If you start to hear an annoying grinding or whirring sound coming from the front of your vehicle at higher speeds you may need to replace your wheel bearings. Incorrect alignment, rough roads, and heavy use can all contribute to your bearing going bad. I suggest you change both front bearings at the same time. This guide shows a step by step for the front driver's side bearing, but it is nearly identical for the right side.
You will need the following:
1. A front end suspension kit. Available for loan at Advanced Auto Parts or similar auto parts shoppe
2. A socket set. I also suggest you have an extension bar for your set
3. A new wheel bearing - it's my understanding that the right and left bearings are interchangable on all the Gen 3
4. Gloves (optional, it was 40 degrees when I started in the morning)
5. A breaker bar
6. 30mm socket
7. brake parts cleaner
8. Manual for reference
In depth: The front end suspension kit is available for loan at may auto parts shoppes.
What is needed for this job are the two-prong puller and the tie-rod remover. More detail on use follows.
Step 1. To begin, secure the vehicle up on a jack stand and remove the front tire.
Step 2. Using the 3omm socket, remove the wheel hub retaining nut. If it is particularly sticky you may wish to begin loosening the nut with tires still on and the vehicle on the ground.
Step 3. Remove the disc brake caliper assembly. There are two retaining bolts, top and bottom which must be removed. Set the pads to the side, and then remove the assembly bolts to remove the entire structure. Secure the assembly out of the way with wire.
Step 4. Remove the brake disc, and turn your attention to the bearing assembly.
OPTIONAL - Step 5. While not absolutely necessary, I find removing the tie rod makes accessing the bearing's rear bolts much easier. To remove the tie rod, begin by removing the cotter pin at the bottom of the assembly.
Step 6. Remove the tie rod retaining nut.
Step 7. Inspect the tie rod removal tool.
Step 8. Secure the removal tool to the tie rod as shown.
Step 9. Use your socket to push up the tie rod. CAUTION! The tie rod will likely "jump" when sufficient pressure has been applied. Be cautious.
Step 10. Set the tie rod end to the side, being careful not to let it dangle or get hit as your work continues.
Step 11 - Back to the bearing. There are three bearing bolts that need to be removed from the rear of the assembly. Looking at the front, you can see where the bolts appear.
Step 12. Coming around back, the two lower bolts are easily accessible, but the top bolt is a real pain to reach, and your extension bar will come in handy here.
Step 13. Once you have removed the retaining bolts turn your attention to the two-prong puller.
Step 14. Apply the puller as shown.
Step 15. Using your socket, carefully apply pressure to release the bearing.
Step 16. The old bearing will pop off, and you'll be left with the inner suspension arm. Clean it with brake cleaner before installing the new bearing.
Step 17. Compare the old bearing with the replacement.
Step 18. As you can see, the bearing must be installed in a particular orientation. Imagine it as an isosceles triangle.
Step 19. Don't hammer the new bearing on, rather, carefully start the bolts on the rear of the bearing, and slowly tighten each bolt in turn. This will get the new bearing on exactly as needed.
Step 20. Reinstall the tie rod, the bearing retaining nut (and washer) and put your tire back on. Enjoy your new bearings, but be sure to have your vehicle's alignment checked as soon as possible.
New bearing cost me $65.
Loaner tool set was a $100 deposit, which will be refunded when returned. (be sure to save your receipt!)
12mm, 15mm, 17mm and 19mm sockets are needed for this job.