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 Old 01-27-2014, 12:35 AM   #1
 
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Default How To: Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

How To: Front Wheel Bearing Replacement

This How To will show you how to install/replace front wheel bearing on your Mazdaspeed3. This can be done at home, not press is required.

Resources


Parts

If you can find correct Timken bearings, I would recommend using them, since I have heard a lot of good things about the quality of their bearings.

WARNING: If you do a regular search, you will find this hub assembly by Timken (HA590097) that will say that is feets MS3. However, it does not!!! I was tested by MSF members and it didn’t work. It is most likely made for regular Mazda3 only.

Bearing: SKF FW201 - this is the one I have used.

It also recommended to replace your axle nuts, so get these - GJ2133042B.

Also, replace the C-Clip that holds the bearing - SKF CIR166. Actually, my C-Clip was just fine, but my car was in FL almost all it’s life. So, no snow with salt. I have still replaces it, since its very cheap.

I would recommend getting the wheel hubs just in case - GP9A33060B. You don’t have to replace it. But I have “broken” mine while trying to cut the remainder of the old bearing from it and cut to deep.

To slightly lubricate bearings, so they will slide easily I have used the same great I used to lubricate my BPV every oil change: ARP Ultra Torque.


Tools Needed:
  • Sledge hammer, heavy one! You’ll need to separate things.
  • Power tools - impact gun. You can use air tools, or electric. Make sure is a powerful tool! You’ll need all the power to press in the new bearings. I would highly recommend W7150 | 1/2" Cordless Impact Wrench! Yes, it is no cheap, but this thing is awesome. Guys name it “Big Papa” - enough said.
  • 32mm socket for the axle nut
  • 27mm socket to help you knock the bearing out.
  • RENT: Front wheel drive hub puller
  • RENT: Ball joint separator
  • RENT: OEM/2 or 3 jaw gear puller
  • Front Wheel Bearing Adapters (Item#66829) - this with power tools will allow you to do all the work at home and avoid the shop press.
  • Angel Grinder - you will need it if you decide to save your hubs and cut off the remainder of the bearing from them. Make sure to cut very carefully not to damage the hub (like I did ).
  • Breaker bar - always useful.


The fun part!



Remove wheel, brakes, axle nut - get to the the hub. As you can see I have used hub puller. I think it is easier than working with jaw puller.

Dont’ forget to use plenty of PB blaster or other penetrating oil to break the axle loose.

When you start to applying pressure to the axle you should see it moving out slowly. You might need to use the hammer to motivate a stubborn axel. If you do, make sure to put back the axle nut and hammer on it, to make sure you don’t damage axle threads.



Axle should be almost out. Make sure the ball joint of the control arm is separated. The hammer the axle out on the angle as you see on the picture.




Here you see the axle is separate from the whole hub assembly.




Here you can see how the hub assembly looks. The part in red square is the plastic ABS sensor. The bearing has a magnet on one side. You will see it when you take look at the bearing. The side with the magnet has to go “inside” when you’ll be pressing the bearing in, i.e. be next to the ABS sensor. The sensor is protected by the metal “ring”, so it is hard to break it. But, be careful with it never the less.




Position the assembly on a highly secure wooden rig We have used 27mm socket to know the bearing out (see below).






Boom! The hub is separated! As you can see on the picture the remainder of the bearing on the hub. You can choose to cut it off or use a new hub.




Here you can see the remaining of the bearing in the knuckle.




Remove the c-clip ether with special tool, or pliers. It’s not that hard, so don’t warry if you don’t have the tool.






NOTE: If you have watched the video I have liked in the Recourse section, the guy there advises to shave off of the spacers for this particular step. We have found out that it is not necessary to shave off anything. Just pick the size that covers the bearing completely.




On the pictures above you can see how we are using the bearing kit from Harbor Freight to press out the old bearing from the knuckle. Make sure to use provided washers, so the shaft rotates freely. Sorry, I did write down exact parts from the kit that we were using. But, you are big boys (and probably girls) you can figure it out.




Hold one side with a wrench and apply your monster power tool on the other to press out the bearing. Go slow, this is not the time to rush things.




Voala! The bearing is out!




Here is how the knuckle looks without the bearing. Time to clean up inside…. the knuckle






Time for lube… Do you want your new bearings to go in nice and smooth? Just apply little grease and you are good to go.




Position the bearing, put a wooden block on top and give it few taps with the hammer to set the bearing in before your start pressing it.










