How to Replace a Rear Axle Bearing

Axle bearings allow the axle to spin freely inside the axle housing. Axel bearing malfunctions Typically manifest as, grease discharge and in some cases, the wheel, or axle, the bearing could become noisy during operation. In more serious instances, the axle bearing could cause gouging or scoring damage.


Difficulty: Advanced  

Duration: 3-5 Hours  

How Often:  Perform As Needed


Tools Necessary for Install:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (eye Protection, gloves 
  • Jack
  • Jack stands 
  • Torque Wrench 
  • Long Handle Breaker Bar 
  • Hammer 

Replacing axle bearings can be a daunting task if you have never done it before. the entire procedure is not difficult if you have the right tools and experience. However, it is not recommended that someone with little technical experience take on this project by themselves. If you end up doing something wrong, you could damage your car, or even worse, you could end up with injuries. Therefore, we advise you to exercise the utmost caution when working on this project.

Before you begin, ensure that you are protected at all times.

  • Wear safety glasses. The wheel bearing casings are often very brittle; hence the force needed to remove them can cause them to shatter like glass.
  • Wear other personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary, such as latex gloves or closed-toe shoes.
  • If you have zero experience working with cars, consult or hire a professional for this particular project. 


1. Securing your car

Park your car on a concrete, level surface. Engage the parking brake to prevent the wheels from moving.

2. Raising the car

Next, you must raise the car off the ground using a Jack. It is important to place the car jack correctly before you begin raising the car. Placing a car jack in the wrong position can damage your vehicle. Support your vehicle with Jack Stands to ensure your vehicle is secure. Place the jack stand under the car frame. Be careful not to place Jack Stands under the fuel tank or other weak spots that could damage the car. Then, raise all four wheels of the car. Raising only one wheel or one side of the car can risk the car losing balance and falling, thereby causing an accident or other serious injuries. If you are unsure where to place your Jack Stands, consult your owner's manual. 

3. Removing the tray and coverings

Once the car is balanced and steady, remove the engine tray from under your vehicle. The engine tray is located under the engine and obstructs your access to the axle. Note that some vehicles might not have an engine tray. Remove the transmission tray. Also, remove any plastic covering that could be resting over the suspension wishbone.

4. Removing the tires

You must remove the tires to be able to access the axle bearings. If you want to replace more than one axle bearing. You will need to remove all four tires.

5. Removing the brake pads from the caliper

Next, you must unbolt the caliper. The caliper squeezes the brake pads against the disk rotor. They are bolted in place, so to proceed you must remove the bolts.

The caliper is connected to the brake lines. The brake lines help apply hydraulic pressure that makes the calipers work. You need not detach the caliper from the brake lines.

6. Removing the brake assembly

Now that you have unbolted the caliper, you must remove the brake assembly. To do this, you must first disengage the parking brakes. The parking brake will be in contact with the brake assembly, so disengaging it will allow you to remove the brake assembly easily.

7. Removing the disk rotor

When fully assembled, the brake pads are in contact with the disk rotor. The disk rotor is bolted in place, so you will have to remove the bolts and pull it off. In some cases, a hammer may be required, to break your rotor loose.

8. Removing the axle bearings

Now, you can proceed to remove the axle bearings. But before that, unbolt and remove the flange.

Then, slide the axle shaft out of the axle shaft housing. Once done, remove the rear axle bearing from the axle shaft or axle housing.

After removing it, examine the axle shaft or the housing for grooves or any damage.

9. Reinstalling the axle bearings

To reinstall the axle bearings, first, reinstall the axle retainer flange and the new axle seal on the axle shaft or housing. Then, install the new rear axle bearing and collar. Gently press the collar and bearing assembly onto the axle shaft. Then, reinstall the axle shaft into the axle shaft housing. Turn the axle shaft till the splines match up with the gears in the differential. Next, install the axle shaft retaining flange and tighten it firmly. Finally, reinstall the brake assembly.

10. Reinstalling the wheel

Check the rear axle fluid level. If the level is low, add fluid. Finally, reinstall all wheels. Ensure all lug nuts are put back in place as per the manufacturer's specifications.

Once all that your completed, carefully, remove all jack stands from underneath your vehicle. Test drive the car to verify if everything is working fine. If you feel there is an issue, go to your local service center and get your car checked.


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