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Spent the Last two days working on the Wagon...

Identified annoying rubbing/thumping sound as the LH wheel bearing once i felt that the rubbing/Thumping got better when turning left and worse when turning right. Final straw was when my buddy from across the street (a mechaninc :cheesy: ) gave the wheel a yank and said "yup, that's the wheel bearing."

Started by popping off the center wheel cover (from the back) so that I could get access to the center hub nut. While attempting to remove this nut, I broke two different rachets before I grabbed my buddy's breaker bar.

Followed WIS instructions and ran into a couple time traps:
1.) 100,000 mile rotor was very difficult to remove!
2.) Ball joint removal is difficult. Finally discovered that pressing on the top of the the rod that points up from the ball joint helped to remove the steering swivel member.
3.) Needed to do the entire job with the brake dust cover on the steering swivel member because the bolts holding the cover on were very difficult. Firstly you could only access the bolts through the access holes in the hub. You need to have a Torx 27 (either that or 25) that can actually fit through the access hole. Once I found one that did, The bolt heads were so corroded that the torx grips stripped right out.

This is the lucky part. This job requires an understanding of how press fit bearing work as well as the equipment to remove the old bearing and press in the new bearing.

I have none of this. But luckily my buddy from across the street workes at a frame and axle shop for 11 years. He sorted it out in about an hour (after it took me about 4 hours for swivel member removal). I tried to follow what he was doing but could only manage a smile and nod ;oops: .

At that point it was too dark to continue so I picked up where I left off this morning. Another problem I encountered was that when I tried to remove the ABS sensor housing from the swivel member the positioning stud broke off in the hole. It seems that between the crud in that area and the plastic part :evil: , the heat generated by the brakes fused the stud into the hole.

In order to reassemble and have the ABS (speed) sensor in the correct position I had to put something in place of the stud that broke off. I heated up a section of an allen wrench and inserted it into place making the plastic melt. I then trimmed it to size and it positioned the sensor well. I do plan on replacing the part (only $6.30).

Reassembly went much quicker than dissasembly. I waited out the rain and cleaned all the crud off of the parts and gave everything a shot of WD-40 - that helped a lot.

Next time I need to do a wheel bearing - I will order the parts (wheel bearing and center hub nut) and bring it into the shop. It was a good experience, but there is way too much in the experience and equipment department that I don't have. It is worth it to have someone who knows what they are doing tackle this job.
 
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