Front Wheel Bearing Replacement.
Here is a little write up on how to replace your front wheel bearings. I did this on my '99 2.0 GLS, but the procedure is the same for a 1.8T. I ordered the Wheel Bearing kit from Adirondack Auto Brokers ( http://www.germanautoparts.com ). This kit included a new wheel bearing, circlip, and various nuts that were removed in this process.
***This procedure is for one side of the car only, but is the same for both sides. If you plan to do both sides at once I recommend you break both axle nuts free before jacking the car up.
- 30, 19, 18, 13 mm Socket
- 19, 18, 13 mm Open ended wrench
- adjustable pliars
- 6 mm allen wrench
- Breaker Bar
- Torque Wrench
- phillips screwdriver
- rubber mallet
1 | Jack up the car and place the car on Jack Stands. Make sure the e-brake is engaged and the car is in gear. Remove the wheel. At this time I also recommend spraying some liquid wrench or similar product on the large nut on the end of the axle coming through the center of the wheel hub.
2 | Using a X mm allen wrench remove the caliper guides from the back side of your brake caliper. These can be found at either end of the caliper sorrounded by what looks like a rubber tube. Once loosened all the way the caliper can be removed by sliding it off of the rotor starting at the top and tilting it away and up. Once the caliper is off of the rotor be sure to support the caliper from the spring using wire/ string. You do not want the weight of the caliper pulling on the brake line.
3 | With the caliper removed you should be able to remove the brake rotor by unscrewing the small phillips head screw along the bolt pattern on the rotor and sliding the rotor away from the hub. If the rotor is tight on the hub give it a light tap with the rubber mallet and it should break loose as nothing else is holding it on.
4 | Once the brake assembly is all sorted out, place the 30 mm socket on the axle nut in the middle of the hub, and use the breaker bar and a ratchet to break the axle nut loose. This will take a lot of force so I would grab the largest breaker bar you can find. Try and ease the bar slowly with good force while keeping an eye on the drive shaft. You do not want the driveshaft to turn over as this means that your CV joint or trans is spinning and that is not good. Once broken free you should be able to use the ratchet to remove the nut the rest of the way.
5 | At this point you can jack up the other side of the car and support it on a jack-stand. This will relieve pressure off of the sway bar and allow the opposite side control arm to drop freely. This will be helpful in the next few steps.
6 | Using your 18 mm socket or open end you can now remove the nut in the bottom of the tie-rod end link. Once broken free the nut and the stud on the end link will begin to spin together. Using your 6 mm allen wrench in the bottom of the stud, hold the stud still while using the 18 mm open end to loosen the nut off. Once the nut is free use your rubber mallet to tap the stud from the bottom and remove the end link from the wheel bearing housing/ spindle.
7 | on the back side of the hub/ spindle assembly, underneath the drive shaft you will find a triangle shaped piece that recieves three 13 mm bolts from the bottom of the control arm. You will want to remove these three 13 mm bolts from the bottom of the control arm and remove the triangle shaped piece off of the top.
8 | At this point you should be able to slide the hub assembly away from the control arm, At the same time you will want to pull the drive shaft from the back of the spindle. Be careful not to pull the driveshaft away from the transmission as you dont want the CV joints and drive shaft coming out of the transmission. if need be, give the end of the drive shaft a few taps from the front of the hub to break it loose.
9 | The only thing holding the hub on now is the bottom of the strut/ spring assembly. Using an 18 mm socket and open head wrench undo the bolt on the back side of the hub assembly that passes through the bottom of the shock housing. Once this bolt is removed you can slide the hub assemble off of the bottom of the shock. If these has not been removed recently or at all, you may need to bang on the top of the iron hub assembly to get it to slide off the bottom.
10 | Once the full assembly is free you will need to have the old bearing pressed out of the bearing carrier and the new bearing pressed in. You can a) follow the directions as shown in a bentley manual to press out / press in the wheel bearing. b) take the assembly and new bearing to a shop and pay them to press the assembly for you. You will need a press for this as it is nearly impossibly to remove the old bearing without the use of a press.
11 | With the new bearing in place, the procedure to reinstall everything is the same as removal, Just make sure to coat all the pieces in grease as this will greatly help the ease of puting the parts back together and help for the next time you need to do work on this area of the car.
12 | The only varying step is the torquing of the axle nut back on the axle. With the nut tight on the axle, you will want to place the wheels back on the car and lower it to the ground. With the full weight of the car on the ground you will want to tighten the axle nut to 221 ft/lb of torque. then loosen the nut one whole rotation. Retighten the nut to 37 ft/lb of torque, and then 30 degrees (one point on the nut) tighter. This will seat the bearings and then torque it down without over torquing. This is very important and I do not recommend you do this part without a torque wrench.
13 | At this point you can sit back and think of all the money you saved by doing this yourself and not paying the stealership to take care of this for you. I would definitely double check all your bolts and nuts to make sure they are tight and secure before your maiden voyage, and then some time after driving I would recheck them.
As Always, i recommend you do this with the understanding that I am no mechanic and do not recommend this procedure if you are unable to perform the tasks, have the skills, or unwilling to accept the consequences if you break and/ or mess up your car in any way. This is the procedure I followed and it worked for me, Do this at your own risk!!!
Modified by bugasm99 at 4:19 PM 2-2-2006
Modified by bugasm99 at 10:26 PM 3-1-2007