RENEWING REAR WHEEL BEARING
1 The nearside rear wheel bearing was producing an annoying rumble when driving above 50mph. We suspected the wheel bearing had failed, so we ordered a new one from Autovaux. It is supplied as a complete assembly.
2 After raising the Insignia on a two-post ramp, we removed the road wheel, then undid the two 15mm bolts securing the caliper carrier, before detaching it along with the brake caliper. Next, the brake disc was taken off. At the last MOT the rear discs/pads were renewed.
3 The end of the upper suspension arm obstructs access to some of the hub carrier bolts, so we undid its 21mm nut and extracted the 17mm bolt that’s attached to the top of the upright. The two can then be separated.
4 The hub carrier is secured to the upright with three 18mm bolts. There’s just enough room to squeeze in a deep socket and ½in ratchet to undo them. Luckily, none of them had seized.
5 Plenty of penetrating fluid was sprayed around the area where the hub carrier makes contact with the upright. We left it to soak in, then tried releasing it with a hammer, to no avail. We also tried an air chisel, but no luck.
6 A lump hammer and a long bar was tried next, using them to hit the back of the wheel bearing. We returned to the air chisel and penetrating fluid, but the wheel bearing assembly refused to budge.
7 Armed with a large angle grinder and 230mm cutting disc, we cut off the ends of the flange where the road wheel sits in an attempt to release the hub carrier.
8 After cutting off the flange and the three mounting lugs for the wheel bearing, we hit the back of it with a long metal bar and lump hammer. Eventually, the wheel bearing flew out several metres across the workshop! Here’s why it was so difficult to remove: corrosion.
9 Dan Smith at MJ Motors breathed a sigh of relief because he feared we’d have to remove the upright and press out the old bearing. Before fitting the new bearing, we cleaned the hole in the upright with a round file.
10 The new hub assembly fits perfectly into the upright. Corrosion will inevitably strike again, but hopefully we won’t have to replace the bearing again soon. This was a tough job due to rust.