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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Rear wheel bearing replacement (exhaust side) - word of advice



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      07-25-2011, 09:59 AM   #1
psre08
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Rear wheel bearing replacement (exhaust side) - word of advice

Vehicle: 2006 (Jan/06) 330i, daily driver, winter driven (5 winters) - lots of snow, ice, salt, sand. Takes a beating.

To anyone attempting this for the first time, on a car that's never had a bearing replaced before: take it to an indy.

This project of mine started 2 weeks ago... that's the reality when life gets in the way of meaningful repair work It's a good thing we have a second car.

I purchased all the right tools. Bearing separator, 3-jaw puller, I have several torque wrenches, an impact wrench, reverse torx sockets, tons of ratchet extensions, etc etc. Lots of beer, endless supply of music, handy neighbours and a patient wife. I had everything necessary to do the job... or so I thought.

The first part of the job was painstaking, but not too technically difficult. The rotor was nicely seized on the hub, so it took about 45 minutes of brute force, culminating in the use of a sledgehammer to break it free.

Next up was the part that's killing me... still working on it. The rear axle shaft needs to be disconnected from the differential. Sounds easy... right? Not on this particular car. All the stuff I read online about the E90 (and there's not much), indicated that the shaft would just "pop" off unlike the E46... well that was pretty much the largest load of horse manure I ever heard... I suppose it may be true on a newish car, that doesn't experience the weather extreme we do up north though. Anyway, that's not my reality.

First, I followed standard procedure (I think) and disconnected the lower control arm from the bearing carrier to give me access to the CV bolts holding the axle to the differential.

Many people drop the exhaust but I didn't find it was necessary, although the job did require some acrobatics and contortion on my part. Getting all those CV bolts out was pretty brutal, but doable.

Second, and finally, the axle shaft. It shafted me. Over and over again. The thing is seized on the differential so much that it's almost part of it. I emptied a can of WD-40 all around the end of it and through the bolt holes. I let it soak for hours. I pushed, pulled and shook with everything I had. I even took the sledgehammer to it... the thing wouldn't budge one bit.

I'm going to try again tonight, but I'm very close to throwing in the towel, calling a flatbed and taking it to the shop. My last ditch before the flatbed will be to get my indy to make a house call.

I pride myself on doing lots of maintenance myself, but I've learned my lesson on this one and I hope others will read this and save themselves the stress, anger and lost hours of life trying to fix something that should cost like $400 to do.

If your car is in the same situation as mine, I STRONGLY suggest not attempting this. It's not as easy as it seems. I've replaced lots of things on my car, but replacing the exhaust side rear wheel bearing has got to be the most challenging task I've ever attempted.

Good luck
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      07-26-2011, 07:47 AM   #2
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Thanks for the advice...Sometimes I feel like I can do anything but after reading your post, I am down from clown 9 now. I will only go as far as changing the rotor and anything beyond the rotor is way more than I can chew (I have not had the need to change the rotor yet so I might have to eat my own words later).

