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Old 03-23-2011, 06:29 PM   #1
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Default How to replace your rear wheel bearings without a press

I was changing my rear wheel bearings today and thought it might be cool to do it without the press and take some pictures in case anyone wants to attempt this at home. It's a pretty simple process, but a visual walkthrough might help some people so here we go.

The first step is to take your wheel off.



Next, remove the two 14mm bolts that hold your brake caliper bracket and move the whole assembly aside.



Remove your axle nut and pull the brake rotor off.

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Attach a slide hammer to the lugnuts and give it a couple solid hits to pull the hub out (it's easiest to do this on the car).

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This is what it looks like after the hub has been removed.

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Remove the upper and lower bolts that hold the remaining bearing housing and pull it from the car.

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The big c clip that keeps the bearing in the housing will probably be rusted in by now.

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Hit that bad boy with some sort of penetrating oil and give it a few taps with a chisel in the direction show to break it loose.

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After you have it loose, use some c clip pliers to remove the clip and turn the housing over.

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Secure the housing in a vice and knock out the bearing with a hammer and socket/pipe.

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This is what it looks like with the bearing removed.

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Clean the inner bore of the housing and lightly oil it to help keep the new bearing from binding when it is installed.

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This is an important part, so take your time. Make sure the new bearing is sitting squarely on the housing and lightly tap it into place. Make sure it goes in straight by alternating your taps from side to side on the outside lip of the bearing.

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Make sure that you drive it all the way down into the housing, so that the groove for the c clip is exposed. Grease the groove a little and reinsert the c clip.

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Remember this guy? We need to get that bearing race off of there before we can put the hub back into the bearing.

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This is the part we are going to remove.

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Put the hub in a vice to secure it and use a chisel to drive the race off of the hub.

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After you remove the bearing race, check the hub for any nicks and file them smooth.

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Set the hub squarely on the bearing and start tapping it into place.

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Drive it all the way down, using oil if necessary to keep it from binding.



Turn the housing over and check to make sure that the inner bearing race didn't start to pop out the other side, if it did gently tap it back into place.

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Put the housing back onto the car and reinstall the upper and lower bolts that hold it in place.

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Put the rotor back on and then the brake caliper assembly. Reinstall the two 14mm bolts that hold the caliper bracket in place.

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Replace the axle nut and torque it to spec, then use a chisel to peen the nut to the groove in the axle.

That's about all there is to it, I would suggest using an anti-seize compound on all of the bolts and axle splines.
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:47 PM   #2
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nice! diddnt even know u could do it without a press without mangling everything.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:00 PM   #3
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word! someone lock this lol great write up!
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:04 PM   #4
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Great write up! when I do mine I will definitely bring it to work and use a press, but its still great to see how everything comes apart!

Thank you.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:32 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I prefer to use a press, but I wanted to show that it can be done in your garage at home too if you don't have access to one.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:04 PM   #6
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My personal preferences:
  • leave the new bearing in the freezer to shrink it down a bit
  • use the old bearing to hammer in the new one (no galling, and a ball-hitch is my favorite "die" to hammer on)
  • buy the NB style circlips (much easier to use)
  • the three bearings I've replaced were "blasted" and I could smack the inner race with the sledge and it shattered off
  • for the love of Mephistopheles, repack the bearings with AMSoil 2000 so you never have to do this again.

Great thread. I've attempted to use a press every time, and each time it resulted in the press locking out, and I used the sledge to get the bearings in and out.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:55 PM   #7
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This is one for the useful saved treads section.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:32 PM   #8
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Those are all good ideas hustler, but I probably wouldn't suggest people go attacking the inner race with a sledge. Someone who isn't used to swinging a hammer can do some damage to the machined surface of the hub pretty fast.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:11 AM   #9
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Looks like you are loading the bearing rollers while driving the hub in. If so that bearing may not last long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hysteria411 View Post
Set the hub squarely on the bearing and start tapping it into place.
Drive it all the way down, using oil if necessary to keep it from binding.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:02 PM   #10
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i tried a similar approach and my bearing wouldnt budge. had to press out my axle, then hub then bearing. even on the press it was rough to get all the parts off. good write up tho.
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:03 AM   #11
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The freezer and the oven is your friend. Installing old style bearing races on break drums I use to just put the drum on top of a wood stove, then you could just about drop the race in the hole. Not sure you could do that with this project but you could heat the part you want to expand and cool the part you want to shrink.. then the magic happends

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Originally Posted by j-po View Post
Looks like you are loading the bearing rollers while driving the hub in. If so that bearing may not last long.
You could probably use the original race to support back to prevent loading the bearing rollers.

BTW, +1 on using the old bearing to tap in the new.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
My personal preferences:
  • .....
  • .....
  • for the love of Mephistopheles, repack the bearings with AMSoil 2000 so you never have to do this again.
What do you think about Green Grease??? Love that stuff.

I hold in my hand a National "Moog" replacement NB bearing. I don't see how you can repack these suckers. Must be a different design.

Nice, clean, & simple write-up. Good job & nice pictorial.

Edit: actually my bearing is the same design as the one in this pictorial... How the heck to you repack these things?

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Old 05-07-2011, 11:58 AM   #12
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^ For others wondering the same as me: I found this info on
Repacking the Front Hubs

The basic design looks similar so should be useful info.
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:18 PM   #13
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I packed the rears using the same logic as the fronts.
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:27 PM   #14
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What bearings are you guys using? I'd rather not re pack the rears. I can get NTK rears for $40/ea or so. What about front hubs? The prices seem to vary bigtime on hubs. I don't mind repacking the fronts with some good grease. I need bearings on all four.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falcon View Post
What bearings are you guys using? I'd rather not re pack the rears. I can get NTK rears for $40/ea or so. What about front hubs? The prices seem to vary bigtime on hubs. I don't mind repacking the fronts with some good grease. I need bearings on all four.
I run ART front hubs. $160/ea, blueprinted and repacked.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:14 PM   #16
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Cool thanks. NTK should be fine for the rears?
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falcon View Post
Cool thanks. NTK should be fine for the rears?
Presumably, rear bearings aren't really a weak point. The fronts are the ones that go out all the time. As long as you stick with a name brand (NTK, ***, etc) I'm sure you'll be fine.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:31 PM   #18
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Ok good to know. The rears are starting to make noise so I figured it's best to replace everything. Those art hubs look nice. Pricey but nice. How many hours do you have on them so far? Any sign of them starting to wear?
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:57 AM   #19
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hopfully i don't have to do them for a while but thats a sweet way to do it
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:50 PM   #20
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Nice write up. When installing the hub you might want to secure the inner race with a socket from the underside though. I might try the slide hammer next time when removing the hub.

I used timken bearings from autozone 510003 they are prob the only brand I would use besides oem.

I cheated with a press though.

The old outer race works good to drive on the new rear seal also.
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