How To: Replace Front Wheel Bearings
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Thread: How To: Replace Front Wheel Bearings

  1. #1
    G20 Senior Member Mxer683's Avatar
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    How To: Replace Front Wheel Bearings

    First off let me say, Jon if you don't make this a sticky I might cry and pout and stuff .
    Some of the tools and equipment needed for this project are going to be a bit pricey but can all be had for around the same price a shop would charge. I'm not sure what is available in different locations but I got my press from Harbor Freight for less than $150 I believe.
    Leave yourself a good full day to complete this the first time around.

    Tools Needed:
    Hydraulic Press
    Impact Wrench
    Torque Wrench
    Sledge Hammer
    Small hammer
    Bearing Separator
    Needlenose pliers
    Flathead Screwdriver
    2 1/8" Socket
    36mm Socket
    30mm Socket
    22mm Socket
    17mm Socket
    12mm Socket
    10mm Socket
    2.5" pvc pipe coupler

    Parts Needed:
    (2) New Front Wheel Bearings
    (4) New Front Wheel Bearing Seals

    First jack up your G and take off the wheels. If you cannot complete this step without a walkthrough this project is not for you. If you can then theres no reason why you cant spend the same amount of money you would at a shop but learn something in the process and know it was done right.

    Now start by taking off the brake caliper and caliper carrier with your 17mm socket. Use the 10mm to unbolt the brake line from the shock. You can either hang the caliper/carrier from wire or put something under it. DO NOT JUST LET IT HANG! Remove your brake rotor. Next use your 12mm socket to unbolt the ABS sensor, be very careful as this piece is not only fragile but expensive. Unscrew ABS line using your 10 and 12. If the sensor is being a pita you can use your flathead and give it a little tap to loosen it up.

    Put it out of harms way. Unbolt the upper control arm.

    Ok now that all the easy stuff is out of the way, take off the castle nut holding the tie-rod on then flip it upside down and screw it on till it is flush.

    Now for some fun

    Take your sledge and give it one good hit to break it loose. Don't tap on it lightly or do medium hits. One good one or your gonna distort the nut and bolt.

    Now you should have something like this.

    I took this as a perfect chance to try out the new craftsman impact wrench

    Remove the cotter pin from the axle nut and hit it a few times with your impact wrench until it comes off.

    Ok, now you want to take the cap off of the top of the steering knuckle to expose the top steering knuckle nut. Loosen that nut and remove it. Now separate the top of the steering knuckle.

    Once thats out you should be able to slide the CV axle out of the hub and only have the lower control arm still attached.

    The lower control arm is a bit tricky, get your 22mm wrench and put pressure on the nut then lightly tap it with a small hammer to get an impact wrench effect till it comes loose.

    After you get the castle nut off flip it over and give it one good hit with the sledge.

    Sweet! You are now done with the removal of the steering knuckle. Now the easy part............NOT! haha

    Take your nifty seal puller or a flathead screwdriver and remove the inner seal.

    Take out the inner snapring using snapring pliers or needlenose pliers.

    Head over to your hydraulic press and set up some 2x4's to put the knuckle on so there is room for the hub to be pressed out.

    This is where the 30mm socket comes in, it's a perfect fit to the hub spindle. Line everything up and slowly but surely press out the hub.

    Next is to remove the inner race from the hub spindle. Tighten down your bearing separator on the hub but leave a tiny bit of play. Now press the hub off of the inner race.

    Now you have a nice bare hub.

    Remove the outer snapring from the knuckle. Put the knuckle hub side down on the press and use your 2 1/8" socket to press the old bearing out.During this process my brake disc protector thing got really bent up, I just removed it.

    At first i put the knuckle down on solid steel to break the bearing loose but then propped it up using 2x4's so the bearing could be pressed all of the way out.

    Time to start pressing the new bearings in. Put the outer snapring back in. Leave the plastic piece in the middle for now so that the races don't fall out and get all dinged up. Now carefully line everything up on the press and begin to very very very slowly press in the new bearing.

    Once the new bearing contacts the snapring you have successfully pressed in a new wheel bearing.

