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The front hub/axle bearing assembly is a complete assembly. Below are the directions from the factory shop manual for replacing the front hub assembly on the 4x4 Ranger.
Also unbolt the upper control arm from the front spindle and place a floor jack under the lower control arm to support the front suspension. This will ease the axle shaft from the front hub.
Thanks for your quick reply. I'm just a regular schmoe with basic hand tools and some average mechanical skills--any way that this can be done without that special tool?
You do not need the special tool. You can use a punch and a hammer. make sure the punch is smaller than the axle where the nut goes on. You do not want to damage the threads on the axle shaft.
Do it this way.
Unbolt the brake caliper from the bracket and use a coat hanger to hold the caliper out of the way. DO NOT undo the brake line.
Remove the caliper bracket and the rotor.
Remove the retaining nut from the axle shaft to the hub.
Unplug the ABS wheel speed sensor from the spindle.(If you have 4 wheel ABS).
Unbolt the upper ball joint from the spindle while supporting the lower control arm with a floor jack.
Then push the axle shaft out of the spindle. Then remove the 3 bolts holding the hub assembly to the spindle.
Remove the hub assembly.