How to Replace Front Wheel Bearings on Cars

by Contributing Writer

Do your wheels wobble as you drive? You may need new bearings installed. You can do it yourself by following these steps.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Front Wheel Bearing on a 2002 Jaguar X-Type

Loosen the front wheel nuts with a socket wrench before lifting the vehicle.

Place a hydraulic jack rated for 5-tons or greater under the center point of the front cross member and jack the vehicle up to the required height. Place two sturdy axle stands under the right and left chassis jacking points. Lower the vehicle onto the axle stands.

Grasp the top of each front tire with one hand and the bottom with the other. Pull the wheel in-and-out and then rock it from top-to-bottom. Inspect the bearings and replace them as needed, if there is any play in either direction.

Remove the cap from the brake fluid reservoir and siphon off two-thirds of the fluid from the reservoir to prevent fluid from overflowing when the caliper pistons are pushed into the caliper bores.

Unscrew the front wheel nuts with a socket wrench and remove the wheels.

Withdraw the outer brake pad from the caliper housing.

Place an open-ended wrench on the flats of the caliper mounting bolt guide pins to prevent the bolts from turning. Undo the upper and lower caliper mounting bolts with a box wrench and slide the bolts out.

Withdraw the caliper and hang them out of the way on a piece of wire. Reinstall the outer brake pads and slide a thin block of wood between the pads to keep them separated.

Remove the brake disc retaining screw with an impact driver and remove the disc from the hub.

Pry the dust cap out of the hub with a screwdriver and hammer. Straighten the ends of the wheel bearing spindle nut cotter pin with a pair of needle-nose pliers and withdraw the cotter pin. Unscrew the lock nut with a suitable box-end wrench and soak the nut and washer into a shallow can of biodegradable solvent.

Force the outer bearing out of the spindle by pulling the hub out slightly while rocking the hub from side-to-side. Withdraw the hub. If the inner wheel bearing and seal don't come out with the hub, grasp the back of the seal with both hands and pull the inner bearing and seal off the spindle. Make a mental note of how the seal is installed.

Discard the old bearings and seals. Clean off all traces of old grease from the hubs and spindles with a biodegradable solvent and a 1/2-inch paint brush.

Take the wheel hubs to a reputable machine shop equipped with a hydraulic press. Have them remove the inner bearing races and then press new races into to hubs.

Pack special high-temperature wheel bearing grease between the bearing rollers, cone and cage from the back face of the bearing. Take special care to force grease between the rollers while doing so.

Lubricate the spindle, outer bearing seat, inner bearing seat, seal shoulder, and seal seat with a thin layer of high-temperature grease.

Scoop a small quantity of grease onto the end of your finger. Insert your finger into the hub from both sides. Form grease dams by packing a small amount of grease onto the inboard surfaces of each bearing; this will provide space for extra grease and also prevent heat-thinned grease from oozing outward.

Fit the grease packed inner bearing into the inner race and smear extra grease on the outboard face of the bearing.

Tap a new bearing seal evenly into the recess over the inner bearing with a plastic mallet. Tap around the perimeter of the seal until the outer face of the seal is flush with the hub.

Slide the hub onto the spindle and push it all the way in. Push the outer grease packed bearing into the outer race.

Wipe the hub washer and nut off with a clean rag. Place the washer on the spindle and thread the spindle nut onto the shaft. Rotate the hub in a forward direction and snug the spindle nut down with an open-end wrench. Stop tightening as soon as you feel the slightest resistance.

Tighten the spindle nut with a torque wrench and socket to 30 lb-ft -- 27 Nm -- while rotating the wheel forward to seat the bearings. Remove any burrs and excess grease from the hub and bearing recess that could cause play in the bearings later.

Loosen the spindle nut 1/4-turn and then tighten the nut by hand as far as possible until the slots in the spindle lock nut line up with the holes in the spindle. Insert a new cotter pin. Bend the cotter pin ends with pliers until they lie flat against the nut. Snip off the ends with a pair of side cutters, if they interfere with the dust cap.

Tap the dust cap into the hub evenly with the plastic mallet.

Refit the brake caliper and disc. Top up the hydraulic reservoir with fresh "DOT 4" grade hydraulic brake fluid.

Refit the wheels and tightly snug the lug nuts. Grasp the top and bottom of both wheels in turn and check for play as described in Step 2.

