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Remove the Brake Rotors

The brake rotors will slide off with no effort. I recommend marking them so they can be reinstalled on the same sides they came off of. It shouldn’t be a problem if they get mixed, but if one has damage and the other doesn’t and you mix their location, the damaged one will eat away at the pads on the other side. Besides, I’m just anal like that!

07aThe axle nut dust cap is this black bowl type thing. I’ve pointed it out in the picture. It’s pressed on to the hub assembly. To remove it you need a very thin flat edge to separate it from the hub. A flat head screw driver or chisel may work well if they’re small enough, but unfortunately mine weren’t. I finally had to use a butter knife and tap it in at nearly every point along the circumference of the dust cap. This loosened it by about 1/64 of an inch. After that I was able to get a tiny screwdriver in the groove and pry it out.

07bThis picture shows what it looks like removed and also points to the axle hub nut that needs to be unscrewed. Remove the kotter pin and retaining crown. To unscrew the nut, you will need a 36mm socket. Mine took 120 foot pounds to break it loose with the torque wrench (though I don’t know how accurately a torque wrench can measure torque during removal).

07cTo unscrew the nut I had to find a long sheet of steel and wedge it in between the lug nuts to keep the hub from spinning while breaking the nut loose. It’s an interesting technique, but it worked no less. After I did that somebody asked me why I didn’t just lock the hubs and engage the 4WD to keep the hub from spinning. The truth is I hadn’t thought about that, though I suppose it would have been easier that way, but just barely. If your truck has ABS, then be sure to unplug the ABS line from the knuckle before removing the calipers.

Take the axle nut dust caps, kotter pins, retaining crowns, and axle nuts and put them in a zip-loc bag and label it ‘AXLE HUB’. Put the bag in a in a safe place because you will reuse all these parts for reassembly.

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