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Old 06-11-2011, 09:39 AM   #1
mostapasta
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2000 SL
Default 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Most of the front wheel bearing replacement guides I found have become outdated, so I decided to put a new one together. I replaced both front wheel bearings and brakes in about 4 hours.

Tools Used
Sockets: 30mm 21mm 19mm 18mm 17mm 14mm
Slide Hammer (OTC 4579)
Tie Rod Remover (OTC 7503)
12 Ton Shop Press
Front Wheel Bearing Adapters (US General 66829)
Hammer
Screwdriver
Pry Bar


Jack up the front of the car and remove the wheel.
PhonePictures 002.JPG

Remove 2 bolts (14mm) holding the caliper to the anchor unit.
PhonePictures 003.JPG

Remove caliper and brake pads.
PhonePictures 005.JPG

Remove 2 bolts (18mm) holding the caliper anchor unit to the steering knuckle assembly.
PhonePictures 006.JPG

Remove the brake rotor.
Remove the axle nut (30mm)
Remove the tie rod (18mm) from the steering knuckle assembly.
PhonePictures 007.JPG

Attach the slide hammer and remove the wheel hub.
PhonePictures 008.JPG
PhonePictures 010.JPG

Remove the 2 bolts (21mm 19mm) holding the shock to the steering knuckle assembly.
PhonePictures 011.JPG

Remove the axle from the steering knuckle assembly.
Remove the ball joint (17mm).
PhonePictures 012.JPG

Remove the c-clip.
PhonePictures 014.JPG

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Old 06-11-2011, 09:47 AM   #2
mostapasta
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Press out the old wheel bearing.
PhonePictures 015.JPG
PhonePictures 016.JPG

Press in the new wheel bearing.
PhonePictures 017.JPG

Press in the wheel hub.
PhonePictures 018.JPG

Re-install reverse of removal.
PhonePictures 019.JPG

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Old 06-11-2011, 10:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Good write up, you need to look at the last pic though. Take your caliper back off and turn it around so the brake hose goes in back of the strut, if you leave it the way it is, eventually it will wear a hole in the brake hose when you turn sharp.

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Old 06-11-2011, 10:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

I have never replaced wheel bearings for this car, but for another car I used a large vice and various sized pipes to press the old bearing out and press a new one in. In other cases I have hammered the old bearing out with a punch (old discarded kingpin), side-to-side (fairly forceful taps 180 degrees apart, but not too forcefully, as you can jam the bearing), since pressing out the bearing is more difficult than pressing in a new bearing (with a vice), since a large (larger than the diameter of the bearing) pipe must be used otherwise to hold the knuckle in place while the bearing is being pressed out. Another smaller pipe, smaller than the outer diameter of the bearing, is used to press out the old bearing and press in the new bearing. It helps to oil the new bearing well on its outer surface, and to soak the old bearing with PB Blaster as it is being worked loose.

A new bearing, of course, should always ONLY be pressed in, as hammering will damage the balls/rollers, and ideally the old one should only be pressed out if proper equipment is available, as there is far less risk for jamming.

....Your way is by far the BEST way, but for those who absolutely do not have access to a press, but may have a large vice lying around, there are possibilities....

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Old 06-11-2011, 11:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

@ bluesl2

I'm confused about how you are suggesting to move the brake line. From my understanding it is behind the strut right now.

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Old 06-11-2011, 03:52 PM   #6
syncro87
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Just out of curiosity, is it possible to buy the a new assembly with the bearing already in it, to avoid having to press the old one out, new one in, etc?

Never mind. After looking at your pics of the process, even if you could it would probably be ridiculously expensive compared to a just doing the bearing.

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Last edited by syncro87; 06-11-2011 at 03:59 PM..

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Old 06-11-2011, 05:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

The bearing is fairly inexpensive. If you don't want to purchase a press and do it yourself you can take it to a local mechanic and they will do it for about $20. Locally I charge the guys $5 per hub to press out the old bearing and press in the new one. Takes about 15 minutes once the hub is out of the vehicle and the rear snap ring is removed.

