GMC/Chevy 2500 & 3500 Pickups (Includes HD Models) Front Wheel Hub Bearing Replacement Instructions
Here is another set of instructions we found online. We copied and pasted them here for you and we added a few little tidbits. Thanks for visiting our site and we hope these will help you. You can also call our ASE certified staff with any questions at 1-866-770-2771. We provide these instructions free of charge and these are meant as a guide only.
How To: Replace Front Wheel Hub Bearing Assembly on 2500HD/3500SRW (dually similar):
Preface: The front wheel hub bearing assemblies on the Chevy and GMC 2500 and 3500 series trucks are very expensive to replace. The good news is that you can follow these instructions and do this job yourself and save several hundred dollars. This job can cost $500-$1000 at a repair shop and if you have done a brake job before, then you should be capable of handling this job.
FIRST THING FIRST: IS MY BEARING BAD???
You can tell if the wheel bearing is failed or failing by a couple of different methods. The most common early symptom is noise. The noise will usually start as a slight growling or roaring sound. This noise typically can be heard from 30-50 MPH and the frequency will match the speed of the vehicle. Sometimes the noise will come and go and the longer you wait to deal with it, usually the louder it will get until it finally fails completely. You really should get into this job well before the bearing fails completely because further damage and expense can occur. Basically if you start hearing a noise, then check it out fast. Some diesel trucks are loud and make it difficult to hear the noise from the bearing so this next inspection is good to do at-least once a year or have a shop do it every oil change. by jacking the truck up til the wheel is off the ground, grabbing the top and bottom of the tire and try to wobble it in and out. Their should be zero movement. If the wheel wobbles and it pivots from the center of the wheel, then the bearing is the most likely culprit. If their is play and the pivot point is toward the front or back of the wheel or from the top or bottom, then a through front end check should be performed. ANY movement is wear and tear and requires a thorough inspection. Ours were worn to the point of more than 2″ slop at the tire with 50,000mi on the truck. With that said, we must admit that we do have oversize tires and rims and we do a little mudding now and then.
NEXT, YOU NEED THE PART. HERE IS THE PRICES WE HAVE FOUND FOR THESE:
AutoPartsDirectToYou.com $189.99 BEST PRICE
Auto Zone $364.69
Advance Auto Parts $294.99
Napa Auto Parts $319.99
GM Dealer $390.00
The best price by far is AutoPartsDirectToYou.com. These guys wholesale auto parts and sell directly to the public. You can save big bucks by purchasing from them and using these instructions. Also AutoPartsDirectToYou.info is their instructional website that has many useful instructional videos for all kinds of parts. They are ASE certified technicians and have extensive knowledge that you usually cannot find at a regular parts store.
The Hub Bearing Assembly comes with an ABS wheel speed sensor with cable and also has the studs pre-installed. GM has recently updated the part number to #15225770 or AC Delco #FW289. Retail for the unit can be as high as $450 ea, to a low of $190 ea, so it pays to shop around.
What you will need:
You will need:
15mm socket and ratchet, wrench will work if you are strong.
21mm socket and BIG ASS breaker bar. Cutting torch will have better luck than a wrench on this *****.
36mm socket and breaker bar. Nut is actually 35.5mm, so a 1 3/8″ socket can be beaten on it.
Sharp flat blade screwdriver.
In picture, not absolutely necessary – impact wrench.
Not in picture, something a foot tall and will support 20lb, like a toolbox.
And last but certainly not least: about 3 beers per side, although after 5-6, some bloody knuckles are very possible
Jack side of truck up, and put a jack-stand under it. Use frame rail.
Unplug the wheel sensor wire near the top of the shock. Look closely at the sensor connector and you can see how it simply unclips and slides apart. The new Hub will come with a new connector on the bearing side of the wire, just in case the plastic tabs break.
