How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement)
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Cadillac SRX First Generation Forum - 2004 - 2009 Discussion, How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement) in Cadillac SRX Forums; First, my thoughts on member how-tos: I've always appreciated another car forum (for my car) that has a separate 'how-to' ...
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    SRT ACE's Avatar
    SRT ACE is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2004 SRX V6 AWD
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    How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement)

    First, my thoughts on member how-tos: I've always appreciated another car forum (for my car) that has a separate 'how-to' section and TONS of write-ups. I do a lot of research here at cadillacforums for the wife's SRX, but find the number of how-tos somewhat limited and hard to find. It's a little disappointing for a car enthusiast and hobbyist mechanic such as myself. I have the Factory Service Manual (FSM), but member's experience and real pictures are invaluable. I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that as the car ages and the cost of labor stays the same (or increases) the quantity of write-ups will rise. Perhaps, the mods could compile a new sticky with various how-tos in order to make them easier to find?

    I digress. Here's my take on how to replace the rear wheel bearings/hubs:

    These instructions are provided for information purposes only. Attempt at your own risk.

    SRX trim - 2004 3.6L V6 AWD

    Problem presentation - we experienced a driveline hum that would start around 20mph and continue to get louder until about 60mph, beyond that speed the noise didn't seem to get any louder but was still present. At first it was barely noticeable, but it progressively got worse and was quite loud/annoying by the time I finally did the work. It seemed to be coming from the rear of the vehicle, was not distinguishable left to right, would not change in neutral or drive, under load or coasting, and the bearings had no play (jack up tire, grab wheel at 3 & 9, and shake). I also changed the fluids in both differentials and the transfer case, and all seemed okay with no metal filings or really bad discoloration. I was stumped since the wheels did not have play and the fluids looked good. So, I wanted a thorough diagnosis from the dealer on what I was worried could be any one of a number of things (transfer case chain, rear differential, CV joints, wheel bearings, etc). $55 later, the diagnoses was in: two bad rear wheel bearings. I can't say I was too surprised as the fronts had to be replaced last year in order to pass inspection, but it was strange that they had no play in them. I walked into the project cautiously optimistic that tech was correct and the new bearings would resolve the issue.

    Parts list
    1. Wheel bearings/hubs (integrated unit with speed sensor) - I used Timken HA590079 from Rock Auto at roughly $140 a piece including S&H
    2. Axle nut - GMpartsdirect.com lists MSRP at $6.26 & sells at $3.70 plus S&H

    Time required - 1 to 4 hours per side (two took me 5 hours with 80% of the time on the first one)

    Dealer quote - ~$1,400!!! (both sides)

    Tools required
    • jack & jack stands
    • wheel chocks
    • flathead screwdriver (for lug nut cover & speed sensor)
    • breaker bar
    • impact gun & air compressor (I found my pancake compressor wasn't enough to keep up and ultimately had to exert a lot of sweat equity)
    • impact/ratchet extensions - the more the merrier (3/8" & 1/2")
    • impact/ratchet universal joints (3/8" & 1/2")
    • 3/8" drive ratchet
    • 1/2" drive ratchet
    • 3/4" socket (for wheel lug nuts)
    • 13mm socket (for brake caliper)
    • 18mm socket (for brake caliper bracket)
    • 18mm deep socket (for hub retaining bolts)
    • 21mm deep socket (for ball joint nut)
    • 35mm axle nut socket (everything I read said the size was 36mm, but I can confirm (at least on my car) that the nuts are indeed 35mm)
    • 21mm combination wrench (for ball joint nut)
    • 10mm combination wrench (for ball joint bolt)
    • 18mm combination wrench (for hub retaining bolts)
    • T30 torx/star bit (for rotor mounting screw)
    • Ball joint separator (can probably rent from AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts for free)
    • Dunnage/punches and 3lb hammer if you don't have the tool
    • Bearing/hub puller (can probably rent from AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts for free)
    • Chisel and 3lb hammer if you forget/don't have the bearing/hub puller (not recommended - do as I say and not as I do)
    • Bungee cord or equivalent
    • Caliper brake lube
    • PB Blaster or equivalent
    • Break cleaner
    • Shop rags

