Front Wheel Bearing Removal

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NETim

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My truck is nearing 100k. I am not experiencing any bearing related issues, noise etc, but since I'm in there doing the front brakes, I might as well tackle the bearings.

So, not surprisingly, the bearing isn't budging. I bought one of those 'bearing shocker" things and beat the %$$%&&#$#^$#@$%*(*& out of it with a big hammer but the ^%$%%&@@%&& bearing wouldn't budge. Even after I called it a %&*((%$#$#^& and a %^&&%#()&.

I am thinking I will pull the knuckle off of the truck and take it to the local shop and have them press it out.

I knew this wouldn't be easy, but man! :)
 

Wild one

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My truck is nearing 100k. I am not experiencing any bearing related issues, noise etc, but since I'm in there doing the front brakes, I might as well tackle the bearings.

So, not surprisingly, the bearing isn't budging. I bought one of those 'bearing shocker" things and beat the %$$%&&#$#^$#@$%*(*& out of it with a big hammer but the ^%$%%&@@%&& bearing wouldn't budge. Even after I called it a %&*((%$#$#^& and a %^&&%#()&.

I am thinking I will pull the knuckle off of the truck and take it to the local shop and have them press it out.

I knew this wouldn't be easy, but man! :)
You sure you got all 3 bolts out,lol. If so bolt the front tire back on,and use a piece of 4X4 propped between the frame and tire and then crank on the steering wheel,it should pop the hub out.
 
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NETim

NETim

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You sure you got all 3 bolts out,lol. If so bolt the front tire back on,and use a piece of 4X4 propped between the frame and tire and then crank on the steering wheel,it should pop the hub out.
That's not going to stress out the PS system? They're pricey and hard to get to boot.
 

Jeepwalker

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Front hubs....can be a tough job as you pointed out.

I personally wouldn't advocate using the power-steering method. Even though it's all over youtube...by these 20-something youtube mechanic wizards who are doing the job for the first time!! Ha ha. One might potentially enhance their truck's steering geometry that way ...lol. Cause extra work. Fortunately not in your case (as far as you know now). Imagine if a guy busted the case of a $2500 unobtanium cast aluminum EPS unit? A tried and true method I've used is to support the lower control arm with something solid like a piece of heavy gauge square tube that fits over the ball joint...and the bottom of the square tube on concrete. That way when you whack the hub with a BFH, you're getting solid blows ...not bouncing around on the rubber bushings. But even then, sometimes you run into some real tough ones.

I also wouldn't advocate replacing front hub/bearing assembly unless they are failing. OEM parts are generally much better than even good aftermarket parts. Manufacturer's bid out parts for new vehicles based upon a 'spec' Chrysler has written. The spec describes exactly the metal formulation, tolerances, testing methods, part life expectancy, and dimensions of the part. Even if it's made by Chrylser or a trusted supplier. Because of that, OEM parts are generally far better due to the level of quality control ...vs aftermarket. They don't just call their buddy in China and say, "...hey Wong ...send me 100,000 front hubs, the cheapest you got!" LOL. OEM hubs often outlast aftermarket hubs 3:1... in some cases. I used to do engineering building projects with a major OEM automotive supplier for many yrs. The plant manager whom I got to know, was always showing me their latest new part they were making. They get penalized on failures seriously, so they are uber-careful to produce the highest quality part they can. Auto manufacturers hold all the cards whe it comes to car-part acquisition. That's why a lot of aftermarket suppliers go out of business. But that's not to say some aftermarket hubs aren't good. But I've had many aftermarket hubs last a couple yrs, or were even pre-warped out of the box.

These are just 'suggestions' ...plz don't take my comments as finger-wagging. I've made about every mistake a guy can make..so I have learned from my own sins! It's a tough job, and glad you got it completed. With luck you got good parts and hopefully never have to worry about them failing. Out of curiousity, what brand hubs did you end up putting on?
 
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NETim

NETim

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Front hubs....can be a tough job as you pointed out.