Lower the vehicle and tighten the wheel nuts to 59 foot-pounds with a torque wrench, if the vehicle is fitted with steel wheels; Tighten the wheel nuts to 76 foot-pounds, if it is fitted with alloy wheels.

Items you will need

  • Hydraulic jack rated for 5-tons or greater

  • Two axle stands

  • Socket wrench set

  • Set of combination wrenches

  • Two 18-inch long lengths of wire

  • Two thin blocks of wood

  • Impact driver

  • Screwdriver

  • Hammer

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Biodegradable solvent

  • 1/2-inch paint brush

  • Two sets of Jaguar X-Type front wheel bearings

  • Two front wheel bearing seals

  • Two front wheel spindle nut cotter pins

  • High-temperature wheel bearing grease

  • Plastic mallet

  • Hydraulic fluid

 How to Replace the Front Wheel Bearing on a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am

Place a tire block behind one of the rear tires and then apply the parking brake on the Grand Am.

Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheel with the faulty bearing using a tire iron. Do not turn the wheel nuts more than a half a turn.

Lift the front end of the Grand Am with a service jack and place a jack stand under each front frame rail.

Turn the ignition key a half click to unlock the steering wheel. This position in the ignition should not illuminate any instrument panel lights or turn on any accessory power sources like the radio or blower motor.

Place the brake pedal prop rod between the driver's seat and the brake pedal. Extend to the rod to depress the brake pedal fully. A helper could also just step on the brake pedal for you instead. Use the ratchet and spindle socket to loosen the spindle nut. Do not remove the nut at this time. Remove the prop rod once the spindle nut is loose.

Remove the wheel nuts and tire assembly and then place the C-clamp over the caliper assembly. Place the top of the clamp on the inner housing of the caliper and the drive of the clamp on the outer brake pad plate. Compress the clamp slowly until there is about a half an inch of free play in the caliper. You do not need to compress the caliper piston fully into its bore.

Disconnect the ABS/speed sensor wire retaining clips and screws (from the wheel hub bearing assembly across the chassis). Use a pry tool to unsnap the plastic clips and then unlock them by hand to release the wire. Disconnect the small retaining screw on the brake hose bracket and then follow the wire up to the upper frame to locate the wire harness plug connection. Unplug the ABS/speed sensor wire from the wire harness.

Turn the steering wheel so the direction of the caliper is protruding from the wheel well and then locate the two caliper anchor bolts. Remove the bolts using the bolt breaker bar and a socket. Remove the caliper and caliper anchor assembly and then hang it onto a caliper hook/hanger to the coil spring (out of the way) to protect the flexible brake hose attached to the caliper.

Remove the brake rotor. If it does not want to come off, spray a copious amount of penetrating lubricant along the mating edges of the rotor and hub assembly. Allow five minutes for the lubricant to penetrate. Use a rubber mallet to strike the rotor plate from behind and turn the rotor a quarter turn between blows until the rotor breaks free from the hub. Remove the rotor.

Remove the spindle nut and the spindle washer and then strike the end of the drive shaft spindle with the rubber mallet until it frees itself from the splines of the hub bearing.

Remove the three hub bearing retaining bolts from the back of the knuckle assembly. Manipulate the steering wheel to access these bolts as needed. Use the bolt breaker bar and a socket to break them free and then switch over to the ratchet once they are loosened.

Spray lubricant on the inside and outside mating surfaces of the knuckle and bearing with penetrating lubricant and wait five minutes for it to penetrate. Use the axle/bearing puller or slide hammer to pull the bearing assembly away from the knuckle. Remove the bearing and the backing plate.

Use the emery cloth to clean the corrosion from the mating surface of the backing plate, the inside hub mating surface of the brake rotor and the hub bearing seat of the knuckle. Manipulate the drive shaft spindle when sanding the bearing seat of the knuckle as needed and then spray brake/parts cleaner spray to wash off the dust.

Align the backing plate holes to the replacement bearing and then place it in the bearing knuckle seat. Be sure to also align the splines of the drive shaft spindle to the splines of the replacement bearing. Push the bearing inward with force until you can reach it with the hub bearing retaining bolts. Align each bolt through the rear of the knuckle and hand thread them into the hub bearing. Use the ratchet to tighten each bolt three turns and then alternate to another bolt. Keep doing this to draw the bearing in evenly until it is seated flush to the knuckle. Use the torque wrench and specifications chart to torque the bolts accordingly.

