DIY Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement
A bad rear wheel bearing needs immediate rear wheel bearing replacement. It’s a job you can do yourself, as long as you have good mechanical skill. Different makes and models of vehicle will require different techniques for the rear wheel bearing replacement. This will depend on whether it’s a solid assembly, and on the type of brakes on the wheels.
Step 1 - Bearing Problems
The first step is to determine whether you have a problem with your rear wheel bearings. Generally you’ll discover this by the noise it makes, which can be anything from a growl to a squeal. If the noise continues when the car is in neutral and moving, then the problem will be with the bearing.
Step 2 - Preparation
Loosen the lug nuts on both rear wheels. Put chocks in front of the front wheels. Raise the rear end on a hydraulic jack and set the rear on jack stands. Remove the lugs nuts and take off the tires.
Step 3 - Brakes
Start by loosening the nut at the center of the wheel. You will probably need an impact wrench, or a drive breaker bar, in order to do this. Once it’s off, remove the brake calipers (with drum brakes you’ll need to take off the drum and the shoes). Take care when hanging the caliper out of the way.
With disc brakes you’ll have to take off the rotor. Release the parking brake. Depending on the model, it might be held on by a pair of Phillips head screws, and you’ll probably need an impact screwdriver to remove them.
Step 4 - Hub
To remove the hub, start by having the jack under the suspension at the housing. In this way the axle will be in a position that’s parallel to the ground. Center a 3-arm puller on the axle shaft and tighten it. Expect that the shaft will initially move inward until the hub finally pops out. Without specialized equipment, you won’t be able to remove the bearing race yourself, as it needs a press, but a machine shop can do this for you.
Step 5 - Bearing
Unbolt the tube for the heating supply and then take off the hex bolts holding the CV join in place. This will allow you to take off the axle. You’ll now see 4 bolts holding the bearing race retainers; remove them. You’ll need to use a bearing tool to take out the bearing.
Step 6 - New Bearing
Grease the new bearing and install with the bearing tool and then put in the bearing race retainers, using the toque wrench and tightening to the specified torque in your service manual. Press the hub into place (freezing it first helps in this) and then reinstall the axle and the hex bolts that secure the CV joint. Put the rotor back on and set the parking brake. You need to put in the main nut now, with the correct torque and then put on the caliper and brake pads. Finish by reconnecting the heater tub and put the wheels back on.