I personally wouldn't advocate using the power-steering method. Even though it's all over youtube...by these 20-something youtube mechanic wizards who are doing the job for the first time!! Ha ha. One might potentially enhance their truck's steering geometry that way ...lol. Cause extra work. Fortunately not in your case (as far as you know now). Imagine if a guy busted the case of a $2500 unobtanium cast aluminum EPS unit? A tried and true method I've used is to support the lower control arm with something solid like a piece of heavy gauge square tube that fits over the ball joint...and the bottom of the square tube on concrete. That way when you whack the hub with a BFH, you're getting solid blows ...not bouncing around on the rubber bushings. But even then, sometimes you run into some real tough ones.

I also wouldn't advocate replacing front hub/bearing assembly unless they are failing. OEM parts are generally much better than even good aftermarket parts. Manufacturer's bid out parts for new vehicles based upon a 'spec' Chrysler has written. The spec describes exactly the metal formulation, tolerances, testing methods, part life expectancy, and dimensions of the part. Even if it's made by Chrylser or a trusted supplier. Because of that, OEM parts are generally far better due to the level of quality control ...vs aftermarket. They don't just call their buddy in China and say, "...hey Wong ...send me 100,000 front hubs, the cheapest you got!" LOL. OEM hubs often outlast aftermarket hubs 3:1... in some cases. I used to do engineering building projects with a major OEM automotive supplier for many yrs. The plant manager whom I got to know, was always showing me their latest new part they were making. They get penalized on failures seriously, so they are uber-careful to produce the highest quality part they can. Auto manufacturers hold all the cards whe it comes to car-part acquisition. That's why a lot of aftermarket suppliers go out of business. But that's not to say some aftermarket hubs aren't good. But I've had many aftermarket hubs last a couple yrs, or were even pre-warped out of the box.

These are just 'suggestions' ...plz don't take my comments as finger-wagging. I've made about every mistake a guy can make..so I have learned from my own sins! It's a tough job, and glad you got it completed. With luck you got good parts and hopefully never have to worry about them failing. Out of curiousity, what brand hubs did you end up putting on?
I was a bit leery of the PS method. But it did pop out relatively easy I think. The wood braces against the truck frame creaked and cracked and POP, the bearing came loose. I had to walk it out using the bearing shocker doodad and a bottle jack though.

I put in an SKF bearing from rockauto for better or worse. Everything got a coat of antiseize. I wire brushed the abundant corrosion on the steering knuckle before the antiseize. Tomorrow I'll finish up the driver's side brakes and start on the passenger side. I am kinda tired now. I'm not 21 anymore. :)

The original bearing had a little wobble in it, so I elected to do the job.

We'll see what the future holds.
 

Jeepwalker

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I wouldda used SKF too. They make some of the best bearings. Should last a long time.

How long do you plan to keep your truck?
 

Jeepwalker

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Cool.
Sounds like you do a great job being pro-active with maintenance :waytogo:
 

caulk04

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Classic method for the HD Rams is using an appropriate socket and extension on the wheel bearing bolts while turning the wheel to push the bearings out. It also is great for other service where you don't need to replace the bearing because it doesn't load anything but the mounting flange. Even with the engine off it can work very well.

I opted to just pop the knuckles off when I did mine. It's only three more bolts then you have perfect access to the bearing bolts and can wail away.
 

EdGs

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Man, I am glad I live in S. FL and have a 2wd. Three bolts and done.

Can't imagine rust belt situations.

Got OE hubs from RockAuto for $165 each 2 year ago. $178 now. Part number 68267298AD. Stealership wanted $270 each at that time.
 
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NETim

NETim

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Classic method for the HD Rams is using an appropriate socket and extension on the wheel bearing bolts while turning the wheel to push the bearings out. It also is great for other service where you don't need to replace the bearing because it doesn't load anything but the mounting flange. Even with the engine off it can work very well.

I opted to just pop the knuckles off when I did mine. It's only three more bolts then you have perfect access to the bearing bolts and can wail away.
I am thinking I will just drop the knuckle today, provided I get the driver's side re-assembled. :)

I had the tie rod end and the upper ball joint off yesterday, so removing the lower ball joint would've been I all I needed to do.
 

Wild one

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Front hubs....can be a tough job as you pointed out.

