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How do I replace front wheel bearings
Topic Started: May 12 2010, 01:48 PM (12,127 Views)
killerofangels
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I am getting a squeaking sound from the front wheels that tells me I need to replace the wheel bearings (plus the guy at the inspection station says I need that to pass). I've never done the bearings before. What exactly is required to change these? I don't have a press so I figured hammering them out with a close-enough-sized socket would be okay. I'm having trouble getting to that part, though.

So far, I've got the steering knuckle removed all the way down to the ball joint but after taking the pin and nut off, I can't seem to wiggle the bolt out of the steering knuckle. I've tried using a good amount of force and some WD40 to no effect.
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I feel like I might damage the knuckle if I use any more force.

Also, what do I need to get the seals and bearing out?
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CityConnection
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Sir, yes sir!

You need a pickle fork. Most autopart stores have these for sale and a few will rent them.
Edited by CityConnection, May 12 2010, 02:19 PM.
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Rooy


Pickle fork will work, but likely damage the boot on the tie rod end. If you can, get a tie rod end puller (sometimes called a small pitman arm puller) or a "lever style" tie rod end puller.

Tie rod end lever style: http://www.jcwhitney.com/tie-rod-end-removal-tool/p2004158.jcwx?skuId=219190&TID=8014524FT4&utm_source=Google_Product_Search&utm_medium=CSE&utm_content=product-812149&zmam=15972153&zmas=21&zmac=141&zmap=812149

Advance Auto Parts (at least the one near me) rents out a front end service/puller kit that has all of these tools in it.

Sometimes you can get lucky and get it out without any special tools. The trick is to hit the part of the knuckle (not the tie rod end itself) where the tie rod end goes in with a hammer. Try pulling up on the tie rod at the same time. This might not work the first shot, but keep hitting around the knuckle (doesn't have to be real hard).

Also, if you want to hammer on the tie rod end bolt from the bottom, the trick to not screwing up the threads is to thread the nut back on a couple turns.
Edited by Rooy, May 12 2010, 02:53 PM.
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killerofangels
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OK. Got tie rod disconnected. What's the best way to get the bearing out without a press?
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Big Rhino
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Take to napa and get them to press them out.
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Bad Bent
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Facetious Educated Donkey

I used a brass drift punch and tapped it out from the other side. Be sure to know how the spacer fits in between the two bearings and pack around it with grease during the install. ^o)
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killerofangels
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Inner and outer? You mean there's two bearings?!? I ordered a replacement set from some auto parts website and they had listed a rather wide single front bearing for my car (95 metro 3cyl). I see in the shop manual that it has an inner and outer but I figured it was wrong (like it has been on several other issues). :die
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Bad Bent
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Facetious Educated Donkey

My manuals agree with your manual. Must be the same car, eh. B-)

Well, you have a manual but here is a link with 1993 pics... How to Wheel bearings.
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JellyBeanDriver
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You look like you would have 1 wide bearing.
My 92' uses 2 bearings, but the 2000 knuckles I have that I'm going to put in only have 1 wide bearing.

Here's one
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metroschultz
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Please just call me; "Schultz"

I have a press,
bring it over Saturday.
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crankcase


Pictures of your press please?

I'm looking to buy one that will do trans. service.
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metroschultz
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Please just call me; "Schultz"

I'll post them on Saturday.
My press is designed specifically for wheel bearings. I don't know if it will work for transmission stuff.

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killerofangels
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Yes, my car has two bearings. They seem to just fall out once I got the oil seals out as they are tapered bearings and not pressed in. I completely destroyed both the seals getting them out too. :-/

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Do I also have to replace the inner/outer race along with the bearings (and seals now too)?
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Mr Murf 59
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For trans stuff. Its all in the tooling. I have a good old 20 ton press. I can do up to the big New Venture 4500s and 5600's and everything smaller than that. I have pressing plates with a Big V in the center, and one with a radius. It helps you get around shafts and such.
@ killerofangels. Make sure you grease the bearing really well. Going back in is a finess thing. Not a brute force thing. and just a little grease on the seals when you get done.
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killerofangels
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...and another thing. I'm having trouble finding the front wheel bearing inner/outer sets. Every parts site I go to has the wider single front wheel bearings only. Are the rear wheels' inner/outer bearings the same as the front wheels'?
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