Bearing Assembly Swap
Here are the steps for replacing our Wheel Bearing Hub Assemblies for FJ, Tacoma, and 4 Runner.
Please, be SAFE! Any time you lift a vehicle, always use jack stands. Never leave a vehicle setting on the lift jack. Make sure the vehicle is secure and can't roll when lifted and that all jacks and stands are on firm, stable ground.
Removing old stuff
- Place the truck in 4 Wheel Drive to lock the front axles. You may have to do this as you drive forward to make sure they get locked together.
- Chock the tires, apply the parking brake, and only work on one side at a time.
- Lift the front corner and place the truck on a jack stand.
- Remove the tire and wheel spacer (if installed).
- Remove the hard brake line retainer bolt and then remove the 2 large bolts holding the caliper to the spindle. Make sure to hang the caliper out of the way so there is no stress on the brake line.
- Release the wheel speed sensor wire from the hold down clips to allow slack in the line. Carefully using a small flat screwdriver will allow you to reuse the clips.
- Remove the rotor.
- Release the swaybar link from the spindle.
- Using a thin flat screwdriver, carefully remove the center dust cap.
- Remove the cotter pin and retaining cap from the axle half shaft.
- Using a 35mm socket, a long breaker bar, and some brute force: remove the axle nut. (heads up, this thing will be tight!)
- Use a thick punch in the dimple on the end of the axle to knock the axle loose from the splines of the hub. DO NOT USE A HAMMER ON THE END OF THE AXLE SHAFT. Doing so will "mushroom" the end of the shaft and render the threads unusable. (ask me how I know)
- Loosen the 4 bolts around the bearing using an open end wrench. Once fully loose, you may have to use a hammer to knock the bearing assembly out of the spindle. Make sure to note how the dust shield is oriented. It can be put on backwards/upside down etc. (again, ask me how I know)
- Once the assembly is off, take the time to observe the nastiness inside the spindle. Don't forget to remark that it's amazing the bearing spun at all.
- Use a flat screwdriver and hammer to knock out the spindle seal on the back side of the spindle.
- Remove the two bolts holding the spindle to the lower control arm. NOTE: The lower arm will not swing out of the way. These two bolts are not under any spring pressure.
- Carefully rotate the spindle forward out of the way and pull the axle shaft free of the spindle.
- Clean up the back side of the spindle being careful not to damage the speed sensor.
- Take a moment to enjoy a frosty beverage. It's all new stuff from here on...
The new stuff
- Install the new spindle seal. TIP: Use the round dust cap inside the seal and a rubber mallet to get the seal evenly seated.
- CAREFULLY, insert the axle end back into the spindle. Don't damage the seal you just installed or the speed sensor.
- Re-attach the spindle to the lower control arm with the 2 bolts.
- Grease the axle splines and replace the bearing assembly. Don't forget the dust shield. Be patient here. It can take a couple minutes to get all the bolts started.
- Replace the axle end nut and torque to 174 ft/lbs.
- Replace the nut cap, cotter pin, and dust cover.
- Replace the rotor on the hub. TIP: Use a little anti-seize on the face of the hub to make your next brake job easier.
- Replace the caliper (be careful of the brake line), clip the speed sensor wire back down, and bolt the brake line holder back into place.
- Replace the sway bar link back onto the spindle
- Check over all of the job to make sure you haven't missed any connections.
- Once happy, replace the spacer and tire. Lower the truck from the jack stand and repeat for the other side.
- Enjoy another tasty beverage for a job well done.