I'm in it now - Front wheel bearing/hub replacement

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by perfectspeed, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. penfieldny

    penfieldny Junior Member

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    I know this is an old post but did it fix the noise, because my 2010 prius now makes a loud droning noise when I drive, and I took it in and they said it was fine. they never drove it. I am re-taking it in tomorrow so they hear the noise while we drive. I would appreciate any advice! I am overwhelmed by what you went through, you are amazingly patient! But did it fix the noise? You never said! thanks!
     
  2. john grimsley

    john grimsley Junior Member

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    Toyota Prius Wheel Bearing Hub Assembly Replacement



    Tools You'll Need

    · 1/2 Torque Wrench

    · 1/2" to 3/8" Converter & a 3/8" Short Extension

    · 30mm 13 Point Socket & Punch or eBay & Amazon have Toyota 30mm Front Axle Lock Nut Remover Kit which works great

    · 21mm Socket for lug nuts, or just use the Prius tire tool

    · 17mm Socket for the Tie Rod, Stabilizer Bar, Ball Joint Assembly & Brake Caliper

    · 14mm Socket for the Hub Bolts

    · 12mm Socket for the Rotor

    · 10mm Socket for the Speed Sensor

    · Hammer & Wood Block ~ will come in handy for a couple of things

    · Flat Head Screw Driver for removing the CV Dust Boot Cover

    · Pliers, Channel Lock, or Vise Grip for turning the inverted Tie Rod Nut & some Wire or Rope for the Brake Caliper

    Torque Specifications

    · Axle Nut 216 Nm (159 ft-lb)

    · Lug Nuts 103 Nm (76 ft-lb)

    · Brake Caliper 109 Nm (81 ft-lb)

    · Ball Joint Assembly 89 Nm (66 ft-lb)

    · Wheel Hub 56 Nm (41 ft-lb)

    · Tie Rod Castle Lock Nut 74 Nm (54 ft-lb)

    Order of Disassembly

    · Remove Tire

    · Remove Axle Nut

    · Remove Speed Sensor

    · Remove Brake Caliper

    · Remove Rotor

    · Remove Tie Rod

    · Remove Upper Stabilizer Bar

    · Remove Ball Joint Assembly

    · Remove Axle

    · Remove CV Boot Dust Shield

    · Remover Hub Assembly

    Order of Reassembly

    ·Reinstall Hub Assembly & Dust Shield

    ·Reinstall Speed Sensor

    ·Reinstall CV Boot Dust Shield

    ·Reinstall Axle

    ·Reinstall Ball Joint Assembly

    ·Reinstall Tie Rod

    ·Reinstall Upper Stabilizer Bar

    ·Reinstall Axle Nut

    ·Reinstall Rotor

    ·Reinstall Brake Caliper

    ·Reinstall Tire
     
    #122 john grimsley, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
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  3. jessiejosco

    jessiejosco Member

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    I just finished this job on my wifes 2006. It was a very nasty job. I don't know why they don't still use tapered wheel bearings. They last much longer and are much easier to replace. I live in the rust belt and the hub assembly was severely corroded into the knuckle. I tried many different gentle things to break it loose. My 4 ton press did nothing even with pb Blaster and heat. In the end I placed the knuckle in an old disk brake rotor so the hub was hanging, placed the 30mm axle nut socket on the inner race of the bearing, and gave it a few whacks with a big sledge hammer. It broke free surprisingly easily.

    There are a couple of other things I would do differently if you live in the rust belt:
    If you are taking the knuckle off the car you might want to consider leaving the wheel sensor on the knuckle. The sensor bolt snapped right off when I tried to remove it. I wasted an hour drilling it out and retapping it when I could have just left the sensor alone. When I do the other side I will unplug the wire and leave it on the knuckle.
    Also I would go ahead and order new brake dust guards. Mine was rusty, it was pretty much impossible not to bend it removing the hub, and they only cost 8 bucks. Make sure you don't put it on backwards (don't ask me how I know!)

    From what I saw you probably don't need to replace the knuckle. Mine was pretty corroded around the hub, but it cleaned up well and the fit of the new hub was very tight. I used a generous amount of anti seize to slow down the corrosion and make it easy to get this bearing out next time it fails.

    Also this car has gone through 2 OEM toyota bearings in 150000 km so I decided aftermarket hubs can't be much worse. I ordered a SKF bearing. I was very disappointed to find that the bearing I got seems to have come from the same manufacturer that Toyota used. It is a Japanese Koyo bearing. Looking on line the Timken branded hubs are the same. I guess brand names don't mean much these days. But this also means you might as well order the brand with the best price.

