Wheel bearing removal tips

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by ddavis, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. ddavis

    ddavis New Member

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    I'm attempting to replace both front wheel bearing assemblies on my '07 Prius. Got the knuckles off. I bought a 12 ton press to get the job done. But the only thing it has done is make the assemblies come apart. I still can't get the housing body out of the knuckle. Any thoughts/tips?

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  2. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

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    I've just done both my front hubs. I just hammered them out. A lot of hammering for about 20 to 30 minutes, but they came out. Now that your core is out, you'll have a harder time of that. If you could find a large flat plate of metal, like a large washer, that was just the right size for the sleeve, you could hammer on that.

    If you have an air chisel, chisel around the edges of the sleeve, then shoot your preferred penetrating oil down in there, and just keep hammering. I think that's the only way to do it.
     
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  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Yeah, lots of repeated shocks from a hammer can eventually shock it loose when even 12 steady tons from a press won't.

    An air hammer can deliver those knocks a lot faster than an arm-powered one.
     
  4. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Heat...and mechanical agitation
     
  5. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

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    I used a propane torch a little bit on my second hub, but I don't know if it helped. Someone on another forum said you would need an oxy-acetylene torch to provide enough heat for the amount of mass.
     
  6. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    If you have a project that is beyond the capability of the 'standard' propane/map gas head unit, Turbo-torch makes some trigger heads for those size propane/map gas bottles. They're as badass as they come. If that can't put enough heat into a project, then that project needs to go to a pro shop.

    I've accidently melted a few things with mine while I was getting used to it. :)
     
  7. ddavis

    ddavis New Member

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    I was afraid there wouldn't be great news. I initially started with the sledgehammer route, but after not making much progress, I decided to buy a press. After the first bearing assembly came apart, I tried to use the body to press out the assembly on the other knuckle, but it came apart as well. I don't have anything that is the right size to use for "pushing" the bearing body out. I only have access to a MAPP torch, so not sure if it'll help much. Guess I'll need to get an air hammer as well. Luckily Harbor Freight is just down the street and still open. Thanks!
     
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  8. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed Surly tree hugger

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    you need to find a socket or something slightly smaller than the hole in the knuckle so you can push the outer bearing race out. clean all the crud off it first and hose it down with penetrating oil. if it still won't come out then you need to heat it up. if you just can't get it, find a shop with a bigger press and a mechanic that isn't a butcher moron and they will be able to get it out without ruining the knuckles.
     
  9. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

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    Be careful with using a socket too, especially if you're hammering on it. We broke a socket on my first hub by hammering it against the race.
     
  10. Aegean

    Aegean Member

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    Here is a cheap and easy solution that I did to avoid these headaches. I bought two used knuckles online for about $50 each which included hubs. Easy bolt on in 30 min each. However, if I would do it again I would buy just the empty used knuckles and install new hubs. A little more expensive but it would also last much more. Still you will not have to deal with torches, presses, air chisels and hours of unnecessary labor and frustration.
     
  11. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    I did mine by leaving the knuckles installed and using a slide hammer rented from AutoZone. Took quite a few hits, about 30 minutes on each side, but they both eventually came out.
     
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  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Did that once. Arms got tired.
     
  13. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    Just remember that you need to install the wheel speed sensor, wheel speed sensor protector, ball joint, and brake shield into empty knuckle besides the new bearing. To remove the brake shield you would need to remove the old wheel bearing so to avoid all that you will have to get at least a new (or used) brake shield.
     
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  14. Aegean

    Aegean Member

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    I agree. New brake shields (just a few bucks) and new hubs. Everything else would be off anyway when you take the knuckle off. I used the same ball joints but maybe new ball joints would be be better after so many years.
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Anybody care to venture an opinion: assuming at the factory no lube is applied when installing wheel bearings, if they changed that, applied a durable lube, would subsequent removal of the bearings be a cakewalk?
     
  16. ddavis

    ddavis New Member

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    I looked for used, bare knuckles on ebay and most seem to be complete. So I'm assuming I'd be in the same situation with removal of the wheel bearing assembly. I picked up an air hammer and got one bearing housing out yesterday evening. Started working on the second one but not out yet. I gave up after a while as I was getting tired and frustrated. Will get back at it again probably this evening and keep at it until I get it out. I'll post some carnage pics later.
    I did buy new lower ball joints because the boots were either already torn or got torn when I was trying to get the wheel bearing assembly out. I will need new brake dust shields because the ones I have are destroyed. Is there some place folks know of to get them cheaply? Looks like they are about $20/side and with shipping it'll be around $50. Not really expensive, but more than a few bucks.
    I will ensure to slather plenty of anti-sieze on the knuckle and assembly to hopefully prevent this the next time.
     
  17. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

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    I don't know. That's what I'm hoping. I applied silver anti-seize compound to my entire knuckle sleeve and flange face to make it easier to get out next time.
     
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  18. Aegean

    Aegean Member

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    Maybe anti-seize or high temp grease would help. However, there is a design flaw here. Mistake 1: The steel hub and aluminum knuckle are different metals creating a very strong bonding as years pass especially when there is some salt spray in snow season. Mistake 2: if the hub had two or three holes where a bolt could force the hub out of the knuckle similar to the holes on the rear drum, things would be much easier.
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Totally agree. Turn the screws till they really resist, give the bearing a few taps, repeat.

    That plus the aforementioned liberal coat of anti-seize at the factory. (y)

    Probably never going to happen, not a great selling point in the sales brochures, but who knows.
     
  20. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

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    Another thing I found was that my strut-to-knuckle bolts had thread lock on them. Why? There are torque specs for a reason! You don't need thread lock besides. It cost us a wrench and two sockets.
     
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