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    Thread: How to Replace a Front Wheel Bearing Without a Press or Bridge

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      How to Replace a Front Wheel Bearing Without a Press or Bridge

      I planned on doing this write up a few months ago when I did this and took the pictures - lets see how good my memory is

      I hate the hub design on the Aveos. In order to get the front hubs off (to replace the bearing), you have to press the hub off the bearing and then the bearing out of the knuckle. To do the first procedure, you need a special tool called a Support Bridge (GM p/n J 37105-1). I decided to make my own bridge and use a general fwd bearing pulled kit to replace my bearings. I've read that some have taken the steering knuckle off the car and taken the whole unit to have the hub and bearing removed on a press. Not an inexpensive approach.

      I used a "Front Wheel Drive Bearing Removal Adapters Puller Pulley Tool Set Kit" that can be purchased or in Canada rented for free from Parts Source or Canadian Tire.

      To replace the bearing, remove front CV shaft (I believe there is a How To in this section), taking care not to move the CV shaft too far out or you may ruin the CV joints.

      I then used my home made support bridge:





      I used 1/2 steel plate with holes drilled for the forcing bolt (middle) and 5/16 threaded rod (sides). I ground down the treads on the rod so that it slid in the hub holes more easily. Note that the holes in the hubs are factory - I didn't drill them. Not sure if all Aveo's are like this, but I'm glad mine was!

      I put a bearing adapter and forcing nut on the other side of the hub (not shown) making sure the drift (bearing adapter) was bottomed on the axle and not on the bearing. Then you just turn the forcing bolt. I had to remove the drift once it started bottoming on the bearing. I then used washers (smaller than the inside race of the bearing) and the forcing bolt to move the hub the rest of the way out.

      With the hub free of the bearing, the bearing needs to be removed from the steering knuckle. First the cir clip must be removed:



      Then I used a bearing adapter that was large enough to cover the outside race of the bearing, but small enough to fit through the knuckle. I also needed a sleeve and the forcing bolt and nut again.



      Once the bearing pops free, you are left with an empty steering knuckle:



      The inner race of the bearing stayed on the hub shaft and pulled out of the bearing when I pressed out the hub. If this happens, get out the dremel and a cut off wheel and cut the race. Be careful not to cut all the way through the race, because you will damage the hub. Stop just before you cut through and then use a cold chisel to crack the inner race. When it cracks on the cut line, it will come right off:



      Not the best picture, but you can see the race and the crack in it after cutting and whacking it with the chisel.
      Now to install the new bearing in the knuckle.

      Put the new bearing in the hub. I greased the bearing a little so that it would press into the hub easier. MAKE SURE it is aligned properly or you will have metal shaving from where the bearing cuts the hub if its crooked. Don't ask me how I know. Set up the bearing adapters so that they are pressing on the OUTSIDE race and supported on the OUTSIDE race.





      Once the bearing is in, replace the cir clip. Then its time to install the hub. Make sure the hub shaft is aligned in the bearing. Make sure the INNER and OUTER bearing races are supported with a bearing adapter when pressing the hub back in.





      Once the hub is in, replace the axle shaft and put on a new axle nut. Torque to spec and peen the axle nut.

      All done!
      Enjoy


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      Last edited by whitefish; 12-09-2012 at 12:23 AM.

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      AndrewButler05 (03-23-2017),Daox (12-09-2014)

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      Great write up. Thanks!

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      No problem - just glad I finally got around to doing it.

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      Superb article Whitefish. fantastic. I have been struggling with the drive hub all day. But I don't have your tool and quite frankly, do not see how it works. But it has given me some ideas. thanks.

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      If I were an actual mechanic for a living or owned 3 Aveos I could see making somthing like that but I instead bought the front bearings instead from Amazon.com for $20 ea and removed the front / hubs / rotors to have the new bearings pressed in. I was charged $30 to have this done. I then put it all back together.
      Last edited by patricklprice; 04-01-2013 at 11:22 PM.

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      Superb article Whitefish. fantastic. I have been struggling with the drive hub all day. But I don't have your tool and quite frankly, do not see how it works. But it has given me some ideas. thanks.
      Markstack, if you are anywhere near a Canadian Tire or Parts Source (same company), you can loan the Front Wheel Bearing kit from them, free of charge. If you have any questions, just let me know and I'll try to walk you through it.

      Making the jig took me about 1/2 an hour and cost me around $10. I had considered taking off the spindle arms, but this would throw the alignment out and result in more work/cost. Plus, pressing out the bearings and putting in the new ones would be $100 minimum here, not to mention finding a shop that would actually do it.

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      Hey Whitefish, where are you located in Canada?

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      Thanks for the budget how to on this job. Just a question at the beginning of the project. After removing the staked retaining nut does the shaft and CV joint assy. push inward far enough to remove it from the knuckle/bearing, hub assy. without doing any disassembling of it on either side of the car.

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      your going to have to take it off the ball joint at least.. like pictured. Just doing the ball joint like he did could save your alignment. But it is only 4 more bolts/nuts at that point to replace the bearing on a bench instead of the wheel well.


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      Sorry for the late reply. Yes, as PR mentioned, I just pulled the lower ball joint (which I replaced anyways). You could keep going and pull the whole front hub, but its more work and you may be into an alignment at that point. GM Service manual show replacing on the vehicle, so thats what I did.

      I finally did the other side a month ago and I actually referred back to this post




      Last edited by whitefish; 10-31-2013 at 07:27 PM.

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