Mechanics

Axle Wheel Bearing Hub Replacement

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Wheel Bearing Hub Assembly
How to Replace an Axle Bearing Hub

A lot is riding on your wheel axle bearings and eventually they will need to be replaced.  Common symptoms are a grinding noise when rolling or turning, squeaking or rough feel through the steering wheel. Before replacing your front wheel bearing hub, you will have to remove some brake components to gain access to the assembly. Safety is very important and extra care should be taken when lifting and supporting your car for service.

Note: Before you begin park your car on level ground with the engine off, Set the emergency brake and wear protective clothing, gloves and eyewear.
 

Tools and Supplies Need to Complete this Job

1. Hydraulic Jack

2. Jack Stands

3. Hammer

4. Wrench Set

5. Sockets with Rachet

6. Large Sockets

7. Pry Bar

8. Replacement Axle Bearing
 

Instructions

Step 1 - Loosen lug nuts ½ turn on front tire before lifting vehicle so the wheel doesn’t spin while you try to loosen the bolts slightly.

Step 2 - You will need to block the rear tires and use a floor jack to lift the front of the vehicle onto jack stands that should be placed under the frame supports. Never just use a jack as your only support device.

Step 3 - Remove lug nuts and wheel.

Step 4 - You may want to turn the front wheel a little to gain better access to the brake caliper assembly. Remove the brake caliper bolts and remove the caliper that houses the brake pads. Use zip ties or safety wire to support the caliper without stressing the brake line while the repair is under way.

Step 5 - Remove the brake rotor. Sometimes the rotor can become fused to the wheel bearing hub. If it doesn’t come off easily, tap the brake rotor between the wheel studs with a hammer to loosen the bond.

Step 6 - Remove the brake caliper mounting bracket.

Step 7 - If your car has ABS, you will need to remove the wheel speed sensor.

Step 8 - Remove the four bolts holding the wheel bearing hub assembly to the front suspension. These can also get stuck over time. You may need to use a slide hammer to pound it free. Take care not to damage the bearing if you are planning on reusing it. Make sure to compare the worn out bearing hub and the replacement part and confirm they are exactly the same before beginning installation.

Step 9 - Install the new bearing hub assembly and tighten bolts to manufacturers recommended torque settings.

Step 10 - Install caliper mounting bracket and tighten bolts to manufacturers recommended torque settings.

Step 11 - Install brake rotor.

Step 12 - Install brake caliper over the brake rotor and caliper adapter and hand thread the guide pin bolts to make sure they are properly threaded and tighten bolts to manufacturers recommended torque settings.

Step 13 - Install the anti-rattle clip by starting the clip on the outboard side of the caliper and stretch the clip legs past the abutments on the caliper adapter.

Best Practices

  • Always use manufactures recommendations for main axle bear nut tightness
  • Inspect upper and lower ball joint dust caps and replace when torn
  • Use OEM replacement parts or equivalent
If further assistance is needed, our certified car repair technicians are ready to answer your car questions. Also, gain manufacturer specific instructions and information by clicking - Auto Repair Manual

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AUTHOR


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of 2CarPros.com
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2013-08-16)