Separating Hubs from Rotors

This weekend I didn’t have much time to work on the car, but I did spend some time separating those stubborn front wheel hubs from the rotors. The pieces bolt together, but I had already removed the four bolts on each hub when I disassembled the calipers last week. The whole thing was an exercise in using controlled force. I needed to use a hammer to break the two parts free, but didn’t want to mar the edge of the hub. I needed to use tools to pry and force the halves apart, but didn’t want to scrape either mating surface.
The first thing I did was to soak the assembly with PB Blaster. I sprayed some on the bottom of the rotor.

Here is a close-up of where the hub and rotor mate. I sprayed this area thoroughly with the PB Blaster.

I allowed the hubs to soak overnight to give the spray time to work its magic. This morning I gave the hubs another spraying and a few careful taps with the small sledge hammer to jar the pieces hopefully apart.

The hammer seemed to help and I started to work my putty knife down into the joint between hub and rotor. By tapping the knife with my rubber mallet I eventually got it down between the two parts.

After working my way all the way around the hub and working the putty knife into each of the four joints between hub and rotor, I had enough daylight to start my small Flathead screwdriver in between. Again, I tapped the screwdriver with the mallet, carefully working it down and towards the center of the hub, its increasing width forcing the two parts apart. I worked around the hub several times until the screwdriver easily bottomed out on the center of the hub.

Next I used my pickle-fork, which is a tool typically used for removing ball joints. Its tapered ends were just right for tapping down into the widening gap between hub and rotor.

Victory! The hub came off the rotor after I turned the fork sideways and gave it a final tap with the mallet.

Here are some shots of the top and bottom of the hub.

Next I repeated the same process on the other hub and rotor. After working the fork down to the center of the hub, I once again turned it sideways and pounded it through, forcing the hub off the rotor.

Currently I’m working on obtaining a new pair of rotors from Down Under. I am also planning to replace the inner and outer wheel bearings in the hub, and get new seals as well.

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