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Part 1: Rear Hub changing (for 2pot rear brake or other)


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Note i haven't got any pics yet but will populate.

Note also this is WIP and covers only hub removal / install so far - things i will cover separately are

  • doing the rear caliper swap on a set of hubs + adjusting the handbrake
  • hub differences and combinations to suit 2pot rears for BOTH r160 / r180
  • how do do 2 pot install with brackets on r160

errors and omissions accepted but chuck in comments and I'll update it as we go along.

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Removing a hub

The biggest issue is extracting the axle out of the hub. If you’re lucky enough to get new hubs that come with axles in them you can skip STEP 1 and 4.

NOTE: If the seller of the new hubs was sadistic enough to remove the handbrake shoe assembly from the rear hubs give them a punch in the face. Seriously though, your job is a LOT harder and will find this how-to doesn’t cover those aspects.

I also assume your new hubs come with trailing arm connected so you would remove your old ones as part of the hubs. Traditionally these are VERY VERY hard to undo hence most people just give you them as part of the hubs and i haven't covered removing them and attaching them. Apart from a VERY stubborn nut / bolt it should be obvious

Step 1- Firstly you have to get the 32mm nut off.

I strongly recommend cracking both 32nuts first and then concentrating on one hub removal then the other.

So, jack the rear half of the car up and set it up on axle stands. Jack it up from under the rear diff, I’d recommend placing the axle stands on the sills in front of the rear wheel arch (i.e. the normal jack points) as it makes life easier later. (PHOTO HERE)

Remove the wheel on the side you are working on and inspect the 32mm nut. Mostly they have a safety lock tab knocked in (PHOTO HERE), you will have to knock this tab out to make undoing it easier, sometimes you don’t need to but like I found out the last time I did this not knocking the tab out broke my bar in half ;D

Ideally this next bit is a 2 person job: put the car in 2nd gear, handbrake up as tight as possible and someone in the car with their foot firmly on the brake pedal. The other person will need a 32mm socket, ½ or ¾ inch drive, a suitable breaker bar and if inclined (and at your bars own risk) a very large sleeve for the bar. Optionally you can hit the nut with some WD40 or anti rust / greasing agent, and / or heat. Grunt / snort / sweat and push and if you’re successful you will crack the 32mm nut. Loosen it off (don’t remove it fully yet). The reason you have person 2 applying the brakes is if the nut is stubborn enough and the person 1 strong enough you will move the car :).

Step 2 – Removing the remaining hub assembly

Next find the sway bar link nut and bolt on the lateral arm (photo here) and remove it. These should be 12 or 14mm nut and bolt. You may find you need to place the jack under the hub on that side and gently support the hub up a little as there will be pressure on the sway bar. (photo here) Jack up the hub just enough to slide the sway bar bolt out and you can then push the link up out of the way.

Now behind the hub at the base (photo here) there is a very long bolt 19mm both ends. Undo this, and because you have undone the sway bar the lateral arms should not have pressure on long bolt any more. Gently persuade the long bolt out, sometimes they can be a bit stubborn. Note at this point the onwards the hub will increasingly ‘unstable’. That is to say its supported by the top of the rear strut threads.. They are small so be gentle swinging the hub around as you can snap them. (photo here)

Now loosen off the two bolts on the strut clevis. (photo here) These are also 19mm both sides. They are generally not camber adjusting in factory orientation. Undo and remove one of them, but leave the other very loose but in place (important).

Now follow the trailing arm to the chassis and you’ll find three bolts, they are often very tight and reasonably long, these are 14mm head from memory. Remove these. (photo here)

Find the rear caliper banjo bolt and remove it – note the copper washers and retain these. Brake fluid will escape so be prepared to catch this. Often to make life easier also remove the clip holding the brake line to the strut.

At this point you’ll also have noticed the handbrake cable. If you have factory interior you need to remove this to get at the back of the hand brake in the cabin. (photo here) Let off the handbrake and take car out of gear. Undo and remove the line at this end, and push the bung and line back through under the car for each. The first is harder than the second. Now back under the car follow the handbrake line and remove the 12mm brackets holding the handbrake line to the car.