Use C-Clamp to compress the brake pistons so it will be easy to reinstall. If you are replacing the brake pads and rotors at this time (perfect time to do it), then fully compressing the pistons into the caliper is necessary. Technically the proper way to do this is to drain the brake fluid. If you have never flushed or bled the brakes, then this is a great time to learn. The safest way to do this is attach a hose to the bleeder screw and put the other end into a suitable container. Then, open the bleeder screw, slowly compress the brake caliper, and brake fluid will fill the container. We do not recommend pumping the brake pedal to bleed the brakes unless you are well versed in hydraulic and ABS brake systems. If you simply take the cap off of the brake master cylinder (under the hood), then you allow the brake fluid to gravity bleed out into the container. You can add fresh clean brake fluid to the master cylinder and watch the fluid coming out until it is also clean. Then snug down the bleeder screw and disconnect the hose. You can do this to the remaining wheels and then you have flushed your entire brake system, This is something that should be done every 2-3 years.
There are 2 21mm bolts that hold the brake caliper frame to the axle support. THESE ARE TIGHT!!! Rotate the steering to get to them easier. Remove the bottom, then loosen the top one so you can remove it with your fingers. You will need to have something ready to support it when you remove the brake assy. Do not allow the caliper to hang from the brake hose or you will most likely have to replace the hose.
Pull the top bolt and set the brake assy on something that will not stress the brake line. You can destroy a brake line by hanging that much weight on it.
In this picture, the lug at 11 o’clock and 5 o’clock have a retaining washer that holds the disc on the hub for assembly purposes. Remove these by rotating them with a screwdriver, then pry them off. You do not need to re-install these, I suggest you throw them away. Once they are removed, you can pull the disc off the hub. If it does NOT come off easy? You may need a flat heavy hammer to tap it off. Any damage to the rotor or if you noticed any blue coloring (overheated) in the rotor, pad & rotor replacement is recommended.
Pry the center dust cover off with a sharp flat blade screwdriver. Be fairly gentle as you will reuse this. This keeps the nut and threads inside cleaner and less rusty then exposed areas.
That nut in the center keeps the axle from wandering too deep into the differential. Other than that, it does nothing. It is not a load component. It measures 35.5mm, you can remove it with a 36mm socket and breaker bar or tap a 1 3/8″ socket onto it. If the truck is in 4WD with the truck in park, it will not spin the hub. The nut is a locking nut, so it will be tight most the way off. A Pneumatic impact gun can be used to quickly remove the nut, however do not re-install the nut with the impact gun.
Once the nut is off, spray some WD40 into the center spline, then tap the axle into the hub gently until it stops. It will move about 1″. This will make it easy to pull the hub off when it’s time.
There are four 15mm bolts that hold the hub on. These are also pretty tight. If you turn the steering wheel, it makes them easier to remove.
The hub should slip right out. You might have to tap the axle a bit more while holding the hub out from the base. Clean all mating surfaces, grease the o-ring in base. Dust shield faces forward.
IMPORTANT TORQUE SPECS
Hub and Bearing Assembly to Steering Knuckle Bolts – 180 N·m / 133 lb ft
Axle Shaft Nut – 210 N·m / 155 lb ft
Caliper Mounting Bracket to Knuckle, Front – 300 N·m / 221 lb ft
Here’s the new hub/bearing assy. There is some electrical tape on the wire holding them together, tear it off.
Line up the spline to the holes with the wire at TDC. If the bolt holes do not line up, you can either take the truck out of 4WD, or pull it off the spline and try to align it better. I suggest align it better. There is a lot of slop in the axle rotation, so you don’t have to precisely get the right tooth on the spline for it line up. Screw the axle nut on by hand to hold it in place.
Use a few drops of Blue Loctite (yes I know it comes in a red bottle) on the 15mm bolts, and bolt the hub back down. Don’t forget the dust shield. The wire goes UNDER the tab on the dust shield.
Tighten down the axle nut and washer on the axle. Tap the dust cover back on with the handle of the hammer.
Replace the rotor.
Hold the brake pads apart with your fingers and slide the brake assy onto the rotor. Use loctite and reinstall the two 21mm bolts. Do I know the torques? Uh… REAL tight? (see torque specs above)
Snap the 4 wire holders into the same holes the old one came out of, and reconnect the connector near the shock.
Put wheel back on, lower truck..
IMPORTANT, pump the brakes to re-position the calipers!!!
Start engine and pump the brakes slowly several times. When you pushed the pistons back into the calipers, they are still sitting far away from the rotors and YOU WILL HAVE NO BRAKES.
Road test, and finish the last beer.