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F-150 Hub & Brake Upgrades | Front Hub, Rotor, and Brake Pad Installation

Posted in How To on January 1, 2013
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The front wheel hubs on most late-model trucks use sealed, non-serviceable unit bearing assemblies. Such is the case with the Ford F-150 2WD from ’04 to ’08. In addition, the front wheel hub and brake rotor are a single piece. When Ford first introduced these, you had to buy the entire expensive assembly if you had either a rotor problem or a wheel-bearing problem. Now, you can buy aftermarket rotors and the unit bearing separately. To perform a bearing swap requires a press to remove or replace a bearing in the rotor hat.

This solution offers you more options. However, we’ve seen rotor hats enlarged when new bearings were installed, causing play and wobble in the overall assembly. Also, any time the assembly is removed from the spindle, the retainer nut must be replaced because it’s a one-use nut meant to provide a specific torque setting for the unit bearing. Dealing with these issues is bothersome and can be expensive.

01. From the factory, the F-150 2WD uses a cast-iron one-piece wheel hub/rotor. Whenever the rotor is a problem, you get to buy the whole assembly or deal with pressing in unit bearings. It’s a cheap factory solution but a poor choice for serviceability over the life of the truck. The big spindle nuts are not reusable and run $11 to $25 each, depending on where you purchase them.

Centric offers an effective solution to these issues with their two-piece rotor/hub retrofit kit. They provide a forged-steel wheel hub with a high-quality bearing set to replace the original cast-iron hub. To that is added a slip-on rotor. With this configuration, the rotor can be removed without the hub and it simply slips off the wheel studs, similar to the F-150 4WD design.

In just a couple of hours, we swapped out our front hub assemblies on our project Fast-150, and while we were at it installed new Power Slot performance rotors and Centric brake pads in front and back. We’ve now got superior and serviceable front hub/rotor assemblies and better braking components all around to better match our bigger tires.

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Power Slot
City of Industry, CA 91746
Centric Parts
Industry, CA 91746

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