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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2001 325i that desperately needs the front wheel bearings replaced. My husband is daring to do the project himself, but he can't get the rotor off. Also, I heard that press would be needed to fit the new bearing into the hub and somebody said I can take it in and have that done. Take it in where? Has anybody attempted to do this? Is my husband a fool? Can somebody please give me some advice?

I'm freaking out and I'm scared he's going to break my baby! :eeps:

Thanks!

~TJ
 

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Get the Bentley manual for the car. You got too many "somebody saids" there as far as I can see.

In any event, this is not what I would classify as an expensive job. I'd take it to a good independent BMW service shop, and let them do the job.
 

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I've done this on my car and I didn't need any pullers to remove the hub. I may have been lucky, don't know, but they both pulled right off with my hands.

To remove the rotor you're gonna need a rubber mallet. There are also some other tricks, like loosening the lug nuts a bit, then moving the car with weight on the wheel. I was able to get mine off with some hammering from the rubber mallet, on the top edge of the rotor. Be sure to loosen the retaining screw or you'll be there all day long.

When reinstalling the rotors, coat the hub side with anti-seize paste so next time it's not as difficult.

So, I guess you have a 46mm socket and a huge torque wrench too? To put the new hubs on I used a 36mm socket (used on the oil filter cap) to gently tap them in place. Worked like a charm!
 

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A press is not required to fit the new bearings to the hub.

Other than loosening the lug nut a bit and dropping the wheel, you can also squirt PB Blaster penetrating liquid through the lug holes (between the hub and rotor).

Where is he now on the project?
 

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The bearing nut (the BIG one) is gonna need some muscle to get off....a breaker bar and a 2-foot piece of pipe (or the handle from your floor jack) will come in handy.

Regards,
Bob
 

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new rotors, make sure you clean it brake cleaner. Or the protective, anti-corrosion chemical on the rotors will eat away at your brake pads fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got the rotor off and can't find a 46mm socket to get the big bolt off. Been calling around and thus far, no luck.

I hoping he can get this all taken care of by Monday, sharing his truck costs a fortune on gas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Um...

For fear of stripping the nut which we can't locate (we finally found the tool!) for replacement, is this one of those odd jobs where the term "righty tighty, left loosely" applies or not? Do you remember? Is it okay to reuse the nut? Absolutely nobody we can find has one and it takes a week to order in!

Thanks. :)
 

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Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. That's correct. You need a big ratchet and a long lever/handle over it or you'll never get that nut off... unless you have an air impact wrench. It's torqued to 214 lb-ft. For comparison, your lug nuts are torqued to 88 lb-ft. 214 is a lot of torque!

When I ordered my new hubs I got a kit that included a new nut, new front and rear dust covers, and the hub. I reused the existing rear dust covers after cleaning them because I saw no reason to disturb them or the brake disk shield they are connected to.

You probably can reuse the nut except that the "tab" you make in it to keep it from spinning off may not match up when installed on the new hub. And remember, when you put the nut back on, you need to torque it down to 214 lb-ft as well. Failure to do so, or overtorquing it, could ruin your newly installed hubs.

I destroyed the original dust cover removing it, you may have also. You should not go long, if at all, without that dust cover on there or you'll foul your new hubs. Water or dust could get in there and ruin your work.

I think if I were you guys I would have done more research before starting this project. It's not hard, but the parts you're messing with are VERY important. If you're in over your head, don't chance it - get the car to an independent mechanic and have them finish the job.
 

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Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. That's correct. You need a big ratchet and a long lever/handle over it or you'll never get that nut off... unless you have an air impact wrench. It's torqued to 214 lb-ft. For comparison, your lug nuts are torqued to 88 lb-ft. 214 is a lot of torque!

When I ordered my new hubs I got a kit that included a new nut, new front and rear dust covers, and the hub. I reused the existing rear dust covers after cleaning them because I saw no reason to disturb them or the brake disk shield they are connected to.

You probably can reuse the nut except that the "tab" you make in it to keep it from spinning off may not match up when installed on the new hub. And remember, when you put the nut back on, you need to torque it down to 214 lb-ft as well. Failure to do so, or overtorquing it, could ruin your newly installed hubs.

I destroyed the original dust cover removing it, you may have also. You should not go long, if at all, without that dust cover on there or you'll foul your new hubs. Water or dust could get in there and ruin your work.

I think if I were you guys I would have done more research before starting this project. It's not hard, but the parts you're messing with are VERY important. If you're in over your head, don't chance it - get the car to an independent mechanic and have them finish the job.
A putty knife is just the right thickness to get in between the hub and the little shoulder on the dust cap in order to pry it off.... much better than mangling it with a screwdriver.
 

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A putty knife is just the right thickness to get in between the hub and the little shoulder on the dust cap in order to pry it off.... much better than mangling it with a screwdriver.
NOW you tell me! :rofl:

I killed it like it said nasty things about my mother!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
jvr826,

Thank you for your assistance, he got them off, got the dust covers off without hurting them, cleaned them, replaced them, got the new hubs on and is torquing (torqueing?) them down right now. He has plenty of experience working on all the cars we've had prior (mainly Honda's, Chevy's, a Fiat -"Fix it again tomorrow"-), he's just never worked on a Bimmer before and given the eminence of the car, I think he's a little intimidated (and rightfully so). Also, I don't think it helped that we haven't been able to get a straight answer from anybody, and hunting down the parts we've needed for the job has also been quite tricky. Hopefully, things go much more smoothly from here (*Knock on wood*).

Again, many thanks. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Get the Bentley manual for the car. You got too many "somebody saids" there as far as I can see.

In any event, this is not what I would classify as an expensive job. I'd take it to a good independent BMW service shop, and let them do the job.
Yeah, the "somebody saids" is what is most iffy. It seems like every resource we've used has given different guidance to the project that is often contradictory or varying in detail.

If you ask me, I think my husband mostly wanted to do this project himself to learn a thing or two. I love my car, but it is out of warranty and although it is my first Bimmer and it has been a lot more work than I anticipated (despite what everybody says; guess seeing really is believing), it probably won't be my last. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So...

What should I know about replacing the water pump? The bearings are in, drives just fine, feels fine, but still sounds like a clunker under the hood. Just replaced the a/c belt (was cracked), the night before doing the bearings, was kind of hoping that was the culprit. No such luck.

:)
 
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