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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Four Rings GetBoosted84's Avatar
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    Changing a Rear Wheel Bearing Without a Press... Possible?

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    Just wondering if anyone has any tips or tricks for pulling this off. I need to swap out my rear wheel bearing and I don't have an arbor press so I would like to avoid having to bring the whole assembly over to a local shop.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Forum Moderator Four Rings blacka4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GetBoosted84 View Post
    Just wondering if anyone has any tips or tricks for pulling this off. I need to swap out my rear wheel bearing and I don't have an arbor press so I would like to avoid having to bring the whole assembly over to a local shop.

    Thanks!
    Nope, not possible. Well you could do it by hitting it with a hammer to get the old one out but I would have a shop press in the new one.

    Now, I have not done a wheel bearing in a few years so something could have changed, but I know the dealer still presses them out and back in because a friend just had hers replaced at the local dealer for 300 dollars
    -Rob - Moderator - PM Me!

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  3. #3
    Veteran Member Four Rings GetBoosted84's Avatar
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    I figured that was going to be the consensus.
    2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium
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  4. #4
    Veteran Member Four Rings rocky.ca's Avatar
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    Ive done it. Without a press lol. Really ghetto though. Bottle jack and a steel table
    Brilliant Shwartz 2004 S4: Stock

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Four Rings GetBoosted84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky.ca View Post
    Bottle jack and a steel table
    lol, care to elaborate? That sounds intriguing.
    2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium
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    DIY: Audi A4 4:1 Center Diff Mod
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    I've haven't had to change the rear wheel bearings on my Audi yet but I have done them on my Corrado and Syncro and haven't needed a press yet. The bearings aren't hard to get out and back in, this is what I did for my Corrado with some spare metal and a long bolt from a spring compressor... http://www.corrado-club.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9170 A little imagination a few hand tools should do the trick.
    - 2000 Audi A4 QTM
    - 1994 Corrado VR6
    - 1991 Jetta G60 Coupe Syncro

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Four Rings walky_talky20's Avatar
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    When one of my rear wheel bearings went bad, I tried to pull the entire upright, but the lower bushing was causing a problem and not coming apart. Would have had to destroy the bushing to get it apart and that was not an option. We ended up changing the bearing right on the car. No "hub shark" or anything either. My Father did the bearing removal and installation part, and it was a couple years ago so I don't remember the details. Tomorrow I can ask him how exactly he did it.

    It isn't really the recommended way to do it, but it is possible in a pinch.
    ^Don't listen to this guy, he's not even a mechanic.
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  8. #8
    Veteran Member Four Rings mholme's Avatar
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    Just take it out and bring it to a shop. Pressing a wheel bearing in is not hard to do for them and will cost you no more than an hour of labor. I just took my carrier in loose last week to the BMW shop down the street and they did it for 45 dollars. Just make sure they know it's a stepped bearing and only goes in one way.
    08 S4- Stock

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  9. #9
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    let me know when you want to do it. I can run it to my friends house and use his press.
    2001 A4 Avant 2.0t comp CT4 5858 Maestro Tune
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    I did my rears on Friday, it took 18,000lbs after being under the torch for 5 minutes. They were siezed

  11. #11
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    I tried mine using a pretty huge Record 25 Vice and they wouldnt budge, even with a bit of scaffolding tube over the vice handle. Took them to a local engineering shop who pressed both of them in for 30

  12. #12
    Veteran Member Four Rings GetBoosted84's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help guys. I really appreciate all the responses!

    Poopie, I'm going to pull it this weekend so I'll give you a call to see what you're up to.
    2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium
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    1988 Mazda RX-7 GXL

    DIY: Audi A4 4:1 Center Diff Mod
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  13. #13
    Veteran Member Four Rings Seerlah's Avatar
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    http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B5_A4-...ler/ES1306825/

    I am sure you can find this kit for cheaper elsewhere (Harbor Freight). It also saves on the cost of alignment. My mechanic uses this at his shop, or a similar tool. The ECS cost may be expensive, but not when you factor in time it saves on labor, cost of alignment, and the number of times our wheel bearings go bad. You can even recuperate money by doing other people's wheel bearings for like $20 a pop.
    I hate it when my car acts like a little bitch, treating me like the bitch

  14. #14
    Active Member Two Rings
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    The bearing pullers are a joke for this car. The bearings are in deep and tight (pervs). I did both my rears 2 weeks ago using a 12 ton press ($140 @ summit racing!) and there was so much tension on the bearings I had to use half a 50gal drum as a riot shield because I was afraid when it finally broke free it was going to do so in an explosive way. In all its an easy job but you do have to be creative to get them out because the upright is oddly shaped. I had it balanced on jack stands for the press out.

