Front wheel bearing replacement

Tiny
LUKE LUGNORE
  • MEMBER
  • 2010 HONDA CIVIC
  • 1.8L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 78,000 MILES
Can you show me what is needed to replace both front wheel bearings on my car?
I cannot find any illustrations or instructions of how to start and what is in entailed.
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Friday, January 12th, 2018 AT 4:41 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
This is not a do-it-yourselfer job. The rear bearings are bolt-on assemblies that you can do yourself with regular tools, but the front ones need a special tool set to press the hub out of the bearing, and then to press the bearing out of the spindle. A special threaded rod is used to pull the bearing into the spindle. Honda's use a wire ring to hold that bearing in, then the rod is used to pull the hub into the bearing. You must use the correct-size round discs to pull against, otherwise the bearing will be pulled apart and will be destroyed.

If you want to pursue this, look at the procedure for this job for an 1980's Chrysler or Toyota car. Removing the brake caliper will likely require different tools, but the special tool for bearings is the same. Where this also differs on Chrysler's is the bearing is held in place with a retainer plate that is bolted on with three bolts. If you back those out evenly with an open-end wrench, you can start pulling the hub out of the bearing, but that will destroy it so it cannot be reused. Fortunately, there is never a reason to remove the bearing except to replace it. The special tool is still needed to complete the job, and half of the inner bearing race will be stuck to the hub and will have to be cut off with an air tool. Once it's cut through about ninety percent of the way, you can crack it with a chisel and hammer to get it off.

Honda's and Toyota's differ where they use a retainer snap ring instead of the retainer plate. In both applications, that retaining device is just for extra insurance. The main method of holding the bearing in the spindle is a really tight friction fit. The special tool is supposed to be bolted to the back of the spindle, then the threaded bolt is run in with an air impact wrench. It pushes against a round disc that pushes on the outer bearing race to push it out. That bolt is but one inch in diameter and must be kept well-greased because there's going to be a real lot of force on it. The plate it goes through is half an inch thick, and will start to bend from the extreme pushing force. I have the best luck by using a hammer instead of the impact wrench. Tighten the bolt by hand, then smack the head once with a large hammer. Tighten the bolt again, then smack it again. This method does not put any stress on the tool or its mounting bolts. It takes a minute or two longer, but the tool will last a lot longer this way. You might find this tool at an auto parts store that rents or borrows tools.

The most important thing to keep in mind is this type of bearing, and its counterpart inside the complete bolt-on assembly on other car brands, is that bearing is held together by the stub axle shaft on the outer CV joint and its nut. The torque setting on that nut is critical and must be set with a large click-type torque wrench. There must never be any vehicle weight set on that bearing when it is not fully tightened to specs. Some people set the tire on the ground to hold the axle from turning so they can tighten the axle nut, but by that time it is too late. The races will already be damaged and the bearing will be noisy. This is a real common cause of repeat bearing failures.
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Friday, January 12th, 2018 AT 5:28 PM
Tiny
LUKE LUGNORE
  • MEMBER
I changed my bearing and hubs on my 2006 Odyssey. I just wanted to know if the procedure was the same.
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Saturday, January 13th, 2018 AT 10:31 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
My source shows the same style bearings for the front for both models.
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Saturday, January 13th, 2018 AT 12:25 PM

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