So this past weekend when driving to Nashville from Chicago I noticed a slight vibration from the right front when I was about halfway through the state of Illinois. By the time I reached southern illinois the vibration was substantially greater and now had a grinding noise when making left turns. So I diagnose the problem as being a bad wheel hub assembly. So I make it to my dads house where I can work on the truck on change it out. I thought I could do a mediocre write up for anyone that may want to try and change it themselves as well. As I'm not too good at descriptive writing I will try my best with the pictures I also took while doing it.
So first thing was to jack the truck up and remove tire from whatever side the wheel hub is on that you are replacing.
Remove brake caliper being careful to not let the caliper hang by the brake line hose. I used a bungee cord and hung it from my coil springs.
The next step was to remove the axle nut. Now as I didn't have the proper socket on hand that fit my axle nut we were forced to improvise. Typically you would use the socket and should always do so if you have it. what we did was used a flat headed punch and hammer on the teeth on the nut itself forcing the nut to rotate and loosen. Like I said this is not the preferred way but hey it worked.
Next step is to remove the 3 or 4 bolts holding the wheel hub assembly on to the truck. I say 3 or 4 because some have a 3 bolt flange and others 4. Mine however was the 4 bolt flange. The bolts are located directly behind the brake rotor. Now when replacing the wheel hub assembly, it is ideal to go ahead and replace your brake rotors while you've got it all apart because it is such a hassle to do. Mine however have been done fairly recently and there was no point to replacing them. If you are replacing rotors you have to be pretty careful about removal of the hub assembly to not damage the rotor. To do so we utilized what was called a wheel puller. This process is very slow going to seperate the hub assembly from the spindle. If you are replacing the rotors you can speed this process up by using a rubber mallet to hit on the inside edge of the rotor forcing the hub assembly from the spindle. We also used JB-80 to help loosen things up. We went with that particular kind because its "twice as good" LOL
As to make sure in the summer time with the heat to keep hydrated make sure you custom fab some awesome Beer coozies for ease and convenience to drink beer while working on your ram
So now right about the point where you were getting ready to give up you have now gotten the hub assembly to seperate from the spindle.
After it was seperated from the spindle we spent a little bit of time cleaning up the area where it mated up to the truck. The next thing you will have to do is to separate the rotor from the hub assembly. What we did was to put the lug nuts back on the studs and set the whole rotor/hub assembly on the ground lug nut side down and hit it from behind with the rubber mallet till it separated. This also knocked the lug studs out so we could transfer them to the new Wheel Hub assembly.
We then put the Hub assembly inside the rotor and reset the lug studs by using an oversized nut and the lug nuts. This proved very effective to pull them through and set them in the assembly and rotor. The next step was to reattach the whole rotor/wheel hub assembly to the truck by using the 4 flange bolts removed earlier. After tightening the flange bolts put the axle nut back on and retighten it. I wish I could give you a torque specification of what to tighten it to or a socket size but as stated earlier we did'nt have the right size socket. But do know it is bigger than a 40MM socket. After tightening the axle nut you can then reattach your brake caliper. And this is what the finished product should look like.
Then reattach tire and shake tire side to side and up and down to ensure wheel hub assembly is good. Lower truck off jack stands and jack and your job should be complete.
I'd like to say this should take 1-2 hours. But depending on how stuck your Hub assembly is to your spindle it could take in the upwards of 3. Good luck and I hope this write up is sufficent in aiding in the replacement of the Wheel Hub Assembly. If there are better ways to do things than the ways I've mentioned please feel free to add those ways into the comment sections of this thread. Hope it could be helpful.