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BMW E30 3 Series Rear Wheel Bearing

Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E30 3 Series Rear Wheel Bearing

Jared Fenton


5-6 hours






Flathead screwdriver, 30mm socket, set of metric sockets, set of metric wrenches, WD-40, set of Torx drivers, lug wrench, floor jack, two jack stands, two wheel chocks, torque wrench, safety glasses, 7mm Allen key, zip-ties or strong bungee cords, set of metric Allen keys, circlip pliers (also known as snap ring), oil, M8 or M10 Torx, brake cleaner, Loc-tite, electric impact drill, slide hammer, bearing press, grease, rubber mallet, angled needle nose pliers, 13mm ratcheting wrench, 3/8-inch swivel head extensions in 3-, 6- and 12-inch lengths, Dremel cut off wheel

Applicable Models:

BMW E30 3-Series (1984-93)

Parts Required:

Rear wheel bearing replacement kit (2)

Performance Gain:

Rear wheels that roll straight and true

Complementary Modification:

Replace the front wheel bearings

BMW E30 3 Series Rear Wheel Bearing

In this final article on wheel bearing replacement, we will focus on the steps involved in changing the rear wheel bearings on the 1984-91 BMW E30 3 Series. Are you starting to hear a grinding, wobbling noise coming from your rear wheels? Have you noticed a wheel that shakes when you drive? Chances are the wheel bearings may be starting to fail. With most of the E36's now reaching over 150,000 miles or more, the wheel bearings may be starting to show their age. In this tech article, I will go over the steps involved with removing the old wheel bearings and installing the new units. It is a relatively easy procedure and should be able to be performed in a few hours.

To replace the rear bearings, we will need to remove the drive axles from the car. To begin, we will need to first pry the center caps off the rear wheels while it is still on the ground. Now look inside, you should see the drive axle retaining nut. We will need to loosen this nut with the car on the ground. This will help you gain enough leverage to get it off, as it is torqued in excess of 150 ft/lbs. In many cases, it may be easier to simply use an impact wrench. Get the nut loose but do not remove it. Be sure to use plenty of penetrant spray such as WD-40 while loosening the nut. This will prevent stripping or seizing.

Once the car is firmly secured on jack stands, the next step is to remove the lug bolts on the rear wheels and take the wheels off. Now, look at where the drive axles are bolted onto the differential. There are six Torx head bolts that hold each axle to the differential. Before you remove them, it's a really good idea to clean them off to get any dirt of grease out of the bolt heads. Any good brake cleaner should work perfectly. We don't have to get them spotless, however just enough to where we won't have the Allen key from popping out. It's also a good idea to hit the bolts with WD-40 or good penetrating oil. Typically, I like to let the spray sit overnight, to let the oil work itself into the threads. This will make it much easier to remove the bolts, not to mention preventing stripping and seizing when you hit them with the wrench. Now remove all the bolts. The drive axles will now be free of the differential. Use a piece of rope or stiff wire to hang the drive axles to the car and keep them from crashing downward.

Now remove the axle retaining nut on the outside of the wheels and remove the lock plate underneath. Now, to get the axles out of the car, we will need to use a puller to push them out of the trailing arm hubs. Use the lug bolts to secure the puller to the hub and then tighten the center bolt to push the drive axle out. Now remove the drive axles from the car.

Now, look behind the brake caliper and disconnect the ABS speed sensors on both wheels. Also disconnect the brake wear indicator sensor on the passenger's side wheel. Now look at the back of the brake calipers. You will see two rubber grommets with a plastic plug installed in them. Pry out these plastic plugs. Directly beneath them, you will see a 7mm Allen head bolt. Use a 7mm Allen head key to loosen then remove both bolts on each wheel. Look on the front of the caliper and pry off the brake retaining clips using a flat-head screwdriver. Now you will be able to pull the brake calipers off the mounting bracket. Use a zip-tie or wire to suspend the brake caliper. Do not let the caliper hang by the brake lines, you may rip the lines. Now, remove the two 19mm bolts that hold the caliper mounting bracket to the hub, and remove the caliper mounting brackets.

