Hub (4-Wheel Drive)

The axles and locking hubs must be removed before the differential can be removed from the axle housing. Removing these components requires special procedures, and each type of 4WD system requires its own specific procedure.

Removal of the axle shafts begins with the removal of the hubs. Normally, the procedures for replacing manual hubs are somewhat different than those for replacing automatic hubs. Locking hubs are not serviceable, therefore service of the hubs is merely replacing them. Also, the procedure for the replacement of the hubs varies with the type of hub and the manufacturer. The following are general procedures for the removal and installation of both manual and automatic locking hubs. Always follow the specific procedures for the type of hub you are servicing.

To remove a manual locking hub:

Dissassembled manual locking hub. Courtesy of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America, Inc.
  • Set the control knob to the "free" or unlocked position.
"Free position of a manual hub."
  • Remove the cover bolts and the outer snap ring.
Hub cover bolts.
  • If hubs are equipped with shims, remove them.
  • Remove the drive flange or gear from the axle.
  • Remove the bolts that attach the hub body to the hub.
Hub body bolts and snap ring.
  • Remove the hub assembly from the axle shaft.
After the hub assembly has been removed, inspect the splines of the axle shaft for nicks and burrs.

To install a manual locking hub:

  • Separate the base and handle units of the hub lock assembly.
  • Apply a light coat of grease to the axle shaft splines and the hub lock base. Also apply a light coat of lubricant to the O-ring.
  • Make sure the gasket surface is smooth and clean, then place a new hub onto the hub.
  • Set the control handle to the unlocked position and install the hub assembly.
  • Install the snap ring onto the axle shaft.
  • Tighten the attaching bolts to the specified torque.
  • Install the hub cover with a new gasket on the hub.
  • Tighten the remaining attaching bolts to specifications.
  • Check the control handle for ease of operation.
In order to extend the life of the locking hubs, they should be disassembled, cleaned, inspected, and lubricated whenever the hubs have been exposed to high water.
There are basically two designs of automatic locking hubs: internally and externally retaining types.
Different hub designs.

To remove an automatic locking hub:

  • Remove the bolts from the outer cap assembly, and pull the cap from the body assembly.
Dissassembled automatic locking hub. Reprinted with the permission of Ford Motor Company.
  • From the end of the axle shaft, remove the bolt, lock washer, and axle shaft stop.
  • Remove the body assembly lock ring from the groove in the wheel hub.
  • Slide the body assembly from the wheel hub.
  • Loose the set screws in the spindle locknut until their heads are flush with the face of the locknut.
  • Remove the spindle locknut.

To reinstall an automatic locking hub:

  • Adjust wheel bearings, then install the spindle locknut and torque to specifications.
  • Tighten the locking screws firmly.
  • Grease the hub inner splines with multipurpose grease. The hubs should not be packed with grease.
  • Slide the body assembly into the wheel hub. Push firmly on the body until it seats in the hub.
  • Install the lock ring in the groove of the wheel hub.
  • Place the lock washer and axle shaft stop on the axle bolt. Install the bolt and torque to specifications.
  • Apply a small amount of lube to the seal on the cap assembly. The cap assembly.
  • Install the cap assembly over the body assembly and into the wheel hub.
  • Firmly turn the control from stop to stop to check the assembly. Then, set both hub controls in the same position, "auto" or "lock."