Replace the remaining components by reversing the removal procedure. Be sure to torque the spindle nut, brake caliper anchor bolts and finally the wheel nuts to proper specifications with the torque wrench and suitable size sockets.

Pump the brake pedal when the Grand Am is back on the ground to extend the compressed piston of the caliper. Remove the tire block, disconnect the parking brake and then test drive for performance.

Items you will need

  • Tire block

  • Tire nut wrench

  • Service jack

  • Two jack stands

  • Small forked pry tool

  • Brake pedal prop rod

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet and spindle nut socket

  • 4-inch C-clamp

  • 1/2-inch drive bolt breaker bar with socket set

  • Caliper hook/hanger

  • Penetrating lubricant spray

  • Rubber mallet

  • Axle puller or slide hammer

  • Emery cloth

  • Brake/parts cleaner spray

  • Replacement hub bearing assembly

  • Torque wrench (adjustable)

  • Torque specifications chart for the Grand Am

 How to Replace Front Wheel Bearings on a Car

Jack up the car. Use jack stands if possible, or blocks if not.

Remove tires on the front. Remove brakes.

Take out the grease cap (the center).

Pull out Cotter Pin. Take nut out.

Pull Rotor out. Take grease seal off of the back of the rotor. Pull out inner and outer bearings.

Using hammer and punch, knock out racings from the back of the center of the rotor (very important to use new races, don't use the old ones). Clean out the center of the rotor with a clean rag.

Using the new bearings, replace the old ones, tapping them into place. It doesn't matter which one you install first.

Pack with grease when they are in place. Install new seal after the bearings are packed with grease.

Re-install the rotors into car; put brakes back on; replace tires; You're ready to go!

Items you will need

  • Jack and jack stands

  • Hammer and punch

  • Socket to fit nut holding the bearings in place

  • tools needed to take off bearings, depending on type of car you own

  • New bearings and racings

  • Grease to pack them in

 How to Replace Front Wheel Bearings in Nissan Trucks

Put the vehicle in park or first gear (if it is standard) and engage the emergency brake. Place the socket end of the tire wrench over the lug nuts and turn 1/8 degrees to break the nuts loose.

Jack up the Nissan truck using the factory front jack point located behind the radiator. This is an extension of the frame that will support the weight of the vehicle.

Loosen the lug nuts the rest of the way and remove the wheel.

Unbolt the top and bottom caliper mounting bolts and lift the caliper off the brake rotor.

Secure the brake caliper to the coil springs above it with the zip ties.

Pull the brake rotor off. For Nissan trucks, it should pull straight off the hub assembly, but you may have to hit it with a rubber mallet to knock it loose from the hub assembly.

Remove the bearing cap. You will need to use the channel locks for this. Grab the bearing cap with the end of the channel locks and twist the channel locks back and forth until you work the bearing cap loose and can pull it off.

Grab the end of the cotter pin on the spindle nut and pull it out of the nut.

Put the socket end of the socket wrench over the spindle nut and turn counterclockwise to loosen/remove the spindle nut.

Remove the wheel bearing. You may have to tap it out with a rubber mallet or a hammer.

Remove the bearing races from the hub by tapping them out with a hammer and punch tool. You will have to do this for both sides of the hub.

Clean the inside of the hub with shop towels or rags.

Clean the spindle and spindle nut with rags and brake parts cleaner.

Install the new wheel bearing. You may need to tap it into the hub using a rubber mallet. Be careful that you do not damage the new bearing. For this reason, it is recommended that you use a rubber mallet and not a hammer for this job.

Reassemble the hub assembly, brake and rotor assembly, and put the wheel back on. Installation is the reverse of removal.

Tighten the lug nuts so that the wheel fits snugly against the wheel. Then lower the vehicle to the ground and torque the lug nuts to 100 foot-pounds with the torque wrench.

Items you will need

  • 4-ton jack with jack stands

  • Tire wrench

  • Channelocks

  • Pliers

  • Bearing race driver tool

  • Punch tools

  • Open ended and box end wrench set (metric)

  • Socket wrench and socket set (metric)

  • Torque wrench

  • Shop towels or rags

  • Wheel bearing grease

  • New cotter pin

  • New grease seals

  • Zip ties

  • Rubber mallet

  • Hammer

  • Brake parts cleaner

 How to Replace Front Wheel Bearings in a Ford Pickup

Jack the front of the vehicle up and support with jack stands. Remove the front tires and the front brake calipers. Hang the calipers up or support them so they are not hanging by the brake hose, which could damage the hose.