    Hope this help anyone else that is thinking about diy'ing this.
     
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  4. fopoku2k2

    fopoku2k2 Member

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    Does anyone know how long I can drive on a bad wheel bearing.

    2010 Toyota Prius

    XT1060 ?
     
  5. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed Surly tree hugger

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    until it fails completely and causes you to be stranded or have an accident.

    there is no way to know how long until the wheel bearing fails completely. I wouldn't drive any farther than I absolutely had to if its making a lot of noise. and if it gets to the point where its loose, now it is dangerous.
     
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  6. jadziasman

    jadziasman Prius owner emeritus

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    UPDATE redux:

    Drove the Prius for 70 mile today. Flawless. Smooth driving until the passenger side wheel bearing fails - whenever that happens.

    UPDATE
    :

    It's all back together and my brief test drive at 55 mph indicates the replacement of the driver's side (left side) wheel bearing corrected the problem. No warning lights for ABS during start up, speedometer works, yessssss! This was the first non-maintenance repair of any kind I've had in the past two years by the way.

    I did damage the axle threads adjacent to where the nut was staked when I loosened the axle nut. I didn't push out the staked area far enough; consequently, I needed to use a thread file to repair the damage to be able to thread the new axle nut all the way to the spline by hand. It took about 45 minutes to file away all the damage I created when I removed the old axle nut. I'm eternally grateful that I didn't damage the axle threads beyond repair - whew. Next time, I will use a dremel and cut away the staked area entirely. That will save me much time and frustration.

    The hub came out of the hub assembly with no problem with a ten ton press - the press was available so I figured that would be easier than trying to hammer it out. I wasn't so lucky on the outer part of the hub assembly though. It was rusted solid to the knuckle. None of the PB blaster I sprayed on the outer part of the hub assembly penetrated the non-existent gap between the hub and knuckle and that was after waiting a full 24 hours. I didn't get the new hub assembly until yesterday night so I thought the PB was worth a try.

    The outer part of hub assembly was rusted to the steering knuckle so tenaciously that my machinist friend gave up trying to force the outer part of the hub assembly from the knuckle with the press on his first attempt - he didn't want to bend the knuckle. He grabbed a propane torch and heated the knuckle until he felt that it expanded enough for another attempt. The second try was successful.

    So if you live in the rust belt and have not replaced a wheel bearing after many years and miles of driving, make sure to remove the knuckle from your car first before attempting to remove the hub assembly from the steering knuckle. If you don't, you'll almost certainly will need to cut the old hub assembly out (after you've removed the hub itself - which is relatively easy).

    And this was where I started:

    I just removed the steering knuckle from the driver's side (left side) of my 05 today. The wheel bearing in
    the hub is bad (but it lasted 240,000 miles - that's pretty darn good). I could tell the left wheel bearing was bad because the wheel was loose when I moved it in and out - top to bottom - when holding the tire at the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock positions after lifting the wheel off the ground. The wheel bearing had been bad for a while. I never knew how bad until this morning. I did the same test on the passenger side wheel. No movement whatsoever. Nice and solid.

    I ordered an OEM Toyota wheel bearing / hub assembly from Amazon yesterday $130 and will get it on Tuesday.

    Here's what I experienced as I was removing the steering knuckle from my car today.

    I loosened the axle nut with the wheel on and the car on the ground (there was enough clearance for my 30 mm 12 point 1/2 inch drive deep well impact socket at the center of the wheel after removing the center cap). This is the easiest this way since I don't own air tools. After unstaking the axle nut, I used a 3/4 inch drive (with a 1/2 inch drive adapter) 2.5 foot long breaker bar inserted partway into a 4 foot piece of steel plumbing pipe to loosen the nut. The nut loosened surprisingly easily - force times distance works well sometimes. Incidentally, I bought the axle socket at an Advance Auto store this morning. For $14 it was worth it. Advance Auto has a tool rental program but they don't have 12 point axle sockets - just six point ones. Oh well. I'm still saving money instead of going to a stealership or an independent to replace the wheel bearing/hub.

    I was able to unstake the axle nut without the SST but it took me a couple of hours because I don't own a complete set of punches and cold chisels which would have made the job easier. Those who were able to unstake axle nuts with just a screwdriver, you're a much better (and luckier) DIY mechanic than I.

