How to Remove & Install A Truck Hub Bearing Assembly

Watch the experts at Timken remove and install a truck hub bearing assembly on a GM 4×4 front wheel with outboard mounted rotors. The experts will show you how to remove a hub assembly and then show you how to install a hub assembly. NOTE: The application used in this training video uses a self-locking style of axle nut which does not require the use of a cotter pin.

Timken continues to lead the hub bearing revolution by providing assemblies that are uncompromised in quality, reliability, and consistency. Proper hub bearing removal and installation procedures can enhance the performance and life of hub bearings, axles, wheels, brakes and other components. Maximizing bearing performance remains an objective throughout the Timken company. This video provides general recommendations for removing and installing hub bearing assemblies on light trucks and SUVs. This video is not intended to substitute for the specific recommendations of your vehicle manufacturer. Depending on the application, type of hub bearing assembly and location, processes may vary. Please review the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations before removing or installing components. Proper maintenance and handling practices are critical. Failure to follow all installation instructions can result in equipment failure, creating a risk of serious bodily harm.

Prior to removing a hub bearing assembly and installing a new hub bearing assembly, make sure you have the proper tools. If applicable, remove the wheel cover to access the lug nuts. Remove the lug nuts and the wheel and tire assembly. Next, remove the caliper from the caliper mounting bracket. To prevent damage to the brake line due to the weight of the caliper, make sure the caliper is properly supported with either an s-hook or a piece of wire. Remove the caliper mounting bracket and then remove the brake rotor. Remove the dust cover if applicable to gain access to the axle nut. Then, using an axle nut socket, remove the axle nut. Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions regarding nut replacement. If the vehicle is equipped with an ABS sensor wire, make a note of its orientation in relation to the hub bearing assembly. Disconnect the sensor wire from the clips that are used to properly position it, located in the wheel well and frame area.

Also, disconnect the sensor wire from it’s mating connector point. Remove the bolts that attach the bearing to the steering knuckle. Prior to removing the hub bearing assembly from the knuckle and axle shaft, it may be necessary to free up the hub bearing assembly from the axle shaft. In some cases, a puller may be required. Care should be taken not to damage the knuckle or axle shaft. Take note of the position of the backing plate and other components so that they can be reinstalled in the same fashion. Remove the hub bearing assembly. Clean the steering knuckle of any debris or burrs. Carefully use a fine file, wire brush, emery cloth, or honing stone as appropriate to remove any debris, nicks or burrs. Inspect the surfaces against which the hub bearing seats as well as the spline teeth for wear and burrs.

Now you’re ready to install a new hub bearing assembly. Correctly position the surrounding component such as the backing plate with respect to the hub bearing assembly. Make sure the components are properly oriented prior to installing them onto the steering knuckle. Carefully check the positioning of the splines on the axle shaft while installing the hub bearing assembly. The proper positioning of these two components is critical so that the splines are not damaged. Note: Never force the hub bearing assembly onto the shaft or strike with a hammer. Install the bolts that attach the bearing to the knuckle and torque them to the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications using a torque wrench. Note: Because proper torque is required, an impact wrench is not recommended.

If applicable, be sure to properly attach the ABS sensor cable to the vehicle. Position the sensor wire into the clips in the wheel well and frame area. Next, connect the sensor wire to its mating connection point. Replace the brake rotor and caliper mounting bracket. All components should be free of debris and burrs. Place threadlocking compound on the caliper mounting bracket bolts per the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. Install the caliper mounting bracket bolts and torque them to the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. Install the caliper on the caliper mounting bracket being careful not to damage the rubber boots. Place the manufacturer’s recommended lubricant on the caliper pins. Install the pins and torque them to the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. Prior to installing the axle nut, apply the brake to prevent axle rotation or damage to transmission and transaxle components. This can be accomplished by using either a brake pedal depressor or having an assistant depress the brake pedal.

Install the axle nut. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions for proper tightening of the axle nut. Install the dust cover. Replace the wheel and tire assembly. Install the lug nuts. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions for lug nut tightening sequence, torque specifications, and if applicable, re-torque requirements. Many manufacturers suggest using a star pattern to enable equal sharing between the lug nuts.

For additional information regarding Timken bearings, seals, and hub bearing assemblies contact your Timken sales representative or visit our websites at and