How to Use a Hub Puller

Updated April 17, 2017

The hub puller represents one of the speciality tools required in automotive and industrial repair. Axle and pulley hubs often pressed onto a drive or rotating shaft, require an appropriate hub puller designed to exert the pressure necessary to remove the component. A properly operating hub puller makes a better alternative than a hammer or other tool when removing pressed-on hubs. Hub pullers will not damage or bend important components that have precision-machined fits. Purchase hub pullers outright or rent one from automotive stores and learn how to operate one in a few minutes.

Set the vehicle transmission in park or neutral. Apply the emergency brake. Use a tire iron to loosen the lug nuts on the wheel requiring hub removal. Use the floor jack to lift the vehicle. Place a jack stand under the chassis frame. Finish removing the lug nuts with the tire iron and then pull the wheel off. Remove the two large through-bolts that hold the caliper to the caliper bridge, with a socket. Pull the caliper off and tie it to the frame with a bungee cord.

Remove the bolts to the caliper bridge frame with a socket, and set it aside. Use channel locks to pull the dust cap from the hub. Snip the castellated nut cottar pin with wire cutters and pull it out. Use a socket to turn the castellated nut counterclockwise and remove the brake rotor. Use a socket to loosen and remove the steering knuckle on the control arm. Place the hub-puller extension arms -- or plate, if so equipped -- behind the hub flange.

Center the pulley screw in the middle of the axle-shaft recess hole. Place the adaptor sleeve over the centre screw at the back of the hub, then screw the adaptor onto the threads. Turn the pulley screw clockwise with a socket, while holding the adaptor nut with an end wrench, until the hub separates from the bearing assembly. A larger adaptor may have to be used for domestic vehicles, while a smaller one needs to be used for foreign designs.

Position the new bearing in the steering knuckle socket over the puller, for the reassembly procedure. Place the hub-puller adaptor sleeve and nut on the backside of the hub flange. Use a socket to tighten the puller screw clockwise to compress the bearing into the hub. You might have to hold the rear nut with an end wrench. Turn the pulley screw until the bearing seats firmly. Remove the hub puller.

Assemble the parts in the reverse order you removed them. Replace the wheel and use the tire iron to snug the wheel lug nuts tight. Use the floor jack to lift the vehicle and remove the jack stand. Use a torque wrench to tighten the lugs nuts according to manufacturers' specifications -- refer to your owner's manual for the proper torque measurement.


Some hub pullers have three-prong designs that require you to place the prong holes over the lug nut studs and screw on the lug nuts. This is used to remove pressed-on rotors from hub assemblies. Determine which hub puller to use for your specific application. Industrial pullers might be required on larger engines and generators because they have specific dimensions and designs. Some universal hub pullers can be used for rear wheels. Confer with the clerk about the proper application when renting or purchasing a hub puller.

Things You'll Need

  • Tire iron
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Channel locks
  • Wire cutters
  • Socket set
  • Bungee cord
  • End wrenches
  • Hub puller
  • Owner's repair manual
  • Torque wrench
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About the Author

Chris Stevenson has been writing since 1988. His automotive vocation has spanned more than 35 years and he authored the auto repair manual "Auto Repair Shams and Scams" in 1990. Stevenson holds a P.D.S Toyota certificate, ASE brake certification, Clean Air Act certification and a California smog license.