Toyota 4x4 Front Wheel Bearing Servicing/Replacement

Sep. 01, 1996 By Jack Alford
Here's a brief writeup of repacking or replacing the front wheel bearings on a Toyota 4x4 Truck or 4Runner. If you have automatic hubs some of the specifics may be different for you as I've never worked on a Toyota with auto hubs to know what was different about them. I Hope this helps some folks...

Tools you'll need:
  • Spindle Nut socket (54mm or 2 1/8 inch)
  • 10mm, 12mm, & 17mm Sockets
  • 10mm end wrench or brake line wrench
  • Lock Ring Pliers (solid axle trucks only)
    (though the lock ring can be removed without it)
  • A large brass punch or 1/2"x1/2" piece of steel 4-5" long
  • A brass punch to drive the races out.(If you're replacing the wheel bearings).

    This is about a 1.5-2 banana job .... Opposable thumbs only, no need to communicate abstract ideas to other Shade Tree Howler Monkey's ...

    I'll detail it out how *I'd* do it.

      Start by getting a Cool Whip container or something to hold the nuts/bolts in.
    • Jack up the wheel to be worked on
    • Take tire/rim off the truck
    • Remove the 2 caliper bolts and either disconnect the brake line from the caliper or support the caliper so that the brake line is not too distorted.
    • Unscrew the 6 bolts holding the locking hob dial on (this is assuming you have manual locking hubs). Pull the hub dial off.
    • Unscrew the six nuts holding the hub body on out till they're flush with the ends of the studs. Then take your brass drift or steel bar and place it on the ends of the studs/nuts firmly with a hammer, This is to remove the cone washers that are holding the hub body on. Give it 2-3 firm blows then rotate the hub and hit the next. Don't just wail on them, but hit them firmly.

      If you haven't ever had them off, it might be good to start a few days early by coating the studs with WD40 in case the cone washers are rusted in place. They can be a bear to remove on some trucks. Just don't think that hitting the hub body on the outside and deforming it will do you much good over the life of the truck. Remove all 6 cone washers.

    • On IFS trucks remove the screw from the end of the axle, on solid axle trucks remove the lock ring from the end of the axle shaft.
    • Pull the hub body off
    • Beat the tabs of the lock washer back that are holding the outer spindle nut in place.
    • Remove the outer spindle nut.
    • Remove the lock washer.
    • Remove the inner spindle nut.
    • At this point, I usually grab the brake rotor firmly and just pull the whole assembly off the spindle and try not to dump the outer bearing out on the ground when it comes off the spindle.
    • Then remove the outer bearing from the hub and the washer that presses against the outer bearing. I have a seal puller that I use to remove the seal that holds the inner bearing in. In past years I've turned the hub up and taken a piece of wood and tapped the bearing/seal out the back side. Be careful doing this if you're planning on re-using that bearing as you can damage it easily.

      Now that you've got the hub completely disassembled. It's time to get the races out of the hub body for the bearings you want to replace. I use a 1/2" x 1/2" brass bar. It's sortof tricky getting those races out since there isn't a very large surface of the race to hit on. Just hit a little on this side, a little on that, side, going back and forth and it'll come out. I'd defintely use a brass *something* ...

    • Then I'd clean/paint the hub while you've got it this far disassembled.
    • Drive in the new race(s) in the same manner as removing the old race.
    • Pack new inner bearing, put in inner bearing
    • Drive in new seal
    • Pack outer bearing
    • Either put outer bearing into it's race and slip whole unit onto spindle or slip unit on spindle then put outer bearing in. Be careful not to dump new/clean outer bearing on ground when putting it on spindle. (I've done this ...)
    • Put washer with tit for slot in spindle on
    • Put spindle nut on
    • Torque spindle nut to 43 ft. Lbs.
    • Spin hub right 4-5 rotations
    • Spin hub left 4-5 rotations
    • Loosen spindle nut
    • Spin hub right 4-5 rotations
    • Spin hub left 4-5 rotations
    • Torque spindle nut to 43 ft. Lbs.
    • Spin hub right 4-5 rotations
    • Spin hub left 4-5 rotations
    • Loosen spindle nut
    • Spin hub right 4-5 rotations
    • Spin hub left 4-5 rotations
    • Torque spindle nut to ~21 ft. Lbs. The purpose of all the tightening and spinning of the spindle nut is to compress the wheel bearing grease as best you can. Because if you just put it all together and tightened it to 21 ft. lbs and came back and checked to see how tight the nut was several weeks later you'd find that the nut would be quite loose.
    • Put on locking tab washer
    • Screw outer spindle nut on till it's fairly tight
    • Bend one tab on the locking tab washer forward onto the inner nut and one outwards onto a flat side of the outer nut.
    • Put locking hub body on
    • Put cone washers and nuts on studs (coat the cone washers with anti-sieze so that the next time you do this, the cone washers will just pop right out with one blow)
    • Either put the screw back into the end of the axle or install the lock ring depending if you have an IFS or solid axle truck.
    • Install hub dial and it's 6 screws ...
    • Blast the brake rotor down with an ozone depleting blast of brake cleaner.
    • Bolt caliper back up. and reattached brake line if it was disconnected.
    • Bleed brakes (if you disconnected the brake line).
    • Put tire/rim back on
    That should about do it. That's all from memory ... I've done this a few too many times .... If you don't paint the hub, it's about a 2-2.5 hr job ...

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