We now must remove the brake rotors. This is done by first removing the small Allen head set screw in the front of the rotor. You may find it helpful to spray these bolts with a good penetrant spray like WD-40 and let them sit overnight. This will prevent the screws from stripping or seizing. Remove the screws and pull the rotors off the hubs.

Now remove the bearing retainer circlip. Use a pair of circlip pliers to get this out. Now, using an impact style puller, pop the bearing assembly out of the trailing arm. Once out, look on the inside of the bearing housing and clean it thoroughly. This will help you when you install the new bearing assembly. It's also a good idea to clean off all brake components, nuts bolts, and other mounting hardware.

Now re-install the brake rotors, and use a new set screw to hold it in place. The old set screws are designed for one use only and can snap or break if you try to re-use them. Put the new set screws in and torque them to 12 ft./lbs. Next, fit the brake caliper mounting brackets over the rotor and bolt them back on to the hub. Torque the bolts to 81 ft./lbs. Now cut the zip-ties holding the rotors and place the brake pads into the calipers. Place the calipers back onto the mounting bracket and re-install the Allen head bolts that hold them in place and tighten the bolts down. Re-install the plastic plugs over the bolts on the rear of the caliper. Now re-install the caliper retaining clip on the front of the calipers. Re-connect the ABS pulse sensors and the brake wear indicator on the driver's side.

Take the axles back to the car and crawl underneath. Now coat the spines of the drive axles with oil and slide the drive flange back into the trailing arm hub. It may take some effort to get the axle in there, but just keep at it, and it will slide in. Install a new lock plate on the other side of the hub, and thread the drive axle retaining nut back on, but do not tighten it just yet.

Now position the inner CV joints in place and stick a screwdriver through one of the threaded holes. This will keep the joint in place while we thread the bolts in. But before we thread in the bolts, clean them. When I say clean I mean remove all grease and grime. The more clean the bolts are, the less chance there is of them loosening up over time. Once clean, put a dab of loc-tite on the threads and thread them in. Don't forget to remove the screwdriver as well. Now torque the bolts to 47 ft./lbs. If they are M8 size or torque them 74 ft./lbs if they are M10 size.

Now put the wheels back on the car and re-install the lug bolts but do not tighten just yet. Just get them snugged up. Now jack the car up again, and remove the jack stands from under the car. Now lower the car, and once on the ground, tightens the lug bolts.

The last step is to tighten the drive axle retaining nuts. We have to do this on the ground, as the amount of torque we put on this nut is enough to possibly knock the car off the jack stands. You may even have to use an impact wrench to get it tight. Torque this nut to 184 ft./lbs. (221 ft./lbs. on M3 models) now put the center caps back on.

Well, there you have it - it's really not too difficult at all. If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs. If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this one. Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one. As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.


Harry M Gousha III adds that one should make sure the parking brake is not engaged, as it makes the job much easier.

Comments and Suggestions:
Mr. Han_solo Comments: I have terrible rear bearings in my 1985 325e manual. I need a parts list of everything to do rear. This weekend I'm attempting it myself. I have done the front already. I was planning on buying a cheap 12 ton press to take out the old and install the new. The only tip an e30 guy gave me so far was freeze the new bearings to shrink them. Hope to get the parts soon. Also hear back. Thanks in adv. Harrison Ford
October 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not the best with part numbers. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Ratch Comments: I just did this job and if you have the right tools it is easy. The slide hammer I find to be a heavy handed and inelegant way of doing this. The tools I bought were a regular bearing SEPARATOR for $25. Image attached. And you you should also invest in a set of bearing drifts. The bearing puller will get the hub off the arm using a ratchet and get the inner race attached to the hub off all your wheel nuts in a quiet and civilised manner. The bearing drift will push the remaining bearing race out of the hub and press the new one in. No pounding, no crazy effort and no $270! If you don;t want to buy a set of drifts at around $50-$100 then some M16 threaded rod, buts and heavy duty washers that are the same size as the bearing will do the job. But a proper bearing drift set will have thrust washer nuts which have tiny bearing in them to reduce friction and make applying force very easy. Obviously if things are badly corroded then it may take longer. But applying heat, soaking in penetrating oil for a few hours and cleaning everything throughly before installation will help.