Position the bearing kit like you see on the pictures above and start slowly pressing the bearing in.

Make sure to not overtighten it! How do you know if you went too far? If you hold the inside of the bearing and try to rotate it, it will not rotate freely. So what you do is put the same spacer on the bearing and give it few slight taps with a hammer and check for free rotation.




Here is the bearing little more than half way in.





New bearing is in!




Time to install new c-clip.




C-clip in!





More lube! Inside of the bearing and on the brand new hub.




Position the hub and give it few tabs to make sure it will settle correctly before you press it in.









On top three pictures you will see how to position the hub to be pressed in.
Again, go slowly and don’t over tighten the hub!


That’s it! Now put everything back together. By the way, when putting the axle back in I have used the same grease to make sure it will go in smooth.


It seems like a hard job, but it really is not. Make sure you got all the right tools and you will be good to go!

I have also made a Google Docs file HERE. So, you can easily download it as PDF.
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 Old 01-27-2014, 07:13 AM   #2
 
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Awesome write up bro! Many others always leave a lot of questions unanswered after removing the strut and tie rods.

For anyone reading this thread for reference, it should be noted that the only difficult and most time consuming part of this whole install is removing the axles from the knuckle/hub assembly. Those things are in there tight! Otherwise with the listed tools and some help it is very easy.
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 Old 01-27-2014, 08:47 AM   #3
 
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Great how to, properly organized with resources and all
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 Old 01-27-2014, 10:15 AM   #4
 
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Good shit. Glad it worked out!
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 Old 03-05-2014, 11:13 AM   #5
 
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This is a good how to, I attempted this just before you posted, things might of gone differently for me if I had it. I ended up having to buy new cv axles, knuckles, and bearings... everything was stuck together so bad, no amount of penetrating oil, air tools, bfh's, and torching could remove the bearing or cv axle... it was a nightmare, had to leave it on the lift way longer than intended and the bearings that were bought online didnt fit. Once we had all the new parts, everything went together great...

Last edited by a9m2d; 03-05-2014 at 12:28 PM.
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 Old 03-05-2014, 11:36 AM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by a9m2d View Post
This is a how to, I attempted this just before you posted, things might of gone differently for me if I had it. I ended up having to buy new cv axles, knuckles, and bearings... everything was stuck together so bad, no amount of penetrating oil, air tools, bfh's, and torching could remove the bearing or cv axle... it was a nightmare, had to leave it on the lift way longer than intended and the bearings that were bought online didnt fit. Once we had all the new parts, everything went together great...
Lift!!! Lucky bastard You probably leave up north with salty roads during winter...

I'm planing to replace the axels as well... Sooner or later...

It's nice everything came tougher for you! Did you but that Timken hub assembly kit that didn't fit?
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 Old 03-05-2014, 12:28 PM   #7
 
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Yes the lift is nice, not mine, but I can use it pretty much any time I want. Im in Colorado, no salt here, just unlucky... talked to a shop owner I know, he said, "yup, that happens from time to time"

no, the one that didnt fit, was from GMB part number 799-0157. Its a one piece bearing/hub assembly. Figured it would make things easier, it didnt. The first shop I took them to to be pressed said "no, that's not how its done". After contacting GMB about the issue they still said it would fit. it just slid into the knuckle, so i guess it did fit, just not how it should... GMB did refund me the money, I went to nappa and picked up bearings

I ordered the parts before replacing everything, or even looking at how it all worked. If I had I would of seen that you cannot use a one piece combo, lesson learned...
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 Old 04-20-2014, 07:48 PM   #8
 
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Save yourself some aggravation, and once you have the spindle off, take it to a shop. Most will press the bearing and hub for like $20 (where I work we'll do it for a round of coffee). If you happen to live somewhere with corrosion problems, I would also slather anti seize on the snap ring before reinstalling. With my air hammer and shop press this takes me about 30-40 minutes, start to finish.
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 Old 05-08-2014, 05:07 PM   #9
 
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Thanks for the write up!

I'm about to do my wheel bearings and this will be a life saver.

