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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Bearing Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

5 hours5 hrs

Tab:

$110 to $220

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Slide hammer, bearing puller, large circlip pliers

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)

Parts Required:

Wheel bearing

Hot Tip:

Buy, rent or borrow the right puller

Performance Gain:

Proper axle performance

Complementary Modification:

Replace front bearings

If you are getting a sound from your rear wheels like a small jet trying to take off and it increases with the speed of the vehicle you may need a new rear wheel bearing.

The wheel hub and bearing are two separate pieces and you will end up destroying the bearing when removing the hub. The hub is a press fit into the bearing and can be a real pain to remove. It is not uncommon to have to heat the bearing up with a torch to get it to release its hold on the hub. You will need a slide hammer and proper size disk or puller as well as a bearing puller kit and strong back and shoulders; or you can remove the wheel knuckle or rear bearing support and take the whole assembly to a shop to have the hub and bearings pressed out. If you chose to go this route please see our article on rear wheel knuckle removal for additional assistance.

Begin by safely raising and supporting your vehicle. Then remove the rear tires. Please see our article on safely raising and supporting your car. You will also need to remove the brake caliper and rotor. Please see our article on removing your caliper and rotor for further help.

You will need to remove the axle from the wheel hub.
Figure 1

You will need to remove the axle from the wheel hub. Please see our article on axle removal for further assistance.

The wheel hub is pressed into the rear bearing and can be a pain to remove.
Figure 2

The wheel hub is pressed into the rear bearing and can be a pain to remove. You will need a slide hammer and a strong back. One method is to insert the slide hammer (red arrow) through the hub and place the disk on the rear of the hub.

The disk or puck at the rear of the slide hammer must sit only on the metal part of the hub (red arrow) and clear the bearing (yellow arrow).
Figure 3

The disk or puck at the rear of the slide hammer must sit only on the metal part of the hub (red arrow) and clear the bearing (yellow arrow). If the disk sits on the bearing it will not matter how hard you work the slide hammer you cannot puller the hub and bearing at the same time.

You can also use the wheel lug bolt holes to attach a puller bar to (red arrows) and pull the hub from the front.
Figure 4

You can also use the wheel lug bolt holes to attach a puller bar to (red arrows) and pull the hub from the front.

With the hub off you can see how it sits inside the bearing (red arrow).
Figure 5

With the hub off you can see how it sits inside the bearing (red arrow). There is a good chance the inner race of the wheel bearing will come out with the hub (yellow arrow). This must be removed if you are reusing the hub.

There is a good chance the inner race of the bearing will come out with the hub (red arrow).
Figure 6

There is a good chance the inner race of the bearing will come out with the hub (red arrow). Remove the large metal circlip in the wheel knuckle that holds the bearing in place (yellow arrow). You can now pull the bearing out using your bearing puller.

When pulling the bearing make sure the puller sits on the outer metal race of the bearing (red arrow).
Figure 7

When pulling the bearing make sure the puller sits on the outer metal race of the bearing (red arrow). If the puller sits on the inner race it will just pull the inners of the bearing out and leave you with the metal sleeve of the outer race. With the bearing out clean the inside of the knuckle.

You should receive a new 30mm axle nut, circlip ring and bearing with your bearing.
Figure 8

You should receive a new 30mm axle nut, circlip ring and bearing with your bearing. Place the new bearing in the freezer for at least 4 hours before inserting it into the knuckle. Freezing the bearing will cause it to contract and make installation easier. When pressing the new bearing into the knuckle make sure you only press on the outer ring of the bearing (red arrow). If you press anywhere other than the outer ring you will destroy the bearing and have to purchase another. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
W124Larry Comments: Is the procedure the exact same when removing a W124 station wagon/estate S124 late 1993 modelrear hub bearing or is there an added degree of difficulty.
June 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I believe it should be similar. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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