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Old 09-14-2015, 12:14 PM   #1
shepd
 
Drives: 2007 Yaris 5 door RS
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 178
Wheel bearing / Outer TRE / Control Arm replacement howto

Front wheel bearing, outer tie rod end (TRE), and control arm replacement + basic alignment.

Well, I finally completed replacing a few parts and have a few bits of advice that might help. No pics, though I could take a couple of the completed work. Pics would probably help but frankly, this is not a good job for a beginner anyways! :)

This started because I figured I needed a new wheel bearing. When turning in one direction I heard a rather unpleasant noise that went away in the other direction. This noise is due to the extra load placed on that wheel when turning.

Tools required (if everything goes well):

- Basic hand tools (Sockets, wrenches, breaker bar, punch, cold chisels, torque wrench, snap ring pliers, bearing drivers)
- 30 mm 12 point socket
- Pickle fork
- Cheap press (the 12 ton HF press will do) or you can have a machine shop do the work
- Dremel and re-inforced fibre cutting wheel, or get a machine shop to do that work
- Tie Rod puller or big hammer
- Ball joint puller or big hammer

Additional tools if things go badly:

- Drill and metal hole saw
- Primer and paint
- Small welder

The first step is to get the front of your car up on jackstands. I used the "frame rails" built into the subframe to place my jackstands on, although this area isn't necessarily strong enough to support the car, so YMMV. The big issue is that you need to avoid putting the crossmember or control arms on the stands, since you'll be working with those.Remove the wheel. Pop the center cap out of the wheel (the Toyota symbol).

Unstake the axle nut with a screwdriver and hammer (you'll see it has a divot holding it in place where the axle shaft has a valley cut into it). Install the wheel, lower the car onto that wheel, and use the 30 mm socket and your breaker bar to get the axle nut loose. Make sure your handbrake is on, the car might shift from the effort! Jack up the car again, put it back on the stands, and remove the wheel, then finish removing the axle nut.

Now remove the brake caliper (two bolts hold it on on the back). Hang the brake caliper up out of your way. Remove the brake rotor and set it aside.If you have ABS, remove the ABS sensor from the knuckle (the black plastic thing with the black wire going to it). Unbolt the 10 mm bolt holding it on. It may be stuck. Be gentle, but firm in removing it. This is an expensive item and can break with enough force, and I'm sure if you yank on the wire that would be bad for it! Hang the sensor out of the way.

Remove the cotter pin from the tie rod. If it is stuck (probably is) cut it and thread the bolt over the remains (it'll come with enough effort!). If the bolt spins when removing the nut, place it under some pressure with a pickle fork. Use the tie rod end remover to pop the tie rod end loose, or hit the steering knuckle with a big hammer where the tie rod end goes through it, remembering to put some downward pressure on the TRE.

Now it's time to pop the axle shaft out of the hub. Put the nut on the end of it so none of the axle shaft is directly exposed and start beating on it with a hammer. You have to replace the nut so no worries if you mess it up.

Unbolt the two bolts holding the steering knuckle to the strut. They may be seized up. Be prepared to buy new ones. They come in various sizes, so you may want to bring the old ones to a Toyota dealer to get the correct replacements. Remember which one was in the upper and lower positions, as that will greatly affect camber if they are different and are swapped! Heat is your friend here if they're seized.At this point the knucle should just about fall apart. Remove the knuckle from the ball joint the same way you removed the TRE from the knuckle. Tie up the axle shaft.

You can now decide if you want to replace your TRE and ball joint, or even the entire control arm. I chose to replace my TRE and control arm. If you don't want to replace them, skip those steps below.

The TRE is simple to replace. The TRE is being held in place by pressure from the jam nut behind it. You may need heat to loosen this. Use two 19 mm wrenches (or a 19 mm + 3/4" wrench) and just spin the TRE off. Count how many revolutions were necessary to remove it. Install the new one the same number of revolutions, pointy side up! Jam the nut against it. Done.

The control arm is a real pain in the ass, but it's necessary to replace the ball joint if you can't get the ball joint by itself. Unbolt the bolt at the front holding it in. You will want a VERY long extension for this. If you're doing the passenger side, use a 2x4 for support and jack up the engine by the oil pan (Yes, you might damage it. It is compeletely up to you if you want to do this, otherwise you'll need to find somewhere else to jack it up. This is just one way of diong it). You'll need to dent the edge of the oil pan with your hammer so you can fit a socket extension and the head of the bolt through. Again, up to you if you want to do this or not. The famously rusty bolts that other thread talks about is the other one to remove (it points to the ground). That one is easy to get at on both sides.

