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Warn Hub Conversion

 

A couple of things in the spring of 2002 made up my mind about a Warn hub conversion.  One was the dent I put in the front drive shaft.  It was not big enough to cause a problem until I hit freeway speeds.  Had I had the Warn hubs then, I would never have bothered to have the front drive shaft re-tubed (aside from the poor job that was done on it....but that is another story for another time).

I ordered the kit from 4 Wheeler's Supply here in Phoenix.  Barry hooked me up with a good price on the 5 on 4.5" kit and I picked up a spare hublock at the same time.  The kit comes with hardened outer axle shafts and you can use your existing factory inners or Warn's chrome/nickel inner shafts.  Another Jeeper in California was replacing his D30 and I picked up a pair of used Warn inner shafts for a reasonable enough price.  The last major item needed was a good pair of full-cast rotors.  I had the factory composite rotors on the TJ and these do not work for the conversion.  Blaine picked up a pair of Autospecialty Premiums AR8722 in CA and had the rotor center holes machined to spec and then sent them my way. 

Note:  New full-cast rotors from a 1990 or newer Wrangler (ITT #65225 or equivalent) must be used with the hub conversion.  These rotors have a .25" thick mounting flange.  Do NOT use the factory style "composite" rotor as it only has a .125" thick flange.  The rotor pilot hole must be machine to a diameter of 3.575" +/- .015" to fit the wheel hub.  Some wheels may not fit over the hublock body as required.  Wheel center hole must be at least 2.78" in diameter.  Be sure to check your wheels before proceeding.

Note:  This was posted on-line by T.Dome, a friend of mine from Washington.....regarding the full-cast rotors.  He said:

"When I bought my hub kit a year or two ago it came with machined rotors that the business assured me would be just fine. I had reason to trust these people and did.  The hubs were composite.  I argued their safety and how Warn says not to use composite rotors. They told me: "The only reason warn doesn't want you to use composite rotors is they tear easily during machining."  That was a direct quote.

I also brought up the issue of thickness of the flange area of the rotor and they assured me that there was no issue.  I settled for their word.  So during my yearly intense pre-maintenance kick, I decided to go to cast this year, re-pack and inspect the bearings, and check torque and tightness on everything under the jeep. I pressed the studs out of the hub and old rotor and inspected the flange and it was actually wavy, bent around the inner rim. I don't know if it was from pressing out the studs or if it was done by the business who pressed them in for me the first time or if it was done by wheeling and driving.

The point I am trying to make is don't let anyone tell you it is OK to use stock TJ composite rotors for your warn 5 on 4.5 kit. The flange is way too flimsy, especially after it has been machined out. Use 1990 and newer YJ rotors."

That was all I needed to do the conversion.  So, with the this out of the way, time to get down to some of the work we did.  A big thanks to ScottK for helping with this conversion.  I had been helping Scott with his 8.8 rear TJ axle conversion and so he was more than happy to help with this project.  He was also interested to see just what was involved as he has been kicking around the idea of doing it on his TJ too.

To get started, I've included the parts list from the Warn installation instructions.  I've also included the exploded parts diagram they have in their documentation.  Note that this write-up is not meant to replace any of the information contained in the Warn documentation.  Some of things I did may not totally agree with what the install instructions contain.  It is your choice as to what you do with the information contained in this write-up.

 

While not the best reproduction, the above parts diagram will be referenced as necessary through out this write-up. 

NOTE:  KevinN, one of the site's visitors who has a Warn hub conversion, sent me a copy of the Yukon's documentation (including their parts list).  Warn sold their hub business to Yukon some time ago.  Here is the Yukon hub conversion install and parts documentation.

 

With the Warn parts list in hand, I went through the boxes and made sure everything made it to my garage.  I didn't want to get half way through this and discover I was missing a seal or bearing.  We were doing the install on Labor Day which meant there was no last minute run to the 4x4 shop to get a missing part.

NOTE:  This is probably a good time to comment about the spindle.  There was a point in time when the spindles were not heat treated.  Your spindles should be heat treated but if your hub kit had been sitting on a dealer's shelf for a while, it is possible that you got the old style spindles.  You can tell if your spindle is heat treated because the metal has a darkened/dull appearance where it bolts to the steering knuckle.  The part that the wheel hub slides onto is more shiny (from the machining process).  If your spindle does not appear to be heat treated, contact Warn before going any further.
 

I took an old cardboard box and used it to stage the parts.  A black marker was used to mark the parts with their appropriate number as they appeared in the exploded parts diagram.  Since the Warn instructions referenced that diagram a fair amount, I figured this would make it nice and easy.  I probably didn't need to do it, but I had a few minutes to kill before Scott showed up.  It worked just fine and we didn't put any of the parts where they did not belong!


More Hub Conversion

 

 

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