Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing. in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; I figured I would put this in since its going to be happening to more and more of us as ...
  1. #1
    Kael's Avatar
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    Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    I figured I would put this in since its going to be happening to more and more of us as the cars age.
    Read ALL of this before attempting, I jump around a lot.

    Anywho, my drivers side front bearing started to grind and howl at me. Time for a replacement.

    Took the car down to a few mechanics. "lets see here... thats 280 for the part and then another 120 in labor.. to a total of 400 bucks there pal"
    this was not the dealership (they quoted 600 something off the top of their heads) this was your average low cost tuffy.

    yeah.. right before christmas.. umm no thanks.

    And thats when your favorite mad scientist declared:
    "WTF!"
    and then I said:
    "hey wait a minute, I have a set of tools at my place, and I am all sorts of smart and stuff, i think.. ooh look something shiny.. where was I.. oh yeah.. wheel bearing."
    Anyway I started to ask around. seems rockauto.com carried the part from timken for about 189 (before shipping this heavy ass thing). thats a lot better than 280 but not good enough. I never trust timken anyway.. why is that you say.. oh yeah.. wait.. I have changed out the front bearings on my front wheel drive 97 grand prix gtp before and used timken parts.. which failed.. like a year later.. and I had to do it again.. which is annoying.
    But never fail. the powers of google and ebay come to the rescue.
    I discover pam's auto. its a salvage company.
    and guess what.. they have a front wheel hub bearing assembly from a 2005 cadillac cts with just 30k miles on it.
    now, before you go "using USED parts! are you nuts?!??!#$#@%$%@#!?"
    One, nuts? sometimes.
    Two, the timken will be lucky if it lasts 30k, the oem I KNOW will last over 100k, and it was just 89 dollars, total of 109 shipped. woot!

    okay, onto the fun.

    to get to the wheel bearing you of course have to jack the car up.
    remove the wheel.
    ooh pretty (ugly).
    you have to now remove the brake caliper braket. Not the caliper itself, the braket that the caliper is attached to.
    This involves two large bolts at the back, I am sure you will find them, one on top, one below.
    Now.. you better have a fine set of tools, and a breaker bar, cause these things were put in there TIGHT, with lock tight.
    after much straining, swearing and a busted knuckle they will indeed turn.
    (mental note, you are turning "down" on both bolts to get them to loosen up)
    with these out you can now shimmy, curse at, hit with a hammer, and then lever off the caliper with bracket attached. JOY!
    You may have to compress the pistons later to get the caliper back on the rotor, I just jammed and slid it back on and it went fine. took a bit of trying though.
    now for more fun.

    remove the rotor..
    oh yeah.. there is this lame torque star nut holding it on. make sure you have the right bit for this as you can strip it out pretty easily.
    once that is off you should be able to remove the rotor..

    won't come off you say? oh yeah, its probably rust welded to the spindle.
    take a bfh (big F ing hammer) and swat the back side till it loosens up.
    take it off, put it aside.

    now for more fun.

    on the back of the wheel bearing (the thing in the center) there are three big bolts holding it on.
    you thought the caliper bolts were a pain? meet their big brother, or bigger, meaner, fatter sister with self esteem problems.
    Now you can get the bottom two off in the space given to you but the third (top) bolt is right by the linkage for the sway bar.
    take another jack (what you don't have two?) and put it under the spindle.
    jack the spindle up till there is no pressure on the bolt that holds the sway bar to the linkage thingy.
    then you can take your socket or whatever and an alan wrench and take that nut off, then slide the bolt out and manuever it out of the way.
    this will give you enough room to get your wrench in there and take that last bastard out (I was bleeding a little at this point)
    JOY!
    wait..the wheel bearing won't slide out...
    duh!
    you can take your hammer and smack it out, the back will probably stay in there, just poke or jam at from behind till that plate comes out. no biggie.
    the aluminum just welded to the spindle. it happens. you are throwing out that bearing anyway.

    OH, you will probably want to disconnect the speed sensor as well. Pinch the top and then press it through. joy.

    Take the new wheel bearing and line it up and start to slide it in.
    The sensor wire should be in the upper left hand as you go in.
    Line up the holes, use a hammer to manuever it back and forth a bit and then put the bolts back, re attach the sway bar, and then put the rotor on with the retention bolt, then the caliper bracket with caliper, make sure everything is nice and tight and then remove the jack under the spindle, then put the wheel back on and lower the car.

    joy.

    you just spent about 100 buck on a job that was quoted at 400.
    s_tharsan and Ikera like this.

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    jcs003 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    ROFL!!! you should write a repair manual. anyways, thanks for the info.

  4. #3
    Coma's Avatar
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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    Possibly the greatest member on this forum when it comes to knowledge and awesomeness in general...

