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-   -   Front Wheel Bearing R&R (https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/x5-e53-forum/89748-front-wheel-bearing-r-r.html)

davintosh 10-23-2012 01:12 AM

Front Wheel Bearing R&R
We took the X5 on a somewhat extended highway drive over the weekend, and I noticed some noise that sounds an awful lot like a front bearing going out. So I did some searching and didn't come up with any good writeups on replacing that bearing; mostly just people saying it's a bear and it's best to just hire it out. That seemed odd to me since it doesn't appear to be that much different than replacing a rear wheel bearing on other BMW vehicles, nor much different than other front-drive vehicles. The BMW TIS for this job lists a bunch of special tools, but I've seen several how-to videos on YouTube that show how universal kits can be used instead of the special tools... It just doesn't appear that it should be a terribly difficult job. Or is there something I'm missing in all this?

Also, the BMW TIS doesn't say much about removing the race from the hub, and there's mention of (some dealer shops) that the front hub is destroyed & needs to be replaced when replacing the bearing; is this normal, or is it just that the old bearing race ends up stuck on the hub and might damage it?

Thanks for any tips or pointers or links you can offer!

killcrap 10-23-2012 08:04 AM

the wheel bearing is destroyed upon removal. the hub can be reused, however BMW states that the hub must be replaced. BMW sells all the tools necessary for this repair. The inner bearing race removal tool

83 30 0 493 416

current retail is $703.03+local sales tax.

it is much affordable to use a pry bar, and an air chizel to walk the bearing race out of the hub.

davintosh 10-23-2012 12:34 PM

Thanks for the info. I'll probably pass on the $700 tool; yikes! This thread covers a similar bearing R&R on an e39; he used an angle grinder to cut a couple of slots in the old race so that a bearing splitter could be fitted on it, then used a gear puller to get the race off the hub.


I had similar problems getting the inner race off the spindle when I changed out the front bearing on my e32; wish I'd known about that trick two years ago!

There are some good ideas in that thread for getting the job done with minimal hassle, but I know it's not going to be a walk in the park.

I'm going to go ahead & order parts for this job, and just do all four bearings. The maintenance records don't show that it's been done before (in 155,000 miles), and if one is rumbling now, it's probably just a matter of time before the others start in.

2 33411095238 Rear Wheel Bearing
8 33406765432 Torx Screw
2 31226783913 Front Wheel Bearing
2 31206751740 Dust Protection Cover
4 33411133785 Collar Nut
4 34211161806 Inner Hex Bolt

I'll do my best to photograph the ordeal & put together a thread on the job when I'm done.

Ricky Bobby 12-11-2012 07:06 PM

what are the noises/symptoms of bad wheel bearings? anyone have a video?

I still need to get my car aligned and tires rebalanced, but once i get up to about 40 or so, I notice this humming noise that is like going over a metal bridge but quieter. It also varies with different speeds. I hope its not wheel bearings because this seems like a bitch of a job.

davintosh 12-11-2012 07:23 PM

Sorry to say, but that sounds an awful lot like bearings to me. I could be wrong...

TriX5 12-11-2012 10:43 PM

I did this job last January. Cut a groove in the bearing race and snap it with a drift. Not a big problem if you can handle a mechanics hammer. However I bought a press to get the assembly apart and back together. Maybe doable without a press but I would not want to try.

I never thought about change the hub carrier. It is very sturdy and I can't think of any good reason to swap unless damaged.

Good luck.

Skyline 12-11-2012 11:57 PM

The TIS says the drive flange needs to be replaced. Can someone tell me the logic behind that???

davintosh 12-12-2012 01:57 AM


Originally Posted by Skyline (Post 911218)
The TIS says the drive flange needs to be replaced. Can someone tell me the logic behind that???

I think it has to do with the way the bearing comes apart when the drive flange is removed from the axle; the inner race is stuck on it. I don't see any reason why you can't just remove the race as outlined above, clean it up & reuse it.

On other cars -- e28 and e32 come to mind -- the hub, bearing & ABS tone ring are all integrated; the bearing goes out and you replace the whole works as one part. They're pretty spendy to replace.

Ricky Bobby 12-13-2012 10:23 AM

i'm pretty sure when driving above 40 last night and hearing the noise, i took a right handed turn and the noise went away temporarily, if it disappears while turning its most likely a wheel bearing right?

If so, here's a diagram:


If I replace the bearing with the hub assembly and parts (5,6,7,8,9) would it be theoretically an easier job than removing the bearing from the old hub?

Looks like new hub and other pieces are about 100 bucks per side, might be worth it to replace those if it means I can do the job at home. Not too much money to pay the indy right now.

davintosh 12-13-2012 10:51 AM

Getting the bearing race off of the hub flange isn't that big a deal; I've posted about this elsewhere, mentioning the fancy bearing splitter method I brought up above ^^^, and others say they usually just take a Dremel tool with a cutoff wheel to that inner bearing race. Cut most of the way through it, but not into the hub, then hit the crack with a chisel & hammer, and it splits the rest of the way open. Drive something in to wedge the crack open further, and it just falls off.

Once you've got the new bearing in place and the hub back in the bearing, I understand getting the axle back into the splines on the hub can be a chore, but you can make a tool for not a lot of money to help grab the threads on the axle and pull it back towards you; instructions are in that thread I linked to above.


Or, I've made one of my own, and you can sure borrow it once I'm done with it, probably in the next couple of weeks.

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