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Old 05-26-2003, 09:44 PM   #1
armith
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HOW TO: change wheel bearing/hub assembly

Ok some of you peeps have mentioned wheel bearing problems.. Well for those of your brave enough to do this at home heres some help. (TIP: get a Haynes repair book..its VERY worth the $12)

Tools
=====
-36mm axel nut socket (loaner from Autozone)
-WD40 or other penetrator (everything will be rusty)
-13mm short socket (I always preferred the 12 point but whatever)
-13mm wrench (convenient for the tight spaces around CV axel)
-Flange Axel FWD puller (loaner from autozone OEM27037)
-coat hanger or wire (to hang caliper aside)
-jack stands (highly don't recommend just using your regular jack only to hold car up)
-3/4 drive torque wrench capable of 250ft/lbs or more..or impact gun capable of 250ft/lbs or more..
-1/2 inch drive breaker bar
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Last edited by armith; 10-08-2003 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 05-26-2003, 10:25 PM   #2
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Procedure

1. remove wheel and put on the spare.. The 36mm axel nut socket won't fit in the center hole. lower the car and with a 3/4 inch breaker bar loosen the nut. (now this is factory torqued at over 250ft/lbs. so this will take some serious work) I used a impact gun and just slowing and carefully loosened the nut careful not to break it or strip the threads. WD40 works good here.

2. once nut is off lift car, remove spare tire, and secure on a jackstand.

3.remove the brake caliper mounting bracket.. I found that its not necessary to remove the caliper and what not.. unbolt the bracket using the 13mm socket and a breaker bar. Slide the caliper off the rotor and hang caliper aside with a piece of coat hanger or wire. Remove the rotor.

4. Attach the hub puller to the hub using 3 lug nuts. make sure to tighten the lug nuts evenly (I did 1/4 turn each nut a time until tight) otherwise you may attach puller crooked and it could damage he lug nuts. tighten the slide hammer to the axel. do not push the axel in too much yet just get it started. (note: AZone puller used a 19mm socket or wrench for turning of center bolt )

5. there are 3 bolts on the back of the steering knuckle right close to where the CV joint goes into the hub. Use your 13mm socket and breaker bar to remove those bolts. (becareful not to damage the CV boot while doing this.. I found if you turned the steering wheel one side to another it was easier to get in there and access the bolts..

6. disconnect the Wheel Speed Sensor connector and unclip it from the bracket.

7. keep a good hold on the hub and begin to use the puller to seperate the hub from the axel.. CAUTION:BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO PULL ON THE AXEL TOO MUCH.. ONE OR BOTH OF THE JOINTS COULD BE PULLED APART INSIDE IF YOU PULL ON THE AXEL TOO MUCH. Once the axel has been removed from the hub carefully thread the wheel speed sensor wire thru the knuckle. the sensor bracket will also come off.

8. Push the Wheel speed sensor thru the knuckle hole and guide the axel into the new hub. (make sure you put the sensor bracket back on too)

9. installation is reverse removal.. tighten hub bolts, then install rotor, slide caliper back into place and tightn bolts, put spare tire back on lower car, tighten axel hub nut to factory specs.. which I know is over 250ft/lbs.

Now once everything together I put my wheel back on however with the car still raised up I put the car in neutral and spun the wheel freely just to listen for any clicking or scraping of the brakes.. This was to make sure the brake caliper didn't need adjusted and to make sure there wasn't any damage to the CV axel.

Disclaimer
It is always recommended that you tighten all bolts to torque specs. I didn't have a smaller torque wrench and the impact gun wouldn't fit.. so I tightened the bolts down as close to as tight as it was for me to remove them.. I can post all torque specs if requested. Also note that I am not a certified mechanic nor to I consider myself a guru of any sort.. This is to be for reference purpose only.. I accept no responsibility for any damages or injuries should you try this on your own.

I recommend that if you have any reservations about performing this work that you find a mechanic buddy who could do this and pay them cash, beer, IOU, whatever.. This thread was basically for the purpose of informing you of the bolt and nut sizes and basic tools needed to do the job.

