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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to get the front driver's side hub off. Bearing is definitely bad, but the initial problem is a wheel "hump" - even at low speed. I rotated the tires and it still didn't go away, so I tested the hub bearing and there's too much play in there (plus that 'dry' sound when you spin it).

Doing the work this weekend, though, noticed the lug nuts were warm when I took them off. Then, the brake disc was hot to the touch (couldn't lay a finger on it for more than a split second). Not sure if a bad bearing could cause that alone, though. Might have an issue with the caliper not retracting (??) ... maybe just lubrication there?

Anyway, with regard to removing the hub ...

Got 1 of 3 off (9 0'clock position), but the d### CV axle bulges just enough that, even with a swivel adjustment coupled to a short 13mm socket (a deep socket won't work), and making sure the socket is flat and square on the bolt head, I can't seem to get the other two off (and I may have already started damaging the heads on these two with "first stage" stripping because the clunky attachment arrangement can move slightly as tension is applied to the ratchet handle). Now I'm almost afraid to try again without the exact proper tool combination!

Any suggestions? I've seen some videos of hubs being removed but there's not mention of any special tools. They just stick the socket on there and start turning it out like they'd just removed it a few minutes ago. Part of the problem here could be these bolts are 19 years old and have never been moved since the vehicle was built in 2002 (although this is a warm-weather climate, so at least they're not rusted to h###)!

So this is really a case of proper tools, proper angle, proper leverage, proper everything ... the same old story whenever you're working on an automobile. My 3/8" Craftsman ratchet has a short handle (7" ??). Maybe I add a tight-fitting pipe extension onto it (??) .. but there's not much room for that inside the wheel well ... maybe I could extend it anther 5" or so, but that's it! Or maybe just buy another 3/8" ratchet with a longer handle?? One of the videos the guy had a longer 3/8" ratchet handle like the one on my 1/2". I guess I could stick yet another adapter on this mess of adapters and cut my 1/2" down to 3/8", too?

I put everything loosely back together until next weekend and sprayed all the bolts (tie rod, ball joint, strut tower bolts included) with PBBlaster in the meantime. I'm thinking I might have to resort to taking the entire knuckle off (unfortunately), then removing the d### hub bolts without the bulging CV axle in the way ... something I certainly didn't want to do!

But at least all those bolts are more substantial and easily accessible.
 

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Yeah, the online videos are usually done AFTER the bolts have been broken free (and after the french was spoken so clearly). Never removed a hub so don't have that specific experience. But I have removed stuck oxygen sensors and other stuck bolts. The PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench is a good idea....give it time to soak in (e.g., days). Another miracle working technique is try to "tighten" it first....yes, go clockwise with it initially. Then try getting it loose counter-clockwise. Sometimes the tightening torque is enough to break it free. Good luck with it and let us know how it goes....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Co-worker who does auto repairs on the side suggested lifting the brake assembly with the jack to make it easier to get at the Hub bolts. Also maybe turn the wheel either way. With the jack and jackstand holding up the vehicle, I hadn't even thought of that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Co-worker who does auto repairs on the side suggested lifting the brake assembly with the jack to make it easier to get at the Hub bolts. Also maybe turn the wheel either way. With the jack and jackstand holding up the vehicle, I hadn't even thought of that...
UPDATE: Got it off! The key was turning the wheel all the way to the stop, then using a 1/2" ratchet with the 1/2"-to-3/8" adapter, short extension, universal/swivel, and short 13mm socket. Was able to get enough leverage on the longer 1/2" ratchet handle (even a pipe extension for a click or two) to get the bolts moving. Ordered an ACDelco "Gold" Hub/Bearing from RockAuto (~$82).

Shop Manual says to replace all (3) Hub bolts and even the 35mm Hub nut. Is that really necessary? Probably can't get these fasteners anywhere but at the Dealer, right?
 
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