Wheel bearing hub nuts hold the driveshaft within the wheel hub and are an important aspect of ensuring your vehicle has the power to drive around smoothly. There is nothing holding the driveshaft in place without a wheel hub nut. This does not mean that if the wheel hub nut is missing, the wheel will drop off, but it does mean that the driveshaft will come off. In other cases, it may completely snap off.
Wheel nuts can come loose because of the vibration and strain caused by the enormous loads they transport. After replacing a wheel, it is critical that the wheel nuts be examined and retorqued after about 150 kilometres. This guide will help you understand why this is so important, as well as how to replace and check hub nuts.
What Are Hub Nuts?
Axle nuts or hub nuts are bits of hardware that assist in holding a wheel to an axle. The axle is a spinning shaft that connects the wheels to the rest of the car and allows for movement. The hub nuts are fastened to lugs on either side of the axle. The lug arrangement will differ depending on the type of vehicle the wheel is attached to; some cars will have only one lug, while others may have six, eight or even more.
The materials used to make hub nuts might vary, although steel is the most common. Steel of high quality is typically utilised for sturdiness and heat resistance. Steel is extremely robust, and when galvanised, it is resistant to rust and corrosion caused by moisture or other corrosive agents. Steel also has some give to it, which means that when struck or torqued, it will flex slightly, protecting hub nuts or other steel components from cracking or collapsing.
How Do You Remove a Hub Nut With a Socket?
Removing a wheel bearing hub nut is a simple task if you have the appropriate equipment and the wheel hub nut is not too damaged. When a new hub assembly is installed, the wheel hub nut is normally removed. Once the axle nut has been extracted, separating the hub from the axle spline may necessitate the use of a wheel hub puller and hub nut socket set. The steps to remove the hub nut are as follows.
1. First, Remove the Hubcaps:
To remove a wheel bearing hub nut safely, make sure the car is parked on level ground. Before you can extract the nuts, you may need to remove the hubcap. Hubcaps are often fastened by metal clips or plastic lugs, although they may be kept in place by the lug nuts themselves.
A flat-head screwdriver or the flat side of a tyre iron can be used to pry off hubcaps. Carefully press against a solid or thicker section of the hubcap. If your hubcaps are fastened on by lug nuts, you should not attempt to remove them until the lug nuts have been completely removed. You will end up causing them harm if you try to otherwise. If they’re held in place by plastic lugs, they must be entirely removed with a lug wrench. To avoid causing damage, you should always avoid using excessive force when extracting and reinstalling.
2. Use a Lug Wrench to Remove the Nuts
A lug wrench should fit the lug nuts on your wheel assembly, and you shouldn’t need any additional equipment to remove them in most circumstances. A lug wrench might be a straight bar or two intersected bars. Because you can hold either side of the crossed bars and twist the tool with all your arm power, the crossing bars might provide you with more leverage.
Turn the lug nuts counterclockwise using the lug wrench. Pull firmly on the wrench until you sense the nut loosen. You don’t need to unscrew the nut completely with the wrench; instead, use it to release the nuts enough to separate them with your fingers.
3. Now Remove the Wheel Assembly
After removing the lug nuts, you may detach the wheel and tyre assembly. Remove the calliper from the calliper mounting bracket, verifying that it is supported by an s-hook or a piece of wire. Remove the calliper mounting bracket first, followed by the brake rotor. If necessary, extract the dust cover to allow access to the hub nut.
4. Remove the Wheel Hub Nut With a Hub Nut Socket
The best tool to remove your wheel bearing hub nut is a hub nut socket set. When it comes to nut replacement, always follow the manufacturer’s directions. Typically, a breaker bar is all that is required to loosen and then remove the nut using a hub nut socket tool. If a stiff axle nut does not budge, rust-penetrating oil can typically assist. Repeated sprays and an overnight soak may be required to release a heavily rusted nut.
What Is an Axle or Hub Nut Socket?
A front-wheel drive axle or hub nut socket is a tool for removing the axle or hub nut on some types of cars. This allows the wheel hub to be disconnected from the axle. These cars often employ a splined axle that is fastened into the wheel hub by the axle nut, which must be removed using a specially built hub nut removal tool. Some hub nut socket designs are like standard socket wrenches. Other variants, such as those seen on certain Ford utes, require a specific socket with short fingers extending away from the socket body.
Can You Overtighten a Hub Nut?
The wheel hub bearing is responsible for joining the wheel to the automobile and allowing the wheels to freely revolve during steering. It is prone to damage if the hub nut is overtightened during installation.
It is critical not to overtighten the axle or hub nut. Using the proper hub nut removal tool or hub nut socket for the operation is the best method to avoid overtightening the nut. When placing an axle nut on a wheel hub bearing, many people like to use an impact gun. However, this not only overtightens the bearing but also causes premature damage to the hub assembly. To precisely torque the hub nut, experts suggest using a torque wrench. Do not use an impact wrench as this can cause serious damage.
Torque the axle nut according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the car has been lifted off the floor, the axle nut may be torqued. Also, ensure to have someone else hold down the brake pedal while you twist the hub nut.
Getting to Grips With Your Own Hub Nuts
The hub nut is a key component of your car. Without it, there is nothing to keep the driveshaft in place, and while the wheel will not certainly slide off, the driveshaft is at risk of falling out or breaking off totally. Because adjusting the hub nut might change the torque, it is best to consult your owner’s handbook to make sure that you are following the necessary specifications. Similarly, because hub nuts might be difficult to remove and replace, it is also recommended that you seek the assistance of an expert to complete the repair.
However, if you are an experienced mechanic or are keen to DIY, you can find a range of hub nut socket sets and wheel bearing hub nuts at Machter. As a leading auto parts store, they have a wide variety of car parts and accessories, all at affordable prices. Check out their hub nut and tool range today.