Remove the caliper support, then remove the center bearing cover using the hammer and chisel. Tap it out easily so as not to bend it. Remove the cotter pin in the spindle.

Remove the large bearing retaining nut and grab the rotor with your hand and rock it forward just enough for the front bearing to fall out.

Put the large bearing retaining nut back on, but do not turn more than four or five threads. Grab the rotor with both hands at the 3 o'clock and the 9 o'clock position and pushing down slightly, pull the rotor off swiftly. This will remove the rear bearing and seal at the same time. The retaining nut will knock the bearing and seal out as you pull the rotor off. Remove the retaining nut.

Remove the inner races for the bearings using the hammer and chisel. Put the chisel on the top of the bearing race and hammer it down toward the floor and then turn the rotor over and do the other side the same way.

Install the new bearing races using the old races as a buffer or an installing tool. Lay the new race in the rotor and line it up to the recession and lay the old race upside down on the new one. Hit the old bearing with the hammer to drive the new bearing into the recess. Make sure you drive the new bearing all the way into its recess. Do the same for the other side.

Fill the palm of your hand with grease and push one bearing at a time into the grease and drag it across the hand so that the bearings get a full packing of grease. Install the large bearing first by dropping the bearing into it's race and then installing the seal with the hammer.

Install the rotor back onto spindle and hold it in place. While holding the rotor on the spindle with one hand install the front small wheel bearing followed by the large washer and the retaining nut. Tighten the retaining nut (use the crescent wrench) just enough so that there is no play felt. Tighten the nut another 90 degrees with the wrench and then rotate the rotor a couple of times. Back the nut off until it is loose then tighten just until you feel the friction of it tightening up again and stop right there. The bearing must be tight enough that there is no freeplay, but not so tight that the bearings will seize up when they heat up and expand.

Install the cotter pin and the bearing cup. Install the caliper support and the caliper. Do the other side the same way then install the tires.

Items you will need

  • Lug wrench or air gun and socket

  • Set of 3/8-inch drive sockets

  • Ratchet

  • Common screwdriver

  • Hammer

  • Chisel at least 6 inches long

  • Crescent wrench

  • Pair of dikes or wire cutters

  • Tub of wheel bearing grease

  • Jack and jack stands

 How to Replace Front Wheel Bearings in an F250

Jack the front of the vehicle up until the wheels are off the ground using a floor jack. Place jack stands under the axle beam on each side of the truck. Lower the floor jack. Remove the front wheel lug nuts with a lug wrench turned in a counterclockwise direction. Remove the wheels. Place the lug nuts and wheels aside.

Remove the brake caliper bracket bolts on the rear of the caliper with a socket and ratchet turned in a counterclockwise direction. Lift the caliper straight up from the brake rotor. Use a piece of wire and hang the caliper onto the spring in the wheel well, being careful not to stretch the rubber brake line attached to the caliper.

Pry off the dust cap from the center of the combination wheel hub/disc brake rotor with a flat-blade screwdriver. Remove the cotter pin from the hole at the end of the steering spindle (revealed after removing the dust cap) with a pair of pliers. Remove the holding nut from the spindle with a large adjustable wrench turned in a counterclockwise direction.

Pull the wheel hub/disc brake rotor straight off of the steering spindle, being aware that the outer wheel bearing and washer will fall out to the ground. Place the hub upside down on a work surface. Pry the circular grease seal out of the center of the hub with a flat-blade screwdriver and pull out the outer wheel bearing. Clean the grease from the hub thoroughly with solvent and a parts brush.

Pack your new inner and outer wheel bearings by placing a large dab of axle grease in your palm. Push the edge of the bearing into the grease with your other hand until grease comes out through the rollers at the top of the bearing. Repeat this step for the inner and outer bearings.

