RE: 98 2500 4x4 front rotor removal?
Thanks, Crabman. I've had that link bookmarked for months in anticipation of the job, even though I didn't expect to need it to just change brake rotors. Feh. Stupid heavy duty truck.[:'(]I am going to get a set of the larger brake cylinders while I'm at it, too.I'm already $700 into this job, what's another $40?
Last night, I doused the hub with half a can of PB and hit it with the gas wrench and pounded on all four bolt heads, both with a hammer and with an air hammer. It's not budging a millimeter. I haven't given up, and it's been soaking for 24 hours, but I'm guessing it won't help. I'll use the puller as a last resort, but expect it.
This truck has lived a very hard life prior to my acquiring it, so I'm not surprised that everything is rusted solid. I think it was used to push a plow, and every bolt I've ever touched on it has been rusted solid. With 74,000 miles, it seems to me that replacing both hubs and never worrying about it again seems like a good idea. I found Timken hubs at Autozone for about $200 each, which seems cheap. I'll probably replace both of them along with new U-joints (the upgraded Spicer 760x are at my local NAPA for $22). That way I'll never have to worry about it again, and with new hubs in there, it will be easier to replace the rotors in the future. Plenty of anti-seize to be used on reassembly.
The good news is that the ball joints are good--I had a pretty severe off-road accident during the winter, and it knocked the alignment way out of whack. The shop that fixed it warned me that I would need new ball joints, but ultimately said I didn't and that they were fine. If it was even remotely possible that I needed them and they could have sold me a replacement set, I'm sure they would have.
Let's hope I can press the studs out of the rotors more easily (I have a 12-ton press).
Thanks for all the advice. I'll let you know how it turns out. What did people do before the Internet?