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Wheel Bearings 101

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Wheel Bearings 101

Finally got around to doing the front wheel bearings on my 1999 Boxster. I bought the SIR Tools B-90 P2 kit. $259.00 Bearing seperator from China Freight $29.99 (ON Sale) Craftsman 32mm large socket. $11.99 4 foot bar extension or pipe. (Home Depot $10) Bearings from, I can't remember but a while back. $30ea Jack Stands Jack Important Anti Seize Compound $8.99 (NAPA) Large wrench set. Sears $59.99 (I kinda went overboard on the wrenches. They had them on sale and even thought Craftsman


Edited by seafeye
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OK good you made it this far.

The removal of the brake is going to go much faster. Count how many beers you have had. If you are over 3 then slow down, there is a lot more to do.

So take out your allen key socket and remove the caliper bolts.

You should probably take out the brake pad sensors and pads first...I didn't cause i was on beer 4.

Remove the 10mm bolt holding the brake lines to the strut and grab a bungy cord to hold the caliper out of the way. You can take the caliper off but then you will have to bleed the brakes later. More work.

Remove the 10mm bolt on the other side of the wheel carrier. This holds the cable for the brake wear sensor and the ABS control sensor.

My ABS control sensor was held in with a small allen nut. On the other side of the car it was a torx. Part of my car might have been made in 1998 and the other in 1999.

On the back of the strut is a plastic clip that holds some wiring for the brake sensor. It just pops out. I actually broke this plastic clip trying to take it off the strut. It was difficult to take a picture back there so there isn't one. On reassembly i tie wraped the clip back on the strut.








Edited by seafeye
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Next we are going to start to remove the strut.

This is where you will hear all types of cursing and swearing.

My brain is too small to understand how all these bits work together so if you have a better idea of how this should be done please post. Please.

In your front trunk there is a plastic shield protecting the cabin filter (RIght side USA Cars) remove the torx bolt, take out the battery tray and shield. You will see the 3 nuts holding the strut to the body of the car. My torx bit came out with the rubber piece attached. It shouldn't, so i will have to go order a new one from Porsche $2.

Take a sharpie pen and mark all the strut nuts. Draw a circle around them or whatever. You will have to place the strut back in this place when you reassemble the car.

Now this is where there is many ways to skin a cat.

Take you Jack and put it under the wheel carrier and compress the spring. Next take a spring compressor and attached it to the strut. Holding the spring.

You will need a 17mm wrench and 18mm socket and ratchet to remove the sway bar bolt. I found it easier to completely remove the sway bar from the car. The bottom sway bar bolt is 17mm inside and 15mm outside. Take these apart. It may take some effort to take the bolt out of the strut.

On the strut behind the wheel carrier is a tab. This prevents the strut from sliding down the carrier. Acts like a stop. If you can lower the wheel carrier now and straighten the tab, this will help you lower the strut into the carrier, thus making it easier to remove the whole strut.

Next take the bolts out in the trunk. Don't lose them. Or anything for that matter. Beer 5...

You should be able now to compress the strut and weisel it out the side of the car. Please be careful the compressed spring is more powerful than an Iraqi scud missle. It should just slide out from the carrier, Put it in a safe place away from kids and cats.






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Here are some various photo's of your work so far.

Look at where the caliper is held to. I found a great spot to keep it out of the way. Behind the plastic fender protector is a hole, perfect for handing the brake. All wiring out of the way etc...








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Now you can take out the spindle from the carrier. The only reason we remove the strut is so you can take this out. If you have aftermarket struts this might not be nessasary.

Now for the fun part.

Wooo look at the new tool....

The directions for the tool are great. Just look at the pictures and put the tool in the order they say.

At first i couldn't understand that the horseshoe part of the tool rests on the the brake dust cover but it actually sits on the 3 nuts holding the cover on. So you will not destroy the shield using this tool.

Assemble the tool around to pull off the hub.

I was lucky because the hub came out no problem at all. It didn't even break the bearing like i expected it to.

This is where two people are gold. It can be a real workout to do this single person.

Ratchet the two ends and voilla the hub slides out of the bearing.

Remove the 4 13mm bolts on the dust cover.

Now all you are left with is the bearing in the hub. Rearrange the tool and press out the bearing.

What beer are we on now?











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Next is a series of pictures of the SIR Tools removing the wheel bearing.

Did i mention that two people would have made this easier?

