Replacing and testing a wheel hub is not as easy as it may seem, especially if you’re a new technician or if you’re working on a vehicle with special installation procedures. There are general guidelines, though, for completing a replacement, which can help you get the job done right the first time.
Assemble the Right Tools
After you’ve moved the vehicle to a flat surface or into your workshop, you need to assemble tools to remove the old wheel hub and install the new one. First, be sure to safely raise and support the vehicle using jack stands. You’ll need a lug wrench or breaker bar and socket to remove the lug nuts and dismount the tire from the vehicle, so you can work your way to the wheel hub. Other tools you’ll need include a flathead screw driver, sandpaper, a breaker bar, a torque wrench and a rubber mallet. Having tools at your disposal will make the replacement project go more smoothly, improve the quality of your work, and save you and your customers time and energy.
Remove the Old Unit
To remove the old wheel hub assembly, you must dismount the tire and wheel then remove parts such as the brake caliper and rotor before you can reach the assembly. Be sure to set the dust cover and other parts aside in a relatively neat and orderly fashion. Keeping things organized will help you get everything back together again once you’ve installed the new assembly. After you’ve unfastened the old unit, you can use a mallet to help dislodge the assembly and remove it from its mounting.
Tighten Down the New Unit
It’s important not to remove the new wheel hub from its packaging until you’re ready to mount the unit. You do not want to damage the new assembly or allow debris to interfere with its functionality, once it’s installed. After you mount the new unit, you need to tighten it into place, which is where you can utilize your torque wrench (refer to manufacturers specification) to ensure the assembly has been properly attached. After the unit is installed, you can test it to make sure you’ve installed it correctly.
Rotate the Assembly and Tire
You can rotate the assembly by hand to detect any variations, which may be an indication you have to redo the installation procedure. You can further test assemblies using diagnostic tools, such as dials, which can detect slight imperfections in assemblies. To test the functionality of a wheel hub assembly after installation, you can try rotating the tire of a vehicle with your hands, looking for signs of poor rotation. If you rotate the tire and there appears to be a problem, you can dismount the tire and work your way to the wheel hub itself to troubleshoot the problem.
Use these simple steps to replace and test a wheel hub in an efficient and effective manner. Your customers and staff members are sure to appreciate a standardized and systematic approach to wheel hub installation and maintenance.