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This was a pretty complicated one for me, living in the rust belt and never done this before. Just make sure that you have a Haynes manual by your side!

Remember, this was done on a 95 Bronco. You're setup may vary.


Lug wrench
Pitman Arm or balljoint puller
Tie Rod End Puller
Spindle puller and slide hammer
Spindle nut socket
1 1/16" socket
1 1/8" socket
13/16" socket
various smaller sockets
dental pick
small flat-head screw drivers
snap-ring pliers

Step 1:

Jack the truck up, secure it on stands, and remove front wheels

Step 2: Caliper removal

Remove brake caliper. Mine took a 13mm for the pins. Some calipers also need the piston to be compressed before removing. Since my brakes were hammered, I pryed the pad clips away from the caliper and just removed. Be sure to take off the pad clips as well.

Set the caliper aside or remove from brake line. DO NOT let it hang from the brake line.

Step 3: Hub removal

Here is where it gets a bit tricky. There are manual hubs and automatic hubs. Automatic hubs come in either 3 bolt or 5 bolt caps. Here are a few writeups to help you with your particular hubs.

Here is a writeup on removing 5-bolt auto hubs


Here is a writeup on removing 3-bolt auto hubs


Here is a writeup on removing manual hubs


Step 4: Spanner nut and rotor removal

Once you have the outers removed, it's time to get that pesky spanner nut that is on the spindle. This is the only thing holding you up from getting that rotor off.


You need a spanner wrench like the one on the right.

95 and 96:

You need this spanner wrench. AutoZone p/n 20243. It ran me $11.

Once those nuts are off, the rotor will come right off. Be prepared to catch the outer wheel bearing.

Step 5: ABS Speed Sensor removal

For those vehicles equiped with front ABS, the ABS Speed Sensor is the first thing that needs to be removed. Remove the bolt on the back of the speed sensor. You may be able to push the sensor throught the bracket. I, on the other hand, had to mangle it with a screwdriver and then pound it out with a socket extension and a sledge. I have no intentions to ever replace the sensors.

Back of the sensor:

The sensor, post mangled.

Once the sensor is out, remove the speed sensor bracket bolt on the back of the knuckle. Remove sensor bracket.

Step 6: Spindle Removal

Remove the spindle nuts using a 1/2" drive 17mm socket and a breaker bar.

Once nuts are removed, it may be possible to knock the spindle loose with a block of wood and a hammer. I however, had to get a spindle puller.

Spindle puller AutoZone p/n 27104
Slide Hammer AutoZone p/n 27033
They ran me $45 for both pieces.

It simply screws on to the spindle. Very easy and quick to use.

Here is what you will be looking at once the spindle is removed

Step 7: Axle shafts

Remove axle shafts. This is done by simply pulling them out. On the driver's side it pulls right out of the 3rd member and on the pass side, only the outer shaft pulls right out.

Driver's side

Pass side outer w/ spindle

Step 8: Tie Rod End

Remove the Tie Rod from the knuckle. This can be done using a 13/16" socket. Often times the stud will spin with the castle nut. In this case, I used a cold chistle and smacked the nut loose from the stud and then wound the nut off. I then flipped the castle nut upside down on the TRE and hit it with a hammer to knock it out.

Step 9: Ball joints

Remove the upper balljoint nut using a 1 1/16" socket. I used a 1/2" drive wrench and 4' pipe to break the nut loose. When doing this, use constant pressure on the pipe. On the driver's side, I jerked on mine and broke a very nice breaker bar and ended up having to grind the nut off. PITA and a waste of time.

Remove the lower balljoint nut using a 1 1/8" socket.

Here is where you will want a ball joint/ pitman arm puller. I got mine from Autozone AutoZone p/n 27021

The one on the right is a TRE puller and the one on the left is what you need.

I inserted it into the lower balljoint and smacked it with a sledge. Once it broke the bond the entire knuckle dropped. I left the camber/castor adjuster in place. WARNING, the knuckle will drop and is heavy. Move your feet!

Here is what you are looking at now. On the top is the camber/castor adjuster.

Step 10: Balljoint pressing

Now it's time to press the old balljoints out and the new in. I had a machine shop do this for simplicity. However, Autozone has a balljoint press that you can use. It's simple enough if you don't live in a rust belt.

Step11: Knuckle Installation

Grease the new balljoints and IF necessary, remove the zerk and plug it if there will not be enough clearance for the axle shafts.

Tighten the lower balljoint stud to 90~100ft/lbs. If necessary, place a jack under the balljoint to stop the stud from spinning. BE CAREFULL if there is a zerk on the bottom of the b-joint.

Re-install the upper camber/caster adjuster if it was previously removed. Tighten the upper castle nut to 85~95 ft/lbs. Install cotter pin.

Step 12: Axle Shaft Installation

Slide the axle shafts back into the third member ( on the driver's side) and the stub shaft (on the passenger's side). Ensure that the axle's yokes will clear the balljoint studs and the upper balljoint's zerk.

Step 13: Spindle Installation

Now is your time to change/check/pack your spindle bearings. Coat the bearing and back of the spindle with a good bearing grease. Also, coat the contact surfaces with anti-seize.

Slide knuckle into spindle and tighten nuts.

Step 14: Rotor/hub installation

Check rotor to ensure it is still within specs. Have it turned or replaced as needed.

Check both wheel bearings for wear or flat spots. If necessary, replace both the bearings and the races. Check below for a link to a writeup. If bearings are good, pack them well and re-install.

Slide rotor onto spindle. Install outer wheel bearing.

Auto hubs: Swap to manuals. If not an option, install spindle nut, tighten to 70ft-lbs, back off 90 degrees, and retighten to 20ft-lbs, all while spinning the rotor to seat the bearing.

Manual hubs: Install inner spindle nut with pin facing out. Perform above procedure. Install thrust washer so that the key fits into the spindle's groove and the spindle nut's pin goes THROUGH a thrust washer's hole.
Install second spindle lock nut and tighten to 160ft-lbs.

Step 15: Hub install

Follow one of the provided links to install your hubs as they vary.

Step 16: Install caliper's pads

Check pads for wear and replace as necessary.

If you removed your calipers, replace brake lines, install pads, bolt onto the knuckle, and bleed your brakes.

Remember, when replacing pads, use a c-clamp to compress the caliper piston for easy installation. Also remember to lube your guide pins.

Step 17: Tie Rod's

Bolt the tie-rods back to the knuckle and replace the cotter pin.

Step 18: Wheels and tires

Install wheels, lower the truck, and go get an alignment!

Recommendations on things to check/replace/service while replacing your balljoints

Axle seals
Pinion seal

Installing a drain plug into your third-member

Axle shaft u-joints and seals

Tie Rod Ends

Wheel bearings inner and outer


Spindle bearings
Manual hub swap or better quality manual hub swap
See above links.

Dana50 stub shaft install
"Spring trick" on stub shaft

Please feel free to critique and add comments.
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