E46 rear bearing replacement


Yes, my garage needs a major cleaning.
Yes, my garage needs a major cleaning.
There actually is enough room to work on a car in here.
There actually is enough room to work on a car in here.
Crack the lugs loose.  Jack up the car and support it with jack stands.Crack the lugs loose. Jack up the car and support it with jack stands.


Pry the locking collar out of the nothes in the stub axle to make it easier to remove the nut.Pry the locking collar out of the nothes in the stub axle to make it easier to remove the nut.

Remove the wheel.  Pose for a picture.Remove the wheel. Pose for a picture.


Tell your partner to apply the parking brake and stand on the brake pedal.  Use a GOOD 30mm 12 point socket and a breaker bar to loosen the stub axle nut.
Tell your partner to apply the parking brake and stand on the brake pedal. Use a GOOD 30mm 12 point socket and a breaker bar to loosen the stub axle nut.
Have your buddy step on the brake pedal as you crack each inner CV joint bolt loose with a Torx E? socket.  It is usually easier to loosen a bolt while it is on the upper half of the CV joint.  Spin the axle as necessary for access. Remove all 6 bolts and drop the axle down to clear the diff.  You may have to unbolt the rear shock and all or part of the rear swaybar for clearance.
Have your buddy step on the brake pedal as you crack each inner CV joint bolt loose with a Torx E? socket. It is usually easier to loosen a bolt while it is on the upper half of the CV joint. Spin the axle as necessary for access. Remove all 6 bolts and drop the axle down to clear the diff. You may have to unbolt the rear shock and all or part of the rear swaybar for clearance.
Now you can remove the brakes.  pry off the anti rattle clip.
Now you can remove the brakes. pry off the anti rattle clip.
Remove the black plastic caps from the back sode of the caliper guide pins.
Remove the black plastic caps from the back sode of the caliper guide pins.
Remove the caliper guide pins with a 7mm hex bit.
Remove the caliper guide pins with a 7mm hex bit.
Remove the caliper from the carrier.  You may have to pry the pads apart slightly with a screwdriver to clear any ridge on the edge of the rotor.  Don't forget to support it with a wire or bungee cord to avoid stressing the crimped end of the brake line.
Remove the caliper from the carrier. You may have to pry the pads apart slightly with a screwdriver to clear any ridge on the edge of the rotor. Don’t forget to support it with a wire or bungee cord to avoid stressing the crimped end of the brake line.
Remove the two carrier bolts with a 16mm socket.
Remove the two carrier bolts with a 16mm socket.
Remove the rotor hold-down screw with a 6mm hex bit.  Release the parking brake and remove the rotor.  Be prepared with a dead blow hammer in case the rotor does not want to part ways with the hub.
Remove the rotor hold-down screw with a 6mm hex bit. Release the parking brake and remove the rotor. Be prepared with a dead blow hammer in case the rotor does not want to part ways with the hub.
Drive the stub axle out of the hub.  Keep an eye on the inner CV joint to make sure it does not hang up anywhere.  Be prepared to use large hammers and excessive force to get the axle moving.  DO NOT DAMAGE THE AXLE THREADS!!!  Leaving the old nut on the threads will help protect the stub axle.  if you ding a thread, your day is over.
Drive the stub axle out of the hub. Keep an eye on the inner CV joint to make sure it does not hang up anywhere. Be prepared to use large hammers and excessive force to get the axle moving. DO NOT DAMAGE THE AXLE THREADS!!! Leaving the old nut on the threads will help protect the stub axle. if you ding a thread, your day is over.
Put the old nut back on to protect the threads.  I'm repeating this because thread damage to the stub axle is fatal.
Put the old nut back on to protect the threads. I’m repeating this because thread damage to the stub axle is fatal.
That's better.  Have your partner stay under the car to guide the inner end of the axle.
That’s better. Have your partner stay under the car to guide the inner end of the axle.
The hub miraculously came out without the outboard inner bearing race.  Usually the race stay on the hub.
The hub miraculously came out without the outboard inner bearing race. Usually the race stay on the hub.
The inner bearing race usually stays with the flange as you pound it out.  Use a bearing separator or a 3 leg puller to remove the race. (E30 hub shown)
