Smooth steering will be very impossible for your four-wheeled buddy if your wheel hub assemblies are in bad shape. Because they are responsible for connecting the wheels to the chassis of your vehicle, all your wheel hub assemblies must be properly maintained. If any of the four hub assemblies produces unusual noises like growling, squealing, or grinding, it means that there is already something wrong. If you think a wheel hub assembly replacement is needed, follow these instructions for the installation. The duration of the process depends on how many wheel hub assemblies you need to replace. But usually, one wheel hub assembly takes about an hour to finish.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials
- New wheel hub assembly
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Wheel chock
- Tire iron
- Socket and ratchet set
- Bungee cord
- Breaker bar
- Sand paper
Preparing the vehicle
Park your vehicle on a spacious and level ground and apply the parking brake. If you are installing the new hub assembly on the front wheel, put the chock at the back wheel. Loosen the lug nuts about one-quarter of a turn using the tire iron. Do not remove them completely. Lift the vehicle using the floor jack and set up the jack stands underneath.
Removing the tire and the brake assembly
Once the car is lifted and properly placed on the jack stands, remove the lug nuts and pull the tire away from the wheel assembly. Look for the brake caliper bolts and take them off using the ratchet and socket. With your screwdriver, carefully remove the caliper and support it with the bungee cord. If necessary, you can also remove the brake pads. After that, take the brake rotors off the hub assembly. If your vehicle is equipped with an ABS wiring harness, unplug them from the assembly as well.
Taking out the old wheel hub assembly
Use the breaker bar and the socket to loosen and remove the spindle nut and the washer. Look for the wheel hub assembly bolts and remove them using the ratchet and socket. Move the drive shaft and the spindle to provide easier access to the old hub assembly. After that, carefully pull the old wheel hub assembly away from the spindle. Use the sand paper to remove rust or any sign of corrosion before installing the replacement hub assembly.
Installing the new wheel hub assembly
Position the new wheel hub assembly. Put the new backing plate onto the knuckle and reposition the drive shaft and the spindle. Make sure they are at the center of the hub bearing. Reattach the bolts of the wheel hub assembly and securely tighten them using the breaker bar and the socket. Put the new washer and spindle in place. Re-install the brake assembly and re-connect the ABS wiring harness. After that, remount the wheel and tighten all the lug nuts in place.
Evaluating the new wheel hub assembly
Remove the jack stands and lower your vehicle. If you are going to replace all the wheel hub assemblies in your vehicle, just repeat the entire process on each hub assembly. Remove the wheel chock. Test drive your vehicle to check if the annoying noise is gone and if everything is working properly.
Tips and warnings
- If you are having any difficulty in removing the brake rotors and/or the old wheel hub assembly, you can use a rubber mallet to tap them off the assembly and/or the spindle.
- For some vehicles, you might need to use a slide hammer before you can access and remove the old wheel hub assembly.
- In putting back the caliper, you can use a C-clamp to put pressure on it so that it will be securely attached to the rotor.