How To: Auto to Manual Hub Conversion

Submitted By: Ahhjaws


Steps on converting '94 and older Explorer auto hubs to manual hubs.

Required Material

  1. Start by removing the center cap of the front right wheel. Loosen the lug nuts while the tires are on the ground by using the 3/4" deep socket. Once the lug nuts are loosened, jack the right side of the vehicle off the ground and secure with a jack stand.

  2. Remove the lug nuts and the wheel.

  3. Once the wheel is off, you can remove the speed nuts (if present) and the auto-hub from the drive shaft.

  4. Remove the axle shaft ring with the regular screw driver and hammer (gently). Once the shaft ring is removed, the axle shaft spacer can be removed.

  5. Give a gentle pull on the plastic cam assembly. It will come free from the wheel bearing nut.

  6. Remove the locking key from the wheel bearing adjusting nut. Make sure the key is centered with the wheel bearing nut. It comes out very easily with a magnet. If you don't have a strong magnet to retrieve it, you can try a paper clip.

  7. With the locking key removed, you can now remove the wheel bearing nut. The one shown is six-sided, but normal one is 4-sided. The local parts store did not have a bearing socket large enough to fit it, not even the one for a 3/4 Ton Ford. If you have a bearing socket that fits, just remove the wheel bearing nut with that. If not, the chisel and hammer come into play. Pound on the wheel bearing nut (on a flat side) with enough angle so as to cause it to thread off.

  8. Everything is now removed. Keep the axle shaft ring and spacer for reuse with hte manual hubs. Everything else can be discarded.

  9. Install the inner adjusting nut (nut with the pin; the thickest of the two nuts supplied with the conversion kit from Warn). Torque that nut to 35 ft-lbs and then back off 90o and re- torque to 16 ft-lbs.

  10. Install the bearing retainer washer (the one that is thin with many holes in it) against the adjusting nut. This washer is keyed and takes the place of the locking key from the auto hubs.

  11. Now install the outer bearing nut and torque to 150 ft-lbs.

  12. Replace the axle shaft spacer and the axle shaft ring.

  13. Install the new manual hub.

  14. Replace the wheel and the lug nuts. Torque the lug nuts to 75-100 ft-lbs with the wheel on the ground. Then replace the center cap.

  15. Repleast Step 1-14 for the other side.

This modification is a very easy job to do. If you have never taken apart the hubs on a Ford, allow an extra 30 minutes to figure it out. There is also a lot of other services that you could perform at the same time, including:

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