Jeep Wrangler/YJ 1987-1995 Repair Guide

Front Hub and Wheel Bearings



1987-90 Models

See Figure 1

Only 1987-90 models have hubs which contain tapered roller bearings that can be serviced or replaced as necessary. Hubs which contain ball bearings cannot be serviced, so the complete unit must be replaced if found defective.

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 the 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

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Front hub and bearings-1987-90 with 4wd

Do NOT do the following:

Do not work in dirty surroundings
Do not use dirty, chipped or damaged tools
Try not to work on wooden work benches or use wooden mallets
Do not handle bearings with dirty or moist hands
Do not use gasoline for cleaning; use a safe solvent instead
Do not spin-dry bearings with compressed air (it will damage them)
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

  1. Raise and safely support the front end on jackstands.
  3. Remove the wheel.
  5. Dismount the caliper and suspend it out of the way.
  7. Remove the rotor.
  9. Remove the hub nut pin, cap and nut.
  11. Remove the hub. Although the hub and bearings are usually replaced as a unit, the hub and bearing carrier may be disassembled and the bearings replaced as a set. In this case, they must first be separated with an arbor or hydraulic press. Once the hub and bearing carrier have been separated, the bearings should not be reused.

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.

  1. Pack the hub cavity and bearings with wheel bearing grease, then install the hub on the axle shaft. If the carrier was separated from the hub, make sure you install a new carrier seal and inner bearing seal.
  3. Install the hub washer and nut. Torque the nut to 175 ft. lbs. (237 Nm), then install the cap and a new cotter pin.
  5. Install the rotor, caliper and wheel.