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Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement Tools

Old 12-24-2018, 05:21 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Virginia Beach
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Default Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement Tools

After reading the available forum posts on rear wheel bearing replacement, I over-dreaded this job. Seemed like the alternatives were to pull the entire hub assembly and bring it to a shop to press out the bearings, or invest $550 in a Sir Tools B90 kit and slug it out in situ. This job was WAY easier than I anticipated, and cheap tools are available.

First, thanks to zefke for this 2012 post, describing how to pull the stub axle with a slide hammer

I went with an OrionMotorTech 9-way slide hammer from Amazon for $66. I had to take a dremel to the hub mount to grind out the holes, whether due to casting residue or incompatible size, they needed to be ground out larger by another 1/8” or so. 30 minutes or less, probably 15 if you have more than just a single, worn out grinding wheel in your dremmel set.

Once attached, it literally took me less than a dozen medium-strength hammers to get the stub-axle off.

The inner race will almost certainly come off with the stub-axle. I used a mapp gas torch to heat the race then carefully coaxed it off with a chisel.

Use a pair of large circlip pliers, a couple of screwdrivers, vice-grips, and your best curse words to pull the bearing retaining clip.

IMPORTANT TIP: place the stub-axle, stub-side up on the floor of your work aread, PUT THE RETAINER CLIP ON TOP OF IT. Dont do what I did the first time and drive the stub axle in without first reinstalling the bearing retainer. You WILL destroy the bearing pulling the stub axle back off, you WILL have to order another expensive wheel bearing, you WILL wait until the next weekend before you can finish your bearing job

To pull the bearings, I purchased an OrionMotorTech 23-piece FWD Bearing Puller from Amazon, $65. I was fully expecting that this kit would be a 1 or 2 use toolset, that the threads would strip and the drivers would deform, to my surprise, the kit held up beautifully. Keep the threads well greased, use the washers, the bushings are thick and tough.

Find the largest bushing that will still fit through the rear of the hub and grabs the outer bearing race, slip the bolt and washer through from the rear, place the large sleeve and sleeve plate over the front, then put the washer and nut on. Finger tighten while holding the assembly together, keeping everything centered. I used a large adjustable wrench to tighten the nut, checking behind the hub to make sure nothing was getting hung up. Once the bearing starts moving, it all goes with medium but rigorous effort.

Before installing the new bearing, clean the hub thoroughly. On the first side, I used a propane torch to heat the hub before installing the bearing. This bearing went in much easier than without preheating, and I didn’t struggle to keep it from going in crooked. Others mention freezing the bearings, probably a good idea but they will go in even without additional heating/cooling.

Select the largest bushing that will fit inside the hub, it should be the same diameter as the bearing. Assemble the bearing puller with the large sleeve cover against the rear of the hub, slide the bolt and washer through, put the bearing, then the bushing, washer, and nut. Hand-tighten, keeping everything centered. Start tightening it down, keep a VERY CLOSE eye on whether the bearing is going in evenly. I used a bodywork-hammer to strike the bushing to even out the push when it seemed to be going in unevenly. Once the bearing is in 3/4” or so, it should go in straight from there. If the bearing is crooked, and won’t straighten out with medium-heavy blows with a light hammer. Pull apart your assembly, and pull the bearing back out using the method above. I had to do this on the bearing that I put in w/o heat as it went crooked while I wasn’t paying attention. No biggie, 15 minute delay. Tighten the bearing until it won’t tighten anymore, you’ll feel the difference when the bearing hits the stop.

PUT THE RETAINING CLIP IN! It goes in easily, you may need to hold it with a screwdriver as you release pressure off the pliers to keep it from slipping out.

Select a bushing that will hold the center race of the bearing, put it on from behind, place the spindle through, put the spindle on, and place the sleeve cover over the face of the outside of the stub-axle. Hand tighten everything, keeping it centered. Then tighten down the stub axle until it stops. The stub-axle goes in easily.

Hopefully the tool recommendations and pics will save someone some time, money and effort. This is NOT a bad job at all (on a Porsche 928 scale). Had I not forgotten the circlip on the first side I did, it would have been a 1 afternoon job.

Buy a parking brake pad replacement kit. Both my 928s parking brake pads were in horrible condition when I removed the rotors. Not worn, actually completely missing the linings where it had cracked off and distintegrated. These are old cars, having an emergency brake is a really good thing.

Examine your CV boots before undertaking this job. Mine were fine but since you have to remove the half-shafts to do a bearing change, this would be a good time to refresh them.

Torque the inner CV joint to the flange properly. I read and used 60ft/lbs. Using long extensions and applying the parking brake, I was able to do 3 on each side at a time, I marked them with paint, took the ebrake off, rotated, and then did the other 3 on each side.

If your ebrake is good, apply that, put the car in gear, and tighten the axle nuts, I believe the correct torque here is 320ft/lbs. I used a breaker bar, then calculated the distance from the center of the socket that I would need to apply my weight at the correct distance to achieve 320. I stood on that spot for 10 seconds to assure it was tight. You can always bring your car to a shop with an accurate high range torque wrench or multiplier to get it exact. I don’t own such a device and I’ve used this method before. YMMV.
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