Do not use any power tools to remove the control arm bolts. If you do, you'll get to fix things like I did. The nuts holding the control arm bolts in place are captured and cannot be accessed without cutting into the car! Anyways, once the two bolts are out, you can rip out the control arm and install the new one. 118 ft lbs for the rear bolt, 108 ft lbs for the front bolt.

If you screwed up the nut for the front bolt, well, here's where the fun comes. You'll be able to see it spin through the tiny hole just beside the nut. Get a 1 3/8" (or so, could probably be anywhere from 1" to 1 1/2") hole saw and drill a hole, using that tiny hole as a pilot. Now you can get in there and weld the nut back in place. Use the primer and paint to seal against future rust. I cannot guarantee that this doesn't compromise the crossmember in an unsafe way, so this repair is up to you. Your car could turn into a pretzel. Mine has not done so yet. A new crossmember is about $1000 and is the only Toyota reccommended way to fix this bolt if it spins.

Now choose if you want to get a machinist to replace your bearing or not. If a machinist is doing it, you can skip some steps. If not, you'll need to follow them. If you have ABS, you *must* put the bearing in the right way round. Use a paper clip to find the magnetic side of the bearing. This side will face the ABS sensor. Make sure the machinist knows this! Otherwise, your ABS will be disabled until the bearing is swapped back around, and this is not a fun job to do all over because of that!

Take the hub/knuckle to your bench. Remove the circlip (it's on the ABS side if yours is almost invisible due to rust). Flathead screwdrivers work well to pry it out. Buy a fresh replacement from Toytoa, you'll be glad you did. Beat the centre of the bearing apart with the bearing driver. You now have two pieces, the hub and the knuckle.

Press the outer race out of the knuckle with your press. That didn't work, eh? Use your pliers to pull the guts out, then weld a ring of weld around the thicker middle section. Let it cool. You should be able to beat the outer bearing race out with your bearing driver now. Be a man, show it who is the boss. Mine smashed into 5 pieces!

Now press the inner race off the hub. Ha! That also didn't work, eh? Fine, take your dremel and re-inforced cutting wheel. Use the cutting wheel to put a diagonal slice in the inner race without damaging the hub! Use your cold chisel to spread the gap and the bearing will (eventually) crack. With a little lube it should slip right off.

Freeze your new bearing. Heat your knuckle up to 250 farenheit. The bearing should drop right in. Fine, it didn't. Spray a little lube on the bearing. Use your press to push it in the rest of the way (use the bearing drivers to support it). Still not working? Well, this could damage it, but use the bearing driver and beat it in. Up to you if that feel okay with that. Install the circlip.

Use your press to push the hub inside the bearing. Remember to only support the inner race, we don't want to make the bearing separate.

Time to put everything back together. Don't forget to put your cotter pins in. Both the TRE and Ball Joint will need to have the nut on nice and tight. The caliper requires 80 ft lbs. The ABS sensor should be installed carefully and preferrably after you have the axle shaft in already. Just a little tight for that, you don't want to crack it.

You can adjust your alignment if it looks way off by backing off the jam nut on the TRE and turning the inner TRE until you're satisfied. Don't forget to install the jam nut tight again!

To install the NEW axle nut you bought at Toyota, put the wheel back on with the centre cap still missing, lower the car on the wheel, put the nut on (160 ft lbs!), lift the car again, stake the axle nut with the punch, install the wheel again, and put the cap back on it.

You're done!

I estimate for someone who has never done this before, this job will take an entire weekend with copious amounts of breaks, assuming your car is as rusty and seized up as mine. For much of this job, I wished I hadn't started, but I was happy I was doing it myself after seeing what the ~~butcher~ "mechanic" had done to replace the bearing before me. Massive nasty gouges in the hub from his die grinder. Use caution people and only get good mechanics to do the work for you! At home you will do no worse than a poor mechanic at this job!

Heh, forgot to mention, you should take your car for a professional alignment when you're done if you do any of this work! Visually the car will only pass safety, but your tires will still be ripped up over time!

If there's any details you'd like to see added, just update the thread and I'll see what I can do. :)

Here's the sound of a bad wheel bearing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAicnJd6zYE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46F07Qx0EoI

Last edited by shepd; 09-14-2015 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 09-14-2015, 01:29 PM   #2
ern-diz
 
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Can you describe the unpleasant noise bad bearings make?
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Old 09-14-2015, 01:32 PM   #3
shepd
 
Drives: 2007 Yaris 5 door RS
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 178
Bad wheel bearings sound just like this (mine did!), a low whir or growl noise when the wheel is even slightly rotated away from the bad bearing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAicnJd6zYE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46F07Qx0EoI
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Old 09-14-2015, 04:20 PM   #4
ern-diz
 
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Thanks!
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