Sunday, 29 May 2016

Front bearings replacement


The bearing has a side with magnetic encoding, that will face the ABS sensor.

Observe to pay keen attention never to press and result in separation of the inner race from the complete bearing.

The bearing has to be pressed in fully into the housing and fully into the hub.
Don't worry, the inbuilt clearance is there so that the hub and knuckle will never touch one another.


Poorly assembled bearings may result in separation of the hub, where the wheel will be detached from the vehicle while driving. You won't want that to happen.
This is highlighted by Honda service manual.


These are experience i gain while replacing my front wheel bearings on my 2008 Honda Stream R18A engine. The Honda Civic 1.8L has the same setup.

Upon completion of the replacement, I highly recommend taking the vehicle for alignment just to be sure that the tires sits flat to the ground.

In it, i replaced one of the front wheel bearings twice. I gained insight as well as refining the procedure of replacement. Through this, I hope the readers will appreciate and avoid costly mistakes.

The most tedious part of the replacement is the bearing removal and pressing out/into the knuckle housing.

I will focus towards the difficult portions and skip the easier parts.


Essential tools needed:
a. Hydraulic press
b. Assortment of press supports with different diameters
c. Bench vise
d. Heating torch
e. Torque wrench (at least 20kg.m range)
f. Circlip pliers
g. 32mm Socket spanner
h. Impact screw driver for removal of brake disc

Parts needed for renewal
You will need
1. New bearings
2. New Spindle nut.

Here is the schematics as well as torque values for assembly.

After removal of knuckle, clamp on a vice and hammer out the hub using a mallet.

The assembly will split into two portions.
a. The Hub
b. The Knuckle

Remove the circlip with a circlip plier

 Remove the splash guard and use the flat position of the three screws to support the knuckle for pressing the bearing out.
 As always, the inner race will split from the bearing and get hinged on the hub shaft.

Salvage the old bearing parts for use in later part to press the bearing in.
Save the outer race (not in photo), it will be useful!

Stack the old outer race onto the new outer race. You will only want to press the outer race to fit the whole bearing into the knuckle housing without separation of the inner race.

 One side of the bearing is magnetic encoded.
You can test with a ferrous metal.

Clean up and polish the bearing seating prior to receiving of new bearings.
Oil the seating surface before pressing to allow smooth travel.

This is important.
Be sure to support at the prescribed position.
Otherwise, the inner race will pop out of the new bearing and you will have to get a new bearing to replace.

Press the hub all the way in till the travel stops.

Other Really Important Tips

1. Never pull the drive shaft.
Well i did accidentally and its really horrible to go through detaching the driveshaft boot and align the 3 bearings into the housing. 

2. Detaching the drive shaft from the knuckle

3. ABS sensor
Remember to remove it and not snap the wire and connections!

4. Spindle nut removal and tightening

It will be tight because it is exposed to elements.

Removing the wheel hub cap and resting the wheel on the ground will give you leverage while using a breaker bar to gain extra leverage when the impact gun does not work.

You will need to knock out the locking dent on the spindle before attempting to undo the nut.
Clockwise to Tighten
Counter CW to Slack

Remove the wheel first to expose the spindle nut, undo the dent that locks the nut.
Remove the wheel hub cap.
Put the wheels back on with lug nuts. Rest the tire on the ground and proceed to slacken the nut.
The photo below is when i tighten. The procedure is the same for assembly and disassembly.

Add a little grease or oil on the flat surface of the spindle nut before tightening.

This last step is used to determine correct install.
My first install failed as i did not press in the bearing correctly. The hub and knuckle had play and the bearings ground each other. It became rough.
As a result, only one side of the wheel spins freely while the faulty side did not move at all.

Proceed with caution only if you know what is happening.