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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Wheel Hub Removal

Tom Morr

Time:

12 hours12 hrs

Tab:

$161

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Ratchet, socket set, hex, Allen wrenches, combination wrenches, 30mm socket, breaker bar

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R170 (1998-04)

Parts Required:

Replacement hub (if damaged)

Hot Tip:

Try to find a Mercedes shop that will rent you the $1,900+ tool, or consider removing the hub and knuckle as an assembly

Performance Gain:

A preliminary step to other axle, suspension service operations, specifically wheel-bearing replacement

Complementary Modification:

Replace bushings and bearings

R170 rear axle maintenance can push the limits of what the average owner can do at home. Using specialized tools, dealerships and competent repair shops knock out the work quickly. However, the tools of the trade can be expensive. For example, the purpose-built R170 rear hub/bearing puller (140-589-03-61-00-MBZ) was Pelican-priced at $1,940.25 when this article was written. You can also borrow various loaner tools from your local national-chain auto-parts stores. The upshot: With enough patience and resourcefulness, the R170 rear hub can be extracted from the knuckle. The primary reason for this is to replace the wheel bearing inside the knuckle. (Please see our article on that process.)

A viable compromise: removing the knuckle with the hub still attached to it, then taking the assembly to a qualified Mercedes-Benz mechanic or possibly a well-equipped machine shop to have the parts separated, a new wheel bearing pressed in, and the hub re-installed in the knuckle.

With the car raised and secured, remove the tire and wheel.
Figure 1

With the car raised and secured, remove the tire and wheel. The 12-point collar nut that secures the axle shaft to the hub is staked into a groove in the shaft. Pry the staked tang (red arrow) out of the groove.

Use a 30mm socket on the 12-point collar nut.
Figure 2

Use a 30mm socket on the 12-point collar nut. Apply the emergency brake and use a breaker bar on the socket if necessary to break the nut loose.

The caliper and rotor must be removed (please see the dedicated article for specifics).
Figure 3

The caliper and rotor must be removed (please see the dedicated article for specifics).

The emergency brake assembly must also be removed.
Figure 4

The emergency brake assembly must also be removed. Please refer to that article for details.

The typical parts-store loaner hub-puller is apparently intended for popular front-wheel-drive cars.
Figure 5

The typical parts-store loaner hub-puller is apparently intended for popular front-wheel-drive cars. Its holes didn't align perfectly, but we achieved decent thread engagement on the stock wheel bolts (arrows).

The loaner puller's slide hammer bent its base (arrow) but didn't budge the hub.
Figure 6

The loaner puller's slide hammer bent its base (arrow) but didn't budge the hub.

Our eventual solution was an attempt to imitate the specialized tool, which looks like a horseshoe-shaped plate that clamps between the hub and knuckle.
Figure 7

Our eventual solution was an attempt to imitate the specialized tool, which looks like a horseshoe-shaped plate that clamps between the hub and knuckle. We borrowed a big bearing-splitter, then alternated tightening three wheel bolts about a quarter-turn at a time until the hub backed out of the knuckle.

A viable alternative might be to remove the knuckle with hub still attached.
Figure 8

A viable alternative might be to remove the knuckle with hub still attached. (The wheel bearing's outer plate came off with the hub during our backyard extraction.) Please read the alluring article on knuckle removal for details.

We didn't try the loaner bearing remover, opting for a ball-peen hammer instead.
Figure 9

We didn't try the loaner bearing remover, opting for a ball-peen hammer instead. (Please see the wheel bearing how-to for DIY details.) The hub puller initially appeared promising but didn't align well enough to work.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Stevo Comments: Sorry I have bad it pressed out !
But does it have to be pressed in don't want to damage new
Bearings
December 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, the bearing has to be installed using a special tool to pull it into the suspension. Then the hub flange is pressed into the bearing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Stevo Comments: Hi
How do I replace the hub please
December 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Follow these directions:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Mercedes-SLK230/79-SUSPEN-Rear_Wheel_Hub_Removal/79-SUSPEN-Rear_Wheel_Hub_Removal.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Sat 10/21/2017 02:29:15 AM