Wheel bearings are a critical part of a car’s drive system, forming a vital link between the control arms and the axle assembly. The basic idea behind the wheel bearings on your car is to provide a smooth and uninterrupted connection between the suspension components and the wheel hub and tire. The bearing is exactly what it sounds like, a round outer shell with ball bearings packed inside an inner shell. The part itself is located in and over the wheel hub. We say in and over because the wheel hub is actually pressed on to the bearing, and it does take a press to set the bearing. This whole system of parts is then tied into the control arm assembly with four bolts. Being an Audi, the bolts are a 12mm triple square head, so custom tools are needed. Again. The install is straight forward and does not have many difficult parts. You will need to remove the rotors and shields in order to get to the bearings; however it’s important to note that you do not need to remove the tie rods, control arm uppers nor the lowers, although it would make the install easier. The axle boot and hub can be tapped out, gently, very gently to make room for the triple square bit. However the CV joint does not have enough play to come all the way out, as a result will not leave the hub. Don’t hit the axle boot or assembly hard, it’s very delicate. Before you can tap the axle out, you must remove the axle bolt. This is a 17mm metric hex bit, you must use a bit for a torque wrench, because the bolt must be torqued to spec. (145lbs) CA recommends using kits, the kits for wheel bearings come with important replacement products that will help maintain the life of the new parts. Kits are readily available from ECS Tuning, and they have not only OEM, but also good aftermarket parts. We chose a FAG kit, because they make good parts. It’s important to have the tools you need ready before you start, also you will need to run to a local shop if you do not own a press. So it would be good to have a spare car with you. Other than that, bolt everything together, and then you can torque it all down. As always, CA will include the link of the DIY for those who choose to do the work themselves, just make sure you know how before you start.
CA would like to credit and thank FWP! for the photos, as our car has been totaled…. #hatepontiac
FKAutoworks Overview of wheel bearing install: