How To: Replace Your Wheel/hub Bearing
This how to will explain to you how you replace a worn out wheel bearing.
We did this today on Foximus's 2006 Cobalt LT and his car has over 100,000 miles.
Took about 1 hr from start to finish.
Make sure you have all the tools and the new hub before you start
2 Heavy hammers (Used for removing old hub)
Metric socket set (14mm & 15mm)
Needle nose pliers
30mm deep socket (For spindle nut)
Torque wrench (that goes up to 155 ft/lbs)
Air or electric impact tools (If you have access to them)
PB Blaster (or liquid wrench of some sort)
Start by parking your vehicle on a clean flat surface. Pull your ebrake, and chock the rear wheels.
Jack the car up and support it on Jack stands. Never work on a car that is supported by a standard floor jack)
Remove the wheel that has the worn out bearing.
You will be looking at this.
Start by spraying down all the bolts that will be removed with some PB blaster (Liquid Wrench) so that maybe they are a little easier to remove.
First thing you want to do is remove the caliper and brake pads. To do this you will want to remove the 2 14mm bolts that are holding the caliper on. Once you have the caliper removed take a zip tie or 2 and zip tie the caliper to the coil spring that way it's not hanging by the hose and by doing this it will be completely out of your way. There is no need to disconnect it completely. Once you have the caliper removed, pull the brake pads out and set them to the side.
Next thing you want to do is remove the Caliper bracket. To do this you will want to remove the 2 - 15mm bolts that are holding it on. Once the bracket is removed, pull the rotor off and set it to the side.
Now that the brakes are completely removed, you can now work on getting the hub out. Start by spaying some PB Blaster on the spindle nut and let it soak for a few minutes.
While you are waiting for the PB Blaster to soak in you can unplug the ABS sensor. I used a pair of needle nose pliers to un clip it from the bracket.
After you have that unplugged, you can now work on getting the spindle nut off. Take your 30mm deep socket and remove the spindle nut. We put the car in gear and I had Chris hold the opposite wheel to insure that was no excessive spinning of the wheel. It also helped that we had an Electric impact wrench - The spindle nut came right off.
Now that the spindle nut is removed you can now work on removing the 3 bolts that are holding the wheel bearing in place. There are 3 - 15mm bolts on the back side of the hub that you will need to remove.
In these pictures you will be looking at the bolts with the blueish heads on them. Those are the hub bolts.
OK, now once you have the 3 hub bolts removed you will be removing the wheel bearing itself. This is the only hard part. It is best to have help on this step. Also, take your PB Blaster and spray around the edge of the hub where it meets the steering knuckle.
Take the 2 large heavy hammers and have each person hit the back side of the hub at the same time (Hit the part where the wheel studs are attached). You don't have to worry about damaging the old hub because it needs replaced anyway.
It may take a few minutes until you can get it to brake loose, but once you do it should come right out.
Once you have it out compare the old hub to the new to insure they are the same.
Now that the old wheel bearing is out, take your scouring pad and clean up the inside of the steering knuckle to insure proper fitment of the new bearing. We used brake clean along with the cleaning pad.
This picture shows what you should have.
Now it's time to install the new bearing. Make sure you put the spacer back on the correct way (sorry did not get a picture of this, but you should have seen it when you removed the old bearing. Refer to pic below for correct orientation if needed. ) Start by feeding the plug through the steering knuckle hole, it will come out the back side of the knuckle.
Now place the new bearing into the knuckle and make sure the spacer is on correctly.
The new bearing should slide right into the hole as long as you cleaned the knuckle good enough. Make sure you are feeding the CV Axle into the center of the new bearing, this should also go right in. IF there is resistance it is because the splines are not lined up correctly. Remove the bearing and try to spin it a little bit until you can get the splines to line up. Continue to push the new bearing in as far as you can by hand. Once you have the bearing most of the way in, take the 30mm socket and place it directly in the center of the new bearing and using a hammer carefully tap it the rest of the way in until it is flush.
Once that is in and complete plug your sensor in and reclip it into the bracket before you forget about it.
Now bolt the new bearing in place. (Refer to step 4 if needed) You will using the bolts with the blueish heads on them. Install the 3 bolts until you can hand tighten them. Take your torque wrench and torque the 3 bolts to 85 lb ft
Once you have those 3 bolts torqued down properly, you can now move on to reattaching the spindle nut. Start by putting the washer in first, then put the spindle nut on by hand.
Now take your 30mm deep socket and using a ratchet tighten down the spindle nut until it is is tight. ( DO NOT use an impact wrench to tighten the spindle nut. Please tighten it down by hand/ratchet. You do not want run the risk of cross threading the threads) (you will torque this down later).
This is the finished product.
Slide the rotor back on
Reattach your brake caliper bracket and torque those 2 bolts down to 85 lb ft.
Slide the pads back on.
Reattach your brake caliper and torque those 2 bolts down to 25 lb ft
Now your brakes should be all back together.
Step 8 )
You still have to torque down the spindle nut. To do this properly, you are supposed to put the wheel back on and put the car on the ground. With the car on the ground you can clearly see the spindle nut (Steel wheels only).
Take your torque wrench and 30mm deep socket and torque the spindle nut to 155 lb ft.
Now if you do not have steel wheels, the only way I can imagine that you can get the proper torque on the nut is to lower the opposite wheel so it is on the ground and have the wheel you need to torque supported on a jack stand. By doing this it should prevent the nut wheel bearing from spinning so that you can get the proper torque on the spindle nut.
Now torque your lugs down to about 100 lb ft and your set to go.
Disclaimer: This is how we did the install, please read carefully and make sure everything is torqued properly and there shouldn't be any problems. I am not responsible if you do not know how to read or how to work on a car safely.
Last edited by XFE; 05-05-2010 at 04:23 AM.
Very nice write up I did two on a front of a Sebring last week. its my favorite thing to change.
2006 Cobalt: Bolt On's