Place the outer bearing into the back side of the hub with the tapered side facing inwards. Carefully push a new grease seal onto the hub using a block of wood and a hammer. Push the hub assembly onto the wheel spindle. Push the inner bearing onto the spindle with the tapered side facing inward. Push the washer onto the spindle. Thread the nut onto the spindle and tighten to 18 feet pounds with a torque wrench. Push a new cotter pin through the small hole at the end of the spindle, and bend it over with a pair of pliers to keep it from backing out. Push the dust cap back into place until it is fully seated.

Unhook the wire from the brake caliper and slide it back over the disc brake rotor. Replace the original holding bolts, and tighten with a socket and ratchet in a clockwise direction.

Repeat steps 2 through 7 for the other side of the front of the vehicle. Replace the wheels and tighten the lug nuts. Raise the front of the truck with a floor jack and remove the jack stands. Lower the truck.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • 2 Jack stands

  • Lug wrench

  • Socket set (assorted sizes)

  • Ratchet wrench

  • Metal wire

  • Flat-blade screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • Large adjustable wrench

  • Solvent

  • Parts brush

  • Replacement inner and outer bearings

  • Axle grease

  • 2 Replacement grease seals

  • Block of wood

  • Hammer

  • Torque wrench

  • 2 Replacement cotter pins

 How to Replace the Front Wheel Bearings in a 2004 Expedition

Removal

Park the Expedition on a level, paved surface and set the parking brake. If equipped with air suspension, turn off the control switch located in rear driver trim panel. Place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels. Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels. Raise the front of the Expedition with a jack and support with jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and wheels.

Grab the dust cover on the hub with channel-lock pliers. Twist and pull on the cover to remove it. Do not grab the cover too tight. If it does not want to come off, use a flathead screwdriver to pry it out, working your way around it. Use a pair of pliers to remove the cotter pin from the spindle. Note how it is bent so you can bend a new pin the same way.

Remove the caliper bracket bolts with a ratchet and socket. Remove the caliper and bracket. Tie it to the coil spring with a piece of wire.

Remove the spindle nut retainer. Remove the spindle nut and washer with a ratchet and socket. Tilt the hub a little to force out the outer wheel bearing. Remove the bearing and slide the hub assembly off the spindle. Lay the hub face down and use a seal remover to remove the grease seal. Remove the inner wheel bearing.

Clean the hub and spindle with shop rags and parts cleaner. Remove all of the old grease from the hub.

Remove the bearing races from the hub with a hammer and punch. The hub has notches in it where you can access the race. Work back and forth between the notches, striking the punch just hard enough to move the race a little bit. Repeat for the other bearing race.

Installation

Install new races with a hammer and race installer. Make sure the races are fully seated in the hub by trying to slide a .015-inch feeler gauge between the back of the race and the hub. It should not go in.

Put some high-temperature wheel bearing grease in the palm of your hand. Pack the new bearings by holding the bearing with the big end of the taper facing down. Drag the edge of the bearing down through the edge of the grease and against and across your palm, forcing grease between the rollers. Keep doing this until grease comes out through the top of the rollers. Repeat this motion, turning the bearing a little at a time until grease is forced out all the way around the bearing. Repeat for the other bearing.

Pack the cavity in the hub between the bearing races with grease until it is level with the inside of the bearing races.

Lay the hub face down. Set the inner bearing in the race. Spread a film of grease around the outside edge and inside lip of a new grease seal. Set the seal on the hub. Lay a block of 2- by 4-inch wood on top of the seal. Tap the wood with a hammer to seat the seal. Rotate the block of wood around the seal to drive it in flush with the hub.

Mount the hub on the spindle. Slide the outer bearing onto the spindle. Install the washer and nut. Rotate the rotor in a clockwise direction while using a torque wrench and socket to torque the spindle nut to between 21 foot-pounds. Loosen the nut one half turn. Torque the nut to 17 inch-pounds with an inch-pound torque wrench. Install the spindle nut retainer so the notches in the retainer line up with the hole in the spindle. Install and bend a new cotter pin. Mount the dust cap and tap it into the hub with a rubber mallet.

Mount the caliper and bracket. Install and torque the bolts to between 125 and 168 foot-pounds. Place the dust cap against the hub and tap it on with a rubber mallet. Mount the wheel and install the lug nuts. Raise the Expedition, remove the jack stands and lower it to the ground. Torque the lug nuts to between 83 and 112 foot-pounds. Remove the wheel chocks. Turn on the air suspension, if equipped.