The thing that was not touched on here is bracing the wheel when undoing / re-torquing the diff bolts. I had a great way that you can do alone and still under the car instead of applying the handbrake which will often not hold the halfshaft or having a friend press the brakes - you've probably got the caliper off already anyway. Simply put 2 lug nuts into the disc/hub and slide a long rod in between which will brace the wheel against the ground as you attack the diff bolts. Then to rotate the halfshaft to get the rest of the diff bolts, just release the rod and reposition. Saved me a lot of headache.

The other is the locking washer which must tho on top of the axle nut AFTER you've torqued that nut up - but the BMW part will not be stay in place whilst you stake it. I didn't fit it yet.

With these tools and using this method it really can be a 2-3 hour job max.
January 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
MrGrayson Comments: Whoops typo on my previous comment. Should be pvc sch 40, 1-1/2" male to 3/4" thread female reducer on bushing used to install hub.
December 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Got it, thanks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
MrGrayson Comments: Replaced left rear wheel bearing on my 325es. 4 1/2 hours. Used many of the tips described in Salteedog's posting. When I knocked out my hub I was surprised that the inner race stayed together with the bearing. To remove bearing from hub I used a slide hammer loaner from parts store connected to a sandwich of heavy washers, largest was 2.5" od. Get the washers from a real hardware store, not a big box store. On installation - I put the new bearing in freezer overnight but it still was a tight fit. To install bearing used a heavy 3/4" bolt from a strut compressor tool, thru a 2x4x1/4 steel plate on the outside of bearing, to a large washer on the inboard side of the bearing retainer. Tighten, hammer plate, tighten, repeat. Once it is flush add the old bearing to the "sandwich" to drive it the last few cm. To install the hub used Salteedog's technique but substituted pvc sch 40, 1-3/4" male to 1/2" thread female reducer since I was using the 3/4" bolt from my strut compressor. If you buy threaded rod I would recommend 3/4" over 1/2". The 1/2" seems too spindly. To seat the axle spline in the hub I used a "Ford Front Hub Installer Use to install interference-fit spline halfshafts 22mm into front hub assemblies." Picked it up on eBay for $17. Made installation of the axle an absolute breeze.
December 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
box beemer Comments: Just thought id share the end to my rear bearing nightmare.Finally installed the new bearings this weekend and now for the next task of replacing worn shocks.Here are some pics of the broken bearings.
October 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: WOW. Thanks for sharing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
box beemer Comments: My rear bearings are stuck in the hub,the outer race that is,so im gona grind it out the weekend,my last option after using the puller,heating it using a dremel tool for this
October 3, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Cutting the race is a good option. Just be careful not to damage the spindle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Andy R Comments: E36 1996 3 series - For those wondering how to get the old bearing out I removed the trailing arm complete with bearing, supported the housing between two concrete blocks, placed a lump hammer against the back of the bearing on the inner race and welted it HARD with a second lump hammer. Since you don't need the old bearing any more this works like a dream.

To drive the new bearing in, I put it in the freezer for a hour then used the old bearing as a drift to drive the new bearing in place. The beauty of this is that it is EXACTLY the right size to drift the new bearing in place right up to the inside edge of the retaining groove without putting the new bearing at risk. Don't worry about the old bearing getting stuck the diameter of the bearing housing above the retaining groove is larger than the bearing housing itself.

