2003 BMW 325 Front wheel hub removal 325xi

Tiny
TOMDAVISNC
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 BMW 325
  • 6 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
The front wheel hub removal says to use a puller to remove from the axle.
When I used the puller, the whole casing which is attached to the control arm and the strut pulled with the wheel hub. I needed to replace the bearing and the hub bearing came as an assembly.
How do I remove this wheel hub without disturbing the strut and control arm.
There does not look like a reason the hub will not pull out, but it does not.
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Thursday, October 8th, 2009 AT 12:36 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
The best way to replace the wheel bearing is to remove the forging that is the bearing carrier from the car, then with a slide hammer attached to the hub and the carrier held in a soft jawed vice, force the hub out. Then remove the circlip and press out the bearing. The inside race often stays on the hub, use a "clam shell" puller to remove the race or replace the hub. Press the new bearing into the hub, chamfered edge in first and secure with circlip. Press the hub into the bearing while supporting the back of the angular contact bearing, or you risk damaging the bearing. Reassemble the carrier and pull the axle into the hub with the special tool from BMW for this job. Assenmacher specialty tools makes the complete kit for this task. BTW, remove the wheel speed sensor first.
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Thursday, October 8th, 2009 AT 11:25 PM
Tiny
TOMDAVISNC
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Got the hub out with the slide hammer. Cannot figure out how to press out the bearing
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Saturday, October 10th, 2009 AT 11:24 AM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
Remove the circlip? Do you have a press? There are special tools to remove the bearing, they can be $$$ for a one time use, it might be easier for you to take the hub loose from the car and go to a machine shop.
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Saturday, October 10th, 2009 AT 3:35 PM
Tiny
TOMDAVISNC
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Yes the circlip is out. I went and got a 12 ton press. Have put a lot of pressure on it -- almost cannot pump it anymore. Got an exetension pipe for better leverage and sprayed with pb blaster -- Still nothing. Will take to the machine shop soon.
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Sunday, October 11th, 2009 AT 11:15 AM
Tiny
TOMDAVISNC
  • MEMBER
Got it! It beat up the 12 ton press pretty good, but it finally snapped. Then pressed out pretty easily. Now to seperate the inner piece of the bearing from the hub. There is nothing to grab onto.
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Sunday, October 11th, 2009 AT 12:27 PM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
That is where the bearing separator comes in. It can get behind the stuck race and give you something to push against in the press. Google it as I just did and you too could be overwhelmed with options.
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Sunday, October 11th, 2009 AT 1:26 PM
Tiny
TOMDAVISNC
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your help. Thank goodness I have another vehicle to drive. Got the whole knuckle reassembled and the hub wiggled in the assembly. My guess is I damaged the bearing as I did not support the center when pressing in the wheel hub. Can't figure out anything else. Have it apart again and ordered another bearing. They really make this difficult.
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Saturday, October 17th, 2009 AT 11:39 AM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
You are welcome! Now, what was learned from this exercise, what could be passed on to the next guy trying to do what you have done? For me, as an expert, it seems easy to say, "Do this, then that", but when a layperson hears those words, something is missing. I wish to disappear that which is missing from the conversation about replacing wheel bearings on E-46 all wheel drive cars. Can you respond to the request.
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Saturday, October 17th, 2009 AT 12:00 PM
Tiny
TOMDAVISNC
  • MEMBER
Pictures. I should have taken pictures of the process and equipment. I am not familiar with all of the terms, and it is always helpful to have someone show you. Plus knowing how something is assembled helps when you are taking it apart. I could not see inside the assembly, but with pictures I would have understood what each step meant. (I had never even heard of a slide hammer or a bearing seperator before, now I own both, plus a ball bearing seperator which I will use a lot. I am completely rebuilding a 1986 camaro now too. This is all very new to me, but challenging fun and a great hobby).

After breaking the new bearing I took it to a machine shop (tons of equipment and extreme heavy machines that needed forklifts to put together). Dealing with all kinds of bearing he was amazed at this set up for a wheel bearing.

Also, cautionary tips in caps or bold. SUPPORT THE BACK OF THE BEARING OR YOU WILL BREAK IT! I somehow missed it but when I went back there it was clear as day. Now I understand you need to press the hub into the bearing not into the assembly (and therefore the bearing should be supported under the press.

Other than the $ (even with 2 bearings this is so much cheaper than taking it to the shop), the biggest inconvenience is waiting for the parts. Nobody sells BMW parts without having to order them - so when you mess up you are a couple days delayed unless you pay double from the dealer.
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Monday, October 19th, 2009 AT 7:33 AM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
Thank you for sharing your experience, I will be using this article for others to be inspired by. Good on ya mate for sticking with it and getting it done!
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Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 AT 9:24 AM

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