Thursday, July 4, 2013

Saturn Vue Wheel Hub Replacement.

I had the opportunity to work on a Saturn Vue today. The left wheel bearing was going out and it needed the stabilizer links replaced because they were worn out. I seems like the shop has been full of suspension work lately. On a Vue you cannot just replace the wheel bearing. They only sell the whole hub assembly. I was annoyed at first by that but after replacing it I think it is a pretty good way to go. The hub assembly is not a whole lot more then some wheel bearings out there and you don't have to mess with pressing the hub out of the bearing and all the associated seals involved with that. The job actually went very smoothly. Here is the car right after I pulled it into the shop,
 The first step is to jack it up and support it on jack stands. Remove the wheel and pull off the brake caliper. Support the caliper with some wire or zip ties. I used wire and put it up on the strut spring.
 Remove the axle nut. I have had pretty good success removing these with my impact gun. It worked for this one also. If you don't have an impact gun you may want to get this nut off before you remove the caliper. That way you can have a buddy step on the brake as you use your breaker bar to remove the axle nut.
 Here is the old nut and the new nut. Always replace the nut. It's not worth messing with it for 7 bucks. It's also good piece of mind.
 Remove the brake pads and then the caliper bracket.
Now you can remove the rotor. It may take a hit or two with a hammer to break it loose. Your almost there now.
 Remove the 3 bolts that are on the back side of the hub. Now the fun begins trying to get the hub out of the steering knuckle. I got creative with my rivet gun and was able to get the hub off.
 You can see the corrosion that forms after 150,000 miles. It still came off easier than I thought it would. Make sure to be careful with the CV axle. You don't want to damage it.
 Make sure you install the metal bracket where it was and then put on the hub. I used some corrosion inhibitor on the axle splines and where the hub presses into the knuckle. I used the bolts to install the hub assembly. Just make sure you tighten the 3 bolts up a little at a time and evenly and you shouldn't have any problems. Mine went together great.
 I forgot to mention that I used high strength thread locker on the 3 hub bolts. You don't want them coming loose over time. I also installed the axle nut at this point. Make sure you torque it to factory specs using a new nut. Now you just need to install the rotor, caliper bracket, caliper and your done. This one was a ton easier then the Subaru I did a couple weeks ago.  
I also needed to change out the stabilizer links because they were worn out. I used some vice grips to hold the stud and my impact gun made short work in removing the nuts. You can see the difference between the Moog part and the stock one. The Moog part is significantly bigger and has grease Zerk's so you can actually grease them. Make sure you install the link so the Zerk's are facing to the rear of the car.
 This is the right hand side. It came off just as easy as the left.
 It attaches to the strut and goes down to the stabilizer bar. If you have a clunking coming from your front end, these could be your problem.
 The new one is installed and ready to go.
This job went really good. I found that the brakes were just down to the wear sensors on the inner pads so we replaced those while we were at it. I think this was one of the easiest wheel bearing replacements I have done. It has been pretty hot in the garage the last few weeks. Hopefully we get some relief from the heat for a little bit. I hope everyone has an awesome fourth of July. If you live in Utah, take a cruise up to Logan this Friday or Saturday. You can see a bunch of cool hot rods at the Cache Valley Cruise In. It's always an awesome car show. Maybe I will see you there!


Jim said...

hahahhaha... I have to laugh about this. I found this post because I was searching to see if the Saturn vue had wheel bearing issues. I'm getting one because of wheel bearing issues on my Subaru. Gahhhh worst repair in my life.

Eric Peterson said...

Will you tell us how you used the rivet gun to remove the hub?

Unknown said...

What size socket did you use?

The Bug Boys said...