Once I got all the tools it took me about an 90 minutes to change one hub.. this would probably be considered slow.. but oh well. Most dealers or mechanics would charge you 2+ hours labor anyways.
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Last edited by armith; 10-08-2003 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 10-07-2003, 01:32 AM   #3
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just thought i would add to this, as i just finished replacing both front wheel hubs. in the tools section i think this part is wrong:

'Slide Hammer Hub puller (loaner from autozone)'

i borrowed one from autozone following the list, and though u say in the post:

'CAUTION:BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO PULL ON THE AXEL TOO MUCH.. ONE OR BOTH OF THE JOINTS COULD BE PULLED APART INSIDE IF YOU PULL ON THE AXEL TOO MUCH.'

the only way to use a slide hammer is to attach it to the hub and SLAM the hammer bacc away from the axle... me and another guy did this SEVERAL times and didnt move the hub at all. after realizing the right way to pull it off and replacing the hub, i found we damaged the cv joint[s] on the half shaft. so to anyone trying this... DO NOT GET A SLIDE HAMMER!

the '36mm hub puller' comes with a bolt with a 19mm head on it [same as the lugnuts] that you screw into the axle until it pushes the hub off.

anyway... besides the fact i have to replace my half shaft on 1 side, this info helped a LOT... also... as he said, make sure you tighten the lugnuts evenly on the hub puller... when replacing the 2nd hub, i guess i wasnt as careful, and damaged 2 lugnuts making them useless.

also... checc to see if the 36mm soccet will fit in the center hole of your rims before bothering with the spare... mine fit fine. i have the 5 star SE rims

good lucc 2 anyone doing this... its not too bad once you do it once.
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Last edited by sicc; 10-06-2004 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 10-07-2003, 05:37 AM   #4
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good post!
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Old 10-08-2003, 08:35 AM   #5
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My appologies with correct terminology.. It was referred to me as a slide hammer hub puller as did the box say such.. I since went back to the Azone and found that the OEM part of the actual puller I used and the OEM part of the box didn't match up.

I posted the OEM for the Flange Axel FWD Puller that I used. and corrected the HOW TO.

You are right about the importance of the lug nuts being even.. the puller is a tight fit and if you don't have all the lug nuts even and tight, kiss the lug nut or worse the wheel stud threads goodbye.

Again my appologies.. I tried to be as thorough as I could.. but when it comes to certain mechanic things and proper names of tools and parts, I tend to rely on "the experts" and this is a case of BIBO.. (Bad Input Bad Output)

My local Azone has been made aware of the box/part mismatch and supposedly will either get a generic box or get the right box for it.

I do hope though that the rest of the change went much smoother for you.
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Last edited by armith; 10-08-2003 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 10-14-2003, 05:15 PM   #6
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ya it went fine... no need 2 apologize... i wouldnt even have attempted it if u didnt post this how-to ;]
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Old 10-14-2003, 05:30 PM   #7
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we did this on pucci's car without the hub removal tool. we just pulled the axle out just enough to fit a large screw driver behind it, and tapped the axle until the hub detached from it. WD40 or PV Blaster is your friend here. just make sure you don't pull the half shaft out too far, then you into big trouble.
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Old 10-14-2003, 07:32 PM   #8
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A slide hammer????

Didn't we use a sledge hammer.

It worked. But now they are shot again. So I get to change then once again.

Damn Intrax and 18s

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Old 10-15-2003, 09:02 AM   #9
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i don't understand why they are wearing out so fast on your car pucci. you're aligned correctly and have a normal offset. so it shouldn't be putting any extra stress on them
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Old 11-11-2003, 07:36 AM   #10
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Please help....
I've been having a situation where my ABS/Trac off indicators come on, but I havent had any braking problems. I had my car in the shop for body work and explained the problem to the mech. and he came back to me and said the hub/wheel ass'y had to be replaced, and said it was a wiring problem, not the bearings themselves. He est. $700. Do I have to replace it or can the wiring be fixed?
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Old 11-12-2003, 01:00 AM   #11
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$700!! if you want to save $ buy the hub at autozone for $130

and follow the info in this thread... the hub comes with the wiring that they are talking about.

now that i think of it,when i got my passenger side caliper off i noticed the wiring waz completely cut through. i had a couple abs lights i couldnt explain before, so this sounds correct.

