Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Remove wheel hub rust

Best ways to remove wheel hub rust

Rust on the wheel hub prevents a perfectly parallel fit between the rotor and the hub, which induces lateral runout resulting in disc thickness variation and brake pedal pulsation. I’ll show you the best ways to remove wheel hub rust to prevent brake pedal pulsation.

Why is rust removal so important?

The wheel hub shown here has rust buildup. rusted wheel hubWhen a new rotor was installed on this hub, the lateral runout measured .014”. The maximum lateral runout specification from the carmaker is .002”. If you install a new rotor on this rusty hub, you will automatically induce disc thickness variation, which causes uneven brake pad deposits on the rotor and you’ll wind up with brake pedal pulsation within 3,000 miles. At that point, you’ll have to do the job all over again.

Remove wheel hub rust with rotary sanding discs

Several companies make rotary sanding discs referred to a “Roloc” pads. Roloc is a trademark of 3M. The round pad screws onto a mandrel that chucks into your drill. These pads do a decent job of removing rust between the studs but can’t reach the areas directly around the stud.

roloc discs

Remove wheel hub rust with hub resurfacing tools

These tools have a hollow center with an abrasive wheel on the end. Simply chuck the tool into your drill, slide it over the wheel stud and hit the trigger to remove rust at the base of the wheel stud.

wheel hub cleaning kits

Remove wheel hub rust with a needle scaler

A needle scaler is the fastest way to remove needle scalerwheel hub rust but requires an air compressor. Simply hold the scaler tool about ½” away from the surface and hit the trigger. The hardened steel needles chip away at the rust scale, leaving a level surface.

Treat the cleaned wheel hub with a rust reducer

Apply a light film of moly grease to the surface of the wheel hub, avoiding getting it on the studs, to slow down the formation of rust.

moly grease

©, 2020 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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