Step 3 – remove the axle from the diff

Because we have left the 32mm loose on the axle and the 19mm on the strut clevis, we can now gently swing the hub out away from the car, it make take several (increasingly) good pulls but the axle should pop out of the rear diff. (photo here) It’s held in by circlip. Normally fluid does not come out of the diff. Take care to try to keep the axle stub clean as it has to go back in later. At this point the handbrake line is under the car off the car, and the last remaining bolt is the strut clevis holding the hub up. (photo here). Be careful as the hub assembly + axle is really heavy so support this and get person 2 to remove the bolt and the whole assembly should come out of the car with the brake line attached. (photo here)

Step 4 – remove axle from hub

If you’re lucky at this stage you undo the 32mm nut completely and you can (carefully) punch the axle out of the hub with a hammer. Be careful to not flare the stub end. If it does just come out nicely then I suggest you do as follows. The 32mm nut – take it and put it on backwards so the whole thread is flush with the axle stub. (photo here) Now you have a good flat surface to hit. Hit at your own risk and strength. More WD40 and heat can help. At some point it will give otherwise you’ll give up and take it to be pressed out. You’ve done this step once the axle is separated from the hub.

NOTE: If you have axles that come in the new 2pot rear hubs you won’t have to piss around removing the axles, but you must ensure the axle stubs match what came out of your car. Depending on the rear diff, it can take different but specific types of stubs. You can swap the outer CV stubs back and forth across axes if you MUST but I’m not covering it here. For the most part the viscous rear diff is most common and as long as you have the same r160 or r180 axles / hub probability is that they will be the same.

Step 5 – Rinse and repeat

For steps 1 – 4 now repeat for the hub on the other side.

Installing a hub

For this I will assume you’ve taken the opportunity while you have the hubs on the bench to install the new rotors / callipers pads onto the hubs before they go on the car. This makes life a LOT easier.

Skip step 1 if hubs already have axles

Step 1 – Install old axles into new hub.

If you have some nolathane bush grease lightly apply some to the axle splines on the hub side. Line up the splines on the axle to the diff and gently tap the axle through. (photo here) From here put the 32mm nut on, finger tight is fine.

Step 2- Re install hub

Assemble the hub / axle / handbrake line on the floor under the strut ready to lift into position. Ready one of strut clevis bolts and if you have a friend lift the hub into the clevis and place 1 bolt through the clevis. Hand tighten the nut on the back so it doesn’t fall out on you :)(photo here) At this point the hub will hang in place generally speaking. Remember to not swing it to much as its swinging on the strut threads at the top.

Step 3 – Axle into diff

Now the first thing to do while the hub swings is to put the axle in the diff. line up the splines and shunt the hub towards the diff. sometimes this takes some reasonable force and sounds like metal banging. Don’t pull the hub away to far from the diff else the axle falls back out of the diff but the CVs allow some movement to swing. Increase in force until the CV other flange sits in against the diff. (photo here)

Step 4 – Complete hub install

From here insert the three 14mm nuts in the trailing arm mount, insert the other 19mm bolt through the strut clevis and push the handbrake cable up into the cabin (but do not assemble in the cabin), doing up the 12mm brackets as you go. Last thing to do is put the very long 19mm bolt through the hub base locking in the lateral arms. Tighten all back up firmly as they were found. Remember to attach swap bar link to lateral arm and do up. Note 32mm nut wont be at all tight at this point. Reinstall the caliper banjo bolt and copper washers, install the clip for the brake line on the strut.

Hub 1 for now is complete. From here go to the other hub and repeat these steps.

Step 5 – Handbrake cable

Now both handbrake cables are pushed into the cabin reinstall these to the handbrake, align the bung in the chassis and install any interior you have

NOTE: I will not cover re bleeding brakes here nor how to adjust the handbrake.

Step 6 – Lock 32mm nut

Now you have ability to lock the rear wheels, pull up handbrake, put in gear and hold the brakes down. Get the other person to don the 32mm socket / bar etc and tighten the hub nut up, somewhere between ‘bothering tight’ and ‘really bothering tight’.

Double check all the hub nuts are done up tight and put the wheel back on both side, drop the car down and happy days :)

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