    To be honest removing the ABS sensor was harder. Looking back I would have disconnected the cable instead of trying to extract the sensors from the upright. A $130 lesson learned.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seerlah View Post
    http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B5_A4-...ler/ES1306825/

    I am sure you can find this kit for cheaper elsewhere (Harbor Freight). It also saves on the cost of alignment. My mechanic uses this at his shop, or a similar tool. The ECS cost may be expensive, but not when you factor in time it saves on labor, cost of alignment, and the number of times our wheel bearings go bad. You can even recuperate money by doing other people's wheel bearings for like $20 a pop.
    I am willing to bet anything that the kit you linked above is in fact from harbor freight. My friend bought the ECS caliper compressor kit and when the got it the ECS sticker had practically fallen off. My next trip to harbor freight I saw an identical kit, in a red box too. A former employee confirmed that the majority of the "ECS" brand tools are harbor freight tools with an ECS sticker on them and are marked up beyond belief

  16. #16
    Veteran Member Four Rings Seerlah's Avatar
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    The pullers aren't a joke. As I mentioned before, my mechanic uses a puller tool. I did not know this until I was not able to remove my camber bolt, and ended up bringing it in to him and he used his tool with no issue. Just saying. Maybe he has a better quality unit than others on the market, but it def worked.

    Sensors can also be sought for cheap, if you have the PN. Just replaced my front one last week with a "used" OEM unit ($150+ brand new) I found from a VW for $25. ABS light is gone and all is good.
    I hate it when my car acts like a little bitch, treating me like the bitch

  17. #17
    Senior Member Three Rings Urtorsen's Avatar
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    ^^^ got that kit from harbour freight and its well worth the $$, just clean the area well and itll come out with a little coaxing,putting it in was easy with that tool. at least you'll have it for the other bearings and when you add up downtime,abs sensor replacement,and paying for a shop to press it youll be better off with it

  18. #18
    Veteran Member Four Rings GetBoosted84's Avatar
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    Ended up breaking in Poopie's press for him over the weekend (thanks again dude). With a press, getting that bearing replaced isn't too bad. I can see that not being a ton of fun without one though.
    2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium
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  19. #19
    Established Member Four Rings SJorge3442's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walky_talky20 View Post
    When one of my rear wheel bearings went bad, I tried to pull the entire upright, but the lower bushing was causing a problem and not coming apart. Would have had to destroy the bushing to get it apart and that was not an option. We ended up changing the bearing right on the car. No "hub shark" or anything either. My Father did the bearing removal and installation part, and it was a couple years ago so I don't remember the details. Tomorrow I can ask him how exactly he did it.

    It isn't really the recommended way to do it, but it is possible in a pinch.
    Three years late to the party, but care to elaborate now? I have a bearing that is bad and needs fixing . I just got an alignment too so.....
    2003 3.0 B6 A4. 127k on the clock. I do a lot of & a lot of .

  20. #20
    Established Member Four Rings SJorge3442's Avatar
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    Anyone have tips to do this ?
    2003 3.0 B6 A4. 127k on the clock. I do a lot of & a lot of .

  21. #21
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    If you live in a rust belt it is hard because obviously things tend to want to rust in place but I don't there so it is not hard at all. I went and bought a large section of mild steel tubing that was big enough to just fit around the hub and I think a 1" cross bar. I went and bought a set of cheap spring compressors for the nice long bolt and then I drilled a few holes and was ready.

    I used a socket that was just big enough to sit on the rear flange of the hub that was a 3/4" drive socket so the big bolt would go through. I put it all in place and then I can get the hub out with the outer race on the bub to access the bearing. This thread goes over the rest but it is on the front and it is a Corrado but the concept is the same.... http://www.corrado-club.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9170 You will need something that is the same diameter as the bearing to pull it back into the hub, I had a buddy turn something up but I am sure you can find something. That worked great and I still use the basic setup for the Corrado. I have to update the Corrado thread, it is missing the pics where you use a bearing splitter to pull the outer bearing race off of it.

    The Corrado uses a different sized bearing that the Corrado so when I had to do them on my Audi I bought this lit from ECS when it was on sale and I use the dies from it... http://www.ecstuning.com/ES1306825/ This how I did them on my A4...

















    - 2000 Audi A4 QTM
    - 1994 Corrado VR6
    - 1991 Jetta G60 Coupe Syncro

  22. #22
    Established Member Four Rings SJorge3442's Avatar
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    I have no problem buying Thursday ecs tool, but it's not in stock till septemeber. My bearing is screaming now. I may ask the small indie ship it down the road how much he wants to do it for me .
    2003 3.0 B6 A4. 127k on the clock. I do a lot of & a lot of .