I was wondering though, if I should replace my hubs while I'm at it. The only ones I can find are about 100$ a piece. I'm at 130k miles, and if I need them, I need them.. however 200$ for hubs seems a little steep.
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 Old 05-08-2014, 05:32 PM   #10
 
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I'm doing this as well, just for insurance; I'm at about 225k miles on the original bearings. When I took the steering knuckles to the machine shop he noted that they seemed fine; very smooth. But I figured since they're already off the car I may as well get them done.
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 Old 05-08-2014, 06:10 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by btstarcher View Post
I'm doing this as well, just for insurance; I'm at about 225k miles on the original bearings. When I took the steering knuckles to the machine shop he noted that they seemed fine; very smooth. But I figured since they're already off the car I may as well get them done.
Wow 225k.. you need an award lol. I'm at 130k, however very little highway and mostly blasting through mountain back roads. Are you doing your hubs as well or just your bearings.

When I was looking at OEM parts the hubs cost just as much as the knuckles.
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 Old 05-08-2014, 06:19 PM   #12
 
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There shouldn't be any need to replace the hubs; machine shop will press the bearings out, and they shouldn't damage the hubs. If they do, then in my opinion it's on them to replace them.
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 Old 05-08-2014, 09:26 PM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by btstarcher View Post
There shouldn't be any need to replace the hubs; machine shop will press the bearings out, and they shouldn't damage the hubs. If they do, then in my opinion it's on them to replace them.
@Big_Burd; this! Hub is just a piece of a pipe If you're not going to damage the hub don't replace them.
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 Old 05-18-2014, 12:24 PM   #14
 
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Is it possible the shop didn't press the bearing in far enough, causing malfunction in the wheel speed sensors?
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 Old 07-09-2015, 11:13 AM   #15
 
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Constantin, what were your symptoms when the bearings started to fail?

When my other cars have had bad bearings they usually get super loud at speed, or moan or creak when slowing down.

I am getting a rhythmic squeaking noise, when turning, at very low speeds for more than 20k miles which smacks of CV joint, but no telltale clicking. No grease being thrown from CV joints.

I'm also getting a shaking above 70-mph through the steering wheel. Tires have been balanced more than once and swapped back to front. No improvement. I've shaken down my front wheels multiple times looking for bad tie rods and ball joint to no avail. Control arms were changed, and the shaking continues.

KW suspension has one year on it...checked torque specs on all fasteners.

Im thinking my front wheel bearings might be slowly failing or an engine mount...cant think of another cause. 96k on my car.

Thanks again for the great instructions. Many will benefit.
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 Old 07-09-2015, 01:09 PM   #16
 
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Have you checked your intermediate shaft carrier bearing? Is the intermediate shaft-to-passenger drive shaft connection good?
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 Old 07-16-2015, 12:23 AM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by Lex2007 View Post
Constantin, what were your symptoms when the bearings started to fail?

When my other cars have had bad bearings they usually get super loud at speed, or moan or creak when slowing down.
Mine was a very land moan after about 70 mph. You could hear that something inside the wheel is out of balance.

I'm note sure if I got vibrations, like a misbalanced wheel, so, most likely you have something loose in the suspension. OR your tire is out of balance. Regular balancing will not catch that, and will show the tire is balanced. You'll need to do Load Balancing to know for sure - usually, more expensive then regular balance.
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Originally Posted by Lex2007 View Post
Constantin, what were your symptoms when the bearings started to fail?

When my other cars have had bad bearings they usually get super loud at speed, or moan or creak when slowing down.

I am getting a rhythmic squeaking noise, when turning, at very low speeds for more than 20k miles which smacks of CV joint, but no telltale clicking. No grease being thrown from CV joints.

I'm also getting a shaking above 70-mph through the steering wheel. Tires have been balanced more than once and swapped back to front. No improvement. I've shaken down my front wheels multiple times looking for bad tie rods and ball joint to no avail. Control arms were changed, and the shaking continues.

KW suspension has one year on it...checked torque specs on all fasteners.

Im thinking my front wheel bearings might be slowly failing or an engine mount...cant think of another cause. 96k on my car.

Thanks again for the great instructions. Many will benefit.
If your wheel bearings are bad enough you should be able to jack up the car and wiggle the top or bottom of your wheel in and out of the wheel well. For the record, good bearings should not have any wiggle at all. But the loud groan they emit while driving is pretty universal. If your getting a squeak while turning I would check everything else like sway bar bushings, top hats, ball joints, etc.

Didn't you post that you installed an ALK on your control arms? It might be worth it to check if they have enough grease on them, the squeaking might be friction from the bushings.
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 Old 07-16-2015, 11:49 AM   #19
 
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Thanks Constantin. After a second trip to get the wheels balanced the tech and I watched the rim spin and found one VERY bent rim. They should have found this the first time. I insisted on watching this time. That is the likely culprit.

