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Old 05-09-2011, 07:49 AM   #1
2NDSOUT
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Question Front Wheel Bearing Replacements- Researching

I have found a few threads, but nothing concrete in the way of a step by step to replacing front wheel bearings. I have done REAR wheel bearings and I know that rears are a full assembly.

Is there a step by step to do the front? Can someone with moderate repair skills do this WITHOUT having to use a press? I have read that a press needs to be used to put new wheel bearings in place.

I'm doing research currently but I want to know what tools I would need. If I can do this on my own without having to use a press, this would be awesome. Not saying I NEED to do this right now, but would be nice to have get the parts and then replace them further down the road.

I looked in the How-To Section but didn't look like there was anything there, unless I missed it. Rockauto has front wheel bearings for $34 a piece...which is pretty cool- I guess the less cost for the parts makes up for the labor in replacing them.

To those that have done this before:

1. Can I do this myself without a press? Or is a Press an absolute must?
2. What tools do I need in order to do this ( I have a large selection of tools in my garage already.)
3. What is the estimated time to get this done- i.e: can this be done in a weekend and have the car rolling again on a Monday?

...
Bryan

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Old 05-09-2011, 09:26 AM   #2
blue92
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1992 SL1
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Default Re: Front Wheel Bearing Replacements- Researching

You dont need a full bench press, but this kit from HF works like a charm.
http://www.harborfreight.com/fwd-fro...ers-66829.html

You will need the large socket (30 mm)? for the axle nut. Breaker bar , good pair of circlip pliers, and a good bench vise helps too. Lots of elbow grease, and about 2-3 hours per side. Some people have changed them while on the car, but I just mark the knuckle where the strut was, and do it on the workbench. Another option is to pick up a couple knuckles from the JY. And change the bearing on those, then just swap them out on your car. This will reduce down time for your car.

Good luck finding bearings NOT made in China. I used National, but even those are not made in USA. Got mine at AAP, used a coupon, so they were not too expensive.

...
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
quantumech
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Default Re: Front Wheel Bearing Replacements- Researching

Really, the hardest part about it is getting the dang snap ring out...make sure to have a great pair (read: not cheap) of ring snap ring pliers (the channel locks are HIGHLY recommended). The other cheaper ones will just bend the tips/break. A needle nose will not work either, it will just round off the inside of the holes so you can't get it out easily (don't ask how I know...ended up using a pair of scratch awls to pull it out. Lead to blood). Hit that sucker with some PB Blaster daily starting now.

Other then that, and using the kit mentioned above, it's a piece of cake. Would recommend greasing the threads on the tool, holding the bolt still and turning the nut. To get the hub out, I beat it with a big hammer and a piece of pipe with an end cap on it.

Oh, sometimes breaking the ball joint free from the knuckle isn't the easiest either.

As for doing it:
1. loosen the axle nut, but don't remove, while still on the ground.
2. remove the wheel, caliper, rotor, break Knuckle free from ball joint and outer tie rod (I did because of the larger turning radius to attack the hub/bearing...more space).
3. remove axle nut, slide axle free from knuckle.
4. (optional) remove knuckle from strut (I didn't, and thought there was plenty of space. I also don't have a bench vice to hold things stable in while I beat them. I found it simpler to reattach to the ball joint and work that way)
5. remove hub with something hard, and a big hammer
6. press out the bearing with whatever tool you have (some have used beefy all-thread/bolt, nut, washers and appropriately sized sockets successfully)
7. Press new bearing into knuckle, hub into bearing
8. Put it all back together.

Saturn insists that you use a new axle nut, and, of course, new cotter pins

...
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
blue92
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Default Re: Front Wheel Bearing Replacements- Researching

Im not sure about beating the hub out with a BFH.
I forgot to mention I used a gear puller to pull off the hub.

...
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