Spindle nuts can be hard to remove on Ford F-150 due to rusting and over-torquing and require a perfect-sized socket to open it with a ratchet.
In addition, Ford F-150 spindle nuts can be of different sizes and shapes according to the truck’s model year and drive system. Therefore, require a specific spindle to open it easily.
What’s the Ford F-150 Spindle Nut Socket Size? The typical socket size to remove spindle nut in Ford F-150 is 35-36mm with a ½-inch drive mechanism for ratchet spanner. It is also used with impact and torque drivers. Moreover, other specifications are a 6-point opening with a deep socket for better grip and to prevent rounding off the nuts.
Choose Chrome Molybdenum or Chrome Vanadium steel alloy sockets for better strength to use in high torque applications.
I have explained the socket size, specifications, and valuable attributes for its application to remove spindle nuts in the Ford F-150.
What’s the Ford F-150 Spindle Nut Socket Size?
Spindle nut sockets are available in multiple sizes and compatible fastener settings.
Moreover, they have multipoint and shape opening grips according to the spindle nut you want to open.
They have two parts, including drive and socket fitting. The drive part is square and connects with a ratchet or impact wrench to rotate the socket.
They have standard sizes including ¼”, ⅜”, ½”, ¾” and 1″ depending upon their applications.
Ford F-150 is a full-size truck, and you can use a ½” or ¾” drive socket to open or close its spindle nuts and provide sufficient torque.
The second rounded part of the socket has various sizes and shapes available according to its intended usage.
Its size can vary from 8mm to 30mm for ½” drive mechanism. A 30mm socket in 6-point configuration is a standard option to use with these spindle nuts.
Why do I need a spindle nut socket?
Spindle nuts serve the purpose of holding the bearing assembly and rotor hub on the wheel’s spindle. It is also called axle nut due to its fixing on the wheel axle.
Unfortunately, it is not easier to remove those nuts because of rust and high torque to keep them in their place.
To open them, you need to use a specific size socket with a drive mechanism. Proper socket size prevents the slipping and rounding off corners of nuts that make them unusable for future applications.
Moreover, it prevents damage to the nut threads due to excessive force in an unbalanced way.
Types of spindle nut socket
Spindle nut sockets have classification based on the types of fastener wrenches, their internal shape, and depth.
The ones used with impact wrenches are more robust and can withstand heavy torques. I prefer impact sockets for use with the Ford F-150 due to their robustness and heavy torques.
Moreover, they come in multipoint settings for easier alignment and fit according to the shape of the spindle nut.
You will find a 6-point socket in the form of a hexagon commonly used to remove spindle nuts in Ford F-150.
Another important specification is shallow vs. deep socket size. Generally speaking, truck owners prefer deep sockets over shallow ones for better grip and to prevent rounding off nuts.
Do all models of Ford F150 require the same socket size?
No, all models ofFord F-150 do not require the same socket size to remove or install the spindle nuts. However, 36mm is the most common size you will find in earlier models of the truck.
However, you will find them with 1-⅜” (35mm) spindle nut size. Using a 36mm socket will not fit, and you may not be able to remove it.
Therefore, you will need a 35mm socket size with a ¾” drive size. You will also find smaller 12mm spindle nuts in a few trucks depending upon the alteration of parts by truck owners.
Difference between 4wd and 2wd spindle nut socket
2 and 4-wheel drives have different axle designs and rotor assemblies. However, spindle nuts will be of the same size for both axles.
The spindle nut socket size required for both drive axles will be 35-36mm according to the model year of the Ford F-150. However, torque requirements will be different for both types of axles.
What is a Spindle nut socket made of?
Often you will find a spindle nut socket in the form of a complete set with a toolbox and fastening ratchet.
The standard material used to manufacture them is steel or cold-pressed steel.
Other variants have chrome molybdenum and chrome vanadium steel as their material of construction.
Chrome plating makes them resistant to corrosion and easy to clean after use. However, they will be a bit more expensive to purchase than steel ones.
I would recommend alloyed sockets that are strong and do not damage the spindle nuts of the Ford F-150.
Spindle nut socket wrench requirements for Ford F150
Multiple types of wrenches can act as a driver to fasten and rotate the socket. Use the appropriate type of wrench according to the socket type for efficient tightening of the spindle nut.
Common types are ratchet spanner, impact wrench, and torque wrench. You have to apply force by yourself for a ratchet spanner to remove or tighten the spindle nut.
The impact wrench uses an electric motor for easy and quick work. Use it to remove rusty and over-torqued nuts.
I would recommend specially designed sockets with impact wrenches as they apply high torque on spindle nuts.
Moreover, inexperienced persons avoid using an impact wrench to tighten the spindle nuts beyond acceptable limits causing damage to the nut head and threads.
It comes in handy to use the torque on the spindle nut, according to the owner manual of the F-150.
Spindle nut torque requirements
Torque requirements of spindle nuts can vary according to the model and spindle nut size of the Ford F-150.
Moreover, the socket and wrench should turn it up to specific torque limits. For example, models before 2004 have 20-30 lbs-ft torque requirements for smaller size spindle nuts.
But later models require above 200 lbs-ft of rotation of the 35-36mm spindle nut to fix it properly.
The typical value is 290-300 lb-ft, according to the owner manual of the 2005 Ford F-150. These requirements are for a 2-wheel drive pickup.
For 4-wheel drive axles, the torque requirement would be a lesser value of about 17-20 lb-ft for the same axle.
You would have to choose the socket with ½”-¾” drive option so that you can easily apply the specific torque on the spindle nut without damaging the socket and nut.
Cost of purchasing spindle nut socket
Usually, you will find a spindle nut socket kit containing multiple sockets and a ratchet for their use to remove various types of nuts.
It costs around $110-$150 for a 6-piece set of suitable quality sockets made of steel alloy.
To purchase a single piece of a specific size, the cost involved will be lesser.
For example, for a ½-inch impact drive, 36mm diameter, 6-point Molybdenum alloy steel socket with chrome coating, you will have to pay $15-$20.