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How to Replace Front Wheel Bearings

wheel bearings
wheel bearings

To start with, you need to lift the front of the vehicle using a jack then secure the front wheels on jack stands before you crawl underneath it. Make sure the front wheels are off the ground.
Now remove the front wheels using a 1/2 inch ratchet and socket set. Next place the wheels to the side of the vehicle, away from your workspace.

Then unbolt the brake caliper using a 3/8 inch ratchet. Set it to the side and using a coat hanger hook it to the frame. You don’t want to let the caliper hang by the brake line or it could fail.
Now pry the dust cap off the center of the rotor using a flathead screwdriver. You might need to apply a little tap or two with a rubber mallet to get it off. Next pull the cotter pin out of the castle nut that secures the rotor to the spindle using the cotter pin puller. Then unbolt the castle nut itself.

Place the flathead screwdriver inside of the area that was behind the nut and pull of the flat washer that protects the nut from the bearings. Pull the rotor off of the vehicle and place it face down on the ground.

Pull the rear seal off of the rotor using the seal puller. To do this, place the hook end inside of the seal and apply leverage to pop it out of place. Pull out the rear bearings using your fingers. It should be only resting in place.

Now grab a handful of bearing grease and place it in the palm of your hand. Pack the replacement bearing by pressing it into the grease and turning while you do so. What you are trying to do is to get the grease throughout all parts of the bearing, completely lubricating it in the process.

Now place the greased bearing in the rotor in its original orientation. Then place the replacement seal on top and lightly tap it in place using a rubber mallet.

Next flip the rotor over and remove the front wheel bearing, repeating the previous steps. Notice how they came out.

Now slide the rotor onto the spindle. Place the washer back onto the front bearing as it was before. Then tighten the castle nut all the way tight and then back it off a quarter turn until the cotter pin hole is in line. Now put the cotter pin in the hole in the castle nut and then pull back one of the tabs to secure it in place.

The last thing to do is tap the dust caps back onto the rotors, place the wheels back on the vehicle and remove the jack stands.

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