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Old 03-21-2020, 11:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Half Moon Bay
Posts: 46
syncrocrick is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
With the right bearing tool it’s not a problem to change in place. My bearing press is good for about 61T.

How did you pull the hub (or should I say push)?
Sorry I am not sure right now what "right bearing tool" you are referring to but as far as I know you would still need to get the axle out before you can take the bearing out.

So you would need to unconnect the hub anyway - at least partially. You need to at least unbolt the strut and take one of the control arms out. At that point you are only two bolts away(tie rod and second control arm) from removing it all. So I think for most people it makes a lot more sense to just remove it entirely and take it on a press.

Check and replace/service your ball joints, control arms, brakes and such at the same time - these parts are all so cheap now.

We used this kit, and more specifically the 3 legs puller on the left to push the axle.

Last edited by syncrocrick; 03-22-2020 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 04-01-2021, 12:30 AM
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 379
Effduration is on a distinguished road
What a great thread...Learned a ton..Thanks to all. I am gearing up to do this job. Given Andrew's experience with two X5's, I imagine I will need to do this a few times..I also have two X5's.

I think the first time I do this, I am going to remove the knuckle assembly all together and have the bearing pressed in by somebody else. I may then try a future bearing replacements using the knuckle-in-place methods described here...maybe modifying the HF bearing set with bigger holes and a 1 inch bolt.

I decided to buy a used knuckle on Ebay for $40 and practice. I placed the knuckle upside down on a couple of 4x4's and was able to tap out the hub from the back using an appropriately-sized impact socket and a 5lb hammer.

I then practiced cutting the inner race off the hub with a dremel. I actually cut the race about halfway depth with a single diagonal cut and then hit it with a cold chisel and 5lb hammer..sure enough it cracked and I was able to get it off. No damage to the hub from this dremel/chisel work.

I was able to get snap ring off without much drama - two skinny punches inserted and squeezed together with an adjustable plumber's pliers. I really need to buy a decent set of snap-ring pliers.

I then found my largest socket (1.75 or 2 inch) and was able to tap out what was left of the bearing from the back by tapping on the remaining inner race.

I wouldn't install the bearing using these cave man techniques, but at least I'll only be paying for a bearing and hub install, not a removal and an install.

The big surprise in the Ebay knuckle I bought for practice was that the bearing had been replaced before. The bearing said "China" on it. The hub had also been damaged when somebody used a chisel to try and pry a previous inner race off the hub. The hub surface where the inner race rests was not smooth as a result of the ham-fisted chisel attempt. I wouldn't re-use this hub...

Last edited by Effduration; 04-01-2021 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 04-01-2021, 01:23 AM
andrewwynn's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 7,257
andrewwynn is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by syncrocrick View Post
Sorry I am not sure right now what "right bearing tool" you are referring to but as far as I know you would still need to get the axle out before you can take the bearing out.

By "right bearing tool" I'm meaning one with at least 7/8" threaded rod for pushing.

I only remove the two bolts for the strut tower to give me enough room to push out the axle
E53 / M54 2001 3.0i gas LHD (pair of them: his & her)
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