Well! Being an owner of a vehicle involves a lot of mindfulness and technical skills. Yes! It is in fact, a tricky business to own and maintain a vehicle because it, after all, a machine. The machines are known to experience any damage or malfunction at any point in point for no apparent reason. In fact, you get to know about the issue after it has occurred and after it has surfaced later on.
Therefore, it becomes more difficult for you to gauge the real problem and its seriousness. But you have to do it anyway because it is a matter of your safety. One such technical issue of vehicles are the problems with the front wheel bearing. Let’s see what we have for you about it.
Diagnosis of Noise:
If your car has a bad wheel bearing, you will not able to track it properly on the basis of your guess. Yes! The reason is a bad wheel bearing makes a lot of noise and it seems like it is travelling throughout the car, which makes it difficult to make a correct “guess”. Ideally, instead of going with your instinct, you better test it carefully to know exactly from which wheel it is coming. The process will help you to determine which wheel bearing you need to fix.
Once you have tracked down the problem and where it is coming from, you can get started with the actual procedure of fixing the wheel bearing which in this case is the front one. So, let us start:
How to Change Front Wheel Bearing?
If your car has ABS, you must be having your connector routed with the engine section. You need to first locate the connector before you disconnect it from your car’s wiring. Then you will take off the hold down clips. Make sure that you handle it very carefully. Now you need to keep the wire harness in to the wheel well.
Next, you will take off the calliper assembly and the rotor. It also depends on the make and model of your vehicle in addition to the type of the brakes your car is having. Since the structure of different types of brakes vary according to their respective mechanism, it is important to keep this in mind too. Anyhow, you can do this step with the help of a tool like impact driver as it is hardly possible without it.
Now you will disconnect the various parts of the knuckle assembly of your car, which include the lower ball joint, tie rod end and the upper control arms. You can do this by hitting the knuckle with a hammer so that the ball joints experience a release from the end where the shaft is tappered and it is going in to the casting.
Here, you need to take off the axle nut to take it off the knuckle assembly. You will use the knuckle assembly for the press, later on.
Now you need to set up your vehicle’s knuckle assembly over the press. Make sure that you suspend it securely there. Then take off the centre hub. You will start from the back side of your wheel bearing and you will press only the ventral part of the bearing.
Now you need to turn it over on the other side and take off the retaining ring or the snap ring from knuckle assembly. The function of the retaining ring is to hold the outer roe of the wheel bearing in its right place. Once you have gone this far, you will flip it over again and take off the outer race of your front wheel bearing.
Now you need to place the hub assembly in to a vice firmly. Take a cutting wheel, set it on high speed and cut out the inner race of the bearing. Yes! This is the same race of the bearing which was pressed. You do not need to cut the inner race all the way, rather simply limit cutting it the halfway. Be careful as you should not cut out all the way through the hub shaft.
Now put it in the cut of the inner race with the help of chisel. Once you have placed it there, you will hammer it once. The single hit will cause the race to crack. Now you can easily take it off using the hammer and chisel. Tap it off the hub shaft.
Now you will wipe clean all the surfaces of metal. You may use a washcloth or a scotch brite for the purpose. You better clean the snap ring with a wire ball or a sandpaper to ensure easy installation.
The next step involves the reinstallation. You will place the bearing back in to the knuckle assembly. You may support the bearing with the press. Here you have to be extra careful as you need to make sure that the bearing is straight and at the same level to make it easy to install, You will now start pressing the bearing of your front wheel in to the knuckle assemble before you put the snap ring in its place.
Now you may proceed and install the hub right in the middle of the wheel bearing. You may have the support from the underneath for the center race of the bearing. Doing this will ensure that the hub is placed in the center and also the rear center race will also not be pushed from the back side of the knuckle assembly. Now keep in mind that the center race of the wheel bearing is split in to two I.e. front and the rear. So, you will support the rear part otherwise it will fall out, which may a lot of noise later on.
Then you need to put the knuckle assembly right in its place but now you will assemble it in the reverse order. You need to place all the new cotter pins to make it easy to assemble. You have to be careful as you need to set the torque of the axle properly so it does not get loose otherwise it may damage the bearing of your vehicle.
This guide will help you fix the wheel bearing of your vehicle all by yourself, without taking any external help. If you follow the steps mentioned here, you will find it easy to do it without waiting for an expert.
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