RE­NEW­ING REAR WHEEL BEAR­ING

Car Mechanics (UK) - - 2011 Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 2.0 CDTI -

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.

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