How To: Auto to Manual Hub Conversion
Submitted By: Ahhjaws
Steps on converting '94 and older Explorer auto hubs to manual hubs.
- 1/2" socket wrench and/or 1/2" drive torque wrench
- Hub socket/tool (for '86 and newer Ford with the Dana 44 axle)
- Regular screwdriver
- Jack and jack stands
- 3/4" deep socket
- Warn Hubs - P/N 29071
- Conversion Kit - P/N 27997 (early '90 and later 27 tooth spline axle)
*** for earlier vehicles - P/N 27988 ('83-earl '90 with 23 tooth spline axle)
- 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.
- Remove the lug nuts and the wheel.
- Once the wheel is off, you can remove the speed nuts (if present) and the auto-hub from the drive
- 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.
- Give a gentle pull on the plastic cam assembly. It will come free from the wheel bearing nut.
- 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.
- 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.
- Everything is now removed. Keep the axle shaft ring and spacer for reuse with hte manual hubs.
Everything else can be discarded.
- 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.
- 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.
- Now install the outer bearing nut and torque to 150 ft-lbs.
- Replace the axle shaft spacer and the axle shaft ring.
- Install the new manual hub.
- 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.
- 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:
- Front brake job
- Use brake grease on the caliper slide pins
- Repacking the front wheel bearings
- Greasing the needle bearing inside the spindle
- Greasing the right front drive shaft
- Check/replace the u-joints in the front as necessary
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