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Mike Floutier

Rear Wheel Bearing - Hub Removal

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One of my rear wheel bearings has gone and I need to remove the old hub.

The manual has a long process involving removing the entire axle carrier which in turn means removing the exhaust pipes and drive shafts.

Has anyone been able to remove the hub without first removing the carrier?

Thanks.

Mike

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I would be shocked to hear you have to remove the entire carrier. Seems to me you should be able to disconnect the axle through the differential. I know on the Cadillac I had, I opened the pumpkin and easily disconnected the axles there then just pulled them out. Exhaust stuff always worries me as those parts are difficult to work with unless you are replacing everything. Denny

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I would be shocked to hear you have to remove the entire carrier. Seems to me you should be able to disconnect the axle through the differential. I know on the Cadillac I had, I opened the pumpkin and easily disconnected the axles there then just pulled them out. Exhaust stuff always worries me as those parts are difficult to work with unless you are replacing everything. Denny

Ok, I just took the wheel off to have a look and you do have to removethe drive shaft as it blocks access to two of the hub bolts.

That still leaves two questions:

1. Can you remove a drive shaft without first removing a tail pipe, and

2. Having removed the driveshaft, can you not then in bolt the hub and pull it off the carrier?

This would avoid having to remove:

1. Suspension lower arms 1 & 2,

2. Upper suspension arm,

3. Toe rod, and

4. Shock absorber lower mounting.

What is the point? All those ball joints can be so tiresome to seperate and refit.

If anyone has done the job I'd love to hear from you.

Regards,

Mike

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I haven't done it but it doesn't surprise me a bit.

Lexus seems to do a lot of progressive assembly designs. This is where you bury key assemblies underneath other assemblies. As a result they are difficult to get to. Starter motor and water pump come to mind. While there may be good design reasons to place these items where they do I think they failed to weigh the downstream maintenance cost to owners for putting them in these strange places. Total cost of ownership doesn't seem to be a factor in their decisions...

Good luck, hope your tail pipe doesn't disintegrate upon removal.

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I haven't done it but it doesn't surprise me a bit.

Lexus seems to do a lot of progressive assembly designs. This is where you bury key assemblies underneath other assemblies. As a result they are difficult to get to. Starter motor and water pump come to mind. While there may be good design reasons to place these items where they do I think they failed to weigh the downstream maintenance cost to owners for putting them in these strange places. Total cost of ownership doesn't seem to be a factor in their decisions...

Good luck, hope your tail pipe doesn't disintegrate upon removal.

Haha! will let you know how it goes.

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Live and learn. It really is interesting the progressive assembly mentioned above. I guess they figured they were not likely to ever wear out. Usually, they don't but that is a really good reason to change your differential fluid on a regular basis, especially for you high speed runners.

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Mike,

I've replace my rear bearing on my 2005 LS430. I'm not a mechanic, by trade, but I have always figured that if you really screw it up, you can always pay for someone to fix it.

Best I can remember:

1) I took the wheel and brake caliper off.

2) I had to remove the tie-rods (or whatever you call the tubes that connect to the shock).

After that, my memory fades on me, but I will say that two things really stick out:

1) The "dust shield" (which is the metal piece on the back of the hub eventually separated from the hub. My car came from up north, so it was almost like it was welded on the hub, due to rust.

2) You can remove the hub without taking the entire axle off. To do so, you will need to cut the boot strap (NOT THE BOOT), just the metal strap that keeps the grease in the boot. I had to do that, so I could slide the axle out, but remember the axle will not come completly out, but rather just enough to get the hub off.

I don't have the tool to recrimp another metal strap on the boot, so I used a metal clamp (sorry, I can't remember what you call it, but it's the one that you screw. As you screw it, it tightens the boot down.). I also pack the boot with high temp grease. You can get that at the auto parts store.

The only part that I was not 100% satisfied with was when I had to tighten all the bolts on the tie-rods. The one on the bottom, closest to the wheel turned on the other end. It does not have a wrench head, so I could only get it so tight before the screw started turning. Maybe you know how to fix that issue. I highly recommend an air impact wrench. It saved me a lot of time and sweat.

I've put about 20,000 miles on the car since replacing the hub, no problem with it yet.

Let me know if you need to know where to order the hub or any other specifics. Sorry for knowing all the terms. Like I said in the beginning, I not a mechanic, I just like to work on my car.

Oh, by the way, this was on the left rear hub. I don't know which one your replacing, but I did NOT have to mess with the exhaust system. Also, be careful, some of tie-rods are under a lot of stress. I recommend a good crow bar or some other leverage tools. It will make the job safer and easier.

Sincerely,

Mike

Birmingham, AL

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Hi Mike,

Many thanks for taking the trouble to share you experience, I've found this board such an encouragement to have a go at things I wouldn't have tried without this support.

Because I'm a professional driver and very busy at the moment I asked my garage to do the work. They did manage to remove the hub in the manner you suggested and we got away without having to use the hub carrier or back plate which I will be returning today for a refund of £400 (around $600 I guess). It was almost "welded" on as you mentioned and they spent a long time using special pullers to get the hub off the carrier. I'm glad I didn't try myself as I don't have that range of tools.

Anyway, new hub + bearings now installed so Lexy is back to it's usual ultra quiet self.

The screw clip you mention we call a Jubilee clip in the UK, not sure if it's the same in the States.

Regarding tightening ball joints, I suppose it's safe to leave them loose if there is a strong safety clip on the castellated nut. However, I had this problem when refitting the steering knuckle and front hub - ie. upper arm ball joint - like yours the tapered shaft didn't want to grip and also just went round and round. Someone recommended smearing toothpaste on the taper as it is abrasive. I used Loctite (thread locking fluid)and wedged the parts firmly together before smartly tightening the nut - phew, that was a relief.

Thanks again!

Mike

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I would be shocked to hear you have to remove the entire carrier. Seems to me you should be able to disconnect the axle through the differential. I know on the Cadillac I had, I opened the pumpkin and easily disconnected the axles there then just pulled them out. Exhaust stuff always worries me as those parts are difficult to work with unless you are replacing everything. Denny

Ok, I just took the wheel off to have a look and you do have to removethe drive shaft as it blocks access to two of the hub bolts.

That still leaves two questions:

1. Can you remove a drive shaft without first removing a tail pipe, and

2. Having removed the driveshaft, can you not then in bolt the hub and pull it off the carrier?

This would avoid having to remove:

1. Suspension lower arms 1 & 2,

2. Upper suspension arm,

3. Toe rod, and

4. Shock absorber lower mounting.

What is the point? All those ball joints can be so tiresome to seperate and refit.

If anyone has done the job I'd love to hear from you.

Regards,

Mike

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Hello Mike,

My husband just did it!! Removed the hub that is.... I have a 99 Q4 audi,,, How did he do it... only took 3 hours,, 4 beers, 1 finger and alot of cussing!!! now for the wheelbearings..... lol

Terry

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