hub/bearing assembly broke apart, stuck in knuckle - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 12-17-2010, 10:52 PM   #1
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Default hub/bearing assembly broke apart, stuck in knuckle

I ran into a problem swapping the left front wheel bearing/hub assembly, 1995 Park Avenue Ultra.

The axle nut and the three retaining bolts (t-55 torx heads) came off easily. But the hub assembly did not want to separate from the knuckle. I had to use a chisel to wedge the flange loose from the knuckle and also used a 15" crow bar to pry it free. On the inboard side of the hub assembly is the speed sensor. It is housed by a thin steel cover that is pressed onto the back of the three-bolt flange. I found that the speed-sensor housing was rusted to the knuckle and came loose from the rest of the assembly when I finally got (most of!) the assembly apart from the knuckle. So that housing is still stuck in the knuckle, and the inboard side of the removed bearing is uncovered.

My choice seems to be to put it back together and drive it slowly to a shop (the safe choice) or to try to remove that speed sensor housing from the knuckle and continue with the hub assembly replacement.

I don't know that I did anything wrong during the attempted removal. Is this something that happens often? If so what is the usual way out?

Thanks.
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:21 PM   #2
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Perhaps my heads not working tonight, but I'm not picturing what happened. Is there any chance you can post up a picture or two?
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:31 PM   #3
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I would be glad to. Suppose I have a jpg on my computer. Can you give me a hint about how to make it show up on this thread. Thanks from a newb.
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepin View Post
I ran into a problem swapping the left front wheel bearing/hub assembly, 1995 Park Avenue Ultra.

The axle nut and the three retaining bolts (t-55 torx heads) came off easily. But the hub assembly did not want to separate from the knuckle. I had to use a chisel to wedge the flange loose from the knuckle and also used a 15" crow bar to pry it free. On the inboard side of the hub assembly is the speed sensor. It is housed by a thin steel cover that is pressed onto the back of the three-bolt flange. I found that the speed-sensor housing was rusted to the knuckle and came loose from the rest of the assembly when I finally got (most of!) the assembly apart from the knuckle. So that housing is still stuck in the knuckle, and the inboard side of the removed bearing is uncovered.

My choice seems to be to put it back together and drive it slowly to a shop (the safe choice) or to try to remove that speed sensor housing from the knuckle and continue with the hub assembly replacement.

I don't know that I did anything wrong during the attempted removal. Is this something that happens often? If so what is the usual way out?

Thanks.
I had that happen to me on a 2001 Grand Prix, due to rust. I used a chisel to hammer out the edges around the knuckle so that housing buckles in, then give the buckled metal a few good whacks with a hammer so it bends inward even farther, and eventually it loosened up. That, or hammer it from the back with a short piece of wood. It will give way eventually. If you choose the latter, it might be a good idea to turn the steering wheel to get more clearance. Its just rusted in there, that'* all. It will come loose.
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:13 AM   #5
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That is reassuring. I was thinking of something similar. I could use a little cutoff wheel on a Dremel tool to gash the thin metal then grab onto the edges with pliers and pull it out. Does that sound okay?

I wonder whether there is any worry about damaging the recess where the assembly fits into the knuckle---I mean the surface that the thin metal is rusted to, in case I gouge the knuckle a little with the cutoff wheel. I don't know why they make it such a close fit.
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:52 AM   #6
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XTREME

Ha ha ... you forgot to mention that it is a five minute job.

Best may be to pound it inward at the top, using a chisel or drift or screwdriver. It is ring shaped, so pounding it in at the top makes it skewed or cocked so that it sticks out on the bottom. Then it can be grabbed with pliers and pulled out.

I did use the Dremel tool to cut it in one place. That may have weakened it considerably.

I have a clear knuckle now. Thanks for the courage ...
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:55 AM   #7
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related question ...

The machined surface of the knuckle that contacts the hub/bearing flange has some patches of rust maybe a quarter millimeter thick. Will it hurt anything to leave that rust there?
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:37 AM   #8
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haha, yeah it really is a 5 minute job, and you can even use a screwdriver. I pretty much did exactly what you did when it happened to me. I was confused for a little while till I realized what happened.

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related question ...

The machined surface of the knuckle that contacts the hub/bearing flange has some patches of rust maybe a quarter millimeter thick. Will it hurt anything to leave that rust there?
I would sand it down real quick with a coarse grit and grease it up before putting the new one in to prevent this from happening if you ever have to replace the hub again, but if you don't have that option, you can just get it in there and go through this process again if you ever have to do it again. Its not a big deal if the knuckle gets nicked or scratched in a few places so long as the hub can bolt to it properly.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:04 AM   #9
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:47 PM   #10
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Dan-- Nice idea to use those short bolts and nuts to press the bearing out of the knuckle. Wish I'd seen that sooner. But I don't think it would help with the problem of the bearing assembly being rusted into the knuckle and coming apart during removal, which turned out to be not much of a problem anyway if you are replacing the assembly.
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