    Removal
    1. Put transmission in Park, chock the front wheels, and do NOT set the parking brake
    2. Jack up rear tire to be worked on
    3. Lower vehicle onto jack stands
    4. You may want to see where your metal CV joint boot seal clamp is located relative to your hub retaining bolts. It will be easier to remove the bolts if the clamp does not cause any interference. I did not do this and had a slight interference on one side, which wasn't the end of the world.
    5. Remove the lug nut cover with the flathead screwdriver
    6. Remove the six lug nuts with 3/4" socket & your choice of tool (impact gun, breaker bar, ratchet) - from now on I'll omit this tool list unless I have a specific recommendation
    7. Set tire aside
    8. Using the 13mm socket & your choice of tool remove the two caliper bolts



    9. Support the brake caliper with bungee cord, do NOT disconnect
    10. Remove the brake pads and set aside; the factory service manual (FSM) also recommends removing the pad retainers from caliper bracket, but I didn't find this necessary
    11. Using the 18mm socket & your choice of tool remove the two caliper bracket bolts



    12. Remove the caliper bracket and set aside
    13. Using the T30 torx/star bit remove the one rotor mounting screw



    14. Remove the brake rotor and set aside
    15. Stop here and proceed to step 8 of the installation if you are simply replacing your rotors and pads
    16. At this point it would not hurt to hit the three hub retaining bolts with PB blaster. You'll want to spray between the hub and parking brake shoe in roughly the locations seen below - the back of the bolts should be visible with a flashlight.



    17. Disconnect the wheel speed sensor electrical connect



    18. Unclip the wheel speed sensor electrical connector from the backing plate



    19. Using the 35mm axle nut socket & breaker bar or impact wrench remove the axle nut; the FSM recommends (here is a rough idea why) discarding but I didn't have the new one in stock yet so had to reuse.
    20. Now would be another good time to hit the three hub retaining bolts with more PB Blaster
    21. Using the 21mm deep socket, extensions, & your choice of tool remove the one upper control arm ball joint to knuckle retaining nut; the ball joint has a 'press fit' into the knuckle and you shouldn't run into any issues with the ball joint bolt spinning - if you do, you can use the 21mm box wrench on the nut and 10mm box wrench on the bolt



    22. I found that jacking up the bottom of the knuckle to take up the suspension travel gave a better angle for separating the ball joint from the knuckle
    23. Using a ball joint separator separate the ball joint from the knuckle. If you don't have the special tool, you can use dunnage/a punch and 3 lb hammer to tap gently.



    24. Lower the jack from the knuckle
    25. I don't have a whole lot of pictures from here on out - I was running out of daylight and getting annoyed at the hub retaining bolts . The next steps are by far the hardest and will consume the most time...
    26. Avoid tool contact with the CV joint boot seal!!! Damaging your CV joints is the last thing you want to do
    27. Using the 18mm deep socket & your choice of tool remove the three hub retaining bolts. As mentioned above, ideally your CV joint boot seal clamp is not interfering with any of the hub retaining bolts. This will help to ensure the socket fits the bolt head securely. The bolts are roughly at bottom dead center and across the top parallel to the ground:



    28. Tip - the bolts were relatively easy to break free, but actually got more difficult to turn after about 1/4" out - you can thank the loctite and years of rust for that. I removed each 1/4" and sprayed more PB Blaster (no, I don't own stock).
    29. Tip - start with the bottom bolt as it is the hardest to get to. I found the best combination was a 1/2" drive 18mm deep socket connected to a universal joint connected to a 5" or 10" extension connected to my 1/2" drrive ratchet.
    30. Tip - the top two bolts were the easiest to get to and required nothing more than the 18mm deep socket and 1/2" drive ratchet; you may also want to use an 18mm combination wrench
    31. Tip - I wish I had a bigger air compressor and would have loved to try these bolts with the impact gun
    32. The hub will still be sitting in the knuckle once the three bolts are out. At this point you should use a hub/bearing puller to remove the hub from the knuckle and ensuring no damage is done to the parking brake shoe or backing plate. I unfortunately did not have the puller and had to resort to a 3 lb hammer and chisels. I had done this successfully on the front wheel bearings last year, but in the front you don't have to contend with any parking brake parts. Before attempting, I made sure the drive shaft was free and able to move in/out of the bearing. I was able to carefully and successfully drive the chisel between the backing plate and knuckle to separate the hub - if you do this you'll want to aim near each of the three points where the bolts were removed. Be extremely careful not to damage the parking brake components and ensure the backing plate is not bent in any way once compete. You'll probably need to push the driveshaft in a bit to give enough clearance to pull the speed sensor through.



    Installation



    1. Using brake cleaner and a shop rag clean the inside of the knuckle.
    2. Roughly line up the new bearing/hub with the mounting holes and insert the speed sensor wiring through the knuckle.
    3. Install the new bearing/hub using the same PITA 18mm bearing retaining bolts you just removed. Torque to 92 ft/lbs.
    4. Jack up the bottom of the knuckle to take up suspension travel and provide a better angle to insert the control arm's ball joint into the knuckle. Insert the ball joint into the knuckle.
    5. For the first part of the bolt take-up you will probably have to use a 21mm combination wrench on the nut and 10mm combination wrench on the bolt. You may be able to run it up with the impact gun (I was one for two). Once the nut begins to feel tight you can probably switch to a 21mm deep socket. Torque to 15 ft/lbs and then turn an additional 210 degrees.
    6. Lower the jack from the knuckle
    7. Install a new axle nut using the 35mm axle nut socket. Torque to 118 ft/lbs.
    8. Install the brake rotor and fasten the mounting screw with the 30T torx/star bit. Torque to 124 in/lbs (note INCH pounds and not foot pounds).
    9. Install the brake caliper bracket using an 18mm socket. The FSM recommends using loctite. Torque to 88 ft/lbs.
    10. Clean the pad retainers with brake cleaner and apply new caliper lube.
    11. Install the brake pads with small amount of caliper lube at the contact points.
    12. Install the brake caliper using a 13mm socket. Torque to 44 ft/lbs.
    13. Connect the wheel speed sensor to the backing plate (n/a for brake jobs only).
    14. Connect the wheel speed sensor to the electrical connector (n/a for brake jobs only).
    15. Install the tire using a 3/4" socket. Torque to 100 ft/lbs. Make sure you tighten in proper sequence (if studs are numbered sequencially - 1, 4, 6, 3, 5, 2).
    16. Install the lug nut cover.
    17. Jack up the rear of the vehicle to remove the jack stand. Lower the vehicle.
    18. Remove the wheel chocks and enjoy the buttery smoothness of your new wheel bearings!

    Final thoughts - I'm happy to report that my driveline hum is gone. Removing the three hub retaining nuts and separating the hub from the knuckle can be tedious, but not impossible. Allow yourself some extra time if need be and have some extra beer lying around just in case. I have to give the Cadillac tech credit who knew instantly what the problem was that I couldn't identify in my driveway toubleshooting. Before the repair we were experiencing a frequent 'Stability System Engaged' DIC message, and this seems to have been in part caused by a shoddy looking speed sensor on one of the bearings. Upon removal it was actually separated from the hub and stuck in the knuckle. The frequency we've received the DIC message (small mileage sample size) seems to have been reduced (not eliminated - steering sensor is next). Perhaps my next write-up will be the steering sensor replacement...

    I hope this information is useful to someone.

    -ace
    PJ1520, PJ1520, cynot and 3 others like this.