bottom line tho, u should definitely do this yourself... or walk around w/ a sore ass 4 a while ;x
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Old 11-13-2003, 03:53 PM   #12
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wheel hub help quick please

I pulled the front wheel hub out finally. The d@mned thing didn't wanna move. There was an amazing amount of noise coming from the front end. I was sure that this is what it was, however there appears to be nothing wrong with the bearing. when I turn it it doesn't grind or anything..
Also I had to use a slide hammer and was a little unclear on the damage that this will cause. Could someone explain??
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Old 11-13-2003, 06:32 PM   #13
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what dammage are you talking about?
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Old 11-14-2003, 12:02 AM   #14
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well if u used a real 'slide hammer' you will need to replace your halfshaft on that side.

you arent supposed to pull on the axel, and with the slide hammer u have no choice. the slide hammer, if im correct, is made for the rear hubs. anyway, if you hear cliccing coming from your axel when you turn or go over bumps, you will need to replace that half shaft... that job definitely isnt as fun. and you need to redo your tranny fluid levels afterwards, or you will notice slippage in your tranny when turning to 1 side. its only about 3 steps more than replacing a hub, but those 3 steps are a pain in the ass.
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Old 11-23-2003, 02:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by PACE
good post!
You're right, this is a good post!
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Old 03-25-2004, 11:26 AM   #16
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What are the specs for the bolts
The main big bolt is 284 FP
how about the 3 small one's on the back?
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Old 03-25-2004, 11:24 PM   #17
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OK here's info for the Bolts
1"3/4 Stock Nut is torqued at 284lbs Ft.
some aftermarket Nuts will defer for example mine is only torqued at 173lbs ft. but you'll have the instructions with new hub kit
As for the 3 back bolts they are Torqued at 70lbs each

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Old 06-27-2004, 10:33 AM   #18
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will I used these directions for an alero but it's the same. my 36mm socket fit into my regular wheel. the hardest part was getting the 3 bolts undone from the back, I used a 1/2" drive down to a 3/8" socket and turned the wheel all the way to the right for the front two and all the way to the left for the other one. worked great just be careful not to strip them, use the appropriate length extensions. I used the 3 prong universal puller from autozone but didn't need it anyways...all I did was push the center bolt with my thumb and pulled the hub and it popped right out, others may not be as lucky....the reason why I'm telling you guys this is because the above directions are very good and it works for us alero drivers as well. Thanks guys for your inputs and original detailed post....saved me a couple hundred bucks and only took an two hours to do. while I was in there I replaced the rotors and pads, that's why it took so long.

I'll be ready when the drivers side one goes too....oh yah the way you tell which one is bad is to either jack up the whole from end and put it in gear and let the wheel spin free, I heard a slight ticking on my passenger side which led me to believe that was the one, and second when driving down the road at about 55, turn left slightly, if you hear more noise then it's the passenger side, if you hear more noise when turning right slightly then it the drivers side because of the extra weight being put on the bearing. I've read it doesn't always work but it worked for me.....some say it's impossible to tell which one it is...

one mechanic wrote...

I handle this with the customer two ways. One, I say 'You tell me which one is bad, and I'll replace it.' Or, two, we change 'em both. You can always come down on an estimate, but you can't go up."

thanks again guys, I hope this post helped someone

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Old 06-28-2004, 11:40 PM   #19
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yeah my bearing is shot to hell

had one replaced late december

from remembering it was the drivers side, and being told that twice, i found out it was the passenger side recently after digging up paperwork. The mechanic just pulled the cap off the rim and said "see the screws, how they're still silver and shiny, that's the one we did last time".

Weird ****ed up situation though, he said it was the driver's side when i had it done in december, paperwork had it as the "right" bearing.

Can't argue anything, changed a different bearing. Who knows, wonder how long I can ride on a bad bearing before the wheel turns in and tears off

Gonna try and do the job with some help, had to get a loan off someone for $350 to handle the last bill.

Got a guy in RI that'll charge me $290, mainly for the part $200-210 or so and then 50-60 labor w/ taxes and all
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Old 06-30-2004, 05:35 PM   #20
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mine was only 110 at autozone, but 80 bucks for labor sounds great....if you're unsure of yourself then that's a good deal....good luck
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