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5K/4K: Front wheel bearing replacement
Here's a copy of what I wrote last year when I did my
front wheel-bearing: it applies to my '85 5KT (non-quattro),
but is probably quite similar to yours. Additional note:
the pickle fork separator is murder on the tie-rod end
ball-joint -- I had to replace mine anyway, so it was OK.
Ably assisted by denizens of this list, I successfully replaced the
driver-side wheel bearing on my '85 5000ST. Thanks a lot, everyone:
the noise is now gone, I had a few hours of challenging but fun
work, and I probably saved a couple of hundred dollars at least.
Here's what I learned from the experience.
Tools required (subset of those I actually bought/rented!):
1. 1/2" breaker bar.
2. Two-foot GI pipe to fit around breaker.
3. 32 mm socket (for hub retaining nut).
4. "Pickle-fork" tie-rod separator.
5. Sockets/wrenches (from memory) : 8mm, 10mm, 13mm, 17mm, 19mm.
6. Nylon tie.
7. Haynes manual + suitable extrapolation!
1. Wheel bearing.
2. Replacement bolt/nylock nut for knuckle at lower ball-joint.
3. 3 replacement nylock nuts for strut mount.
Roughly $80.00, since I had to buy many of the tools
I needed. The parts alone cost under $40.00.
I followed the steps in the Haynes manual, but improvised on
the technique. The major difficulty was separating the lower
ball-joint from the knuckle: I finally used the tie-rod separator
and my trusty two-foot cheater as a huge lever and stood on the
end of it. (Haynes would have you believe that you can lever it
down with one hand using no more than a screwdriver :-|).
I bought a screw-type tie-rod separator, but found that it
wasn't deep enough. I finally used what the parts store called
the "pickle-fork" separator.
I took the strut assembly to a local machine shop, and he pressed
out the hub and bearing and pressed in the new one for $20.00. Took
about twenty minutes. The old bearing was so far gone that it
rattled when shaken -- good thing I replaced it! Since the diagnosis
was mostly guesswork, I'm relieved too.
Thanks again, every one. Special thanks to Dave Lawson (?): his
description of the front-end rebuild on his 4000 was very helpful.
1001 W. Cutting Blvd.
Pt. Richmond, CA 94804