Eventually the time may come where you need to replace a hub or two. My indication came from both a slightly nervous feel in the steering – sort of like driving during a really windy day – and I also had a slight growling noise during right turns.
The job is only slightly more difficult than a brake job, and if you need to do the rotors and pads, this is a perfect time to do it as both the caliper and rotor has to come off.
Hubs / bearings: Tighten crosswise, first 15 lbf∙ft, then again with 33.5 lbf∙ft, then 60° angle torque.
Axle bolts: 25 lbf∙ft then angle torque 90°
- 2 x Hub / Bearing – part # 31329980 (FAG brand)
- 8 x Hub bolts – part # 985466
I added brakes and pads as I was due for them too.
- 1 x Akebono Euro brake pads – part # 794 (kit for both front calipers)
- 2 x Centric high carbon alloy powder-coated rotors – part # – 125.39029
Not a whole lot of tools are needed for this job;
- 10 mm socket, to undo the rotor bolt.
- 13 mm socket, to undo the axle bolt.
- 15 mm socket, to undo the caliper bolts.
- 18 mm socket, to undo the hub bolts.
- 18 mm box end wrench, to break the hub bolts free.
- Rubber mallet / dead blow, to knock the old rotor off the hub.
- Needle nose pliers, to remove/replace the caliper spring (if you’re doing the brake pads).
- Bungee cord to suspend the caliper.
Lift the car up so both front wheels are off the ground so you can easily turn the wheels/spindles side to side to access the bolts.
After you’ve removed the wheel, you’ll have to remove the two caliper bolts and the steering stop bracket and suspend the caliper from the spring to not stress the brake line/hose.
You’ll remove the axle bolt and the caliper bolt, and then smack the rotor with the rubber mallet to remove it.
With the rotor and the axle bolt removed, you push in on the axle to gain access to the bolts on the back of the of the spindle.
I found this to be easier with the wheels pointed straight, even if the wrench access is easier with the wheel turned.
This shows the axle compressed and how it gives you room to break the bolts free with your box wrench.
Suspend the caliper on the spring with the bungee cord.
With the four bolts removed, the hub comes out. Clean the dirt and debris from the hub race and spindle before inserting the new hub. Don’t damage the ABS sensor – it’s an 8 mm bolt to remove it from the top of the spindle if you want to be extra cautious.
Before inserting the new hub, clean the axle seal and then smear a little grease around the seal on the hub, then stick the axle seal in the grease.
Pay attention to the alignment of the seal. The little circumferential groove was on the outside (closest to the rotor).
At this point, all you do is reverse the instructions.
Line the hub up with the axle, press it in place, then screw in the bolts.
Tighten them cross-wise, then come back and torque them properly, then angle-tighten them after that.
Put the rotor in place, tighten the little bolt to hold it in place.
Line up the caliper over the rotor, then snug the bolts in place – don’t forget to attach the steering-stop bracket – and then torque them down.
Put the wheel back on, and you’re done.