I am an ametuer mechanic so when I successfully installed a differential I was enboldened to replace the loud roaring rear wheel bearing.
This job has now taken me two days of serious frustration and I am sitting here with my car on jacks and a brand new and now broken wheel bearing. If you have a job, I definately recommend leaving this to the pro's, but since I'm outa work I plod on.
Getting the bearing out with a puller and large socket was not super difficult. As the manual said the inner race was stuck on the hub. Hmmm walked over to my local gas station and mechanic cut it off for $10 cash, seemed like a good deal and the small cut in the hub shouldn't cause much harm since it fits tight with the new race.
Pounding the new bearing in with a hammer was my first huge dissapointment. The races seem to fly right off with little effort and putting them back on took hours of frustration and left my bearing in a condition that I feel obligated to start with a new bearing. Loss $45 and 6 frustrating hours. Oh yeah and now I have to get the new inner race cut off the hub again, another $10.
Today I called for quotes to have this done and it looks like I can get the job done for $225 since my half axel is already out etc. Great deal in hindsight but I am out of work and now its personal.
I have turned to the internet and looked at the tools the pro's use for this job. Does anyone know of a good honest repair manual?? Haynes makes this job look easy and has no mention of special tools needed or obstacles!!!
Looking at the $250 dollar bmw part needed for this job I realized that I might be able to make the same thing with a heavy duty long bolt, nut and large heavy washers from a hardware store.
The bolt will hold the bearing together when you "gently" pound it in. This is very important to keep the bearing intact because it seems to want to fall apart. Attempts to get it back together leave the bearing in a condition that might be worse than the burned out bearing.
Using this same bolt I plan to pull the hub on by tightening the nut of my "special tool". There will be a heavy washer holding the back of the bearing together and the other end of this bolt will have a heavy washer pulling the hub in. This should bring the hub in striaght and smoothly as oppossed to my maniacle pounding with a hammer.
Will I waste another $45 and hours of suffering before accepting defeat and going to the mechanic? I will let you know if my new tool works and draw a diagram to help all my comrads with tight bank accounts.
Or I will say don't try this job yourself unless you love punishment.