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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been fighting a problem with my '92 V6 Camry for quite a while. It would shake at speed, getting worse the faster I went. I could feel it through the whole car, and the steering wheel would shake also. Touching the brakes would make it worse, which would usually indicate the brake rotors needed turning. But doing that wouldn't make it go away. I even replaced the front calipers, with no improvement. It was getting worse and worse as time passed, to the point it was undriveable at freeway speeds.

It turned out my wheel bearings were going bad. I've replace the right front and right rear, and did the left rear this weekend. This time I decided to take a chance and get the bearing cartridge off of eBay; seller named "autopartsdirect2you". The cost was ~$100 instead of $240 from NAPA.

After replacing three of the four bearings, the car doesn't shake any more, and a low, rumbling noise is gone. And there's just a very slight pulsing coming from the left front when I'm on the brakes. I'm gonna tear into the last bearing soon, along with replacing the CV drive shafts a second time (with 270,000 miles on the clock).

This time I took some pictures to make a "how to..." post for this board. So here it is.

First, block the tires, jack up the car, and remove the rear wheel. (Follow the instructions in your owner's manual if you don't know how.) You can't have the parking brake engaged though, because the brake rotor (or drum, if so equipped) must be removed. Next, remove the caliper using a 14 mm socket. There are two bolts on the back side, one on top...



...and one at the bottom. Here's a look at the bottom bolt location, looking from the rear of the car...



With those two bolts removed, lift the caliper away from the rotor, and hang it from the suspension spring being careful not to kink the brake line. I used a bit of electrical wire...



Next, remove the brake rotor (or drum). You may have to wiggle it to get it over the parking brake shoes. (With a drum brake, you may have to manually back off the adjuster to get the brake shoes to disengage enough to pull the drum off.) This gives you access to the four bolts holding the bearing cartridge in place. You can see them through the holes in the hub flange. I've circled one of them in red below...



Insert a 14 mm socket with a 6" extension thru the hole and back out all four bolts. You might have to wiggle the brake shoe a bit to get the socket engaged on the bolt head....



With those four bolts undone, pull the bearing cartridge out...



Here's a pic of the old Vs new bearing cartridge. Note that you get new lug bolts in the new part. The gear-looking thing on the top end is for the ABS wheel speed sensor to read, it's called a "tone ring". Non-ABS equipped cars use the same part.



Edit: Here's a closeup shot showing how the tone ring is attached...



There is an O-ring (see red arrow below) stretched around the outer diameter of the bearing mount. This seals off the inside end of the bearing assembly from moisture and dirt. Remove the O-ring, clean up all the grease and crud, and reinstall it. The eBay part didn't come with a new one, so I reused it. The NAPA part came with a new O-ring, for only $140 more. :D



Re-assembly is the reverse. When you re-install the bearing and wheel bolts, snug them all first, and then fully torque them in a "X" sequence.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
nice job on your post - did you take any pictures of the front wheel bearing change?
Thanks!

No, I didn't. I'll do that when I do the left front; probably within a few weeks. It's considerably more difficult. The rear's are a piece of cake!
 

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Great wheel bearing DIY! Thanks for the details. Could you elaborate on what you meant when you said to remove the O-ring, clean out the crud? Should you put new grease back in that cup area?

Kep
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great wheel bearing DIY! Thanks for the details. Could you elaborate on what you meant when you said to remove the O-ring, clean out the crud? Should you put new grease back in that cup area?

Kep
I meant to say clean the area where the O-ring goes so you get a good seal, but it wouldn't hurt to clean out the inside cup area too. Especially if there is any rust or dirt in there; mine was pretty clean.

The inside of the cup doesn't need new grease. What you see inside of mine was spewed out from the old wheel bearing. The new wheel bearing is pre-packed with grease, so there's no need to add more.
 