I personally wouldn't advocate using the power-steering method. Even though it's all over youtube...by these 20-something youtube mechanic wizards who are doing the job for the first time!! Ha ha. One might potentially enhance their truck's steering geometry that way ...lol. Cause extra work. Fortunately not in your case (as far as you know now). Imagine if a guy busted the case of a $2500 unobtanium cast aluminum EPS unit?
You're really stretching things. 5500+ lbs of truck sitting on dry pavement and you turn the wheels trying to parallel park is going to put way more stress on the steering rack then using a 4X4 to the frame to pop the hub out.
Do you worry about stressing the rack everytime you parallel park,probably not,so you don't really have much to worry about using the steering to pop out a mildly seized hub
 

Jeepwalker

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You could be right. Mildly-seized are the key words.

Maybe I was thinking of some of the seriously rusted ones that were a real bugger. If a guy cracks a ball joint bushing in a way it wasn't meant to...with, say, the lower control arm at a certain droop, it *could* damage or crack a ball joint bushing. ?? I get what you're saying...I'm just saying it's 'riskier' doing it that way.
 
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NETim

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After a full day yesterday and this AM, I gave up. That bearing wasn't coming out. I broke down and went to the local parts store. $170 later, I had a Lisle 40100 hub puller tool in hand.

Got home and 15 minutes later, the &(&*%*^*& passenger side hub was out.

Heatin', beatin', power steering pulling and all kinds of penetrating oil wasn't working for me.

Now to put it all together.

What a job.
 

Jeepwalker

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I feel yer pain! Been there, done that!

It's one of those where like you described, one 'might' come off *Relatively* easy..or could be like you experienced. Good move on the puller. Hopefully it's the last set of hubs for that truck.

They make a hydraulic removal tool that some shops have that make the job look easy. SURE would be nice to have in the shop, right? (not cheap though). But then you wouldn't have gotten that nice cardio workout, or a chance to recite all the swear words you've learned over the years!! :D
 
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NETim

NETim

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I feel yer pain! Been there, done that!

It's one of those where like you described, one 'might' come off *Relatively* easy..or could be like you experienced. Good move on the puller. Hopefully it's the last set of hubs for that truck.

They make a hydraulic removal tool that some shops have that make the job look easy. SURE would be nice to have in the shop, right? (not cheap though). But then you wouldn't have gotten that nice cardio workout, or a chance to recite all the swear words you've learned over the years!! :D
My vocabulary got a workout, that's for sure. $170 was a lot to spend for this tool, but at that point, it was well worth it. I must've had it loosened up some because it came out so easy with the tool. The corrosion didn't look that bad to my eyes.

Oh well. It's done.
 

Joseph Godvin

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Is the housing Aluminum ?? they tend to corrode to the steel bearing, you'll have to heat housing or soak it with "Rust Buster " product, Had to change both front bearings on a Cadillac with Aluminum spindle housing...........What a fiasco !!!! Cleaned old housings with wire wheel and used anti seize on bearings !!!!!!
 

03Raminator

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My truck is nearing 100k. I am not experiencing any bearing related issues, noise etc, but since I'm in there doing the front brakes, I might as well tackle the bearings.

So, not surprisingly, the bearing isn't budging. I bought one of those 'bearing shocker" things and beat the %$$%&&#$#^$#@$%*(*& out of it with a big hammer but the ^%$%%&@@%&& bearing wouldn't budge. Even after I called it a %&*((%$#$#^& and a %^&&%#()&.

I am thinking I will pull the knuckle off of the truck and take it to the local shop and have them press it out.

I knew this wouldn't be easy, but man! :)
Wow, even after you called it a %&*((%$#$#^& and a %^&&%#()&!?
IMHO, that should have done it. My 03 has 350k and I’ve never replaced any front end components, not even the shocks so I’m guessing mine won’t be very willing to come off either. I’ve just about got all the front end parts I need to replace, which is pretty much everything, but I plan on using the opposite approach to yours. Starting today, I will liberally spray all the, non-brake related parts with rust remover and a break free chemical as well as talk nicely to all the parts I want to change. I’m not in a rush to tackle this job so I’ll soften the truck up over the next week before breaking out the tools.
 

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