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  #1  
Old 01-23-2012, 10:50 AM
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Default How To Change a Wheel Hub Assembly

How-To Change a Front Wheel Hub Assembly:

I just changed my first full wheel hub assembly on my Monte Carlo this weekend. I used my shop manuals + this website: Wheel Bearing Hub Assembly Replacement Guide - General Motors Pontiac Grand Prix GTP - Pictures & Instructions

I also did a lot of research, and asked questions to people that I know personally have done this job (Thanks Jason!)

I will state, that for me, this was NOT an easy job. I live in the North, I do a lot of winter driving, and my car sees a lot of salt. This created a lot of stuck bolts, and a wheel hub that looked like it had metal welded itself to the steering knuckle. It was 12 degrees when I was doing this replacement, and I was filthy, so I was unable to take pictures (nor did I want to be outside any longer) Overall, this took me about 3 hours.

My Parts List:
36 MM axle nut socket
1/2" breaker bar
Tire Iron
Timken Wheel Hub Assembly (00-01 have a different part number, I used Timken Hub 513121, however I believe 02+ is Timken Hub 513179)
New Hub Bolts (GM recommends you replace them)
Ft/Lb TQ wrench
Various 3/8s sockets (13 and 15mm I believe)
3/8" breaker bar
Cheater Bars / Hollow Jack Handle
Something to hang Caliper with

The Walkthrough:

1. My stock Monte Carlo ugly rims, allow access to the Axle Nut with the center cap removed. Parked my car, put the parking brake on, and popped off the center cap. Using the 1/2" Breaker Bar, PBlaster, and the 36MM Axle Nut Socket, I was able to break the axle nut free. Unscrewed it completely, and put it back on, a couple times to clean the threads. Left the nut on, but hand-screwed. Loosen Lugs with Tire-Iron.

2. With the axle-nut and lugs loose, Jack up the front of the car, and put on jack-stands. Remove the wheel.

3. Now you have the caliper and rotor to remove. I insert a screw-driver through the caliper and press the piston in a little. The Caliper Bracket has 2 bolts on the back. These are long bolts with plenty of grease on them. Remove and place aside. Caliper bracket and brakes should come off. Place the brake pads together (pads facing each other) and place aside, this helps you remember which was the back and which was the front.

4. With the caliper bracket removed, there are 2 more bolts that hold the caliper to the rotor. These bolts were very hard to remove (I believe the TQ setting is 139 ft/lbs), they took a cheater-bar to free. When you remove these 2 bolts, hang the caliper from the strut spring, with rope or wire.

5. Slide the rotor off, and place in a safe-spot.

6. Congratulations, you now are at the Hub Assembly. On the back of the hub assembly are 3 bolts, and the ABS clip. These bolts can be hard to remove, because the positions you have to lay down in don't give you much space to work. Break free the 3 bolts, and discard (if you bought new). Unclip the ABS clip, and pay very close attention as to how it is put together.

7. With the 3 bolts out of the hub, the hub "should" pop off. I say "should" because they can be VERY difficult to remove. Some may have better luck than others. This is the part that I struggled with the most. I had to resort to taking a very large ball-peen hammer and just beating the hub assembly to free it. Lots of PBlaster, and hits, and about 20 minutes later I finally saw a break between the hub and the knuckle. Using a chisel/screw-driver I was able to force the break a little more. Finally I cracked the hub assembly away from the knuckle. With the axle-nut screwed on and at the end of the drive-shaft spline, use a block of wood and a hammer to push the drive-shaft in a little. The hub should then pop off, and you will have to feed the ABS wire through the knuckle.

8. There is a small metal bracket that sits between the hub and the knuckle and allows the ABS sensor to clip to. Make sure you clean this off and put back on.

9. With the hub removed (mine was broken, so I had to use a screwdriver to chisel out the rest of the hub), take wire brushes and clean everything up.

10. Time to reinstall. Stick a new bolt through the top hole, and let the metal clip/bracket hang from it. Spread anti-seize on the spindle (or inside the hub) and put the hub on (while feeding the abs wire through the knuckle). Finger-Tighten the top bolt while pushing in on the hub assembly and set it on the spindle and knuckle. Put in the remaining 2 bolts, finger-tight. Now clip the abs sensor together. Tighten these 3 bolts to 96 ft/lbs.

11. You successfully changed the hub!! Pat yourself on the back, go warm up, do whatever you want right now.

12. Time to put everything back together. Grab the rotor and put it back on. Grab the caliper off the spring, and put it back on. Don't forget to put some anti-seize on the bolts. I believe the TQ specs are around 130 ft/lbs.

13. Grab the caliper bracket, and bolts, grease the bolts (not the threads) and carefully put the bracket and bolts back on. You can go hand-tight on these (with a little extra smack of the socket), I believe the TQ specs are around 63 ft/lbs if you want to TQ correctly.

14. With the brakes all back together, you just need to reinstall the wheel, and axle-nut. Put the wheel back on, hand-tighten all lugs, put the axle-nut back on (this takes a while before it tightens, I thought it was stripped at first).

15. Lower the car, torque the lugs to 100 ft/lbs. and torque the axle-nut to 159 ft/lbs.

16. Go for a test-drive, make sure everything feels correct, go home and check the torque of the lugs and axle-nut. Clean up and you are done!
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:33 AM
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To add to step #7, if you have access to a good compressor, I've had a LOT of luck using an air hammer with a chisel bit to get the hub out of the steering knuckle.

I know that's not an option for everyone, but I highly recommend it (last year I've done at LEAST 4 different front wheel bearings on W-Bodies, oldest being a '97 Grand Prix). The Air Hammer worked flawlessly each time. I've never had to force the half-shaft in at all using the air hammer.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:35 AM
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The only reason that I "force" the half-shaft is because that is the same thing as using a hub-puller as it pushed the half-shaft spline mostly out of the hub assembly spline and helps removal after the seal is broken.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:12 PM
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Good write up.

I changed mine a few weeks ago, didn't do any research or anything, just jumped right in. Took me probably 30-40 mins to get the hub and put everything back together. Pretty simple job, other than a few bolts that are a bit hard to reach.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:35 PM
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Must be nice in Florida :p
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:53 PM
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Nice write up. Mine must have been replaced before I bought it because both of them pretty much fell out once the bolts were out.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:28 PM
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This is definitely an intimidating task for a first timer. More you do and listen to others, the better you get. The tool arsenal you have at your disposal is what really makes or breaks this job IMO. That and the temperature you have to do the work in....
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:29 AM
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Oh, pretty sure it was in the 70's. Great shorts and t-shirt weather. :p
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:34 PM
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when i changed my first one it was in june and about 110 outside,can you say burnt?? lol.then did my passenger side in the fall and it was a damn cold day then.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:51 PM

 
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Thanks for the write up Chibi! I found this video on youtube today that could give some visual help for this project

Part 1:
How To Install Replace Front Wheel Hub Bearing GM Front Wheel Drive PART 1 1AAuto.com - YouTube

Part 2:
How To Install Replace Front Wheel Hub Bearing GM Front Wheel Drive PART 2 1AAuto.com - YouTube
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:51 PM
 
 
 
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Tags
2000, 2004, 98, assembly, break, carlo, chevrolet, front, hub, monte, rear, removal, remove, replace, rotor, sarasota, wheel


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