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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 02-22-2009, 07:45 PM   #21
Autobot325i
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Damn...I was rotating tires today and one front lug driver side was not going in straight. guess I will be doing this soon. since only one side is damaged should I just reaplce that one side or should i do both at the same time...what do you guys suggest.
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:41 PM   #22
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Damn...I was rotating tires today and one front lug driver side was not going in straight. guess I will be doing this soon. since only one side is damaged should I just reaplce that one side or should i do both at the same time...what do you guys suggest.
A lug nut not going straight is not necessarily a problem with the wheel bearing. You likely may need a replacement of the wheel hub.

Although is a good a idea to replace both bearings of an axle as a pair, it is not necessary to do both.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:00 PM   #23
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Correct me if I'm wrong here - wheel hub = wheel bearing (referring to front). Wheel hub contains the bearing inside of it. Or are they separate parts???

I've done bearings on the old Mazda 626 and they were just small circles that fit in the palm of your hand... Here it all looks like it's the hub we're replacing, with bearings in it?

Please set the record straight. Thanks


EDIT: Well, I've just confirmed it... damn... Cheapest hub I found on ebay is like 70 bucks each... Aouch.... Those small bearings for my Mazda were like 10 bucks...
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:21 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogi799 View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong here - wheel hub = wheel bearing (referring to front). Wheel hub contains the bearing inside of it. Or are they separate parts???
I think it only comes as a hub/bearing assembly
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:56 AM   #25
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I printed this off...went to do my front right wheel bearing on my E46 325XI and these are not exactally the correct directions on my car. Just wanted to let others know. I had a 12 pt #36 socket to remove the nut.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:53 PM   #26
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I printed this off...went to do my front right wheel bearing on my E46 325XI and these are not exactally the correct directions on my car. Just wanted to let others know. I had a 12 pt #36 socket to remove the nut.
Yep. Your car is not the rear drive version with simple front spindles.

Post up your DIY on the 4wd version to help the next guy.
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:58 AM   #27
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A few tips for future DIYers, I had to do mine again this past weekend. To remove the wheel bearing after you have removed the main nut simply put the rotor back on the hub and put back 2 or 3 of the wheel bolts back on and pull it. The bearing/hub will come out, carefull not to fall on your back. After this the inner race will still be on the spindle. I used a Dremel and made a cut/line after that i used a hammer and a screw driver, one smack to the cut and the race poped out. THANK YOU GDA.
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Old 11-14-2009, 02:07 PM   #28
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Just the DIY i was looking for. I've been trying to get rid of this damn noise and i think this is the answer.
I have changed brakes and rotors
I have changed lower control arm bushings

Using the DYIs posted in this site i have saved about $400 dollars average on each of those jobs, and i had never worked on a car before. Now i love doing things myself.

Has anyone quoted how much it would cost to get these bearings replaced at a normal auto shop? vs how much it cost to do it yourself? Im just curious.
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Old 11-14-2009, 02:17 PM   #29
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Just the DIY i was looking for. I've been trying to get rid of this damn noise and i think this is the answer.
I have changed brakes and rotors
I have changed lower control arm bushings

Using the DYIs posted in this site i have saved about $400 dollars average on each of those jobs, and i had never worked on a car before. Now i love doing things myself.

Has anyone quoted how much it would cost to get these bearings replaced at a normal auto shop? vs how much it cost to do it yourself? Im just curious.
The great thing about doing stuff yourself is that with each job you save a couple hundred dollars. So use half of that savings each time on the correct tools for the job, and after a year you have a huge tool collection. At least thats been my philosophy.
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Old 11-14-2009, 02:19 PM   #30
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I already replaced one wheel bearing at 75k miles and now it sounds like I've got another one going out at 85k, have any of you heard of them failing at such low mileage?
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:13 PM   #31
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I already replaced one wheel bearing at 75k miles and now it sounds like I've got another one going out at 85k, have any of you heard of them failing at such low mileage?
Man it seems like forever since I wrote up this DIY... this was one of the very first repair jobs after I got project E46.

