Front Hub Bearing Replacement - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 08-26-2002, 02:45 AM   #1
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Default Front Hub Bearing Replacement

Well, just got doing this job on my 96 SSE the other day (I was getting an occasional clunking from the right front on braking), figured I'd let everyone know it wasn't as hard as I was expecting--took about 1.5 hours for me to finish.

Here'* what it takes:

Replacement Hub/Bearing assembly (Timken Part# 513087 $121.99 @ Autozone)
Jack & jackstands
1-5/16 socket
Torx T-50 socket
3/8 allen wrench (or socket bit)

(These instructions are not meant to be taken as gospel, just my experience, and information from the 1996 H-platform manual. Please work safely, and don't sue me if I missed something in here and your car ceases to function)

1. Jack up the front of the car, and support it safely
2. Remove the wheel from the offending hub
3. Grab an assistant--have them get in the car (carefully) and hold down the brake pedal
4. While brake is depressed, use the 1-5/16" socket to loosen the nut on the end of the halfshaft, once that is off, you can dismiss your assistant
5. The manual says to use a gear puller to push the halfshaft inboard slightly to break it free from the hub, but I found that a good whack with a mallet works also--use a block of wood to protect the threads if you don't have a soft-faced mallet
6. Use the 3/8 allen wrench to remove the caliper bolts--use a piece of wire to hang the caliper from the spring, so it doesn't strain the hose
7. Pull the rotor off the hub, set aside
8. Unplug the ABS sensor, and remove the connector from the dust shield
9. Use the Torx T-50 socket to remove the three bolts holding the hub assembly to the spindle assembly
10. At this point, the hub assembly should slide right out--if it needs some persuasion, carefully pry it out of the spindle
11. After the hub is removed, you'll notice a fair amount of dirt built up in the housing it fits into--make sure you clean that all out
12. Install the new hub assembly into the spindle, torque spec for the Torx bolts is 52 ft-lbs (according to my manual)
13. Clip the ABS connector back onto the dust shield, and plug the vehicle harness back in
14. At this point, you should be able to pop the halfshaft back into the hub assembly and get the nut started--go ahead and do that now
15. Put the brake rotor back on the hub, and reinstall the caliper
16. Get your assistant to came back out and stand on the brake pedal
17. Torque the nut on the end of the halfshaft to 115 ft-lbs
18. Tell assistant thanks, and send them on their merry way
19. Reinstall tire, torque lug nuts to 100 ft-lbs
20. Put car back on ground, and you're done!

Hope this helps someone out there--I figure it can complement Jeff'* write-up on the rear bearing replacement

Jim
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Old 08-26-2002, 09:28 AM   #2
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Very well written. Only thing I did different was loosen the center CV shaft nut while the car was still on the ground, by popping out the center ABS cap and accessing it through the wheel. I put the parking break on to prevent it from putting to much stress on the tranny when really torqing down on it to get it off, but your way sounds like it would work good too. If the brakes can clamp down and stop a 4000 lb car from 70 MPH, they should be able to hold up to someone applying 115 ft/lbs of torque

Nice write up...
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Old 08-26-2002, 06:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for the compliment--I was up all night, so I was hoping I didn't screw it up

I tried doing it with the car on the ground, but my socket wouldn't fit in the hole (get your minds out of the gutter everyone)
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Old 08-26-2002, 06:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
tried doing it with the car on the ground, but my socket wouldn't fit in the hole (get your minds out of the gutter everyone)
heheheh

I'm pretty sure thats how I did it, through the wheel, but I really cant remember. It was a year or 2 ago now since I did it and I really dont recall.
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Old 12-29-2002, 09:20 PM   #5
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I tried getting this done today - the right side front bearing was making noise, bought the new hub/bearing assembly from Autostoned, 121.99 (ouch).

Anyway ...

Axle nut off, no problem, caliper off, no problem ... but the t-50 torx bolts, all three of them are STUCK!!! STUCK SOLID!!! I can't get them out - even took a MAP torch to them, broke my torx socket, tried an 8mm hex, I can pound it in there, but even with an extra wrench buddied on the wratchet I can not get any one of them to move.

Has anyone else had this problem??? Recommendations???

I'm thinking of just getting a new knuckle (either from the junkyard or new, not sure what it'll cost...), and installing the new bearing assembly into that and just transferring it in, because this is ridiculous.

The car is a 95 SSEi with 135,000 miles.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 12-29-2002, 10:39 PM   #6
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Did you try liquid wrench? There is some other kind of stuff too, but I forgot what it is called.

Did you torch the bolt for 3-4 minutes before you cranked on it with a cheater bar? You have to get it good and hot.
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Old 12-30-2002, 03:47 AM   #7
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Never underestimate the value of an impact wrench in a situation like this. Just go easy at first. The jarring action can do wonders if done CAREFULLY.
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Old 01-01-2003, 07:54 PM   #8
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definitly true about airtools, at our shop, if you take longer than about 20 mins to do a hub assembly, my boss is asking questions, lol. if you use handtools and cant get it free, try PB blaster, i think its one of the best products on the market for loosening frozen metals. we swear by it.
also great explaination on the replacment of the hub assembly.
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Old 01-01-2003, 10:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrey10x2
definitly true about airtools, at our shop, if you take longer than about 20 mins to do a hub assembly, my boss is asking questions, lol. if you use handtools and cant get it free, try PB blaster, i think its one of the best products on the market for loosening frozen metals. we swear by it.
also great explaination on the replacment of the hub assembly.
Definitely a great explanation, except it'* a T-55 torx, not a T-50.

As for my hub assembly...

GOT IT!!!!!

It took a combination of impact gun (air up to 110psi!), torch, breaker bar w/ pipe on it, and alot of patience, it took me about an extra 20 minutes more effort on each of the bolts. Them fuggers were stuck in there! I cleared out the threads, and of course it was all back together in about 10 minutes with the new bearing assembly.

PITA!!! I've worked on older cars than this, but have NEVER had three bolts give me such a hard time. But, I won in the end!!!!!

Thanks for the tips,

Dan
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Old 01-26-2008, 05:50 AM   #10
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Default New Bearing/hub replacement on Ebay

I bought two new front bearing/hub assemblies made in Michigan(not made in china) for my 1992 Bonneville. They have the ABS sensor on them also. They were $64.99 each. Autozone and Oreilly'* have them for about $150 each. I paid $150.00 plus a few cents for two of the hubs and shipping from Michigan to Texas.
I think the name of the company is Wholsale Bearings Direct in ******* Michigan.

If anyone is in need of a wheel hub, check them out on ebay. They look good.

John
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