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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 01-04-2010, 12:22 PM   #1
Kubica
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Need help . . . Xi Front Wheel bearings

Does anyone have a DIY or first hand experience in changing the front wheel bearings on an xi?

The Chilton manual states that you need three special BMW tools, which of course i don't have:

-bearing buller
-bearing installation tool
-inner race bearing puller

I read somewhere on here that they simply "tap out", but I am skeptical now. I don't want to attampt the job, only to find out i don;t have the right tools.

Thanks,
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:26 PM   #2
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a long threaded bolt, some nuts, and some correct sized attachments to match the bearing races may be all you need if you pull the strut housing... that's what I did on my iX (should be similar)


something like this might get you the correct size to push the bearings in and out:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=66829


good luck!
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:05 PM   #3
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B View Post
a long threaded bolt, some nuts, and some correct sized attachments to match the bearing races may be all you need if you pull the strut housing... that's what I did on my iX (should be similar)


something like this might get you the correct size to push the bearings in and out:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=66829


good luck!
Thanks. Anyone have first hand experience changing these bearings?
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:20 PM   #4
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No direct experience but if you get in there to "tap" them out, you know its gonna be a hopeless #@$$#% most of the time.

Better to have the tools handy over a re-do. Find the part number of the right BMW tool and see if the size is specified in mm. Compare this info. to the Harbor kit or other source.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:30 PM   #5
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We used a heavy cylinder specifically designed to knock out bearings to do my right front wheel bearing. It was a time consuming process but i certainly doable. The tube was essentially a pipe that was the correct size to fit nicely inside the wheel hub and using a sledge hammer knocked the bearing out. To install we used similar tool but with a ground edge to catch and hold the bearing. Should be able to get fro local auto parts rental shop..... Takes time and patience. A press would be easier, but I had none available ......
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:51 PM   #6
Kubica
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No direct experience but if you get in there to "tap" them out, you know its gonna be a hopeless #@$$#% most of the time.

Better to have the tools handy over a re-do. Find the part number of the right BMW tool and see if the size is specified in mm. Compare this info. to the Harbor kit or other source.
Do you know where I can find the correct bmw tool numbers?

My mechanic is going to buy the tools if I can find them. He does have a press.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:22 PM   #7
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i did some searching in "XI" and this thread was as close as i got to my question, so . . .

it isn't clear to me from here or in the Bentley how exactly the hub is separated from the steering knuckle. i'm replacing my knuckle after shearing the strut pinch bolt, and of course i'm going to put a new bearing in the replacement knuckle. but i'd like to retrieve and re-use the hub (and dust guard) from the old knuckle. i don't see how to do that. can i pound it out from the back side?
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:05 PM   #8
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Best way is to remove the knuckle and use a press to push it out. They are really stuck in there. You are not going to tap them out. Let me see if I can get the tool numbers for you.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:12 PM   #9
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Its a few tools: 31 2 113, 33 3 261, 33 3 262, 33 3 266, 33 3 264, 33 3 268.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #10
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found this long video.

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Old 03-28-2013, 07:32 PM   #11
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holy ****, with the complete tour of everything in his garage, including the paper towels? really?

Last edited by pone; 03-28-2013 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:39 PM   #12
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damn, the video looks sloppy as hell.
skip parts of it.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:41 PM   #13
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i'm skipping.....
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:43 PM   #14
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hmmm, his solution was a grinder. i'm assuming there's a less destructive method.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:47 AM   #15
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NOT an easy task. I would only recommend trying this if you're convinced the bearing is shot. This video is for replacing the rear bearing, but a lot of the techniques are similar. One important thing to keep in mind: the bearings have an ABS sensor that needs to sit in the bottom of the housing. Read this in the Bentley manual.


Last edited by mcopenha; 03-29-2013 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwbob89 View Post
Its a few tools: 31 2 113, 33 3 261, 33 3 262, 33 3 266, 33 3 264, 33 3 268.
thank you, Bob. i didn't see your posts yesterday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcopenha View Post
NOT an easy task. I would only recommend trying this if you're convinced the bearing is shot. This video is for replacing the rear bearing, but a lot of the techniques are similar. One important thing to keep in mind: the bearings have an ABS sensor that needs to sit in the bottom of the housing. Read this in the Bentley manual.
i'm pretty sure disassembly of the rear hub is a little different than the front. i'm not worried about the bearing, i'm just trying to scavenge parts to go into the replacement knuckle, like the hub and dust guard. but so far it's looking fairly complicated.

Last edited by pone; 03-29-2013 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:08 AM   #17
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i'm pretty sure disassembly of the rear hub is a little different than the front.
And I'm pretty sure you should still watch the video.

Getting the hub out of the knuckle is no problem -- you simply press it out from the rear, either using a stand press or just pounding on it. Doing so will take the front of the bearing race with it, however. There's no avoiding this. The video I posted shows a nice technique using a race puller to remove it. I ended up cutting a channel into the race and carefully pounding on it using a chisel and hammer. The technique in the video is much cleaner.

The remains of the bearing can be pressed out, again from the rear, applying force to the center of the bearing.

Last edited by mcopenha; 03-29-2013 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:32 AM   #18
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i appreciate the advice, but i must be misunderstanding. he uses a bearing separator to remove the hub in that video. you can't use that on the front since the dust guard is in the way.

what am i missing?

Last edited by pone; 03-29-2013 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:10 PM   #19
mcopenha
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i forgot about the shield. You're right, I don't think you can use the separator like he did to remove the hub.

But you have the entire steering knuckle removed, right? I ended up hammering out the hub from the rear with a hammer and a metal cylinder sized just so it pushed on the hub and not the bearing.

The guy in the video uses the same puller to remove the race from the hub. I thought that was a pretty useful technique, since you'll have to do the same job with yours.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:32 PM   #20
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The guy in the video uses the same puller to remove the race from the hub. I thought that was a pretty useful technique, since you'll have to do the same job with yours.
yeah, if i get that far.

i'm not really seeing hammering the hub out from the back. for one thing, i can't really tell what i'm looking at as far as where hub ends and bearing starts. for another, the hub itself is the only back-stop. if i turn the whole thing hub-down so i can hammer at the other side, the hub is the only surface against the ground. so i'd be hammering the hub into the ground.

man . . . i really hope i can get the strut pinch bolt out on the other side without shearing it, too.
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