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Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Sockets 16, 18mm, T45 Torx, wire brush, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, lug wrench, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Rear wheel bearing

Hot Tip:

Replace brakes

Performance Gain:

Quiet and smooth rear end

Complementary Modification:

Replace in pairs

The rear wheel bearing on MINI R56 models bolts into the trailing arm, unlike older model vehicles that were pressed in. This makes replacing it much easier. You will need to remove the brake rotor and caliper from the wheel hub (bearing) when replacing the bearing assembly.

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. If it's worse when steering to the right, the left side bearing is usually at fault and the opposite holds true for when steering left. You can check for a noisy wheel bearing with the vehicle stationary too. Jack the rear of your vehicle and rotate the wheel; while rotating, place your hand on the 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 rear of your vehicle and wiggling the wheel up and down. If there is any free-play, replace the bearing.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

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

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

The hub and bearing are located behind the brake rotor (red arrow).
Figure 1

The hub and bearing are located behind the brake rotor (red arrow). The hub and bearing is replaced as an assembly (inset).

Working at the sway bar, loosen the 16mm end link nut (red arrow) while counter-holding the ball joint with a 16mm or 18mm wrench or vise grips.
Figure 2

Working at the sway bar, loosen the 16mm end link nut (red arrow) while counter-holding the ball joint with a 16mm or 18mm wrench or vise grips.

Remove the rear brake rotor on the side of the vehicle you are replacing the wheel bearing on.
Figure 3

Remove the rear brake rotor on the side of the vehicle you are replacing the wheel bearing on. Start by removing the T45 rotor fastener. Then remove the two 16mm caliper bracket fasteners (red arrows). Remove the caliper and rotor. Support the rotor using stiff wire or a bungee cord (green arrow). Do not allow the caliper to hang from the brake hose.

With the rotor removed, use a wire brush and clean the four exposed bolt threads (red arrow).
Figure 4

With the rotor removed, use a wire brush and clean the four exposed bolt threads (red arrow). The inset shows the bolt ends clean. Once clean spray them with penetrating oil and allow time for the penetrating oil to soak in.

Pull the sway bar link aside (green arrow).
Figure 5

Pull the sway bar link aside (green arrow). Then working at the back of the trailing arm, remove the four 16mm wheel bearing fasteners (red arrows).

Next, remove the wheel bearing (red arrow) from the trailing arm.
Figure 6

Next, remove the wheel bearing (red arrow) from the trailing arm. If it is stuck, give it a light tap with a soft-faced hammer. Clean the wheel bearing-mounting surface using a wire brush.

Install the new wheel bearing and tighten the fasteners.
Figure 7

Install the new wheel bearing and tighten the fasteners. Be sure to align the half-circle at the top of the bearing with the half-circle on the trailing arm (green arrows). Reassemble the suspension and install the brakes. Remember to pump the brake pedal before driving the vehicle. Have the vehicle professionally aligned.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Morgan Comments: Is the procedure the same for an R53?
November 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No it is not exactly the same. 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
 

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