How To Replace The Rear Wheel Bearings
- Difficulty: Advanced
- Avg. Time Necessary: 1-2 Hours
- Cost: ~ $50
(This procedure is for the driver’s side wheel bearing replacement. The other side is close except for the under-car stuff you have to remove to get the axle out).
Most tools needed to do this DIY are out of a typical toolbox, however there are a few that I had to buy to complete this job.
EBS bearing R&R tool… this tool is not listed on the EBS website (http://www.ebsracing.com/), but give them a call. I purchased this tool based on the recommendation of others, and after completing the job I can vouch for their recommendation. Part number from my invoice is P90-P2
Torque wrench capable of 339 ft-lbs
32MM socket to R&R the axle nut
1) Jack up the car... I always put it on jack stands, all four wheels off the ground. Remove engine tray (if you haven’t permanently removed it, then now’s the time to think about it), transmission tray, and plastic cover on suspension wishbone.
2) Remove offending wheel (mine was driver's side rear).
3) Set park brake extremely tight.
4) Remove 32mm nut... I used a 3/4 drive breaker bar and had no problem. Others have used a pneumatic impact wrench without problem.
5) Remove brake pads from caliper, and then unbolt caliper (two 16mm bolts attach it). Hang caliper out of way, making sure not to strain the brake line. Also, I insert a block of wood to keep the pistons in the retracted position.
6) Release the park brake.
7) Remove rotor... I use an impact screwdriver to loosen the two phillips screws that hold the rotor on.
8) Jack up the suspension at the housing such that the axle is parallel to the ground.
9) Use a good 2 or 3-arm puller, centered on the axle shaft, to pop the hub off. If your car is a turbo, you’ll need to add a metal plate to the end of the axle shaft before engaging the puller… there’s a vent that runs through the axle shaft of a turbo that would be damaged if you tighten the puller against it. Initially, as you're tightening the puller, the shaft will push inwards... at some point it will go as far in as it can, then the hub will pop off. The bearing race has to be removed from the hub... I took mine to a machine shop with a hydraulic press. After the machine shop was done, I put the hub into the freezer... being cold makes installation of the hub into the new bearing easier later.
10) Unbolt the heater supply tube... some people remove it, but I unbolted it at the very front, undid the bellows at the front, and undid it at the hanger along the mid-length, and that allowed it to be pushed far enough aside to allow room to remove the axle.
11) Remove six 8mm hex bolts on the CV joint near the transmission.
12) Remove axle.
13) Remove four bolts on outside of housing that hold the 2 bearing race retainers… you can see the bolts and retainers on the last pic above.
14) Now install EBS bearing removal/install tool... it’s not a listed tool on the ebsracing.com website, but give them a call and tell them you need the bearing removal/install tool P90-P2. See pic #1 and #2 below to understand which part of the tool goes inside the housing for the removal, and pic #3 for how it looks outside. As you crank down on the threaded shaft the bearing is extracted from the housing.
15) Apply a light coat of high temp grease to the OD of the new bearing... the grease will aid in re-assembly.
16) Reinstall new bearing into the housing... again this will require the EBS tool, and of course you'll have to rearrange the parts of the tool. I had to think and engineer a solution with the parts that are part of the tool... once you figure it out it makes perfect sense. I scratched my head for a while though. Essentially all you need to do is take the flat plate piece that was to the inside during the removal and exchange it with the flat plate piece that was to the outside… everything else stays the same. It’s difficult to see in the pic below, but it does show the arrangement on the outside of the housing. Look closely at the tool arrangement…
17) Once the new bearing is installed, reinstall the bearing race retainers and the four screws that hold the retainers. I couldn't find the torque specs in the manual, so I just did them pretty tight using a 3/8-drive socket... I assume that's enough.
18) Remove the hub from the freezer and install into the bearing... my experience with the hub really cold is it goes straight in without any force. Other people don't freeze the hub but use the EBS tool to press the hub into place. Those that use the EBS tool for this step have warned to assemble it correctly for the installation or else you'll push out the inner race... I didn't want to take the chance so freezing the hub worked great. It slid right in without any force. Once fully seated, let the hub heat up to room temperature. After getting the hub fully seated by hand, I installed the EBS tool to make sure the hub didn’t slide out as it warmed up.
19) Carefully reinstall the axle, making sure not to push the hub out of the bearing again. Reinstall six 8mm hex bolts holding the CV joint to the transmission.
20) Reinstall rotor... then set parking brake extremely tight.
21) Reinstall 32mm nut, torque to 339 ft-lbs. If the parking brake doesn’t hold it, then do step#22 and have someone actuate the brakes while you’re torquing the nut.
22) Reinstall brake caliper (torque bolts to 85 ft-lbs). Reinstall brake pads.
23) Reinstall heater supply tube.
24) Reinstall wheel, torque wheel bolts to 96 ft-lbs, re-install transmission cover and suspension cover, and if you must, reinstall the engine cover. Take car off the jack stands. You’re done!
This was an easy DIY, especially with the right tools. Have fun!