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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    That was a great write up. A while back, I had a bad tire and I thought it was the bearing so I was wondering how hard it would be to find one and replace it. You answered my question. How may miles on your car? Did the bearing solve your probem?

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    Kael's Avatar
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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    I have about 96k on my car now.

    and yeah, as soon as the new bearing went in, the groaning disappeared.


    thanks for the compliments guys.

  7. #6
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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    Kael!

    AWESOME write up!! lol..I have some kind of 'whining' in my front passenger area, and I have no idea what it is..I've taken it to the dealer..they can't find/hear anything even when they take it out and drive it...only happens randomly. Usually it seems when i'm de-celerating it starts whining...weird..

    You think it could be a bearing? Or would a bearing be a CONSTANT whining/groaning? Just curious....b/c this whining thing in my 05 is driving me nuts.....and I have NO idea what it is..nor does the dealer b/c they can't reproduce it....

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    Kael's Avatar
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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    ummm NOT the bearing.

    the whining could be wind noise, road noise from the tire...

    hmm go ahead and rotate your tires and see if it still wines.

    if its just a wine when you are applying the brakes you may just have a slightly warped rotor.

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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kael View Post
    ummm NOT the bearing.

    the whining could be wind noise, road noise from the tire...

    hmm go ahead and rotate your tires and see if it still wines.

    if its just a wine when you are applying the brakes you may just have a slightly warped rotor.

    Yea..I def. didn't think so at all..I've rotated the tires, and balanced them...could be wind noise I suppose.....

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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    well if its the bearing you will know as it will get louder till you can't ignore it.

    weird. well give some more detail and lets see if we can figure this one out.

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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    It's really hard to explain honestly. And it only does it sometimes....no real rhyme or reason to why it's doing it.

    It's definitely coming from the Passenger front side somewhere...and it's only usually when I'm de-celerating for some reason...and it's almost as if its tryin to downshift...and it's making a whine noise, that sounds like wind blowing through something, and then it downshifts...and goes away. But it will do it again at some other point..sometimes right after...sometimes never again.

    But I can't get it to reproduce with the dealer. I'm hard pressed to think it's actually wind blowing, because sometimes its at a light that is red, but then turns green, right when you're braking...

    I know it sucks...but it's about the best way to describe it..lol I"m trying to think of more details..and can't think of anything really....

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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    I love mad sci fri!!!



    HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL

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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    Well done, i have replaced both rear bearings and after the first of the year the driver front needs replaced. I must admit I think I have a new car because of everything I have replaced since after the warranty ran out. I wake up every morning and say ok what is next to need replaced. So when someone says anybody can afford to buy a cadillac there right, Most people can they just can't afford the replacement parts when they brake. I with no doubt have probabaly spent an addittional 7 grand over the years. Never ever another cadillac. I think I'll stay with either a Toyota (my 94 is still running and in perfect condition) with a few minor repairs or I'll try a lexus next time or maybe RTA...lol
    Ikera likes this.

  14. #13
    Jim's 06 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    Good write-up! About five years ago, a buddy was quoted $700 (local Chev dealer) to replace front spindle/hub/bearing assembly on his then-newish 2000 Impala (front wheel drive)(plastic bag had gotten wrapped around the axle and tore out the ABS sensor wire, requiring repacement of the WHOLE HUB ASSEMBLY!). I got the part for $189 and got it installed in less than one hour (and I hadn't done this before)! It took longer to find a 36mm socket for the drive shaft nut than to do the job. BTW, the nut required 185 lbs/ft of torque, and my torque wrench only went to 150--what to do?? Well, after a beer for insight, I marked off my 20 inch breaker bar at 12 inches, put it on the nut, and stood on it. Since I weigh 185, there's my 185 lbs/ft (or so).

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    Kael's Avatar
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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    whats funny is that I found my 36mm socket from doing my front wheel bearing assemblies on my old 97 grand prix gtp.

    kind of nostalgia since I loved that car to death, its what I had before I got my cts in 2005.
    Yeah, I had my gtp for 8 years.
    tough car, even modded like mine was it still lasted great.

    excellent "second car"

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    dkozloski is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Mad Scientist: Yes, you too can change your wheel bearing.

    I can't believe that any mechanic with two brain cells to rub together would ever be found badmouthing Timken bearings. If there was ever an unequaled product line manufactured in the U.S.A. it would have to be Timken. If you have a failure with Timken it would have to be something you did wrong. The materials they use are so superior that they have a huge part of their business supplying specialty steels to top of the line manufacturers of all kinds of machinery and tools all over the world. On occasion I have had need to examine the accuracy of their bearings and found that even their ordinary grade of bearing exceeds the manufacturing specs by at least an order of magnitude. If you have a Timken bearing failure you can find the source of the problem by looking in the mirror.
    I don't have any financial connection with Timken.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


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