Keep your classic Ford rolling smoothly with this 15-step guide on how to replace the rear hub seals.
A hub puller might be required on some Fords, although the alternative technique shown here worked on the car in question. Use a good-quality high melting point grease when packing the bearing — don’t use anything else or you’ll wreck the bearing. Have a good supply of rags to hand and wear protective gloves — old axle oil and grease can be messy and contain shards of metal.
1. Oil will leak from the axle tube once the halfshaft’s out, so support the car on axle stands one side at a time. Remove road wheel and release handbrake. Undo screws and remove drum.
2. Undo the halfshaft retaining screw. Using a hammer, tap the halfshaft out. Once removed, wipe it down with a soft cloth and store to one side for now.
3. Hammer back the lock tab ears using a drift or suitable screwdriver. If reusing the wheel bearing, be mindful of damaging it unnecessarily.
4. Remove the hub nut using a suitably sized socket and wrench bar, or if necessary a chisel and hammer.
5. A hub puller or slide hammer will easily remove the hub from the axle tube. If not available, larger washers and the wheel nuts can be used to lever the hub off the axle tube, as seen here.
6. Remove the old inner oil seal using a screwdriver or seal puller. Now, using a 45-47 mm washer, place it inside the hub and tap it to force the bearing race out.
7. Using a blade, lift out the old rubber seal. Compare it with the new seal. Carefully remove all traces of the old seal and gasket from the seal groove.
8. Remove all traces of old gaskets and sealant from the hub flange face and the halfshaft flange.
9. You’re now ready to fit the new seals, bearing and lock tab. Using the 45-47 mm washer, drift in the new inner oil seal (not shown), with the lip facing outwards.
10. Load up the bearing race with high melting point grease. Gently tap the bearing race into the hub. Fit the larger rubber oil seal. Fit the hub to the axle, having applied a thin layer of oil to the inner seal first.
11. Fit the new lock tab washer and tighten the hub nut. Knock back the lock tab of the locking washer. Avoid reusing the old one. If a new hub nut can be sourced, then renew that also.
12. Smear gasket sealant on to the hub and halfshaft flanges. Taking no chances, we recommend Heldite or Wellseal.
13. Fit the paper gasket to the hub flange, ensuring the three holes locate correctly over the screw holes.
14. Refit the halfshaft, jiggling it until its splined end locates into the differential correctly.
15. Refit the retaining screw. Job done. Check for leaks after taking the car for its first drive on new seals.
This Classic Ford guide to how to replace rear hub seals first appeared in the June 2018 issue
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