Oh, and one final point - the socket you need to removed/replace the bearing retaining nut is 30mm or 1-3/16inch. Good Luck
August 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
DKaine Comments: I'm really disappointed with this walkthrough. It's basically instructions on how to do everything *except* replace the wheel bearings. No instructions on how to remove the axle flange, no instructions on how to press the bearing in, no instructions on how to not completely screw up your brand new wheel bearing. In fact you don't even mention putting the new bearing in at all. Please revise this page with real instructions!
June 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'll see what I can do. Thanks for the feedback, we appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Christopher Robin Comments: Yeah that's great, but what size socket is the drive axle bolt?
June 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you have. So I can't guess. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dean Comments: When i first noticed the vibration, it occurred only on accel/when i was on the throttle and disappeared when i was off the throttle/coasting. Now the vibration is pretty much constant, whether i am on or off the throttle.
February 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would suspect driveshaft or drive axle. If there is a growl, it may be the diff, but it doesn't sound like that is your issue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dean Comments: I'm trying to pinpoint a hum/drone and vibration coming from the rear of the car. I replaced the center support bearing on the driveshaft and checked over other driveshaft components and everything looked good, so I am wondering if a faulty wheel bearing possibly could be the source of a palpable vibration and a drone above 55 mph? In the event that it is possibly a wheel bearing, what is the part number for the "locking plate" you reference for a 1996 328is. I am having a hard time finding that part in the catalog.
January 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a problem with the diff or a drive axle. Does the vibration occur on accel or decel? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dro Comments: How you doing I have a issue with my bmw 325I 2001 6cylinder when I pick up speed over 26mph I start to hear a roar alike sound also I feel the car shaking and as I pick up speed the roar gets louder and the vibration gets worser I can feel steering well vibrate mirrors start to vibrate a lot also when I am coming to a stop the roar get really deep hollow roar and car shakes a lot the sound comes from the back of the car most on back tire of driver side can any one help and tell what can be wrong thank you.
July 2, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could have a faulty wheel bearing of a differentail. I would pinpoint the noise and inspect the item the noise is coming from. if you are having ahard time pinpointing it, I would get assistcance from a professional.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
laff Comments: have just finish reading coments on the repairs to other BMW oners cars . I have a problem with my speedo as well,
the counter numbers change but the speed needle dont move
around the gauge to show the speed of the car. can you help
April 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the speedometer is faulty. I would replace it with a new one. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
laff Comments: thanks for the info on wheel bearing replacement, it gave me all the help i needed .to do this job.
will keep reading your forum on repairs.
thanks ,Laff
March 29, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Salteedog Comments: Forgot to mention below that the new bearing sat in my freezer overnight at -30 degrees. This makes installation easier. Just pull out of freezer when you are ready to press into place. Also, the plastic fitting below goes on the backside of the new bearing inner race. It really is slick. Remember to be safe..
March 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Salteedog Comments: Did the rear wheel bearings of my '87 325. Remove: the axle nut, wheel, brake caliper...held with wire..., brake rotor, the lower shock bolt ...shock compressed and held with wire... and the 6 allen caps bolts holding the rear output shafts to the differential, you get to the fun stuff....supported the differential end of the output shafts with wire....used a punch and hammer to drive the splined end of the output shaft from the hub. I Grabbed a 1/2" extension, 30 mm socket with an outside dia. of 40mm, small sledge hammer, and drove the hub out from the backside. Socket will just pass though the inner bearing race. I removed bearing retainer clip at outside of old bearing. Took 1/2" breaker bar, sledge and drove old brearing out from the back. Takes about 20 to 30 blows. Reassemble....Used steel wool and thinner to clean the inside of bearing housing and lightly oiled it. Took the new bearing and tapped the outside race with the small sledge at the 12, 6, 3 and 9 positions to get it started. Took the old bearing, placed it against the new bearing and used sledge and fully seat new Bearing. Installed new bearing retainer clip. 4 hub: used one 8" L by 1/2" dia. bolt, two 1/2" washers, one 1/2" nut, one 3" outside dia. electrical conduit metal plate with 1/2" pipe thread hole, and a plumbing plastic pvc sch 40, 1-1/2" male to 1/2" thread female reducer to install the hub. I bought these parts from home depot for $15. See photo....This tool does not allowthe hub to push out the inner race.... Anyhow, the hub goes between the plastic fitting and metal plate. Metal Plate against the outside of hub. Bolt starts through washer and metal plate. Seat the hub fully. My bearings are 75 mm O.D. by 42 mm I.D. by 37 mm Wide.
March 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the info! This will surely help someone in the future. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Salteedog Comments: I had a problem with my '87 325 coupe. I heard a wailing high-pitched sound from the rear of the car that was not a fuel pump, differential input or output bearings nor the cv joints. I had my suspension and bearings checked by my mechanic when I had the front end aligned. He did not find the problem. The rear bearings did not make a grinding sound nor made a sound in a turn. I even rotated my tires. Anyhow, the wah, wah, wah, wah never ending high-pitched sound was driving me crazy. I was embarrassed to drive the car down the road. This noise started at 10 to 15 mph up to freeway speed. I looked at forums but found no answers. The problem was a defective rear wheel bearing. I had an assistant. We properly jacked up the rear and chocked the front, and he hit the gas pedal to 20 mph. The wah, wah, wah started, and I can say I could tell it wasn't the differential nor the brake backing plate rubbing against the brake rotor. It sounded like it was coming from the center of the rim....bearing. Anyhow, I changed the rear bearings on both sides. Wah, wah, wah, wah is gone! It takes about 2 hours a side to change if you don't have a car lift as was my case.
March 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the info! - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Titan Comments: For this job on my 1985 325e I did finally break down after destroying a couple of bearing sets and buy a couple of special tools. I spent $99 on the front wheel bearing adapter set from Harbor Freight. It works great on the rear end of a BMW for both bearing work and hub work. To help with pulling the CV shafts through went on eBay and bought the OTC 6298 hub puller set for a little over $100. Both tools sets were worth every penny.
September 28, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is nothing like having the right tool for the job - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Keith m Comments: How long should it take to remove and re-fit?
June 19, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Depending on the tools you have from 4 to 6 hours. First there is dis-assembly and then the bearing has to be pressed out. - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
jimm Comments: Get a rear wheel bearing removal tool and a slide hammer. Most auto parts stores have them as loan-a-tools. Also a mini-sledge and center punch to push the axle out if it is frozen/rusted in like mine was. Don't use a FWD flange puller, unless you want to buy it.. I stripped the threads off the loan-a-tool and still had to hammer the Axle out.
February 16, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
todd230 Comments: When I rebuild 2 cycle engines for kart racing I always heat up the case to expand the bearing pocket. The bearing that you'd have to hammer away at for 30 minute will drop out of the pocket @ 200 degrees. You'd be surprised what a little heat will do when applied safely...
December 19, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Ross Comments: I may have made a mistake. I used a hammer and bearing driver to put the hub back into the bearing after I got the bearing in. It now seems to wobble a bit inside the housing if I wiggle the hub side to side - did I wreck the new bearing or do they have some play? My other problem is getting the half shaft back in thru the splines - seems to be stuck I cleaned and put thick axle grease on the splines. seems to me of I get the shaft back on there wont be much play. PS love your book and Bentley's
Thanks for any advice you can give
March 13, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have sad news for you - you should *never* use a hammer to insert the bearing back into the hub - doing so can indeed damage the bearing. It should not have any wobble. I have a much more detailed article on wheel bearing replacement here on the Porsche 996 - it's also very applicable to almost any car: - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Analretentive Comments: Why is the torque spec being offered here 184ft/pnds? The bentley manual says 144ft/lbs to 155ft/lbs. Nice, your telling everyone to overtorque.

