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Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. #5426144 05/11/20 08:43 AM
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MarkM66 Offline OP
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Over the weekend I tried changing the front wheel bearings on a friends 2012 Impala.

The bearing is a complete assembly, so I was hoping it'd be a pretty easy job.

But when it came time to push the axle through the hub, it just would not go! I've changed a few axles on FWD cars before, and those have all just pushed right through with maybe a tap of a rubber mallet.

So we went to autozone and rented a FWD hub puller. Large impact with 150 psi, still nothing. I was starting to get a little nervous, with that much force on the tool, I was thinking it could fail and send parts flying.

[Linked Image from picclickimg.com]

Tried heating it with mapp torch, nothing. Tried the other bearing, same results.

So I had to give up temporarily. Next step is to pull the whole knuckle assembly, and try to press it out with a 20 ton shop press.

After looking on youtube for a bit, and I now know how much of a challenge these things can be!

Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: MarkM66] #5426148 05/11/20 08:48 AM
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ragtoplvr Offline
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Why even though I like mechanic work, I would never be a mechanic. So glad not to live in the rust belt.

Is there a hidden fastener.

Rod

Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: MarkM66] #5426190 05/11/20 09:28 AM
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supton Offline
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Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Sucks to get beaten, but so many have never tried.

I have not tried yet to do FWD bearings, and I can't say I'm itching to do so.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 205k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 159k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 225k, his
Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: MarkM66] #5426192 05/11/20 09:29 AM
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Ihatetochangeoil Offline
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2012 Impala takes Timken 513179, along with about 25 million other GM vehicles. There are 3 hub bolts on the backside, an ABS electrical plug (if ABS equipped), and a 34mm axle nut. No hidden fasteners. Sounds like the axle is rusted onto the bearing splines; if you're going to pull the knuckle, you're going to take the CV (axle) out with it, and the other end of the axle snaps into the transmission. You're making a big job out of a 45 minute job.
I've done these GM wheel bearings several times, all you really need to do is loosen the axle nut to being flush with the end of the axle, spray the splines with some Kroil or other good penetrating oil, and use a 4 lb. hammer to break it loose. DON'T screw up the threads on the axle, you'll make it worse. You can buy a new axle nut, if you buy a Mevotech bearing on Rock Auto, it even comes with new mounting bolts and a replacement hub nut: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=10003180&cc=1423707&jsn=467
The new 34mm nut torques to 118 ft. lbs. Feel free to PM me if you have ???

Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: MarkM66] #5426201 05/11/20 09:39 AM
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diyjake Offline
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^^this is really a great forum to be a member of, follow members helping each other out!

Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: Ihatetochangeoil] #5426203 05/11/20 09:41 AM
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MarkM66 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Ihatetochangeoil
2012 Impala takes Timken 513179, along with about 25 million other GM vehicles. There are 3 hub bolts on the backside, an ABS electrical plug (if ABS equipped), and a 34mm axle nut. No hidden fasteners. Sounds like the axle is rusted onto the bearing splines; if you're going to pull the knuckle, you're going to take the CV (axle) out with it, and the other end of the axle snaps into the transmission. You're making a big job out of a 45 minute job.
I've done these GM wheel bearings several times, all you really need to do is loosen the axle nut to being flush with the end of the axle, spray the splines with some Kroil or other good penetrating oil, and use a 4 lb. hammer to break it loose. DON'T screw up the threads on the axle, you'll make it worse. You can buy a new axle nut, if you buy a Mevotech bearing on Rock Auto, it even comes with new mounting bolts and a replacement hub nut: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=10003180&cc=1423707&jsn=467
The new 34mm nut torques to 118 ft. lbs. Feel free to PM me if you have ???


Yeah, well aware, and of course I tried all of that.

Axle splines are rusted to the bearing splines.

Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: MarkM66] #5426228 05/11/20 10:13 AM
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JTK Offline
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This situation is where Eric O from SMA breaks out "Big Nasty". A big pneumatic impact chisel. Blast around the hub while using a hub grappler / gear puller against that axle stub and the vibrations usually breaks the fused rust.

Like mentioned above, always keep the axle nut threaded flush with the end of the axle shaft so you don't bugger up the threads.

Last edited by JTK; 05/11/20 10:15 AM.

2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: MarkM66] #5426232 05/11/20 10:20 AM
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wwillson Offline
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I tried to change the front wheel bearings on my Durango and failed miserably. My mechanic buddy changed them and said they were tough to get out, even with the pulling tool he made years ago. Nothing wrong with trying and failing, much better than failing to try.

Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: MarkM66] #5426235 05/11/20 10:23 AM
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MarkM66 Offline OP
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I felt better after watching this guy fight with one. And he had a much bigger puller than I !!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFScIV92ODE

Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: MarkM66] #5426237 05/11/20 10:26 AM
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spasm3 Online Happy
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Had similar issue on the avalanche. Chisels. Bfh all needed to get the hub free even after getting the bolts out. Rust sucks.
[img]http://[/img]

IMG_20190930_085645930.jpgIMG_20190930_100355970.jpgIMG_20190930_100435599.jpgIMG_20190930_101450595.jpg

13 elantra 84k 5w30 synpwr
03 chevy avalanche 83k synpwr 5w30
17 mazda cx-5 19000 miles m1 0w30
Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: MarkM66] #5426240 05/11/20 10:28 AM
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I was curious how much force a hammer can apply and it does take a good quick swing with a 4lb'er and a rigid backstop to beat a 20 ton press. This is a fun calculator to use https://www.gigacalculator.com/calculators/impact-force-calculator.php
On the car it might be hard to get 20 tons out of a hammer for a regular guy, but an experienced mechanic in the rust belt probably beats that pretty easily!


06 Focus ZXW, 5spd manual, 220km
18 Outback 2.5 CVT 35km 0W20
Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: spasm3] #5426266 05/11/20 10:55 AM
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Tman220 Offline
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Originally Posted by spasm3
Had similar issue on the avalanche. Chisels. Bfh all needed to get the hub free even after getting the bolts out. Rust sucks.
[img]http://[/img]


Holy! The rust!! I have a 2005 Sierra that's been driven through minnesota winters every year since day one that isn't that bad? Do you park that thing on the beach?

I had to use an air chisel to break my hub bearings lose last fall when I had to replace one. Had to replace a rear hub bearing on the 2012 Regal GS a couple years back. Steel bearing, aluminum knuckle, wasn't an easy task either. I had to thread the bolt back into the bearing and push on the bolts with an air hammer to get that one to break lose.


2012 Regal GS Turbo PP 5w30 90k
1994 Camaro Z28 LT1 355 CI, 430 RWHP PP 5W30 165k
2005 GMC Sierra 1500 5.3 170k
2004 Civic LX M5 190k
2007 Camry 2.4 250k
2016 Victory Vegas
Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: MarkM66] #5426274 05/11/20 11:05 AM
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wwillson Offline
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Spasm,

I'm surprised to see that much rust in the Carolinas! Did your truck live in the rust belt at one time?

Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: MarkM66] #5426282 05/11/20 11:12 AM
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spasm3 Online Happy
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I bought it low mileage. Like 28k.
That rust was not there when I bought it.

But it seems the previous owner had it on the beach, and put boats in salt water. Rust progressed as I owned it from that exposure.


13 elantra 84k 5w30 synpwr
03 chevy avalanche 83k synpwr 5w30
17 mazda cx-5 19000 miles m1 0w30
Re: Front wheel bearings. Had to give up.. [Re: MarkM66] #5426284 05/11/20 11:14 AM
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ragtoplvr Offline
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The factories could save us all a lot of trouble coating things with high tack grease. Like they care, right?

Rod

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