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Jeff96Camry
96 v6 Camry LE
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Help...won't fit

Thanks for the DIY instructions, they are awesome. Problem is the "universal" hub assembly with the ABS tone ring doesn't fit my '96 Camry LE 6 w/o ABS. The "hole" is too small to accept the ABS tone ring. It doesn't look like yours, it looks "unfinished." Any thoughts? I can't find one without the tone ring for less than $200!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Problem is the "universal" hub assembly with the ABS tone ring doesn't fit my '96 Camry LE 6 w/o ABS. The "hole" is too small to accept the ABS tone ring.
Wow, really?!?! When I researched for my '92, I found several sources that sold the same part for both. '96's must be different I guess?

I've already tossed my old parts, but I sorta remember seeing a roll-pin or something like that, that looked like it held the ring on? Maybe you could pull the pin and remove it?

How much interference is there?... If it's not a lot, maybe you could grind off enough of the teeth to get it to fit? If you try that, be sure to cover the opening around the shaft with masking tape to keep the grinding debris out of the bearings.
 

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Thanks!

No, I didn't. I'll do that when I do the left front; probably within a few weeks. It's considerably more difficult. The rear's are a piece of cake!
I'm assuming this procedure can also apply to Gen4 Camrys owners?

Also, won't you need a puller and a press to change the front ones?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I'm assuming this procedure can also apply to Gen4 Camrys owners?
I can't answer that for certain since I don't have one, although I strongly suspect it's identical. I can say it was identical to my '96 Avalon.

Also, won't you need a puller and a press to change the front ones?
Puller, no, not absolutely required. Press, yes. In a nutshell, the knuckle (spindle??) has to come off, and then the bearing can be pressed out using a multi-ton press, which I had a local automotive machine shop do for about $30.

Removing the knuckle requires the steering tie rod to be disconnected. I didn't use a puller for that, I just unscrewed the tie rod end by spinning the whole knuckle assembly after disconnecting it from the ball joint, CV shaft, etc.
 

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Okay thanks, very very good info in there.
A lot of people are experiencing shaky braking and steering shimmy on their Camrys, and if it all comes down to bearings after they checked on the brakes, at the very least, the back ones are no big deal, so thanks a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You're quite welcome!

The shaking on mine was buggin' the crap out of me, so it's quite a relief to have 'er riding (mostly) smooth again. (Gotta get to the left front soon!)

One thing I neglected to mention: NONE of the bearings I've replaced so far (3 on the Camry, 1 on the Avalon) gave any other signs of being bad when I'd spin them by hand. I could not feel or hear any clicking, grinding, wobbling, or anything obviously bad. Except for the very worst one (the right front), I could feel a very slight stiff spot when I'd spin it by pushing on a lug bolt. Because of that, I was reluctant to start replacing them because they're not cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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great DIY - thanks for saving us time and money!!!!!!!

I helped my friend change both of the rear bearings on his 97 camry with rear drum brakes after seeing this post. His mechanic wanted $800 to replace both. Thanks to eBay, this post and my almost free labor it cost him $200 + a couple of meals.

It took less than an hour from start to finish that included finding my tools and jacking up his car.
The only thing missing from this awsome DIY was the torque specs. Anyone know how much i should torque the four bolts holding the hub to the axle? I torqued them to 90 PSI but wasn't sure if i was right. It seemed a lot more pressure than when i loosened the bolts.

Again Thanks BMR!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Glad to hear that helped, sshafi! Sorry, I don't have access to my Haynes manual right now. When I do, I'll post the torque specs you want, if someone else doesn't chime in before me with the info. BTW, I suspect you meant to say 90 foot-lbs of torque, right?... not 90 psi?

I'm not big on using a torque wrench on most things, but I do when I think it really matters. I didn't on the bearing bolts. Some people use 'em on everything. To each his own. I've read quite a few posts on other boards where people have stripped out threads because of going by incorrect torque specs, operator error in setting them, and other problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
sshafi, the torque spec for the four bolts holding the cartridge to the axle is 59 ft-lbs.
 
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Rear wheel bearing R & R - How to and why

I had a howl so bad in my 95 Avalon I thought I had a pack of dogs in the back seat. Also, was getting some strange wear on my left rear, thought it was an alignment issue. After reading the forums, I bought a pair of rear hub assemblies from AM-Autoparts. Best deal I could find, only $75.00 each with the abs gear. Fixed the problem. The job is as easy as it gets, now to tackle the fronts.
 
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