Also, this job is more like a 4 on the difficulty scale. The difficult side is the drivers, simply because of the exhaust. Simple, remove it from the cat. As long as your races come out with the old, this is an easy job. BFH is the only special tool needed. Also, get the FAG which is the OEM supplier bearings.
January 23, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Page 13-27 states 290 Nm (210 ft-lb) for the E30 cars. BMW may have changed this spec over the years, I suggest that one double-check this with BMW for their specific model before finishing. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Yudi Comments: My car is M10 1987. Because my English language is not so good, Can you please send me an email that containing picture of rear bearing removal in sequence. It will be very helping me to change my car rear wheel bearing. Thank you very much.
Yudi - Indonesia
November 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check out this article from the Porsche section on changing out wheel bearings. The procedure is almost the same on the BMW side: - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Cloudbase Comments: I'm considering doing this job and don't mind ponying up for the special tools. It'll still be cheaper than a shop, especially when it comes time to do the other side. Can you post a follow up with exact tools and part numbers needed for a '89 325i. I saw a slide hammer attachment, but couldn't find anything else. Thanks
October 20, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check out this article here: It's written for the Boxster / 996, but the principles are almost exactly the same. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
djbmw Comments: The EASIEST way and cheapest to get the old bearing out is to use a 5lb + slide hammer with a rear axel puller attachment for getting the old hub removed and then a puller cone for getting the old bearing out. Once the hub is off, slide your slide hammer rod thruogh your bearing and at the rear, thread on your puller cone. Apply outward tension on the puller and SLAM away! It'll probably take 20-30 HARD hits sometimes less,.. sometimes more,.. but it'll come out! Use the home-made threaded rod/washer method as previously mentioned for re-insertion of the new bearing.
July 15, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
geoh777 Comments: I also have an E30 with drum brakes in the rear but the bearings in it are still good. Somewhere in time I did acquire a bargain bearing for the rear and all I know is that although it looks identical to the one for the rear-rotor model, it is a different part number. So, I would expect the bearing replacement job to be identical aside from dealing with the drum and having the backing plate and shoes in the way.
June 3, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It should be pretty close to this procedure. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
fernando2yk Comments: Can you tell me if the procedure varies a lot if rear brakes are Drum brakes? It is more difficult?
I own a E30 german version...
April 5, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not too much. You may have to remove the backing plate with the brakes attached. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
geoh777 Comments: Yeah I shoulda said below that the same setup [threaded rod, washers, etc.] is used to remove the bearing outer race. But, in my case, it was extremely rusted into place [they use salt here on the roads in the winter] so I used an electric welder to heat the center thick ridge of the race red hot in three places to collapse it from its interference fit. No need to put the welding electrode near the edge of the race where it is thinner because the thin edge doesn't contribute that much to the press fit of the outer race in the trailing arm hub. Then a pair of appropriately-sized washers are used with the threaded rod to pull the race out. [Or maybe I drove it out from behind with a hammer and drift, I don't recall for sure.] Use a 3-inch rotary wire brush to clean out the trailing arm hub to shiny metal, lube it up with Permatex antiseize compound [the silvery stuff hated by all mechanics; it also acts somewhat as a rust preventative], and push the new bearing in with the old bearing race [using the threaded rod, etc.].

