for excessive wear, pitting or grooves. If they are cracked or grooved, or if pitting and excess wear is present, drive them out with a drift or punch.
  19. Check the bearing for excess wear, pitting or cracks, or excess looseness.

If it is necessary to replace either the bearing or the race, replace both. Never replace just a bearing or a race. These parts wear in a mating pattern. If just one is replaced, premature failure of the new part will result.

  1. If the old parts are retained, thoroughly clean them in a safe solvent and allow them to dry on a clean towel. Never spin dry them with compressed air.
  3. On vehicles with drum brakes, cover the spindle with a cloth and thoroughly brush all dirt from the brakes. Never blow the dirt off the brakes, due to the presence of asbestos in the dirt, which is harmful to your health when inhaled.
  5. Remove the cloth and thoroughly clean the spindle.
  7. Thoroughly clean the inside of the hub.
  9. Pack the inside of the hub with EP wheel bearing grease. Add grease to the hub until it is flush with the inside diameter of the bearing cup.
  11. Pack the bearing with the same grease. A needle-shaped wheel bearing packer is best for this operation. If one is not available, place a large amount of grease in the palm of your hand and slide the edge of the bearing cage through the grease to pick up as much as possible, then work the grease in as best you can with your fingers.
  13. If a new race is being installed, very carefully drive it into position until it bottoms all around, using a brass drift. Be careful to avoid scratching the surface.
  15. Place the inner bearing in the race and install a new grease seal.
  17. Place the hub assembly onto the spindle and install the outer bearing. Install the wheel bearing nut and tighten it until the hub binds while turning. Back off the nut about 1 / 6 - 1 / 4 turn (60-90°) to free the bearings. Install a new cotter pin.
  19. Install the grease cap.
  21. Install the wheel.
  23. Lower the vehicle and install the hub cap.