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  3. #2
    ctzl is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    This is awesome! Really appreicate!

  4. #3
    gmaltese is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    this is a great post, i love it, id like to see more of this type, pictures help alot, thank you.

  5. #4
    SLCLK500's Avatar
    SLCLK500 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    Nice write-up - Note on RWD, you do not have to separate ball joint.

  6. #5
    nascarnation is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    Great work, thanks. I'm sure I'll see a number of these DIY fixes as my car continues to accumulate miles.

  7. #6
    mikeyii is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    I just finished this it took me 8 hours non stop. I didn't have the exact right tools for the job. The wheel hub bolts were a nightmare. Especially the bottom one. The only easy one was the one opposite side of the emergency break. The other two where very close proximity to the cv boot not allowing the socket to seat correctly. The other thing is not getting any leverage on the nuts even with a cheater bar it was a pain in the ass. If the car was on a hoist it would of made my life a lot easier. But after 8 hrs i got it with bloody knuckles. I did how ever save myself 500 dollars. The dealer wanted nearly 700 dollars in labour and part. I would suggest getting the car as high as you can on blocks to allow you more leverage for the bottom hub bolt.

  8. #7
    08SRX's Avatar
    08SRX is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    How did you determine which bearing was the bad one? I had one go on mine, but all I could tell is that it was at the rear.

  9. #8
    orandaberg is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    Thanks

  10. #9
    ktr-sb is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    Looks like standard GM W-car hub. Why not just remove the caliper with the rotor and skip removing the pads?

    SLCLK500, why does RWD make a difference?

  11. #10
    SRT ACE's Avatar
    SRT ACE is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by 08SRX View Post
    How did you determine which bearing was the bad one? I had one go on mine, but all I could tell is that it was at the rear.
    After safely jacking the tire off of the ground, grab the tire at 12 and 6 (clock references) and try to wiggle back and forth. Mine did not have any play in them, so a quick trip the dealer and ~$55 diagnostic charge later did the trick...

    Quote Originally Posted by ktr-sb View Post
    Looks like standard GM W-car hub. Why not just remove the caliper with the rotor and skip removing the pads?
    I'm not sure that you HAVE to, but it's included in the FSM and may make access to the caliper brackets easier...

  12. #11
    GoFlyers30 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyii View Post
    I just finished this it took me 8 hours non stop. I didn't have the exact right tools for the job. The wheel hub bolts were a nightmare. Especially the bottom one. The only easy one was the one opposite side of the emergency break. The other two where very close proximity to the cv boot not allowing the socket to seat correctly.
    I took apart everything EXCEPT the bottom bolt. I gave up for the night and put it all back together.
    The OD of the CV Joint is larger then the ID of the bolts. I cannot get any tool on the heads of the bolts except an open end wrench. I am in shear amazement that others were able to squeeze a socket in between the CV Joint and the head of the screw.
    There has to be another way... I will go at it again this weekend but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    2005 STS / V8 / RWD / 5 Lugs

    Thanks

  13. #12
    glake89's Avatar
    glake89 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    It helps to let the suspension hang down (support car on frame), then an 18mm 6 point 3/8 drive short socket should work just fine.
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  14. #13
    Sheepish is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    There should really be a How To or DIY section for each gen of SRX. This is an excellent write up.

  15. #14
    johns12 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    That bottom bolt is a pain. You need an extension on the socket. You will only get about 1/8th of a turn each time. Takes a long time but doable. I did just take the whole caliper with pads off and hung it with a bungee chord to keep the break lines safe. The rear is a miserable job. Fronts are not nearly as bad.

    By the way SRT ACE, very nice how to with great pictures.

  16. #15
    glake89's Avatar
    glake89 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: How to: Rear Wheel Bearing/Hub Install (also covers brake pad & rotor replacement

    I used 2 extensions, a short one in the socket and a longer one for clearance. That gives a little slop to get around the CV joint.
    __________________________________________________ ________________

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