Sorry to hear you are having trouble with this. GL.
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      07-27-2011, 03:06 PM   #3
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PB Blaster. Makes WD-40 look like child's play.
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      07-27-2011, 03:20 PM   #4
psre08
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Really? I'm going to pick some up asap! My indy is going to make a house call but might not be for a few days, so maybe this might loosen it up a bit. It has to come off at some point.
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      07-28-2011, 01:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psre08 View Post
Really? I'm going to pick some up asap! My indy is going to make a house call but might not be for a few days, so maybe this might loosen it up a bit. It has to come off at some point.
Yeah it's pretty mean stuff. It is actually made to eat through rust and free stuck bolts etc. You might also try using some heat on it if you still can't get it off after letting the PB Blaster soak for a while.
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      07-28-2011, 09:25 PM   #6
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Kroil makes BP Blaster look like childs play.
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      07-29-2011, 09:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Kroil makes BP Blaster look like childs play.
Cool, never heard of it. Is it sold in stores or special order? I just checked out their website and it looks like you may have to order it directly from them?
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      07-29-2011, 10:42 AM   #8
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I did the rear wheel bearing on my car (328i) about 6 months ago. I didnt have to remove the axle shaft or anything from the diff. Just remove the rotor, unbolt all the control arms to the hub, and yank that whole thing off. No messing with the diff needed. I did the whole job in about 6 hours at my local college garage
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      07-29-2011, 12:47 PM   #9
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Orly?? So you just remove the entire bearing carrier from the car? That didn't mess up your alignment or anything? I think that could possibly work in my case. I did soak the CV joint last night and this morning in PB, so I'll give it another go this weekend.
I could also perhaps remove the parking brake and place a bearing separator behind the hub and use lug bolts to pry out the hub. At least if there is a next time, it won't be nearly this hard.
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      07-29-2011, 12:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Cool, never heard of it. Is it sold in stores or special order? I just checked out their website and it looks like you may have to order it directly from them?
Have to order it directly. It's good shit.
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      07-29-2011, 01:02 PM   #11
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Looks like kroil is expensive to bring into Canada. Did a quick search and apparently Liquid Wrench is also very good... perhaps not as good as kroil but almost. I can get it at Canadian Tire... yet another trip to the store. lol
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      07-29-2011, 07:02 PM   #12
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Yeah. The whole wheel bearing is pressed in anyway so you're gonna have to remove the whole bearing carrier anyway unless you've got a better press than I did. Cause the actual hub is pressed into the inside of the bearing, while the outside of the bearing is pressed into the carrier from the outside. So these http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...31&hg=33&fg=40 press into part 7 of here http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...30&hg=33&fg=30
As for the alignment, yeah. It needed an alignment after that, but it wasn't that bad. You should do an alignment after any surgery on the car anyway. I did this a while ago, but if I remember correctly that's what I did. And you also have to disconnect the parking brake cable in order to remove the carrier from the car (that was actually the most difficult part for me)
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      07-30-2011, 06:59 PM   #13
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I managed to get the hub out today finally. Liquid wrench worked magic! So now I only have the bearing left. Do you extract it from the inside in or the outside in? What tool did you use to get the bearing out exactly? I really don't want to take it out from the outise in because the wheel speed sensor is in the way and looks like a huge bitch to remove.
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      07-31-2011, 03:29 AM   #14
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I pulled it out of the car cause there is a lip on the inside of the hub where the bearing sits once its fully pressed. And I had a monstrosity of a press (big as a fridge) that I used to push the bearing out, but im sure you could just go rent a bearing puller from autozone or something. But you still need a press to reinstall the new bearing and hub. And Since I removed the whole damn thing from the car i didnt have to worry about wheel speed sensors or anything
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      08-06-2011, 04:27 PM   #15
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So I've finally decided to throw in the towel, but who knew that even that would be so difficult.

I've resorted to removing the entire bearing carrier and brining it to a shop that can press the bearing out and press the new one in. In order to do that I have to disconnect the parking brake... Why oh why does it always appear easier than it is.

I followed all the proper procedures. Removed centre console, removed central airbag control module, released parking brake tension, and disconnected parking brake cable inside the cabin. All that's left for me to do it pull the cable out of the expander... The entire parking brake assembly has been removed. Should be cake right? Wrong.. Unless I'm missing something major, the cable just won't come out. Any ideas?
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      08-11-2011, 02:22 PM   #16
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Well, for anyone interested I finally finished the job! Car runs great once again.

It took 2 nights of soaking in Liquid Wrench and a pair of vice grips to disconnect the parking brake line, but in the end it came out. I took the entire bearing carrier to the dealer to press out the old bearing, press in the new bearing and then reinsert the hub.

Putting everything back together was much faster than taking it apart. Now that I know what to do, I think I would do a bearing again but I also know my limitations.

Very difficult and frustrating job, but rewarding in the end. You certainly learn a heck of a lot about your car.
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      08-12-2011, 08:59 AM   #17
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Glad to hear you got it fixed. Sometimes you've just got to step back, take a deep breath, and come back to the job at a later time in order to get things done and save your sanity.
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