Recently the right front wheel bearing went bad on my 2002 Mazda 626. Apparently my oldest daughter hit a large pot hole bending the wheel and damaging the wheel bearing. I noticed a slight hum in the front end with a slight shutter as well, I thought that the tires needed to be balances and rotated, so I took it into the shop to be checked out. Well to my surprise I was told the bad news and what was worse was the amount they wanted to charge – over $500 to fix bearing and to replace the wheel. That is when I decided to do it myself.
Below I will help you by listing the tools you will need and steps on how to get it done.
Things you will need:
Large adjustable wrench, Channelocks, Bearing race driver tool, Various size punches, Socket and ratchet set, Assorted wrenches, A rags or two, New wheel bearings, Wheel bearing grease, New cotter pin, New grease seals, Wheel blocks, Safety glasses, A jack and a pair of jack stands.
Even if the bearings are not making a noise it is always a good idea to have them inspected every 30,000 miles. I have it done when my breaks are replaced.
Okay let’s get started.
Get all of your tools and supplies together before you begin and allow plenty of time to do the job.
Please take note that these are general instructions and consult the appropriate repair manual for your vehicle.
Always think safety first whenever you’re working around machinery. Wear safety classes to protect your eyes and beware of hot objects, sharp items and hazardous materials. It is very, very important to never work on a car that is only supported by a jack, always place a sturdy foundation under the vehicle to prevent it from falling on you.
From this point on cleanliness is important. You do not want any dirt, sand or metal chips inside the hub.
1. Remove your disc brake calipers and caliper bridge to remove the rotor.
2. Remove the bearing cap. This is a press fit and to remove it grab it with your channelocks and work it back and forth until it pops off. Be careful not to crush it.
3. Once the cap is off you will see a cotter pin, remove the cotter pin and remove the retainer ring. If your vehicle has a castellated nut, you will not have a retaining ring.
4. Using your channelocks or adjustable wrench, remove the nut from the spindle.
5. Next remove the outer wheel bearing and washer.
6. Slide the rotor or drum off the spindle.
7. Remove the grease seal and take out the inner wheel bearing.
8. Wipe all the old grease from inside the hub.
9. Remove the bearing races from the hub.
10. Take a punch with a flat narrow tip and place it on the back of the race.
11. Tap the race out, alternating from side to side so it comes out evenly and doesn’t get cocked in the hub.
12. Once it’s out, flip the rotor or drum over and do the same for the other race.
13. Clean the inside of the hub with some rags.
14. Make sure the spindle is clean as well.
That’s all there is to it. Like I mentioned earlier take your time and you will not get frustrated, good luck with your project.