2000 dodge dakota I need to replace driver side wheel bearing is this something I can do myself?
have the same problem?
Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 AT 12:54 AM
Depends how handy you are with a hammer! First of all, if it's noisy, and sounds like an airplane engine, you can not tell which one is bad except by listening with a stethoscope while it's running in gear and all four wheels are jacked up off the ground. The good news is the 4wd version is easy to replace, and you can put the old one on the other side if you have to.
You'll need to remove the wheel, brake caliper, (don't let it hang by the rubber hose), rotor, axle nut, and three bolts from behind the spindle. To separate the bearing from the spindle, you can reinstall the bolts part way and hit the heads with that hammer, but to insure they don't get damaged, I prefer to pound a flat chisel between the bearing and spindle to break it free.
It is extremely important to torque the axle nut to the specified tightness before you put any weight on the bearing, otherwise the new one will become noisy. Some people set the tire on the ground to hold the axle from turning when they torque the nut, and that's where the problem comes in. Instead, install the brake rotor and caliper, then stick a screwdriver into one of the slots between the cooling fins in the rotor to keep it from turning.