Gen 1 Wheel Bearing Replacement and Installation (VIDEO)
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Gen 1 Wheel Bearing Replacement and Installation (VIDEO)

Gen 1 bearings use an interference fit to hold the bearing in the bore. This video is sponsored by BCA Bearings by NTN.

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So, Matt, this is a gen one in your world or a cartridge or a press fit wheel bearing. This takes up a lot of time to do and it’s kind of hard to do it on flat rate if you don’t know what you’re doing in the first place. So what are some of the big mistakes that we see in our industry of technicians when they try to install one of these? What are the tips we can provide them with?

Well, first is disassembly. That can be a nightmare with the snap rings and the rust and the corrosion. So getting it apart is always going to be the challenge. But when you go to reinstall it, the number one thing that we see as an error is most of the applications are going to have a magnetic encoder for the ABS. The other side may look the same or have a metal shield on it, but pressing this in and orienting it the right way in towards the engine or out towards the wheel, is going to cause an ABS light to come on or stay off. That’s our number one issue that we have with people installing these incorrectly.

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For some of the newbies out there, their main concern if they’re installing it properly when they’re first doing the job, what should they do before they start ripping into it?

Before they start dissembling is I would take an assessment to see if you need just the bearing or if you need it repaired. In a lot of cases you’re going to take the dust cap off, you’re going to see an axle and if it’s corroded beyond belief you’re going to see that the wheel flange is completely rusty as well, and maybe pitted. The snap ring that retains the wheel bearing cartridge into the knuckle is going to be rusted and probably going to break when you take it apart. So in the rust belt, you might want to be careful to make sure you’ve got all the parts that you may need to do the job and BCA offers those as well as the bearing alone.

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You mentioned the rust belt, the rust belt’s also the pothole belt. Should a technician be concerned at the knuckle itself and the bore it goes into of it being square or other issues with it?

You do, but you’re generally not. I can’t imagine the pothole is going to distort the hole that this goes into the knuckle. There might be other damage on other parts of the knuckle, but generally what you’re going to see is when you press this out, you’re going to see rust pitting, depending on if it’s a metal or steel knuckle that it’s coming out of, you might have some material transfer, so the new bearing might go in looser. So you’ve got to be cognizant of that too. So just a general visual, once you get the bearing pressed out, just take a look and see if there’s any big pits or cracks or any kind of distortions that might raise some alarms.

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One of my tips that I always tell about doing these is from my own frustration. When I get started on the job and I start either looking at the press or I start looking at the kit that I have for doing it on the vehicle, is making sure that everything’s there before I start tearing that vehicle apart and disabling it in my bay.

Depending on how you want to do it, if you want to do it on vehicle with the hub team or type of bearing extractor, or if you’re just going to take the knuckle off and take it over to the 20 ton shop, press and struggle with it there and the spacers. But I would not recommend this as a in your driveway type of repair, unless you’re sure that you’ve got the right on the vehicle hub tame or type of adapters that are going to fit this specific bearing.

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I’m a technician. How do I know that I put this in the right way, that the encoder ring is facing the correct inboard or outboard?

Well, the easiest way to do, if you don’t have any magnetic cards or any of the high tech stuff is you just take a simple paper clip, anything that’s going to be metal, and you’re going to attach it to the magnetic encoder and it’s going to stick. That’s the side that you want to be facing to the wheel speed sensor. The other side, it’ll just fall off.

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In some rare cases just to eliminate any kind of possibility of installing it incorrectly, we may have the encoder on both sides. That just eliminates the possibility. This has got a metal shield, this has got an encoder with a rubber seal, so in this case it’s just not possible. So just making sure that a paperclip fits. If you don’t have that, some iron filings on there might work. But that is the number one key that I would say if you get this in, you get it installed, you reinstall and press in the wheel flange into it to the same depth that it was when you came out.

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So it may be, in some cases, it’s going to be flush with this, in some case it might be recessed. But just take a look and see where does that flange stop and maybe take some measurements, take some pictures, just to be sure until you get familiar with it and comfortable doing that type of job.

But if I get in and backwards, can I just turn it around and take it apart?

No. Once you go to uninstall this, it will separate and it’s no good. So you will destroy it taking it back out.

Oh, thank you Matt. Those are some really informative things to remember when working on one of these, which I’ve seen become a little bit more common on Ford, Toyota, even some Nissan vehicles. So I hope this helps the technicians out there.

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I hope so too.

Thank you very much.

This video is sponsored by BCA Bearings by NTN.

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