Prius C DIY rear wheel hub assembly replacement

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by z80, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. z80

    z80 Junior Member

    Sep 23, 2017
    2014 Prius c

    I'd like to share my experience related to rear wheel hub replacement. I used a big bolt and nut to uncompress it out of breaks backing plate. The advantage of this method is no brute force / hammering / special tools are needed.

    The car is Prius C One 2014 with around 60'000 miles. I started hearing roaring noise from the back when driving at relatively high speeds. It was the most noticeable at 48mph and at 55mph. I can't say that it was very loud. But was really annoying to hear a sound of "another motor" in a trunk all the time.

    First I brought the car to service. They tested it for a few hours and said there is no problem. I brought it to independent workshop. They asked me to test drive it with a mechanic listening to the noise. We drove for a while but the road they wanted to drive on wasn't very smooth and speed limit was 45. So noise was barely noticeable in such conditions. They concluded that there is no problem as well.

    I tried to check wheel hubs temperature. But I don't know where exactly to check that. I touched in places where wheel hubs are attached to the rest of the car. And all 4 wheels were at more or less the same temperature. May be just a tiny bit warmer than environment temperature.

    I also tried to check if either wheel wiggles. But none of them did.

    I started looking in the internet and found a good way to test wheel bearings. It is the following. It is necessary to jack each wheel in air one by one and spin them just by hand. Parking break of course shouldn't be engaged and for testing front wheels transmission should be in neutral. While spinning a wheel with one hand hold the other one on strut (suspension) spring. The wheel with failing wheel bearing is supposed to spin more rough than the other three. In my particular case the failing one caused suspension spring to vibrate and it was also possible just to hear some noise. Of course, other 3 wheels are not absolutely silent. Because of that I find it convenient to test at least two wheels to be able to compare them relatively to each other.

    Interesting thing is from inside the car noise came from rear left. But failing wheel hub bearing actually turned out to be rear right.

    Due to all workshops said there is no problem I had to replace it myself. An excellent way to do that I found is to use huge 5/8 bolt and nut to separate wheel hub from drum breaks backing plate. This bolt comes through holes in wheel hub. And at the same time 5/8 is the maximum diameter which goes in between break shoe and wheel hub. (Initially I tried smaller bolt and just broke it's thread).

    So it is necessary to put the bolt through wheel hub hole and use 3/8 nut to use the bolt as a press to force wheel hub to separate from backing plate. Due to I used only one bolt I had to place/remove it several times on the left and on the right. I guess it would be better to use two bolts.

    The advantage of this method is there are no brute force / power tools / tapping with huge hammer required. I used small adjustable wrench to turn bolt's head and pliers to hold the nut.

    Another hint I believe it is worth to mention. Due to it was on the right car muffler was on the way and didn't allow me to remove ABS speed sensor plug out of wheel hub on it's inner side. So it is worth to first uncompress the wheel hub from backing plate and carefully remove the socket after that.

    Unfortunatelly, I didn't take pictures while doing the repair. I took a picture from the internet to visualize the process. The only thing is on the picture it isn't prius C and breaks are not a drum but disk ones. But it doesn't matter. It looks close to that. And I'm sorry for my poor drawing skill!

    #1 z80, Oct 13, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Mar 30, 2008
    Indiana, USA
    2010 Prius
    That's a nice way to remove the hub. It will still damage the bearing (which isn't a problem if the reason you're removing it is the bearing is bad!), but that would make it still not a good way to remove a good hub, if you needed it out for some reason but hoped to reuse it. For that, there still doesn't seem to be any obviously promising method. But then, maybe people hardly ever need to do it.

  3. Chip_Byrne

    Chip_Byrne Junior Member

    Aug 9, 2012
    2012 Prius c
    This method works great! I also soaked around the bearing and bolts with PB Blaster. Thank you.