  23. #23
    Established Member Two Rings allstock's Avatar
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    It's very doable. This kit makes it easy and is worth it. http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B5_A4-...ben/ES2561175/ The fronts are a little more involved. You can also use this to compress the front's.
    The ecs kit mentioned by previous posters is for compression only.

  24. #24
    Established Member Four Rings SJorge3442's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allstock View Post
    It's very doable. This kit makes it easy and is worth it. http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B5_A4-...ben/ES2561175/ The fronts are a little more involved. You can also use this to compress the front's.
    The ecs kit mentioned by previous posters is for compression only.
    It's out of stock which is just my luck
    2003 3.0 B6 A4. 127k on the clock. I do a lot of & a lot of .

  25. #25
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by allstock View Post
    It's very doable. This kit makes it easy and is worth it. http://www.ecstuning.com/Audi-B5_A4-...ben/ES2561175/ The fronts are a little more involved. You can also use this to compress the front's.
    The ecs kit mentioned by previous posters is for compression only.
    The one I mentioned will pull the bearing in and out, it does not do the hub which is why I do what I do in the first two images above. Unless you are using new hubs you will also need a bearing splitter to get the outer race of the bearing off of the hub. Places like Pep Boys will loan you a hub tool from what I hear.
    - 2000 Audi A4 QTM
    - 1994 Corrado VR6
    - 1991 Jetta G60 Coupe Syncro

  26. #26
    Veteran Member Four Rings Avant Nate's Avatar
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    I have the harbor Freight version. Using the screw didn't work for me. I was about to give up and take the spindle somewhere to get pressed, but the spacer that comes with the kit and a little 4lbs sledge it it came out out a couple minutes. You have to take the spindle off and lay it on scrap piece of 2x4 or whatever. I dont live in a rusty area though.
    99.5 1.8T QMS: GT2860RS .63 T3, PSI T3 Mani, Turbosmart 38mm EWG, Unitronic 415, Forge 007, Treadstone TR18 FMIC, Walbro 255, FSI coil conversion, 3" DIY Magnaflow exhaust Have a GT2871r to install when I have time
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  27. #27
    Established Member Four Rings RENOxDECEPTION's Avatar
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    Just gonna leave this here.
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  28. #28
    Established Member Two Rings SHR's Avatar
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    I just replaced the rear wheel bearing on my B5 this weekend. I removed the upright, took it Pep Boys, and a couple of hours and $43 later I have a nice quiet ride. I too was waiting for the back ordered ECS tool which I ordered last spring, every month passed with an update to the scheduled availability pushing it out another couple of months. I ordered the other tool they have however the kit is labeled for the front bearing on the outside of the box. I am returning it unused and I canceled my order for the rear bearing tool. IMO it's not a big deal to take the upright to a shop to be pressed, unless you plan on doing lots of bearings, which I hope I don't have to do.
    2012 S4 | Phantom Black | Prestige | Titanium | Black Silk Nappa | 6MT | Sport Diff | Carbon Inlay | Full Front 3M Paint Protection | 3M Crystaline Tint 50% | Passport SRX | Bilstein Eibach B12 Prokit GTF 25.7 | Wilson Electronics Signal Booster | DIY and OEM IC Protection Screen | Piano Black Painted Dash Surround | BFI Spacers 10mm x 4 | Michelin Pilot Super Sport 245/35 19 |

  29. #29
    Established Member Four Rings SJorge3442's Avatar
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    I ended up just ordering a used spindle and bearing from eBay. Hopefully everything works out.
    2003 3.0 B6 A4. 127k on the clock. I do a lot of & a lot of .

  30. #30
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Good luck with used, these go so often and a lot of the cars on eBay are wrecked so you may get another knuckle with a damaged bearing. When you get the knuckle just spin the hub and if it is smooth you are probably good but if it feels rough then it will need to be replaced. Don't know why but these cars seem to enjoy eating wheel bearings. Don't forget, if you remove the rear knuckle you have to do a rear wheel alignment as well.
    - 2000 Audi A4 QTM
    - 1994 Corrado VR6
    - 1991 Jetta G60 Coupe Syncro

  31. #31
    Established Member Four Rings SJorge3442's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corrado_Guy View Post
    Good luck with used, these go so often and a lot of the cars on eBay are wrecked so you may get another knuckle with a damaged bearing. When you get the knuckle just spin the hub and if it is smooth you are probably good but if it feels rough then it will need to be replaced. Don't know why but these cars seem to enjoy eating wheel bearings. Don't forget, if you remove the rear knuckle you have to do a rear wheel alignment as well.
    Yeah I am hoping for the best. I don't have any time for downtime with my car since its my only car. I will use this one of its good and then if I need to replace the bearing down the road, I will just get a new one pressed into my hub and then swap them again.
    2003 3.0 B6 A4. 127k on the clock. I do a lot of & a lot of .

