I don't know what else would lead to premature failure. Potholes and bad roads are the number 1 cause of failure from what I have read and reducing the sidewall with lower profile tires makes it worse.
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OK, my son and I completed the axle/hub/bearing replacement today...no extreme measures were needed.
The rotors popped off easily, but I had my "extraction" bolts just in case. I have seen posts about these being 12mm bolts. They are 8mm X 1.25 bolts, and have a 13mm head.
Some of the 17mm bolts are very hard to get at with conventional 1/2 inch sockets. I had to use an open end wrench on one because there was just no clearance. For future jobs I will use either a good swivel socket or a 6 point box end wrench.
The unit did not come out easily at first, so I put a jack with a couple of short pieces of 2X4 under the lower arm to raise it. I had a jack stand under the arm just outside the swivel point also for safety. I did this to make the unit level so that I could put penetrating oil in each of the 4 holes, on the top flange, and on the back side where the ABS unit was. I kept hitting it with penetrating oil for around 4 hours and then used a 3# hammer on the outside flange at a downward and slight outward angle. At this point, the unit came out rather easily.
I think that the penetrating oil helped, but also having the jack underneath helped because it made everything more rigid so that the hammer blows had maximum effect.
The new bearing went in very easily, there was no interference whatsoever by the hole in the knuckle.
So, now I am ready to do the other side, but I was thinking....I have 127K on my LS. I had 215K on my old Volvo and never needed a wheel bearing. I bought two hub/bearings, but now I am wondering if I really need to replace the passenger side. Do you guys replace both when you do bearing?
Alright so I creep around this forum alot and have found lots of great info from members on here so I thought it would be right to give back to the community a little bit. This is my first write up so go easy on me... hopefully this helps someone save alittle money and replace thier wheel bearing hub assembly themselves! This may be the same for 2001-2003 as well but I'm not 100%.
Its fairly simple and straight forward If you can do brakes you can do this!!!
So first things first. You need to identify which wheel bearing is bad. I had some pretty worn out tires on my car and thought the loud vibration/rumble was because of that. After replacing my worn tires the rumble was still there. I couldnt think of what else would be causing such a noise considering my alignment was good. So I asked around and talked to a few mechanics and friends asking for thier input on what they thought it could be. Everyone suggested wheel bearings.
I had to determine which bearing was bad. I simply raised the car off the ground and and listened closely to each wheel as I spun it. Some recommend a sethescope. In my experience it is easier to hear when you get the wheel going faster rather than slow.
Listen for a grinding,friction, or just an un-smooth sound. Its a different sound than you rotors and pads touching alittle. (kinda hard to explain but you should hear a noticable differnce between a good and bad bearing.)
Ok on to the pictures and procedure, (sorry for the iphone pics)
First remove the wheel...
Next you will need to remove the caliper. It is only 2 bolts they are 19mm.
also unclip the "brake pad warning" sensor so you can get the caliper out of your way. Alot of guys set the caliper on a bucket or zip tie it up to the coil spring. Just get it out of your way and make sure it cant fall or drop so you dont damage your brake line or anything else for that matter.
Remove the rotor. You may need to gently knock it loose.
Now if you turn the wheel to the extreme left or right so you can see behind it you will see 4 bolts holding the whole hub assembly to the "spindle?" (Not sure the correct term or not.) They are 17mm Bolts. Remove them.
After removing them you will notice the hub assembly is stuck on there pretty well. Alot of times these seize on to the spindle and are quite difficult to remove. This is probally the most difficult and time consuming part.
Unclip the abs sensor.
What I found works well is a little mini sledge and a punch or a pry bar. Give the wheel hub some pretty good whacks all around it. Dont worry about damaging the hub its no good anymore anyway. Now you will need to work around the back of the spindle.
I couldnt get a good picture on the car but this is the area you will need to hit with the punch on the old wheel bearing.
Take your Punch and work it around hitting the edge of the wheel hub from the back of the spindle. You will probally need to do this a few times and quite hard.
Once the old hub and Brake dust shield has been removed you will need to get all the corrosion and dirt out of the hole in the spindle where the hub slides into. A wire brush works great for this.
Once the area is clean put the dust shield on the spindle and try to fit the hub into the spindle. Make sure it goes in fairly straight. If it is hard to get in you need to clean your spindle somemore. (The abs sensor points toward the rear of the vehicle)
Insert the bolts and tighten down in a diaganal pattern little by little similar to how you would mount a tire.
Make sure everything is tight plug your sensors back in, attach the rotor and reattach the caliper. Re-install the wheel.
Thats pretty much it! Hopefully this was helpful and clear. If you have any questions let me know or feel free to add any suggestions or comments! Thanks!
Sorry guys, haven't been on the forum for a few days, still have not done the passenger side bearing. My LS is a 2003 with 127K miles. I bought it from a heavy guy, probably 250 pounds. Each wheel has around 1000 pounds load on it, so I am thinking the extra load on the front drivers side contributed to the premature failure of the bearing. I think 127K is premature, don't know for sure what the average is....
Has anyone else replaced their front wheel bearings only to have them fail again within 20,000 miles? I've replaced the front wheel bearings twice and I can hear the beginings of another failure coming on. These are Lexus parts from a Lexus dealer. They are sealed bearings so I shouldn't have to pack them with grease...Right? I've become an expert at replacing these darn things, but it is getting annoying. The originals went a 100K before needing replacement. The new ones can't come close to that (rears seem to be doing fine). I don't hit much in terms of pot holes so what gives?
I too seem to have a defective wheel bearing / abs sensor. Seems to be a design / manufacturing defect if so many people have this problem.
Have any of your guys tried Moog components? I know they have a really good reputation - stronger than OE stuff usually.
Also, did you need a special tool to remove the 17mm bolts keeping the hub to the knuckle? It says so in the manual. Doesn't look like any of you used the tool. Also, how can you put a torque wrench on the bolts? Isn't it tight?
I've got to do this job soon, just want to get prepared.
Putting any other hub than strictly toyota/lexus original will bite you in *** VERY hard.
Moog - what a piece of crap man
And you'll manage without SST for these bolts. Just follow this pictured writeup
I had no success hammering on the bolts from the back. I used an extension with a cheap socket to prevent damaging the bolts, but this did not help get the bearing out.
What got the bearing out in my case was hammering directly on the bearing at the top and bottom of it from the outside. In other words hammering on the part that has the wheel studs. I used a slight outward angle, and started with small blows and gradually increased the swing, since I don't swing a hammer for a living. It only took 4 or 5 swings at the top before I saw some clearance. Then, I switched to the bottom, and in a couple of swings the bearing was out.
As I said earlier, I really think that it was either the penetrating oil or the fact that I had supported the suspension with a jack while I was hammering. This made it so that all of the hammer force got absorbed by the bearing.
Thanks Peafarmer, I did try my best but I gave up in the end.
The good news was that I'd obtained the OEM parts from Amayama in the UAE for £400 less than the Lexus dealer price (even with their generous 17.5% discount). So I handed it over to my trusted mechanic who fortunately has a 40 ton press and fitted all four hubs for less than the £400 I'd saved so I was very happy.
The really funny thing was that when I drove it afterwards, the noise that I had thought was one of the bearings, was still there. I'm guessing that it's probably just another worn tyre.
Anyway, I've done 200,000 miles and I'm planning to keep it for another 150-200,000 so it's probably a good time to change them anyway. I'll call it preventative maintenance.