I've heard bad bearings moan, grind/creak, and scream depending on the vehicle.

Mauro, I shook down the front end various times and everything was tight. Pretty sure its my CV joint is making noise but its not clicking yet.

The sway bar bushings are squeaking again. Even after regreasing them. I think the endlinks need to be shortened.

Thanks guys
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 Old 10-19-2015, 11:14 AM   #20
 
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BTW I think the equivalent TIMKEN front wheel bearing part # is Timken WB000028 for more or less the same price as SKF. 4

Which is better?, if at all, I have no idea.

The OEM bearing can now be purchased for $53 at onlinemazdaparts.

You dont need assembly lube.

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 Old 10-20-2015, 09:02 AM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by Lex2007 View Post
BTW I think the equivalent TIMKEN front wheel bearing part # is Timken WB000028 for more or less the same price as SKF. 4

Which is better?, if at all, I have no idea.

The OEM bearing can now be purchased for $53 at onlinemazdaparts.

You dont need assembly lube.
You can get the same Timken Bearing (WB000028) from RockAuto for $26

And the hub with Timken Bearing already pressed in (HA590099) is $96. Just ordered 2 today and I should get them by Mon, the 26th.
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 Old 10-21-2015, 03:24 PM   #22
 
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Some videos show this done without removing the knuckle. Is this possible for the speeds?
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 Old 10-21-2015, 04:30 PM   #23
 
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Originally Posted by blam1 View Post
Some videos show this done without removing the knuckle. Is this possible for the speeds?
Ya have to pull the outer end of the CV joint, the spindle, out of the hub and the only way you can do that is by separating the hub from the control arm or from the strut. At that point, you might as well pull the entire hub off because its gonna be a pain in the ass trying to hold the hub in the air, while still partially connected to the tie rod or control arm or strut, while trying to push the old bearing out and the new one in.

But ya you probably could keep it partially attached..

a
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 Old 10-21-2015, 04:35 PM   #24
 
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Originally Posted by scubasteve View Post
You can get the same Timken Bearing (WB000028) from RockAuto for $26

And the hub with Timken Bearing already pressed in (HA590099) is $96. Just ordered 2 today and I should get them by Mon, the 26th.
How do u attach C clip if bearing is on hub?
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 Old 10-21-2015, 04:38 PM   #25
 
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it goes on after the bearing is pressed in.
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 Old 10-21-2015, 04:53 PM   #26
 
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And how do u do that when hub is also in?
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 Old 10-21-2015, 04:56 PM   #27
 
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Originally Posted by aviator79 View Post
And how do u do that when hub is also in?
Same answer as before. Spindle needs to come out of the hub to get the c clip, which you cant do without moving the hub away from the spindle.
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 Old 10-21-2015, 05:16 PM   #28
 
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Originally Posted by scubasteve View Post
If this is a hub with a bearimg pressed on then when u press it into knuckle u will not be able to put clip on. Its also not the proper way to press a bearing in. Or is is it just a hub and bearing? Pick shows a hub bearimg and "spindle" but clearly not for ms3 as spindle does not bolt to knuckle.
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 Old 10-21-2015, 05:24 PM   #29
 
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Originally Posted by aviator79 View Post
If this is a hub with a bearimg pressed on then when u press it into knuckle u will not be able to put clip on. Its also not the proper way to press a bearing in. Or is is it just a hub and bearing? Pick shows a hub bearimg and "spindle" but clearly not for ms3 as spindle does not bolt to knuckle.
C-clip will already be installed if you buy a hub with bearing installed.
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 Old 10-21-2015, 05:49 PM   #30
 
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C clip goes in knuckle
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 Old 10-21-2015, 06:23 PM   #31
 
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I believe that Timken HA590099 is for the rears. @scubasteve; if you bought these for the fronts, they won't work. Some online retailer will list Timken HA590097 as suitable for our cars; don't get this one as well. Ask me how I know.
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 Old 10-22-2015, 08:10 AM   #32
 
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Originally Posted by ArmanRus View Post
I believe that Timken HA590099 is for the rears. @scubasteve; if you bought these for the fronts, they won't work. Some online retailer will list Timken HA590097 as suitable for our cars; don't get this one as well. Ask me how I know.
This ^^
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 Old 10-22-2015, 11:01 AM   #33
 
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Originally Posted by ArmanRus View Post
I believe that Timken HA590099 is for the rears. @scubasteve; if you bought these for the fronts, they won't work. Some online retailer will list Timken HA590097 as suitable for our cars; don't get this one as well. Ask me how I know.
@ArmanRus; ... how do you know?