  32. #32
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJorge3442 View Post
    Yeah I am hoping for the best. I don't have any time for downtime with my car since its my only car. I will use this one of its good and then if I need to replace the bearing down the road, I will just get a new one pressed into my hub and then swap them again.
    Good thinking, it is win-win either way.
    - 2000 Audi A4 QTM
    - 1994 Corrado VR6
    - 1991 Jetta G60 Coupe Syncro

  33. #33
    Registered Member One Ring Matt@DIYGarage's Avatar
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    This video will take you through the steps to change a b5 s4 bearing - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr5FSZZUGQQ
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  34. #34
    Veteran Member Four Rings walky_talky20's Avatar
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    ^Matt, there are so many problems you didn't get the pleasure of running into on that S4.

    - Camber nut fused to bolt
    - Camber bolt sheared off when removing nut
    - Camber bolt fused to lower bushing ID (THAT'S a fun one)
    - Tie rod end fused to upright (you didn't even hit it...really? Really?)

    Quote Originally Posted by SJorge3442 View Post
    Three years late to the party, but care to elaborate now? I have a bearing that is bad and needs fixing . I just got an alignment too so.....
    So, in my case, the upright could not be removed from the car. The camber bolt broke, and was 100% fused to the ID of the lower bushing. It needed torched to remove it from the car. It was Saturday and replacement bushings were 3 days out. Torch was not an option. So my father "made it happen" anyway. Approximate steps for doing this on the car without a "hub shark" type of tool were as follows:

    - Unbolt and remove outer CV from the hub.
    - Slide hammer the bearing, busting it apart. Most of it comes out, outer case is still in there.
    - Cut outer casing apart with torch and remove outer casing.
    - Clean up bore
    - Hammer in new bearing by touching only the outer casing (use an old bearing in front of the new one to drive it in)
    - Done

    There are lots of ways this can go wrong, and you should not plan on completing it this way. I was in a jam and needed the car back together.

    I suggest that anyone attempting a rear wheel bearing job on a quattro B5 should have new lower bushings on hand if they live anywhere that road salt is used. The bushings are $4 each and you need 2. You should have a new camber bolt as well. You can test this stuff to see if it is fused first. You can paint mark it, loosen and make sure it spins, then put it back where it was and tighten it. You'll alter the alignment just slightly. Do that 1 week before you do the bearing, so you have time to obtain the bushings and bolt. Sometimes you can use an air hammer to loosen a stuck camber bolt. Sometimes it too badly fused and you have to torch some stuff.
    Last edited by walky_talky20; 08-21-2014 at 02:16 PM.
    ^Don't listen to this guy, he's not even a mechanic.
    2001 Laser Red A4 1.8TQM, 5-Speed Swapped, APR 93, Splitter, electronic oil pressure gauge, B6 Sport 17's, ST Coilovers,
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  35. #35
    Senior Member Three Rings BaconBait's Avatar
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    I used the harbor freight bearing tool on the front and rear. The good news is that the only control arm bolt that needs to come out is the upper arm to spindle so you can get the axle out of the way. The bad news is that I have also stripped the bolt for the kit when I was using a breaker bar and a lead pipe for extra leverage.
    -Craig
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  36. #36
    Registered Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by GetBoosted84 View Post
    Just wondering if anyone has any tips or tricks for pulling this off. I need to swap out my rear wheel bearing and I don't have an arbor press so I would like to avoid having to bring the whole assembly over to a local shop.

    Thanks!
    It can be done without a press, but your far better off using the right tools

  37. #37
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3dsteel View Post
    It can be done without a press, but your far better off using the right tools
    How are you better off? Instead of removing a few bolts that you would have to remove anyway and then use a hub shark you have to take the rear knuckle out and have an alignment done. I think there is a right tool for each situation, if you don't live in the rust belt then save yourself some time and money and use a hub shark otherwise spend more time and money and use a press. I don't live in the rust belt and even when I worked for VW/Audi they used the VW/Audi hub shark tool to do wheel bearings unless they had to take the knuckle out. I don't know about you but for the rears I can do it in half the time with the knuckle on the car and I don't have to do an alignment each time.
    - 2000 Audi A4 QTM
    - 1994 Corrado VR6
    - 1991 Jetta G60 Coupe Syncro



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