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Old 06-12-2011, 10:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by mostapasta View Post
@ bluesl2

I'm confused about how you are suggesting to move the brake line. From my understanding it is behind the strut right now.
Take your lower caliper pin out,swing the caliper up, then slide the top pin out of the pad bracket. You will have to rotate the caliper to get the bend in the hose to go towards the back of the car.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PhonePictures%20019.JPG (71.2 KB, 359 views)

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Old 08-28-2011, 08:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Thanks for this write up, im about to embark on this journey on my 2000 sl2 since i just got it running again

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Old 09-13-2011, 02:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

I've got a question about pressing in the hub. How do you know when it is sufficiently seated? When pressing the bearing into the knuckle, it seats against a lip in the knuckle, so it is easy to visually check to make sure everything is pressed all the way in and is even. However, when pressing the hub into the bearing, the hub does not have a lip like the knuckle does so that you know you've gone far enough. The reason I ask is that I was doing this same job last weekend and used the press at our farm, and I got the bearing into the knuckle just fine, but I think I went about one crank too many when pressing the hub, and as a result, I pretty much ruined the bearing. We thought it would be fine at the time, but after reassembly, the test drive confirmed my initial fears and now my nice new Timken bearing sounds and rides worse than the old worn out bearing. I'm just curious if there is anything I can use as a reference point when pressing in another bearing this weekend so that I'm not just going by feel and hoping I don't waste another $30 bearing.

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Old 07-20-2012, 10:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Perfect I have been looking for this for ever then it magically appeared. I have book marked for later use.

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Old 09-05-2012, 07:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

I need to know what size adapter you used to pull of the front hub cause I can't seem to find one to do it.

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Old 09-05-2012, 11:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

is a 6 ton press shop is strong enough to do the bearing job ?

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Old 09-08-2012, 09:18 AM   #14
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnhusker View Post
I need to know what size adapter you used to pull of the front hub cause I can't seem to find one to do it.
You can just take a soft blow hammer or a 2x4 with a hammer and hit the back of the hub and it will come out.

A 6 ton press may work but in my personal opinion I would recommend at least a 12 ton. If you own a 6 ton, give it a try. If it doesn't work take it to your local garage and have them do it.

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Old 09-15-2012, 08:08 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by WrightSL2 View Post
I've got a question about pressing in the hub. How do you know when it is sufficiently seated? ...
Just did this job today and seen that nobody had answered this. I felt it would be good to answer this because I had the same question when I was doing the job. Basically you press it until it seats against a lip on the back side of the hub flange. You really can't "over press it". I confirmed this by looking at the old bearing and hub after I had gotten them out of the knuckle. The outer race came out on the flange it was seized so tight so it was easy to see. I had the benefit of having an electric over hydraulic press so I could hear the motor change pitch when it was totally seated.

So why did yours fail? I would say you probably damaged the bearing in some other way when you were pressing it. Which brings me to my next point.

I have read all the write ups on the site and no one mentions this so I am going to go ahead and mention it.

When you are pressing the hub back into the new bearing you need to make sure that you support the new bearing by the inner race!!!

Ask me how I know. Nevermind, I'm going to tell you even if you don't ask. I had my bearings supported by the outer race and I totally screwed up my brand-new bearings. Had to run into town to buy two new bearings and hubs. That was about a $120 lesson learned. Maybe others aren't having this problem because I'm using such a large press. I work at a power plant and we have a 100 ton roll bed electric over hydraulic press. I was curious so I looked it up - that press costs $26,000. It has way more power than you would ever need for doing automotive projects so maybe that's how I made that mistake. That said, even using a small harbor freight press, I would still support the bearings by the inner race.

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Old 09-15-2012, 08:34 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Btw, harbor freight has their 12-ton press on sale right now. $130 plus $7 shipping.

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Old 09-15-2012, 10:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by LipschitzWrath View Post

When you are pressing the hub back into the new bearing you need to make sure that you support the new bearing by the inner race!!!

Ask me how I know. Nevermind, I'm going to tell you even if you don't ask. I had my bearings supported by the outer race and I totally screwed up my brand-new bearings. Had to run into town to buy two new bearings and hubs. That was about a $120 lesson learned. Maybe others aren't having this problem because I'm using such a large press. I work at a power plant and we have a 100 ton roll bed electric over hydraulic press. I was curious so I looked it up - that press costs $26,000. It has way more power than you would ever need for doing automotive projects so maybe that's how I made that mistake. That said, even using a small harbor freight press, I would still support the bearings by the inner race.
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

I need help. How does the tie rod come off? I removed the castle nut with the cotter pin but it doesn't budge.

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Old 04-20-2013, 03:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

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I need help. How does the tie rod come off? I removed the castle nut with the cotter pin but it doesn't budge.
BFH Big Fu^&ing Hammer. Get an old nut (or a new one) make sure the nut is protecting the top of the threads and whack the sh&t out of it. Don't try to reuse the nut

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Old 04-20-2013, 03:30 PM   #20
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Default Re: 2000 Saturn SL - Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

Pop goes the TRE out of the knuckle: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Performanc...l5=pla&veh=sem
Should be available at a parts store but it may take a couple to find one in stock. While the BFH idea works, if you mushroom the top of the stud at all it won't come out of the knuckle until you cut it out. Use that tool, get it really tight, then wack the end of the knuckle next to where the TRE goes through with the hammer, might have to be a strong wack but it'll work.

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