Axles are the central shaft for a rotating wheel. Power is transferred from the differential to the wheels. An axle bearing is placed onto the axles and are stabilized by the end of the housing. Axle bearings allow for axles to spin in place when given power. They are also commonly known as Wheel Hub Assemblies.
The hub bearings are located between the brake rotors
and axle. The hub bearing is installed to ease the turning of the wheel and reduce friction between frame, axle and wheel.
When should I replace my Axle Bearing and Hub Assembly?
The axle and hub bearings should be monitored regularly when the vehicle has exceeded 100,000 miles. If you notice your vehicle's wheels feeling shaky or hear a growling noise, it is a sign of wear.
What happens if I don’t?
If you do not replace your wheel hub assembly, you run the risk of your damaging your wheels. The tires will not be able to handle excess friction and you will need a complete tire replacement.
How to do it: Replacing your Wheel Bearing and Hub Assembly:
- Jack up your vehicle and secure it on jack stands, placing wheel chocks under the rear wheels to keep the vehicle steady.
- Spin your wheels one at a time and listen for noise and check for undue resistance./li>
- Grab the tire and try to move the wheel in and out. It shouldn't budge. If it does, you definitely need to replace your bearings.
- Remove your wheels.
- Take off the brake caliper and use a wire to hang it somewhere out of the way. Be very careful not to let the caliper hang freely by the brake hose, as this can cause damage.
- Take off the dust cap.
- Remove the spindle nut. You’ll likely need to remove a cotter pin first. Throw it away and make sure you have a new cotter pin on hand for installation.
- Take off the outer wheel bearing and pull the hub and disc assembly away from the spindle.
- Pull the seal off of the rear of the wheel bearing hub assembly. You’ll need to either use a flat head screw driver or a seal remover.
- Take off the inner wheel bearing, which is attached to the hub assembly. Remove the old bearing and clean the inside of the hub. Make sure there is nothing left behind.
- Take the new bearings and place them into the hub assembly, making sure that they are properly matched.
- Use wheel bearing grease to pack the bearings and work it in well.
- Apply some grease to the inner hub assembly and the spindle arm, and then place the inner wheel bearing into the hub assembly.
- Put a new seal over the inner bearing and make sure that it lines up flush to the wheel hub and bearing assembly.
- Put the axle bearing and hub assembly back on the spindle arm and install the outer bearing, packing it with grease.
- Install the spindle nut and tighten it to the proper torque.
- Turn the wheel forward to make sure that everything is properly seated and in place.
- Put the new cotter pin on and replace the dust cap cover and brake caliper.
- Put the wheel back on the vehicle and tighten the lug nuts a bit.
- Lower the vehicle to the ground and fully tighten the lug nuts.
Anything else I need to know?
For some vehicles, you may need to remove some ancillary parts to get to the Axle Bearing and Hub Assembly Replacement, so be prepared for that. If you run into problems with that process, you may need to do some research to get instructions that are specific to your vehicle.
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