    Now insert the inner snapring and pack the new seals with lots and lots of grease. Once they are packed put them in using the pvc coupler. Put it over the seal and tap around the edge with the small hammer until it seats properly. Do this with both the inner and outer seals and this time. Once the seals are in you can remove the plastic piece holding the races together.
    Stack up everything in this order from top to bottom on the press:
    30mm socket
    Hub
    Knuckle
    36mm socket
    Steel Plate

    Slowly press the assembly back together being very careful not to damage the seals until the hub has fully seated on the outer race.
    Now all thats left is to put everything back together the same way you removed it and enjoy your new wheel bearings.

    Lastly if an 18 year old kid can do this i'm sure most members on this forum will have no problem. Hopefully this writeup will expedite your front wheel bearing replacement.

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  3. #2
    G20 Guru bmexicang's Avatar
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    great write up dude!!

    i want an impact gun..

  4. #3
    G20 Senior Member Mxer683's Avatar
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    Ya i love that craftsman one. My wheel bearings werent even bad, just wanted to use the gun. just kidding

  5. #4
    G20 Guru bmexicang's Avatar
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    haha...so how did you notice that these were going bad? or just felt they needed to be replaces from the milage of the car?

  6. #5
    no rainguard clips...FML junknstuff's Avatar
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    VERY nice write up!

    jon, get these pics archived right away!!! (please!)

    good thing us p10 owners can pick up extra set of hubs to work on them without having the car off the streets for too long! which hydraulic press did you get?

  7. #6
    G20 Senior Member Mxer683's Avatar
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    Bad wheel bearings make a whiiiiring type noise, hard to explain. Typically the noise gets louder when you turn in a certain direction. As for the press I just bought the cheap on sale Harbor Freight one. Not the best quality but perfect for the home mechanic.

  8. #7
    G20 Guru bmexicang's Avatar
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    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=33497

    that bad boy right there?? looks nice for the price.

  9. #8
    G20 Senior Member Mxer683's Avatar
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    Thats the one! I'm tellin ya it will be about the same cost to do it yourself.

  10. #9
    G20 Senior Member Mxer683's Avatar
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    Also, pix 3 and 6 have something in the backround thats a glimpse of what i've been up too Guess it right and i'll be impressed.

  11. #10
    G20 Guru bmexicang's Avatar
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    is that SS downpipe i see?

  12. #11
    G20 Senior Member Mxer683's Avatar
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    Good guess but thats not it

  13. #12
    G20 Guru bmexicang's Avatar
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    idk.wanna tell?

  14. #13
    THAT f'ing guy...

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    cavern's Avatar
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    Badass write up TJ. Definitely going to be stickied.

    With your permission, can I copy the photos to the server so we can keep them locally?

    Oh and whats your plans for this weekend?
    - j0n

  15. #14
    G20 Senior Member jtmobsta's Avatar
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    wow this is a very nice write-up. Props to the work you put into it. This has got to be stickied. I wish I could've done this with my P10, but I didn't have the hydraulic press.

  16. #15
    G20 Senior Member Mxer683's Avatar
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    Ya you can definitely copy them. PM sent Jon.

  17. #16
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    awesome write up man... thanks for helping all of us out

  18. #17
    G20 Member 95Gee20Tee's Avatar
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    Perfect - EXACTLY what I was looking for. I have had a noisy front end since buying the car in 2002 but it never got any worse. Now that I am rebuilding front end (brakes, axles, struts, springs) I finally took note of the right front bearing having just a little noise when turned compared to the left front.
    Note: if you are military, related to military or have a friend in the military nearby, the auto hobby shops on bases have all manner of bearing presses.

  19. #18
    G20 Senior Member Anime Gee's Avatar
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    I need to buy a press & an impact gun as well. (^_^ )

  20. #19
    G20 Guru lysander's Avatar
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    Anyone have experience with a Hub Tamer? I can get one on eBay for around $200. shipped, which is in the ball park of the HF press.

    Also, per usual, I need to point this How-To is for a desert car, not one in the Rust Belt. I just can't imagine my ABS sensors are just gonna slide out of there...
    Last edited by lysander; Sep 28, 08 at 06:04 PM.

  21. #20
    G20 Guru lysander's Avatar
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