Items you will need

  • Wheel chocks

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Channel-lock pliers

  • Flathead screwdriver

  • Ratchet and socket set

  • Wire

  • Seal remover

  • Shop rags

  • Parts cleaner

  • Hammer

  • Punch set

  • Bearing race installer kit

  • Feeler gauge set

  • High-temperature wheel bearing grease

  • Block of 2- by 4-inch wood

  • New grease seal

  • Torque wrench

  • Inch-pound torque wrench

 How to Replace a Front Wheel Bearing on a Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

Remove the Front Wheel Bearing

Jack up your vehicle in a safe, level spot and support it on jackstands. Remove a front wheel with the lug wrench.

Install the boot protector on the inboard-side CV-joint using the halfshaft boot protector (tool J-28712).

Push the drift punch through the caliper and rotor cooling fins. Use the clean rag to clean off any lubricant or dirt from the axle threads.

Remove the nut and washer from the hub and throw away the nut. Take out the drift punch and caliper and hang the caliper using a wire or zap strap.

Disconnect the Automatic Brake System sensor (ABS) from the hub bearing. Remove the knuckle mounting bolts and use the front hub spindle remover tool to separate the halfshaft from the hub bearing.

Remove the bearing assembly, O-ring, bearing shield and bolts.

Install the New Front Wheel Bearing

Look closely at where the new gasket will sit and make sure both the gasket and the mounting surface are perfectly clean. Use the bearing seal installer tool to install the new seal on the inboard side. Apply wheel bearing grease to the edge of the seal.

Connect the ABS sensor and install the new O-ring on the hub bearing.

Install the halfshaft onto the axle shaft making sure the splines are engaged securely.

Install the bearing onto the steering knuckle, followed by the backing plate and retaining bolts. Tighten the retaining bolts to the correct pressure with a torque wrench. Manufacturer's specification for these bolts is 63 foot/lbs. pressure unless your parts supplier says otherwise.

Tightening the New Wheel Bearing

Put the rotor and caliper assembly back in place on the rotor and tighten the mounting bolts to 38 foot/lbs. Install the original washer and new hub nut.

Partially tighten the new hub nut with the torque wrench but just enough to seat the bearing. You may need to use the drift punch again to prevent the hub from rotating as you tighten the nut.

Remove the boot protector and install the front wheel.

Lower the vehicle and tighten the hub nut to 185 foot/lbs.

Items you will need

  • Front hub spindle remover (tool J-28733)

  • Halfshaft boot protector (tool J-28712)

  • Bearing seal installer (tool J-34658)

  • Lug wrench

  • Drift punch

  • Clean rags

  • Wheel bearing grease

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Front Wheel Bearing on a 2002 Saturn

Lift the front of the vehicle with a vehicle jack. Place jack stands under the frame rails near the front of the vehicle to secure it.

Remove the lug nuts with a socket wrench and slide the wheel off of the lug nut studs.

Remove the mounting bolts on the top of the brake caliper with a socket wrench. Pivot the brake caliper assembly away from the brake disc and support it with a piece of thick wire. Do not hang the brake caliper assembly by the brake hose.

Pull the brake disc off the drive-axle shaft.

Remove the hub nut and washer on the drive-axle shaft with a socket wrench. Place a large pry bar between the lug studs and wedge the other end under the frame to stop the shaft from turning.

Detach the ABS speed sensor electrical connection from the harness. Unscrew the bolt holding the harness in place with a socket wrench and remove the harness.

Remove the tie-rod end from the steering knuckle. Pull the cotter pin from the end of the stud on the tie-rod. Remove the retaining nut on the end of the stud with a socket wrench. Attach a small puller to the top of the connection between the tie-rod and steering knuckle. Turn the middle of the puller with a socket wrench to detach the tie-rod from the knuckle.

Remove the lower control arm from the steering knuckle. Pull the cotter pin from the end of the stud on the lower control arm. Remove the retaining nut on the end of the stud with a socket wrench.

Place a metal punch against the end of the drive-axle shaft and hit the punch with a hammer to detach the wheel hub from the shaft.

Remove the steering knuckle. Remove the retaining bolts holding the steering knuckle to the bottom of the strut with a socket wrench. Slide the steering knuckle off of the drive-axle shaft.

Grasp the hub retaining ring with needle-nose pliers and remove it from the center of the steering knuckle.

