Technology

What tools do I need to change a wheel bearing?

Introduction 

If you hear a humming or whirring noise while driving, or if your ABS warning light illuminates, it may be time to schedule a wheel bearing repair. Most automobile wheel bearings are made up of a set of spherical steel balls kept in position by a metal track known as a race. Fitting a new set of ball bearings is a difficult task that a skilled mechanic should only do.

What Are the Tools Required to Replace a Wheel Bearing?

A set of needle-nosed pliers, a ratchet wrench with various sockets, a flat-head screwdriver, and a jack star wrench for releasing wheel nuts.

What is the procedure?

Park the vehicle on a flat surface: As with other forms of automobile repair, the safety of the person conducting the job and anybody nearby is the essential concern. When you begin changing your wheel bearings, there is a chance that your car could abruptly move or roll away. Before you begin, make sure your car is parked on a level surface.

Set the car to first, backward, or neutral gear, or ‘park’ if it has an automatic transmission: Make sure the handbrake is as tightly as possible engaged.

Wheel chocks can be used to secure wheels whose bearings aren’t being replaced: It is a good idea to use robust chocks to keep your vehicle’s wheels in place for extra stability. Put one beneath each of the wheels on which you will not be working, as the wheels on which you will be working will be elevated off the ground. Wheel chocks, for example, would be placed behind the rear tyres if you were working on a front-wheel bearing and behind the front tyres if you were working on a rear wheel.

You will need to lift the car off the ground to access the internal components of the wheel. This is why the jack that comes standard with your automobile is such a valuable piece of equipment. Use the wrench – which should also be included in the tyre replacement package – to begin loosening the wheel nuts.

Before removing the wheel, make sure the automobile is securely mounted on the jack: Alternatively, you should utilize a purpose-built axle stands and 50 ton hydraulic puller, which is designed to support the weight of at least one end of your automobile.

Remove the wheel by unscrewing the lug nuts: This should be simpler if you loosened these previously. Keep them secure so you don’t lose them – an inverted wheel cover or even a saucer would suffice!

Take off the brake calliper: First, remove the bolts that hold the brake calliper in place with a socket and a ratchet. Then, using a screwdriver, remove the calliper itself. When removing the calliper, be careful not to let it dangle freely since this might cause damage to the brake hose. Instead, loop it over a secure portion of the undercarriage or tie it in place with a short length of twine. You might use a bungee cord or a bent coat-hanger to do this.

Remove the dust cover, cotter pin, and castle nut from a wind turbine rotor: Next, remove the nut and its washer by unscrewing them. The cap is the component that keeps the rotor in place and maybe removed using pliers or a hammer.

Firmly grasp the peg in the centre of the rotor assembly with your thumb: Next, firmly but gently strike the rotor itself with the palm of your other hand. This should loosen or cause the wheel’s outer bearing to fall out altogether. Finally, remove the outer bearing, followed by the complete rotor. WARNING: If the rotor becomes stuck, you may need a rubber mallet to free it.

Remove the old hub by unscrewing the hub nuts: The wheel bearing is located inside the hub, often kept in place by many bolts screwed in from behind. Because these bolts are hidden away in the car’s underbody, a slim socket wrench and a breaker bar are suggested to loosen and remove them. Next, remove the hub from the axle once you’ve removed the bolts. It’s worth noting that if you bought a new hub assembly, you may install it and reassemble the wheel at this point, and you’ll be done.

To get to the bearing assembly, you’ll need to disassemble the hub: To remove the end of the hub and any anti-lock brake wheel that may be part of your hub, you’ll most likely need to use a wrench (and a hammer). Next, clean the knuckle by removing the races. Removing the races from a bearing assembly generally entails manually breaking them with a grinder or hammer and chisel.

Conclusion

Wheel bearing replacement is a very typical job performed by a trained and experienced technician because bearings degrade and fail over time. For example, striking a curb with some force can potentially cause premature wheel bearing damage. Otherwise, you can read a detailed explanation of what your car’s wheel bearings perform in our previous post here. This also covers the warning signs you should be aware of, indicating that you should start looking into the wheel bearing replacement.

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