Also, I clearly don't know how to tag people, so hopefully you check this...

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 Old 10-22-2015, 11:18 AM   #34
 
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Originally Posted by scubasteve View Post
@ArmanRus; ... how do you know?

Also, I clearly don't know how to tag people, so hopefully you check this...
Yep, that's how you mention people.

Timken HA590097 will not FIT because I bought it. Check the original thread here. This was over 2 years ago so the websites might have updated their info.

In any case, the front wheel bearings are just standalone bearings and does not come pre-assembled with the hub.
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 Old 10-22-2015, 11:23 AM   #35
 
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Originally Posted by ArmanRus View Post
Yep, that's how you mention people.

Timken HA590097 will not FIT because I bought it. Check the original thread here. This was over 2 years ago so the websites might have updated their info.

In any case, the front wheel bearings are just standalone bearings and does not come pre-assembled with the hub.
@ArmanRus; So what'd you do to replace your front bearings? Did you have to press out the old ones and press in the new ones?

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 Old 10-22-2015, 01:17 PM   #36
 
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Originally Posted by scubasteve View Post
@ArmanRus So what'd you do to replace your front bearings? Did you have to press out the old ones and press in the new ones?
That's how it's done, yes.

If you're lucky, a press is all you will need to get things apart - but oftentimes the inner race ends up somewhat "fused" to the hub and needs to be cut off carefully (if re-using the hub).
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 Old 10-22-2015, 04:38 PM   #37
 
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You're local repair shop will do it too if you don't have a press. I was charged $30 for one side.

Or you could get the FWD wheel bearing tool from Harbor Freight.
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 Old 10-22-2015, 06:40 PM   #38
 
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Originally Posted by Nliiitend1 View Post
That's how it's done, yes.

If you're lucky, a press is all you will need to get things apart - but oftentimes the inner race ends up somewhat "fused" to the hub and needs to be cut off carefully (if re-using the hub).
Originally Posted by ArmanRus View Post
You're local repair shop will do it too if you don't have a press. I was charged $30 for one side.

Or you could get the FWD wheel bearing tool from Harbor Freight.
@ArmanRus @Nliiitend1 What about the SKF BR930603 front hub assembly? $108ea.

Or the Duran International 29596023 Wheel Hub Repair Kit? $43ea.

Getting 2 wheel bearing & 2 retainer Rings comes to $67 with shipping. The Axle Nuts from RockAuto are for the European cars only, would ship from the UK, and would add $33 to my order.

Or I could get the Dura International kit, which comes with the axle nuts, but not Timken bearings?
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 Old 10-23-2015, 01:43 PM   #39
 
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Originally Posted by scubasteve View Post
@ArmanRus @Nliiitend1 What about the SKF BR930603 front hub assembly? $108ea.

Or the Duran International 29596023 Wheel Hub Repair Kit? $43ea.

Getting 2 wheel bearing & 2 retainer Rings comes to $67 with shipping. The Axle Nuts from RockAuto are for the European cars only, would ship from the UK, and would add $33 to my order.

Or I could get the Dura International kit, which comes with the axle nuts, but not Timken bearings?
It's up to you, I've never heard anything good or bad about the Dorman parts. But I went with Timken for peace of mind.

If you do get the Dorman kit, that axle nut might not be the right part. Their axle nut for our cars are listed as part number 615-097. It has the correct thread pitch, but the collar is not as wide as the OEM. Go to your local Mazda dealer and get the axle nuts from them. I can't remember how much they were but definitely not more than $33.

In summary:
  • Bearing and C-clip from RockAuto
  • Axle nut from stealership

Don't get the hub repair kit since you might not even need to replace the hubs. Just be careful in cutting a slot on the inner race that gets stuck. I used a Dremel instead of an angle grinder. And don't forget to hunt the internet for RockAuto coupon codes (normally 5% off).
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 Old 10-24-2015, 01:53 AM   #40
 
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I've had bad luck with Dorman. 2 purge valves died pretty quick imo I wouldn't go with them. I've had good luck having my local dealers, hb and Tustin Mazda match the onlinemazdaparts prices so get the axle nuts there $6.60 each for me. Much cheaper than the $33 you were quoted
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