Place the steering knuckle under a hydraulic press and use the press to remove the bearing hub located in the center of the steering knuckle.

Place the new bearing hub into the center of the steering knuckle and use the press to force the hub into the knuckle.

Push the retaining ring into the center of the steering knuckle to secure the bearing hub.

Slide the hub onto the drive-axle shaft. Install the retaining bolts holding the steering knuckle to the bottom of the strut, using a torque wrench. Tighten the bolts to 126 ft.-lbs. of torque.

Connect the lower control arm to the steering knuckle. Place the retaining nut on the end of the control arm and tighten it with a torque wrench to 55 ft.-lbs. Push the new cotter pin through the end of the control arm stud.

Connect the tie-rod to the steering knuckle. Place the retaining nut onto the end of the tie-rod and tighten it with a torque wrench to 33 ft.-lbs. Push the new cotter pin through the end of the tie-rod stud.

Install the ABS speed sensor harness and mounting bolt with a socket wrench. Attach the ABS speed sensor electrical connector to the harness.

Place the hub washer and hub nut onto the drive axle shaft. Tighten the hub nut with a torque wrench. Place a large pry bar between the lug studs and wedge the other end under the frame to stop the shaft from turning. Tighten the hub nut to 145 ft.-lbs.

Slide the brake disc onto the drive-axle shaft.

Remove the brake caliper assembly from the wire. Place the assembly over the brake disc. Install the mounting bolts with a torque wrench and tighten to 63 ft.-lbs.

Remount the wheel on the wheel studs. Screw the lug nuts onto the lug nut studs with a torque wrench. Tighten the lug nuts to 100 ft.-lbs.

Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle with the automotive jack.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Automotive jack

  • Jack stands

  • Large pry bar

  • Thick wire

  • Small puller

  • Hammer

  • Punch

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Tie-rod end cotter pin

  • Lower control arm cotter pin

 How to Replace a Front Wheel Bearing on a VW Jetta

Pop the hood, and disconnect the negative battery terminal.

Remove the hubcap from your front wheel, and use a tire iron to loosen the bolts holding the wheel on. Remove the axle nut at the center of the wheel with an adjustable wrench. Place a jack under the frame of the Jetta on the front end, and raise the car. Slide jack stands underneath the frame, and lower the front end of the car onto the jack stands.

Pull the front wheel off the Jetta. Unbolt the brake caliper, which grips the wheel hub, from the front wheel, and immediately hang it from a wire coat hanger hooked to the suspension or the frame of the car. Do not let the caliper hang from the brake lines, or you risk damaging them.

Remove the bolts attaching the steering knuckle to the wheel hub. The steering knuckle is a separate part from the axle. It connects the back of the wheel hub to the steering column so that the wheels turn when the steering wheel turns. The steering knuckle is also attached to the front strut assembly, which is a smaller tube running through a large spring. Do not disconnect them from each other. Clamp the bolt assembly connecting the steering knuckle to the strut in a vise.

Install a press tool into the wheel hub, and press the wheel hub out of the front wheel bearing. If the inner bearing sticks inside the wheel hub, clamp the wheel hub in a vise and use a bearing press to pull the inner bearing out. Pull out the old snap ring, and use the press tool to remove the bearing from the knuckle.

Use a wire brush to clean inside the area where the bearing was. Make sure there are no permanent stains or warped areas from the heat. Press the new bearing into the wheel hub with an arbor press. Slide in the new snap ring, and use the old wheel bearing to press the new assembly into the bearing housing on the steering knuckle.

Bolt the steering knuckle onto the wheel hub in the same orientation it was before you removed it. Torque it according to the foot-pound specifications for your model year Jetta.

Place the brake calipers on the wheel hub, and tighten them with a torque wrench according to the recommended foot-pound specifications. Attach the axle nut to the center of the wheel hub, connecting it to the axle, and torque it accordingly too. Put the wheel back on the bolts, and use the torque wrench to tighten the nuts holding it on.

Pop your hubcap back on, and raise the Jetta off the jack stands and lower it back to the ground. Reconnect the negative battery terminal. Always have the front end aligned by a professional after working on the front suspension of your car.

Items you will need

  • Tire iron

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • Wire coat hanger

  • Vise

  • Press tool

  • Bearing press

  • Wire brush

  • Arbor press

  • Torque wrench