Join Date: Mar 2007
Thanked 134 Times in 130 Posts
It has been a long time, so the memory may not be complete, but I recall 2 different nuts on the front spindle, one with 6 notches ( 1/2 ton had 4 ) and 2 9/16 - some rounded and some full hex with sharp corners. A lot of the ones that were rounded had nyloc inserts and keys in a keyway to hold adjustment. Full hex had a washer and 2 nuts, on some the inner nut had holes for the washer to drop into, others had bending tabs.
I spent some time with the specs and the magic clearance was .006 clearance for other than unit bearings, setting a dial indicator on the spindle to check end play. Some will run 50-70 F hotter than properly set bearing if set with less, some where around .025 some will heat the tire from extra wear.
You can often remove them with a firestone tire iron or a rocker lineup bar by sharpening the corner that drives the nut off when you wedge between the hub and the nut, if it was incorrectly tightened (very common ) one hand on the drum but I don't feel safe pulling the drum with 100 #, I use a second tire iron at the base of a lug stud.
If you have the nyloc nuts, most think that they need new, for a couple $ more you can get the 4 nut, 2 washer parts that have no limitations. On mine - not the customers - I spread the locking key so it will not back out, and put nuts from the salvage yard on the shopping lkist.
If it has wedges on the hub studs, about 1/2 will clear with a bump or 2 on the end of the axle, 1 or 2 more with a 1/8th screw driver leaving 1 to 3 that pulling the stud is the fastest way.
The bearings are lubed from the rear end, find a slope to tilt the rear end to refill the spindle bearings and then check the rear end lube.
Use the socket to put the nut back on, since you asked the question, punching the nut tight is a skill that you feel, hear and see. Some can't do it well with many demonstrations and I have never heard a fair description that would substitute for a demonstration. The torque spec's vary but most are 50-70 #/ft. The round hex socket is easy to make with a 1/8 strap that is wide enough to make the depth to reach the washer. Pad the nut with a brass punch to start the bend in the vise, finish the bend with the vise and start the next. When the shape is correct, cut it and add 5-8 thickness of paper to make it slip on and weld the side. The top can be 'sprung' in to weld to a large cheap socket Or weld a strap across the top to weld a socket to get a square to match the ratchet.
For a round notched nut I think it is 1 1/2 pipe and 1/8 tension pins. I used 1/8 x 1 in slotted in with a cutoff wheel to 3/4 in and the first 1/4 in full welded, leaving the tips full hard.
93 Dodge /CTD, IC, 518, club cab LE, BHAF, KDP fixed, kelderman air ride
81 Isuzu /C223na, 5spd