The inner bearing race usually stays with the flange as you pound it out. Use a bearing separator or a 3 leg puller to remove the race. (E30 hub shown)
Remove the snap ring holding the bearing in (not shown).  Assemble your bearing tool.
Remove the snap ring holding the bearing in (not shown). Assemble your bearing tool.
Use the largest mandrel possible that will clear the control arm on the inboard side of the bearing.  You want to push on as much area of the bearing as possible to avoid pushing out just the inner races.
Use the largest mandrel possible that will clear the control arm on the inboard side of the bearing. You want to push on as much area of the bearing as possible to avoid pushing out just the inner races.
The bearing is out!  Clean everything with your favorite solvent and wipe clean.  The new bearing should be installed dry.  use the largest mandrel possible on the outboard side to push on as much of the bearing outer race as possible.  Pushing on the inner race can damage the bearing.
The bearing is out! Clean everything with your favorite solvent and wipe clean. The new bearing should be installed dry. use the largest mandrel possible on the outboard side to push on as much of the bearing outer race as possible. Pushing on the inner race can damage the bearing.
Install a new snap ring.  I'm sure you can reuse the old one but a new one is under $4.00 at the parts counter.  If the snap ring will not fit into the groove, the bearing is not fully seated.  break out the bearing tool again and push it all the way in.
Install a new snap ring. I’m sure you can reuse the old one but a new one is under $4.00 at the parts counter. If the snap ring will not fit into the groove, the bearing is not fully seated. break out the bearing tool again and push it all the way in.
Check the fit of the hub on the stub axle.  You should be able to push the hub on far enough to expose enough threads to get the axle nut started.
Check the fit of the hub on the stub axle. You should be able to push the hub on far enough to expose enough threads to get the axle nut started.
If oyu have to pound the axle into the hub, you run the risk of pushing the outboard inner race out of the bearing which may cause damage.  Chlean the hub and axle as needed and check the fit several times.  ALl I had to do was wire brush the axle plines and spray some solvent on the hub splines.  Make sure both splines are clean and dry before assembly.
If oyu have to pound the axle into the hub, you run the risk of pushing the outboard inner race out of the bearing which may cause damage. Chlean the hub and axle as needed and check the fit several times. ALl I had to do was wire brush the axle plines and spray some solvent on the hub splines. Make sure both splines are clean and dry before assembly.
After you are happy with the hub-axle fit, push the hub into the new bearing with the bearing tool.  Use a smaller mandrel on the inboard side so that it only pushes against the inner race.
After you are happy with the hub-axle fit, push the hub into the new bearing with the bearing tool. Use a smaller mandrel on the inboard side so that it only pushes against the inner race.
Slide the axle into the hub.  Thread the new axle nut on a couple turns to make sure it starts on the threads.  Tightening the nut later will finish the job of pulling the stub axle into the hub.  Reattache the inboard CV joint to the diff output flange.  Reattach the shock and swaybar if necessary.
Slide the axle into the hub. Thread the new axle nut on a couple turns to make sure it starts on the threads. Tightening the nut later will finish the job of pulling the stub axle into the hub. Reattache the inboard CV joint to the diff output flange. Reattach the shock and swaybar if necessary.
Clean the hub face and center with a wire brush and apply a LIGHT coating of antiseize to make rotor removal easier the next time you touch the brakes.
Clean the hub face and center with a wire brush and apply a LIGHT coating of antiseize to make rotor removal easier the next time you touch the brakes.
Reinstall the rotor, carrier, and caliper.  Torque the CV joint bolts and stub axle nut.  Install the wheel and torque the lugs.
Reinstall the rotor, carrier, and caliper. Torque the CV joint bolts and stub axle nut. Install the wheel and torque the lugs.
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Writeup by: Team DFL

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