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Old 06-21-2014, 08:05 AM
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Wisdom, new Hubs, axle joints, what else?

1999, 4.0, auto has 120k miles. It's an ice cream getter..

Looking at replacing the front hubs.

While I have the hubs off, should I also replace the axle U joints.

Will also replace the rotors and pads.

Anything else I should know?

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Old 06-21-2014, 08:52 AM   #2
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I would only replace the axle u-joints if they have play or have any rough feeling movement in them (once you get the hubs off). My 2000 has almost 200K and just replaced them a few weeks ago. Be ware that on 99, there was a model year split mid way and some of the hubs were a little shorter to the face than the others. As long as you use the correct rotors for the hubs you have, it doesn't matter. Since you are replacing the hubs anyway, I would go with the 2000 and newer hubs and rotors. Some part stores list the rotors by height rather than year model. Do a search here and there are several good threads on here about the issue.

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Old 06-21-2014, 09:04 AM   #3
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The hubs might be a bit difficult to get out.. so here is a good write on with a simple way to get them out...

Unit Bearing - 1
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:09 AM   #4
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I'd check the ball joints too, since you're going to be right there to replace them if they need to be. I had 150,000 mi. on my old '99 when I replaced the ujoints. They weren't showing overt signs of being trashed, but they definitely needed replaced. My '06 has just over 60,000 mi. And I just replaced everything related to the front steering/axle. The ball joints were shot, the ujoints were not good (they could have waited, but they were well on their way and I knew I was going to be there), the unit bearing hubs were acting up but not screeching, whirring, or clunking.

I don't think that every case will be mileage or age dependent for service intervals, because sometimes misuse, abuse, neglect, or just extreme usage can burn up wear items much faster.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:44 AM   #5
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Agree 100% with what the others have posted also. Additionally just checked because I couldn't remember but am pretty sure that the "78mm" height rotors are correct for 2000 and newer and the "82mm" are correct for 98 and older. As stated, 99 can be either one and you won't know until you get it apart, but also, as long as you use the correct rotor with the hubs you use, it is fine. Apparently there were some clearance issues with the older style hubs. Calipers and pads are the same. Wrong rotor with the hubs you have can cause misalignment, wear and noise problems with the pads.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:03 AM   #6
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I waited too long to edit, but just for your info or whatever it's worth: I got my unit bearing hubs in the Timken brand from rockauto.com for $68 per side. That was cheaper by quite a bit than anywhere else I could find quality unit bearing hubs. I personally would only use Timken or SKF out of all the brands I've seen for TJ's/LJ's.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:07 PM   #7
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Be darned careful when buying your hubs, there were two different dimensions used in early vs. late model '99 TJs. Take one of your hubs with you when buying the hubs so you can verify you're getting the right version. The below photo shows the difference. Installing the wrong hubs will lock up your wheels.

And with 120k miles on them and so long as you have everything apart anyway, I would definitely replace your existing Spicer 5-297 axleshaft u-joints with new upgraded/beefier/more durable Spicer 5-760x u-joints. Not store brand u-joints, go for the Spicer 5-760x which you can find in driveshaft shops or online since few auto parts stores carry anything that good.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:16 AM
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Thanks for all the recommendations. It's a nice rainy day here in Spirit Lake, Iowa.

I'll take the rotors off and submit some pics of the Hubs.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:19 AM
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Ok.

Looks like right at 1/2 " height of the Hub.

This would make it earlier version pre-2000.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:09 AM   #10
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when I replaced mine I went and did the upgraded alloy axle shafts as well. Probably overkill for an "ice cream getter" the axle Ujoints I replaced had 110k on them and looked like a bag of but. However, they were not shot. One of the hubs was shot, the other in decent shape.
Super easy job.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:19 AM   #11
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If you have the money and plan on keeping the jeep for many more years then do it all. I just did all the ball joints, axle U joints, new hubs, WJ steering upgrade, and drive shaft u joints. I replaced every movable joint on the front end. Easier to replace them in the garage vs the trail.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:24 PM
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Here's another pic of the hub.

Early 99 check???
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:35 PM   #13
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Can you post a straight-on photo of the hub and ruler? It's just too hard to tell from those angled photos.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:43 PM
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Agh. Already put the wheel back together.

It is right at 1/2" nothing more.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:46 PM   #15
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If I had to choose between your hubs being early or late '99, I'd say early.

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