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BMW Front Wheel Bearing RWD Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Front Wheel Bearing RWD Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Set of sockets (18mm), pry bar, wire brush

Applicable Models:

BMW 325xi Sedan/Wagon (2006)
BMW 328i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 328i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 328i xDrive Wagon (2009-12)
BMW 328xi Coupe (2007-08)
BMW 328xi Sedan/Wagon (2007-08)
BMW 330xi Sedan (2006)
BMW 335i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 335i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 335xi Coupe (2008)
BMW 335xi Sedan (2007-08)

Parts Required:

Front wheel bearing, wheel bearing fasteners or thread locker

Hot Tip:

Replace brakes also

Performance Gain:

Quiet and smooth front end

Complementary Modification:

Replace in pairs

The front wheel bearing on rear wheel drive (RWD) E90 models bolts into the steering knuckle, unlike previous models that were pressed in. This makes replacing it much easier. A faulty wheel bearing can exhibit a few warning signs. The most obvious would be a howling or grinding noise from a front wheel while in motion. This noise would get louder when you steer side to side. You can check for a noisy wheel bearing with the vehicle stationary too. Jack the front of your vehicle and rotate the front wheel, while rotating place your hand on the front coil spring. You should be able to pick up a vibration in the spring. There may also be free-play in the bearing. You can check for free-play by jacking the front of your vehicle and wiggling the wheel up and down. If there is any free-play, replace the bearing.

Raise and support front of vehicle on jack stands. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle. You'll want both wheels off the ground for this repair.

Remove front wheel from side of vehicle you are replacing wheel bearing on.

Using a flatblade screwdriver, slowly press brake caliper piston in.
Figure 1

Using a flatblade screwdriver, slowly press brake caliper piston in. This allows brake caliper to be pulled off brake rotor easily.

Working behind brake caliper.
Figure 2

Working behind brake caliper. Remove two 18mm (rear rotor is 16mm) brake caliper bracket mounting bolts. (green arrows) Remove brake caliper bracket from wheel carrier and hang using a piece of metal coat hanger. Do not allow caliper to hang from brake hose.

Next, using a 6mm Allen bit, remove brake rotor mounting fastener.
Figure 3

Next, using a 6mm Allen bit, remove brake rotor mounting fastener. Then remove brake rotor from hub. Steer wheel all the way to the passenger side. As if the vehicle was making a right turn.

Working at back of steering knuckle, remove two 18mm wheel bearing fasteners.
Figure 4

Working at back of steering knuckle, remove two 18mm wheel bearing fasteners. (green arrows) Steer wheel all the way to the driver side. As if the vehicle was making a left turn.

Working at back of steering knuckle, remove two 18mm wheel bearing fasteners.
Figure 5

Working at back of steering knuckle, remove two 18mm wheel bearing fasteners. (green arrows)

Next, lever wheel bearing out of steering knuckle.
Figure 6

Next, lever wheel bearing out of steering knuckle. Clean wheel bearing mounting surface using a wire brush.

I like to replace the wheel bearing bolts too during this procedure.
Figure 7

I like to replace the wheel bearing bolts too during this procedure. The bolts have a threadlocker applied at the factory. You can either replace the bolts or apply new threadlocker. You'll have to try to match up what comes off for threadlocker grade (color). Install new wheel bearing and tighten fasteners. Reinstall brakes, remember to pump brake pedal before driving vehicle.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Jayson Comments: My wheel lugs holeds thread is stripped!! Is this the Assemly parts I need or I can just re thread them.attached is rhr lug nut that were strip..Im.assuming the holes from the bearing assembly is damage too..Thanks in advanced
November 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, you will have to replace the wheel hub flange at the minimum. Likely the wheel bearing with it.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Richard Comments: It looks like that's an entire hub assembly coming off in the picture, but for parts it just shows a bearing. Does it have to be pressed in?
August 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Most times it is replaced as the entire hub assembly. You can buy the bearing separately and press it on and off, using a shop press. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Boydie Comments: Excellent Explination
June 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Juju Comments: I have checked the tires but the hollowing and grinding sound its still there wat might this sound come from?? Diff bearing or wat?
November 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be the diff, wheel bearing, etc. You will have to rotate and inspect items for noise or looseness. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Juju Comments: I have replaced my bmw e90 front wheel bearings but there is still a sound coming from the wheel as usual before replacing the front wheel bearings. So wat have i eent wrong?? Or is it any indication of installing the bearing since they were having something king of an arrow which i ddnt knw its purpose.please help
November 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Have you inspected the tires? It may be an issue with the tires. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Chris Comments: My front passenger bearing is going from huge pothole but my driver side is ok. Should I still replace the driver's side bearing/hub assembly as well or replace only the affected side? I have a 2008 E90 with just under 82k miles. thanks
August 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's up to you. BUT - if one side is fine, just replace the faulty one for now. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
scarls2000 Comments: Would this be the same for a 2007 BMW 328 XI? I have to do the front and I'm hearing I need a press or/ special tool?
July 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, you will h ave to press the drive axle out and into the wheel hub when replacing the bearing. The rest is similar. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bmwlover Comments: Do this apply to a 2006 bmw 325i
July 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mick Comments: There is a tab on the back of the wheel bearing picture attached. What is the correct orientation of the tab?
July 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Depending on model, most times it is facing up. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
desmornr24 Comments: would this be the same process for the rear on a 2006 e90 330 i Model?
January 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, the rear is different. We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Nate Comments: Since this was done on a vehicle without xDrive, are there any differences with replacing the front wheel bearings WITH xDrive?
October 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You add the steps of removing the axles and pressing it out of the front hub. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ffdfire Comments: Per TIS 31 21 1AZ Wheel bearing to swivel bearing - M12 Bolts 110 Nm or 81.1 lb ft
October 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Austin Comments: Do you know the torque spec for the 4 wheel bearing bolts?
September 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have that info handy. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mark Comments: You say this is for a front wheel drive E90 I'm assuming that means the all-wheel drive xi models. Is the process the same for a rear-wheel drive model? 2006 325i, to be specific. You list them in the applicable vehicles, but the FWD specification is throwing me off.

Thanks!
August 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is a typo, it should read RWD for rear wheel drive. I will have the article updated. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Turduckin Jones Comments: how did you get a good grab on the bolt behind the strut? I cant seem to get any thin to hold on to it.
February 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If I recall, I broke it free using an open end wrench. Try a wrench or a breaker bar. Keep in mind, you have to overcome the loctite. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
asus389 Comments: Thanks for this article. How hard is it to get the old bolts out that had thread locker from the factory? Is it easy for a DIY-er to do with a long wrench? Or are we talking torch and/or impact tools?
November 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They can be tough to get out with an impact. I prefer to remove them by hand. If you are discarding the old bearing, you can clean the threads, then apply a small amount of heat to loosen the thread locker. The bolts should come out a little easier. I normally don't have to do this and I am in a salt belt area.- Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Mon 1/16/2017 02:23:58 AM