    Even though I fully unstaked the nut without the SST, I couldn't completely push out the indent the factory made when they staked the nut. Consequently, I damaged the axle nut threads a little but I think I didn't damage the axle threads (as far as I can tell at this juncture anyway). I always buy a new axle nut after removing an old one. I might just buy the SST for the passenger side (right side) when it's time to replace that wheel bearing - if ever. I hope that the SST is designed to entirely push out the stake indent. That would be worth the $23 the SST costs. I'm not doing both front wheel bearings, just the left one. The traction battery could die tomorrow or five years from now so I don't replace parts unless I absolutely have to.

    Before removing the brake caliper, I disconnected the negative lead from the 12V battery. This seems to be a good idea. I left the hatch open and stacked boxes from the trunk floor to the hatch to remind me not to shut the hatch with the battery disconnected. I would do it - believe me.

    Removing the brake caliper from the steering knuckle was much more difficult than I thought it would be. The problem was there wasn't enough space to get a 1/2 inch drive 6 point impact socket and 1/2 inch drive extension on the top caliper bolt without removing the lower bolt and nut from the McPherson strut first. I've never experienced anything like this with cars I've removed brake caliper bolts from before. I tried to use a 3/8 inch drive 6 point Sears Craftsman socket with a 3/8 inch drive extension initially but the socket snapped when I attempted to loosen the caliper bolt. Toyota made the caliper bolts much beefier than they need to be. I needed the 2.5 foot breaker bar to break the upper and lower caliper bolts loose. The McPherson strut bolts and nuts were actually easier to loosen than those monster caliper bolts. Go figure.

    It was very easy to remove the rotor with two M8x1.25 (40 mm long) bolts that are screwed into the rotor to back it off the hub. I bought the two bolts for 97 cents at Lowes this morning. I could have used two bolts from the hood of the Prius (yes, you can do this) but I'm not that cheap.

    I used my impact screwdriver/socket tool (harbor freight item #37530) to break the 10mm bolt loose on the speed sensor. I've snapped off enough small fasteners over the years so this impact tool comes in handy every time when I have the space to use it. To those unfamiliar with this tool - you smack one end with a hammer and the socket at the other ends turns ever so slightly to break a fastener loose. The 10 mm bolt came out easily the rest of the way with a 1/4 inch drive ratchet.

    I used my 3/4 inch ball joint separator (harbor freight item #99849) to disconnect the tie rod from the knuckle. This tool was barely large enough to do the job because Toyota uses a large castle nut on the tie rod so the threaded shaft has to be (and is) pretty long. Another example of Toyota overkill. Those of you contemplating this might want to get a larger ball joint separator if you want to separate the tie rod from the steering knuckle on your Gen 2 Prius. Just for sh**s and giggles, I tried smacking the side of the tie rod body several times with a 5 lb sledge to try to break it free before using the ball joint separator. The tie rod just laughed at me.

    The bolt and two nuts that fasten the bottom of the knuckle to the lower control arm loosen very easily. Kudos to Toyota for this design because you don't need to separate the lower ball joint to get the steering knuckle out.

    Once all fasteners were removed, the axle slid out of the hub with no problem and I removed the knuckle and am ready for the new hub. However, what I've finished thus far might be easy compared to what I have ahead of me.

    Next on the agenda is attempting to pound out the bearing/hub from the knuckle. That's going to be a lot of fun. I might need to take it to a shop to have them press it out. The hub has been in the car for 10.5 years in NW Indiana and SE Michigan. I will update this post when I have everything put together and my Prius back on the road again. 299,999 miles here we come!
     
    #126 jadziasman, Sep 12, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
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  7. fopoku2k2

    fopoku2k2 Member

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    Lucky you. My 2010 wheel bearing on amazon is over $200. Kindly share a link to yours let me check if it would fit mine

    XT1060 ?
     
  8. jadziasman

    jadziasman Prius owner emeritus

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    I just checked. The Gen 3 uses a completely different front hub than the Gen 2.
    Only an $85 dollar difference though.

    Gen 2 43510-47012
    Gen 3 43550-47011
     
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  9. fopoku2k2

    fopoku2k2 Member

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    Oh OK. Thanks

    XT1060 ?
     
  10. satwood

    satwood Member

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    Hi everyone and thanks for the great information in this and similar threads. I'm planning out my attack on both front wheel bearings on my 2007 Prius and will try to follow all these guidelines carefully. I live in the Northeast so I plan to take out the entire knuckle and either press out the hub on my press or take it where I need to. What I'm wondering is if I need to make any alignment measurements before removing the top two bolts holding the knuckle to the strut assembly. In the past I've seen this as being where the camber adjustment is made with one set of holes being elongated. Is this the case here as well? I have not seen anyone mention the wheel re-alignment after doing this repair. Please let me know what you all think.

