Friday, September 21, 2012

Garage Success--Rear Bearing Hub Installed

Sometimes a successful auto repair actually happens within the confines of my garage. Last evening was an example.

I completed a five hour marathon rear bearing hub assembly replacement on Chris's car. The same repair that I had started on Sunday morning and then been thwarted due to lack of the proper axle nut socket.

The socket arrived Wednesday evening, as promised form Amazon, but I wasn't up for the challenge and so the remove and replace repair waited until last evening. Although I had a good plan, auto repair is fraught with unexpected delays.

Last evening was no different. Everything went fine right up until the time to remove the bearing hub from the backing plate.
New Rear Bearing Hub in Place

No joy! The rust from the weather and almost 150,000 miles of use had effectively welded them together. For two hours, really, I worked with the assembly working to separate the pieces by brute force, creativity, frustration, and even prayer.

They finally parted and I was able to begin the process of reassembly. Thankfully. The shiny new bearing hub was fit up and ready for installation. I was a bit miffed at the manufacturing process. I had read that some of the cheaper, non-OEM parts did not have large enough holes in them for a socket to get through to tighten the back bolts. So I bought a better quality OEM hub. Unfortunately, the access holes in this one were too small as well. This delayed the installation a bit as I had to creatively access the bolts to turn them down until the socket was able to be placed on top of the bolt due to tight clearances.

But in the end, the job was completed and an extensive test drive confirmed the success of the repair. The droning sound heard while driving the car is gone. The new tires, which we thought were the source of the noise, are fine.

I am not sure the $300 I saved doing the repair was worth the seven hours I put into it (considering the time driving around looking for the axel nut socket on Sunday and the two hours of pleading with the hub to separate from the backing plate last evening), but it is done!

Chalk up an auto repair success and now for the next project--whatever it is.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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