Maybe it would be easier [and not so costly in the end] to buy the Pelican tool because you probably will have to buy something anyway [priced threaded rod recently? I used some I found on the farm], and then you will have the tool and will have the assurance that now you have the tool, you will never have to do the project again.
April 3, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
geoh777 Comments: Using a method that sounds similar to Renaissance Man 3/4 inch threaded rod, collection of large, heavy washers from a real hardware store, parallel blocks from ebay, etc. I did this job with a minimum of sweat. The key, however, was to get a local machine shop to make a tool that consisted of a short piece of steel tubing with a turned-down E30 axle nut welded on one end and a 3/4 nut welded on the other. This tool was needed in my case to pull the axle end through the new bearing. The axle splines were just too tight in the hub flange otherwise. Cost for tool: $20. OK, these guys were friendly machinists doing their own projects [Friday off due to recession] when I approached them and this was no sweat for them. I gave the guy $40 for helping me out. The process also used a lathe faceplate I had bought off of ebay some time earlier for around $7 plus shipping. Took me a few weeks before no one outbid me.
I have no idea whether the image will be useful or not.
April 3, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
pimpmobil Comments: If you take no this job YOU will need the correct tools. I was lucky because i can make them. The job took me 5 hour & i found it easy to do.
February 9, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
e30 Comments: Can you explain a bit more about what specific tools are necessary? Can you describe the "impact Style Puller"?
January 12, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: An impact puller is a slide hammer. You'll need a slide hammer and a bearing press. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Renaissance Man Comments: Ouch! I just did this job last week. It is NOT a job for anyone who is not very resourceful. I have been working on cars for 35 years. Without the special expensive tool sold by Pelican, the job is very, very difficult. I ended up using an assortment of threaded rods, washers, metal strips, cast iron nuts, even a 3" faceplate from my woodworking lathe! After removing one of the bearings, I was able to use the old bearing inner and outer races to aid in the removal/installation of the second rear bearing. DON'T do this unless you have enough time, a mini-sledge, a good location to work, good lighting, etc. I have quite an assortment of tools that I have collected for the last 40 years plumbing to electrical tools, auto to metal working tools, carpentry tools. etc, etc and though I did not use any of my power tools except for air tools-which helped save time, I used just about every other tool that I own. The garage floor looked like a bomb had exploded in my tool rollarounds. My hands are still swollen from the banging I had to do with the mini-sledge. It did work out in the end. The car rides quiet now. BTW, if you have some shimmy that you cannot seem to get rid of, try using hub centric rings-I discovered that I had only ONE left on the car after the last tire change. GOOGLE hub centric rings and you will learn more that might help you get your Bimmer to ride more smoothly...
January 5, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
David Comments: I hate to say it, but I agree with notachance....I have done this nightmare repair myself, and I was reading the post with interest waiting to see what tips/tricks were given on how to get the actual bearing out of the trailing arm since that's the hardest part.

While an expert might disagree, I think it's incredibly misleading to say that all you have to do is "pop the bearing assembly out of the trailing arm". This does not accurately explain how amazingly hard that is to do. In my case because I admit I didn't buy the special $269 tool for this, I had to remove the entire trailing arm and I spent hours and hours trying to get the bearing race out before I finally took it to a shop and had them do it for me. Every part of the job IS easy except for that last bit. 11 out of 10 difficulty rating for sure.

Moral of the story - don't even think about attempting this yourself unless you have a special tool or access to someone who does.
December 15, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have an article coming out on the full wheel bearing replacement on a Boxster / 996 and the procedure is very similar to the one here. I will post a link to that when it's up on the site. I knew that this article was a bit lacking, so I specifically made that one extra clear and applicable to almost any car. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
#1 lepe Comments: hello i get all this done in no time but i forgot to insert the lock on the bearing and i proceed now i run the car and is making a squely sound and destroying the brake rotor because the bearing is not all the way in so what comments you have for this

note ;am tryng to fix this ,and tryng not to destroy the wheel bearing
July 29, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You'll have to post a picture of the bearing install, I'm not following you exactly. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
MrOrvis Comments: You failed to say that in order to reinstall hub you need "special tool" to draw hub thru bearing. I have car on jack stands and am at a loss since I don't want to spend 250.00 on special tool. If you pound on hub you risk destroying new bearing which you have installed in trailing arm. Where do I go from here?
May 2, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Put the new bearing in the freezer overnight. This will shrink the bearing slightly. Usually, it will simply slide into the housing. Be advised that you need to push it in quickly and take care not to cock the bearing sideways as you push it in. Afterward, install the bearing retaining circlip into the housing. You can install the hub into the bearing using all thread, washers and nuts. The idea is to find a washer that will keep both the inner and outer bearing races flush with each other. Too much force on the either race will destroy the bearing. Slip the all thread though the bearing and also through the wheel hub. Using a combination of washers, slowly drive the hub into the inner race of the wheel bearing. It’s a good idea to lubricate the inside of the inner race with some oil to ease installation. - Jared at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Sun 2/18/2018 02:04:12 AM