    Thanks
    Steve
     
  11. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    I have replaced front bearings on three Prius. Half the time I have been able to hammer the hub out. It is never easy. With a 20 ton press I have found that a few hammer hits help after the press is loaded up. The hubs tend to shoot out like a bullet.

    There is no adjustment between the knuckle and strut.

    Brad
     
  12. satwood

    satwood Member

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    Big help, thanks for that. Any value in trying to flood the rim with PB Blaster or something before putting it in the press? Does heat seem to help, I saw a few people mention heating the knuckle up before hammering on it.
     
  13. specialtyneed

    specialtyneed Junior Member

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    I did early 90's era Camry with high mileage that had similar interference fit and heating knuckle with propane and ice cubes on bearing / hub did help a lot.

    Sent by a right hand on a mobile with Tapatalk
     
  14. specialtyneed

    specialtyneed Junior Member

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    Do not recommend PB blaster or anything else except 50/50 % mix of Dextron 3 ATF and Beauty Sullly store Acetone (has least amount of condensed water) in a good quality polyethlyene garden QT spray bottle is far superior to any rust buster in a spray can period. The longer you can give it to penetrate and re-spray the better. Recommend about 2 weeks on exhaust hardware. Re-apply daily or twice daily at minimum. Careful is quite flammable.
     
  15. jcgee88

    jcgee88 Member

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    I recently had my dealer replace the wheel bearings on my '09 with 120K miles.

    The symptom that caused me to start this process was hearing a strange sound
    as I was backing out of my garage. I don't have a way to describe the exact sound -
    sounded like something in the wheel well was scrapping. Based on that, I suspected
    the front brake pads might need replacing, and that's what I asked the dealer
    to inspect for. After they looked, they reported that the wheel bearings were the
    issue, and I then told them to go ahead and replace them.

    Although the job was purported to be an "overnight" job, they ended up keeping the
    car an extra two days. Apparently, the wheels had become frozen to the axle!
    Lastly, after they finished, they made a recommendation that I also do a front-
    end alignment; that made sense to me.

    The total cost was about $470 (with a 10% off coupon plus they gave me a loaner
    car). The good news is that the funny sound has disappeared, plus my mileage
    jumped from 52.5 mpg to 55 mpg.
     
  16. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    In Gen 1 there is, did they drop it later?

    In Gen 1, the knuckle attaches to the strut with two bolts, and Toyota sells the bolts in four (if I remember right) slightly different shank diameters. Gives you about 16 different camber settings depending on which combination of two bolts you use and which for top and which for bottom.

    -Chap
     
  17. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    There still is some adjustment of camper in knuckle to strut bolts. And if that adjustment is not enough (Toyota manual describes that) you can replace the bolt(s) to get more adjustment.
     
  18. bluedays

    bluedays New Member

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    This has been an adventure, for sure. Took me four days to realize that you need this slide hammer flange: OEMTools 27037 3.75/4.5 Axle Puller

    Not this one: OEM 27032 Flange-Type Axle Puller

    If you rent yours for autozone then you may be in trouble because the kind i rented wouldn't fit on the hub assembly. This is good to know before you wind up taking your whole car apart and being unable to remove the assembly because nobody told you the right tool to use.
     
  19. bluedays

    bluedays New Member

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    Okay, so now my story. This is a story of murphy's law, and how overextending yourself can be an excellent learning experience.

    I was quoted $550 at the autoshop that I went to. He originally said there was something wrong with both my rear strut and my rear bearing. This was incredibly outside of my price range and as a computer guy I was beginning to feel like I could start tackling these jobs myself. I know that cars and computers are very different animals, but the process of learning is the same. Identify the parts, assess how they fit together and their function, apply youtube. Haha. Before I did this I had never even jacked up a car before, I owned no tools, and no family/friends/car people I knew who were local; I was starting from this completely fresh. As a matter of fact I was trying to use to tow hook to jack up the car with my tiny jack that I had just bought at autozone because I saw it was a good place to do it on youtube. I didn't think it was working, jack point was just too low, and tried to take it back to autozone. One of the guys there was kind enough to show me the proper jack points of a car.

