When hearing somewhat grinding sounds while driving between 1 and 20 mph with a frequency that correlates with traveling speed, always use the spare tire on all wheels for troubleshooting and clarification before suspecting that the front hub bearings have worn down or are damaged. I learned the hard way by replacing my front hub bearings unnecessarily when the real fact of the problem turned out to be worn down tires at the edges contributing to the annoying grinding sounds.
Oh well. At least when they really do go bad, it won't be too costly or too difficult to replace them again. I now have the right tools, steps, and confidence for this kind of challenge!
Here's how I replaced my front hub bearings:
1. I followed the same steps described in my "Replacing the brake rotor" section. This got me to disassemble the vehicle down to the knuckle.
inner side of knuckle removed from the vehicle.
outer side of knuckle showing hub assembly.
2. Bolted down the hub remover to the threads on the hub assembly.
hub remover bolted onto the hub assembly
3. Pulled the weight across the hub remover repeatedly until the hub assembly came off of the knuckle. Definitely exhausting.
hub remover tool attached to the hub assembly
4. Removed the Brake Plate cover by removing the screws.
5. Placed the knuckle on the 12-ton hydraulic press ensuring perfect alignment and sturdiness. Used a good-sized socket that closely matched the diameter of the old hub bearing.
Preparing to press out the old hub bearing
6. Positioned an iron brick plate on top and applied careful pressure with the press while ensuring careful alignment and safety. Continued to press until the old hub bearing was free and clear from the knuckle.
old hub bearing almost out
view of knuckle with hub assembly removed. bearings are visible as outer plate of bearing hubs came off and stuck onto the hub assembly.
hub assembly with the outer plate of bearing hub sticking against the hub assembly.
correct diameter sized hub bearing on bottom compared to the wrong diameter size bearing purchased online on top - lesson: reconsider buying bearings online unless they can be returned without hassle.
new bearing hub that will be pressed into the knuckle.
7. Placed the new hub bearing onto the press over an iron brick plate.
8. Placed the knuckle over the new hub bearing while ensuring perfect alignment and sturdiness.
Preparing to press the new hub bearing into the knuckle.
9. Positioned an iron brick plate on top and applied careful pressure with the press while ensuring careful alignment and safety. Continued to press until new hub bearing was centered inside the knuckle.
Pressure applied to press new hub bearing into the knuckle.
10. Positioned the hub assembly underneath.
11. Re-installed the Brake Plate cover by installing the screws.
12. Stacked the knuckle with the new bearing over the hub assembly.
13. Positioned an iron brick plate on top and applied careful pressure with the press while ensuring careful alignment and safety. Continued to press until the hub assembly was seated right against the knuckle.
Preparing to press the hub assembly into the knuckle. Notice my mistake in forgetting to install the brake plate cover first #@&!
The final completion of replacing the old hub bearing with a new one.
Well, not quite complete. Had to repeat the exercise again since I forgot to install the brake plate cover.