Full front Wheel bearing replacement guide

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Iain
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Full front Wheel bearing replacement guide

Post by Iain » Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:49 pm

Parts Required:
A new bearing assembly
A new hub nut
A new hub nut cover/dust cover

Tools Required:
A Jack
Axle stands
A good quality breaker bar, 24" or longer is advisable
A torque wrench capable of reading to the desired torque levels
A punch / Chisel
A good ratchet
A huge socket, probably 45/6 mm
A set of allen keys (pref allen key sockets)
A decent hammer
A two or three leg puller
A set of sockets.
Some Lith/molly grease

Advisable tools
An impact wrench


Stage 1

Jack car, support with axle stand and remove wheel.
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Next remove the brake caliper carrier studs, you will need to back the pads off by pulling the caliper towards yourself to compress the piston.
Upper stud shown below:
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Support the removed caliper so its not handing on the hose, I used a length of wire to hang it for one of the springs, you should then have a clear disk/hub:
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You will then need to remove the bearing bolt cap seen below in the centre of the disk. A sharp screwdriver or chisel on the edge of the cap will have it off in no time.
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Once removed you can see the centre bolt, secured with the locking tang hamered into the cutouts in the stub axle:
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You need to hammer these indents back out using a punch or similar, once this is complete you can remove the nut. Now bear in mind that the nut on my car had been tightened to 290nm (Very tight) the force required to remove it was enough to bend dimensions (and my Halfords pro breaker bar) the socket I needed was 46mm. you can see the bolt removed below, and my breaker bar!
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I now removed the disk, its secured by one or two Allen head bolts (depending on model) once you have the socket on a few taps with a hammer will make the easier to remove.
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This will reveal just the bearing/hub assembly (this is a good time for a brew and a smoke):
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Now for some reason I didn't take a picture of the puller in use on the main bearing but you can see it in use further down. I used a two arm puller to remove the bearing.
As the bearing you are removing is probably knackered its very probable that the inner race will stick on the stub axle. Sometimes these will just pull off by hand or with little force. If however if its jammed on, simply remove the puller in the same way as it was used to remove the hub itself:
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You will then have a clear stub axle:
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If the stub axle has any dirt or burrs/grooves on it clean it and remove any burrs/grooves with a fine file. You should be left with a smooth polished surface:
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Coat the stub axle with some lith/molly grease:
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Place the new bearing on the stub axle. Some will just slide on, others however will need to be driven/pulled on. To drive the bearing on I used a large socket, when driving the bearing you must ensure that force is applied to the inner race! other wise there is a good chance you will drive the inner race out of your new shiny bearing.
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Once the bearing is on far enough for a decent amount of thread to show:
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put the new hub nut on (you bought a new one yeh?) by tightening the hub nut the bearing will be pulled onto the stub axle:
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Torque the hub nut to the specified torque for your car (this may involve much straining and sweating etc so make sure you have had your wheetabix) once torqued, use a punch/chisel to push the collar into the stub axle cutouts to create the locking tabs. Below one side is done as an example:
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Once done, fit you new bearing dust cover (the one you bought) again using a large socket to drive it on.
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From here on in its just re-fitting of the removed parts and your done, stand back, feel smug.
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Re: Full front Wheel bearing replacement guide

Post by noobalicious » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:57 am

Go to the dealer you cheap skate :wink: :lol:
Fancy a holiday?

http://www.carvoeiro-townhouse.com

PM me for a quote + 10% discount :)

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Re: Full front Wheel bearing replacement guide

Post by Keith » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:10 am

Good and useful write-up Iain.

Totally lunched breaker :shock:
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Re: Full front Wheel bearing replacement guide

Post by bb1 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:19 am

Very very good write up Iain. Thanks for that.

One thing I'm confused about though, is putting the LM Grease on the axle before fitting the bearing. I bought some Castrol LM Grease, but it says on the tub, only works up to temperature of 130 Degrees. Would the temperature not get alot hotter in the spot?
Also when picking up the hubs I asked the Parts Man, who asked a technican, who gave ne some sachets of'BMW Brake Pad Paste' to uses to guide it on as the bearing is a sealed unit?
Also had a look at the TIS information for fitting and it doesn't mention using anything when fitting the new bearing. :?

It has me puzzled anyway, want to make sure I do it right with the cost of the babies.
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Iain
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Re: Full front Wheel bearing replacement guide

Post by Iain » Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:34 pm

Its not that clear really, I actually used molly which is good for higher loading and temperatures, but the bearing its self actually comes preloaded with LM :? (LM being "Low Melt" not litium/Molibdenem)

I tend to use lith/molly on most of the suspension/driveline stuff and its really hard wearing (same stuff as in cv joints).

First time I have heard of using sealant, Im not sure I really see the point as the cap will keep the water and crap out of the nut side and the rear is protected by the stub axle.
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Re: Full front Wheel bearing replacement guide

Post by bb1 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:44 pm

Iain wrote:First time I have heard of using sealant, Im not sure I really see the point as the cap will keep the water and crap out of the nut side and the rear is protected by the stub axle.
You might have picked me up wrong there, it's not a sealant they gave me. They more or less said that the bearing is a sealed unit and doesn't need any grease applied to the axle to fit it. They said to just apply some of the 'Brake Pad Paste' they supplied me with. :?
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Re: Full front Wheel bearing replacement guide

Post by Iain » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:04 pm

bb1 wrote:
Iain wrote:First time I have heard of using sealant, Im not sure I really see the point as the cap will keep the water and crap out of the nut side and the rear is protected by the stub axle.
You might have picked me up wrong there, it's not a sealant they gave me. They more or less said that the bearing is a sealed unit and doesn't need any grease applied to the axle to fit it. They said to just apply some of the 'Brake Pad Paste' they supplied me with. :?
Sorry mate, the bearing is pre-loaded with grease, but it isnt what I would call sealed (you could pull the races out of a new bearing by hand), I worked some extra grease inbetween the inner and outer races.

I lubricated the stub axle just to help the bearing on as it was a good tight fit, I also wanted to make sure it had a good even torque, I would think that paste would be ok to lubricate it.
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Re: Full front Wheel bearing replacement guide

Post by bb1 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:18 pm

Iain wrote:Sorry mate, the bearing is pre-loaded with grease, but it isnt what I would call sealed (you could pull the races out of a new bearing by hand), I worked some extra grease inbetween the inner and outer races.
True, I wouldn't call it a sealed unit alrite from looking at it.
Iain wrote:I lubricated the stub axle just to help the bearing on as it was a good tight fit, I also wanted to make sure it had a good even torque, I would think that paste would be ok to lubricate it.
I initially thought the grease was needed to protect the bearing over it's life, but learning now it's just to guide the bearing on, would that be correct? What would happed the the bearing gets really hot, would the heat damaged grease then used to get it on do any damage to the bearing?
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Re: Full front Wheel bearing replacement guide

Post by Iain » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:24 pm

bb1 wrote: I initially thought the grease was needed to protect the bearing over it's life, but learning now it's just to guide the bearing on, would that be correct? What would happed the the bearing gets really hot, would the heat damaged grease then used to get it on do any damage to the bearing?
Lith/molly is tough, it wont break down to any real extent as its essentially a periodic element in suspension.

To my mind there was no har in having some grease on it as it will help disperse any water and protect it from rust.
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Re: Full front Wheel bearing replacement guide

Post by scottE36 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:58 pm

Good write up, Thanks! :thumb:
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