The wheel carrier moves around a lot. It is very difficult to get it to stay in one place.

Use the tool to extract the bearing. I was lucky because this one came out without one swear word. No blood. And most importantly no spilt beer.

Do not drink beer or consume alcohol while working on cars. Bad idea. ------










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Now it's time to do what we intended to do in the first place...Replace the wheel bearing.

The SIR Tool says to use the adapter sleve in the back of the hub. Either piece 9,10,11.

It wouldn't work with that piece so i didn't use it. It would just get stuck in the back.

So put the tool together and press the bearing home. Like i have said before two people would help here. It just gets tough to really wrench on the tool when the carrier is flopping around.

After the bearing is seated, reattach the dust cover and the four bolts. Don't worry about the dust cover going back wrong. The holes will only line up one way.







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Alright the end is near....End of this project that is...

Next is the installation of the hub. I cleaned it off a bit but it was getting late and the neighbours complain about noise. So the power tool usage was kept to a minimum.

SIR Tool again for this part. Sorry didn't take pictures of the tool in use but just follow the directions and you will do great.

Don't forget to replace the spindle in the back of the hub. Just slides right in.










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Hope this has been helpful so far.

In the first two pictures here you can see that tab i was talking about earlier. I just took some plyers to straighten it out flat.

This will help me install the strut.

Slide the strut back into the carrier. It only goes in one way. And push the strut into the three holes in the body. This is where i hope someone can add to my project. This is the order in which i did it. Most likely wrong because my language turned for the worse.

I pushed the strut in the top and tightened the bolts. Don't forget to torque them.

Take the Jack and lift up the carrier, slide the sway bar bolt into the hole and lower the carrier to where you first marked the strut placement.

Tighten the bolt and bend back the tab on the strut. Release all pressure on the strut and take off the spring compressor.

Now you can jack up the carrier to the height needed to reinstall the bottom bold of the sway bar.









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Thank you for the great pictures. I am changing front shocks real soon and appreciate your info.

I thought that the tie rod and ball joints had to be removed to get the shock out?

How hard was it to compress the shock for removal? Two person job with spring compressor?

Thanks again!


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Whew almost there.

Now the brake rotor gets put back on. Don't forget the anti-seize on all the nuts, bolts...

Caliper back on. You are supposed to use new bolts when doing this...

Pads. Center axel bolt just as tight as you can for now.

I couldn't take a picture of it but put the wire for the brake sensor in between the sway bar.

Before you take it apart take a mental note or a picture of where it is routed.

Don't forget the ABS Sensor and brake bracket. Lots of Anti Seize here as well.









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Lastly, replace the wheel, lower the car and torque the center nut to 360 foot pounds. UGH!

Replace the center cap and have dinner with the wife.

I may or may not have missed some steps here, again don't drink beer, have another person around to help out and think like a german. They never use muscle just brains. Everything should be a resonable effort. If it isn't rethink what you are doing.

Good luck and if i can do it....







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Thank you for the great pictures. I am changing front shocks real soon and appreciate your info.

I thought that the tie rod and ball joints had to be removed to get the shock out?

How hard was it to compress the shock for removal? Two person job with spring compressor?

Thanks again!



No you don't need to remove the tie rods. Really all you have to do is jack up the car,

place the jack under the wheel carrier,

compress the spring with the jack,

put the spring compressor on the strut,

remove the top bolts,

lower the carrier

slide the strut out of the carrier.

Of course there are some wires on the back that have to be disconnected. But that should be all.

Just be careful of the spring being compressed. Lots of stored energy there!

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Found some misc photo's that might be of importance.

First is the bar that i made from some home depot pipe. Not the best thing for the ratchet. They really weren't made for this kind of abuse, but what the hell it's guarenteed forever right?

The other pics are the reason why you have to take out the strut on a stock car to get the wheel bearings out. You can't get the axel past the bottom of the strut. grrrr




Edited by seafeye
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  • 6 months later...

I did a front bearing today. You don't need the SIR tools. An $80 kit from china freight worked well:


I removed the spindle. it's easy to do if you have the Napa ball joint removal tool ($19)... and then you don't need to fool with spring compressors or any of that nonsense. Once the spindle is out, you can tab out the hub from the bearing. You're discarding the bearing, so no worries about the hammering damaging the bearing. Only took me about three hours from tools out to tools cleaned up. :)

Edited by John V
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