Anyway, to answer your question - yes, depending on driving conditions, wheels and tires used and alignment conditions wheel bearings can last as little as 20k miles to sometimes over 150k. Usually they start to show some runout causing minor vibes between 50 and 75mph at around 80 to 120k miles. After they are really worn they start to groan and howl or grumble at low speeds. YMMV
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:55 PM   #32
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I was wondering, can a low rumbling noise under 35 mph be the sign of bad wheel bearings? All wheels pass the wheel bearing test (rocking it from top to bottom--there is really no freeplay) though, but the noise is quite abnormal I would say, at least other non-BMWs do not make it. I do suspect the rear driver bearing, since driving like an S, I hears noise then it goes away once pressure is put on the it when I swerve right. The vehicle was also in a fender bender on that rear passenger side--this was before my ownership of it, but one can tell by looking at the repair job on it and the edges of the fender--you can see a sanding pattern.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:05 PM   #33
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GDA, thank you for the DIY. My 325i is the proud owner of two new front hubs
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:47 PM   #34
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Awesome write-up! I will be doing this in the next few weeks.

My question:
I see that you you have to remove the old inner race....do you have to buy a new one or is there one already on the new hub/bearing?

Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:27 PM   #35
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Awesome write-up! I will be doing this in the next few weeks.

My question:
I see that you you have to remove the old inner race....do you have to buy a new one or is there one already on the new hub/bearing?

Thanks!
The new hub comes with a new inner raceway.

I do recommend a new one of these which is not included. $6.50 each @ my bmw dealer ...

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Old 01-14-2010, 10:05 PM   #36
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Man it seems like forever since I wrote up this DIY... this was one of the very first repair jobs after I got project E46.

Anyway, to answer your question - yes, depending on driving conditions, wheels and tires used and alignment conditions wheel bearings can last as little as 20k miles to sometimes over 150k. Usually they start to show some runout causing minor vibes between 50 and 75mph at around 80 to 120k miles. After they are really worn they start to groan and howl or grumble at low speeds. YMMV
Greg, thanks for the DIY. I'll need to do this in the very near future. Still waiting on other parts for my project but doing my homework now ahead of time. I am hearing grumbling noises between 10 mph and 30 mph. It is the loudest at 20 mph.

Quick question--did you apply any grease to the axle before sliding in the hub? I had to replace the rotors on my truck and I had to take the bearings out and re-grease them since I notice that it was originally with grease. This is the second DIY for front wheel bearings I have seen that do not pack grease before putting in the hub. Do BMWs not require it? Do you see grease already packed in the new hub?

Also, did you do your rear wheel bearings too?

Thanks
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:40 PM   #37
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Looks like an awesome write up. I'll be doing this soon, and this thread will come in handy!
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:29 AM   #38
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Greg, thanks for the DIY. I'll need to do this in the very near future. Still waiting on other parts for my project but doing my homework now ahead of time. I am hearing grumbling noises between 10 mph and 30 mph. It is the loudest at 20 mph.

Quick question--did you apply any grease to the axle before sliding in the hub? I had to replace the rotors on my truck and I had to take the bearings out and re-grease them since I notice that it was originally with grease. This is the second DIY for front wheel bearings I have seen that do not pack grease before putting in the hub. Do BMWs not require it? Do you see grease already packed in the new hub?

Also, did you do your rear wheel bearings too?

Thanks


I have not used greese to put the race/bearing back on. Thats a good question, You really dont need it.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:47 AM   #39
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Greg, thanks for the DIY. I'll need to do this in the very near future. Still waiting on other parts for my project but doing my homework now ahead of time. I am hearing grumbling noises between 10 mph and 30 mph. It is the loudest at 20 mph.

Quick question--did you apply any grease to the axle before sliding in the hub? I had to replace the rotors on my truck and I had to take the bearings out and re-grease them since I notice that it was originally with grease. This is the second DIY for front wheel bearings I have seen that do not pack grease before putting in the hub. Do BMWs not require it? Do you see grease already packed in the new hub?

Also, did you do your rear wheel bearings too?

Thanks

Hello. I simply cleaned the spindle with WD 40 and then installed the new bearing. No need to use any grease.

Actually, yes, I did do the rear wheel bearings after I did the 330 front/rear brake swap. There was already a pretty good write-up on here from another member so I decided not to do a E46 write-up. That said, it was very similar to my write-up I did for my E34 M5 on bimmerforums.

PM me if you have questions to keep this thread focused on the front bearing.

And congrats to all the posters who have performed this work on their BMWs.
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:02 PM   #40
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Excellent photos and instructions. Will be doing the same soon, much more confident after seeing your work.
Thanks! EC
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