replace front wheel bearing - how difficult is it? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-18-2005, 08:51 AM
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replace front wheel bearing - how difficult is it?

87-190D2.5 with 260,000 miles:

My drive-side front wheel bearing got shot at 75mph. I drove it for another 15 miles at 50mph. it seems that drove some of the steel balls into metal wire.

So I have to replace the two bearings.

Can anyone who has done such job share some tips, as well as how long it make take, and how difficult?

I had them replaced just a year ago. I suspect the shop put a cheap aftermarket bearing into it. So this time I decide to do it myself, if feasible.

thanks a lot.
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-18-2005, 11:05 AM
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RE: replace front wheel bearing - how difficult is it?

Yes it is indeed very easy to do. The only thing I worry about is that you drove it 15 miles with the bearings shot. That could have fused the bearing housing to the axle. And if that has actually happened then we're in trouble.

But lets hope the bearing will come rite off.


Here is what you do:

1) Jack up one side, remove the wheel.
2) remove the grease cap off the axle
3) You will now see a clamp that goes around the axle (sort of like a axle on other imports)
4) It has a hex screw on it, easiest way to remove it is use the proper hex bit, mounted in to a socket and then use a wrentch to losen the hex screw.
5) Once the screw is losened, you can use a open-ended wrentch to take the clamp off, most likely you will be able to use you fingers to get it off.
6) Now if you havnt damaged the bearing housing and fused it to the axle itself, it will push itself out as you take the clamp off.
7) Regrease new bearing, reverse the removal process.
8)Note, you do not tighten the clamp nut all the way, just enough so that the rotor can spin without much effort, and is straight. You will see what I mean, once you put the bearing back in.

1990 190e 2.6L (sold)
2000 C230 Kompressor
2006 Saab 93 5spd
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#3 (permalink) Old 05-20-2005, 10:08 AM
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RE: replace front wheel bearing - how difficult is it?

many thanks for the tips. I'm quite sure it's not fused to the axle. I'll get back when I'm done with it.
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-20-2005, 10:11 AM
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RE: replace front wheel bearing - how difficult is it?

Well good luck, the hardest part in this project should be jacking up your car :P

1990 190e 2.6L (sold)
2000 C230 Kompressor
2006 Saab 93 5spd
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-21-2005, 09:23 PM
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RE: replace front wheel bearing - how difficult is it?

Bearing housing.... Do you mean the bearing race? If so, the bearing housing needs to be tapped out of the hub. When bearings are replaced, the bearing race will also need to be replace.

Depending on how much heat was generated when the bearings went bad, the bearing race could be really tough to knock out. The new race is a press fit. You could use the old race to help tap it in or you can buy a special tool that can evenly tap in the bearing.

When you've installed the bearing race and bearings onto your hub, remember that the whole hub should spin freely on the spindle. Don't go crazy screwing on the lock nut.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2005, 06:13 PM
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RE: replace front wheel bearing - how difficult is it?

I was refering to the outer bearing housing. Because on my car the outer bearing got siezed onto the spindle/axle. I had to heat it up with a propane torch.

1990 190e 2.6L (sold)
2000 C230 Kompressor
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#7 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 08:04 PM
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Replace front wheel bearings - Now report back.

Finally I got it fixed with help from a friend. As promised, I now report back. Also, I wrote down a step by step procedure before I started, which is attached at the end.

As expected, the 15-mile drive created enough heat to expand the inner race of outer bearing, which then got pushed inwards, when it cooled down, it gripped the axle. it took us about an hour with chizel, saw, hammer, until my friend came with a pipe wrench, with long handle. The inner bearing was still ok except the seal broken. I replacen it anyway.

The tough part is hammering in the outer race of outer bearing into the hub, even with the race in freezer, and hub in oven at 400F, I couldn't put it in easily without using hammer and woodblock, and it also turned out that it didn't sit inplace until I have driven it for a few days. In contrary, the outer race of inner bearing sit in easily, even somehow loosely.

After the job. I notice the steering wheel shaked at speed nearing 80 mph. Yesteday, I checked the wheel play, it was way to large, on both front wheels. I tightened them up as specification, and took a high-speed test at 95 mph on the #95 interstate, it was really a smooth ride. I have never driven at such speed since I got the car in 2003, because the uncomfortable vibration it delivered at close to 80mph.

Now here's my step-by-step procedure for the job to share with anyone who need to do the same job:

Procedure for front wheel bearings replacement and related jobs

Remove wheel hub from steering knuckle:
1. Remove wheel.
2. Remove brake assembly, and hang it on suspension spring with wire. (wire brush the caliper outer covering, rag cleaning the surface with pre-all solution; let it dry, brush on a thin coat of rust encapsulator.
3. Remove brake disk;
4. Clean the caliper bolt holes threads in the hub using an old bolt with a slot cut in its threads.
5. Clean the removed bolts, apply Thread Locker Blue to end section so they can be reused.
6. Remove contact spring for radio interference suppression.
7. Slacken the clamping screw with a 5mm hexagon socket.
8. Unscrew the hub nut with adjustable wrench;
9. Remove the thrust washer.
10. Pull the hub assembly away from the steering knuckle.

Remove old outer races and insert new ones:
1. Remove the bearings from hub.
2. Remove the outer races of both inner and outer bearings.
3. Clean the hub thoroughly, clean center mating surface with brake cleaner.
4. Pre-cool the races in freezer, and pre-heat the hub body up to 400°F for easy installation.
5. Insert new outer races of both inner and outer bearings.
6. Clean the center hole thoroughly after both outer races are in place.
7. Pack the bearings with high-temp grease thoroughly and insert into the races.
8. Add the sealer ring to the inner bearing.

Torque specification for involved bolts:

Bolts Brake caliper bolts Brake disc retaining bolts Road wheel bolts
guide pin mounting bracket
Torque (lb-ft) 22 85 7 81


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#8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 07:04 AM
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I WISH THIS POST HAD PICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#9 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 09:04 AM
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I am doing the front bearing TODAY among other things like all brake disks, hoses and flush.
I should be able to upload pics by this evening if not by tomorrow.
HANG IN THERE
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#10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 09:22 AM
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You ARE the MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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