    After I had gotten the car jacked up I started working on the rear wheel bearing and taking it apart. Naturally once I had gotten down to the brake (drum brakes) the bearing was seized (rusted) into the back of the drum. I had no way of explaining what was wrong with the bearing because I didn't understand the vocabulary used by mechanics. I just kept trying to say it was the knuckle and that the brake line was going into the knuckle, which made NO sense when I explained it to the few people I knew who knew cars. What was actually wrong was that the bearing was seized into the back of the drum brake and no amount of slide hammering was going to get it out. After beating on the bearing with a hammer for hours and breaking a couple of studs I wound up towing into the mechanic because I felt like it was out of my league.

    When I had taken it into the mechanic they were nice enough to explain that it was seized into the drum and that they took the drum off and wound up bleeding the brakes after they took the drum off. I had suspected this to begin with but someone on youtube told me it was impossible to bleed the brakes by yourself. I found out later that this isn't true, and that there are ways to bleed your own brakes on a Prius without the Toyota scan tool. If I hadn't of taken what the person said on youtube for face value I wound have bled the brakes myself after disassembling the drum. The worst part about this bit of the story though is that after he told me how they had done it he said that the other mechanic I had taken the car to was wrong and that there was nothing wrong with the rear bearing or strut. It was actually the front bearing that was bad. Then he said it would still cost $450 to fix. When I asked if I could do it myself he said no because the bearing is pressed in, which made me even more determined because I don't like being told what I can do.

    So I set out on my next mission to fix the front bearing by myself. At this point I had probably spent more on tools and parts and mechanics than if I had taken it in to get it fixed already. However, I was not going to let this stop me, because I felt some masculine desire to prove myself. So I got started on the front bearing myself. This time I took my time and took a lot longer to figure it out than I had with the rear bearing. I must have taken the car apart half a dozen times just to figure it out. I had to go to Harbor Freight to buy a breaker bar to get the axle nut off, I didn't know how to remove the control arm and when I did finally get it off I wound up getting a nut stuck on the control arm because I was trying to hammer it out like I had seen on youtube. I wound up going to home depot and buying a pair of pliers because I had to hold the control arm still in order for me to get the control arm off, and then finally I was ready to use the slide hammer to pull off the bearing once I had it bolted back onto the knuckle. Well guess what happened after that? Yep, the bearing came apart in two. So I wound up paying $50 to take the knuckle into the machine shop to be pressed out and another one pressed in.

    And finally I was done once I put it all back together! I was very proud of the job I had done and I wanted to show my wife. So we took it out on a drive. We went to the grocery story and we got snacks that I hardly ever get to enjoy. Then on the way back the wheel started to make a thud... thud... thud... thud... thudthudthudthudthud noise when the wheel was turning. I was absolutely devastated by the turn of events and I had thought I had really screwed up. I wound up googling everything, started to think it was the drive axle that was damaged by the dust cover, or that it was the control arm since it was very greasy. Come to find out that after googling someone suggested that the lug nuts may not be tight enough and that may by the thudding noise. I went outside to check on it and sure enough two of them I was able to loosen two of the lug nuts with my hand.

    Which brings me to my final point... Remember to torque your nuts kids. Your freakin WHEEL may come off. And good luck. Don't let this job intimidate you. It might wind up costing you more money and time than you want to spend, but it could take you on a really fantastic journey and teach you some really valuable skills. I have several other jobs that I have wanted to finish on my other car and now they seem easy in comparison. Mass airflow sensor? No big deal. Oil sensor light coming on for no reason? Easy. I think the only thing that would be harder than this would be removing a transmission or a engine. I'm really happy that I have finally taken automobile ownership into my own hands.
     
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  20. uagent

    uagent Junior Member

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    Just got done doing the driver side bearing on my 2005. After 11 years of sitting and corroding (my car has spent its whole existence outside the Philly area), that bearing housing was locked up tight. I busted the hub and ball bearings out using my 5 lb sledge and 2x4's, but couldn't get the outer housing.
    I followed the advice here and took it to my usual mechanic and asked for some help (they did the whole passenger side about a month ago).
    The machinist there explained to me what he did that worked, so I figured I'd share it here.
    He used a muffler gun and long 14 mm bolts to slowly drive the housing out. He also applied torch heat to the knuckle (coincidentally, also recommended by the dealership I asked about having the housing pressed out).
    He was also kind enough to glass bead blast the knuckle to get all the corrosion out for me.
    I don't have air tools, so I can't speak to the validity of the method, but I thought I'd mention it to the brave. I had given up after staying up until 1 am last night whaling on the bearing housing.
     
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