BMW Cars 1999-06

Wheel Bearings

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Adjustment



Wheel bearings can not be adjusted. The rear bearings must be replaced as a unit and never be reused once removed.

Removal & Installation



The rear hub is a press fit into the rear wheel bearing which is press fit into the trailing arm. If the rear hub is to be replaced, the rear wheel bearing must also be replaced, as the bearing is destroyed in the process of removing the hub. If only the rear wheel bearing is in need of replacement, the rear hub can be reused as long as it has not been damaged or bent.

Because the bearing and hub are press fit into place, the use of specialized tool is necessary for removal and installation procedures. There are special tool which are available that will allow for the hub and bearing to be removed and replaced without removing the trailing arm. When using these tools, refer to the tool manufacturer's instructions for the hub and bearing replacement procedures.

If using a hydraulic press to press out the hub and bearings, the trailing arm must be removed. On E36 models an alignment check will be necessary as the trailing arm mounting bracket is slotted for toe adjustment, and removal and installation of the trailing arm will cause the toe to change.


NOTE
The rear wheel bearings are pressed in place. They cannot be serviced or removed without damaging the bearing. If the bearing is noisy or loose, no maintenance or adjustment is possible and the bearing must be replaced.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel center cap and loosen the rear axle nut.
  6.  
  7. Remove the wheel assembly.
  8.  
  9. Remove the halfshaft assembly.
  10.  
  11. Remove the brake caliper and bracket assembly, and support it so there is no tension on the brake hose.
  12.  
  13. If available, use a suitable sized slide hammer tool with a stub axle puller adapter and remove the stub axle from the trailing arm, then remove the large snapring.
  14.  
  15. Remove the rear parking brake shoes, springs and adjusters.
  16.  
  17. Remove the rear trailing arm as outlined in this section.
  18.  
  19. If not previously removed, using a suitable hydraulic press and suitable press tools, support the trailing arm and press out the stub axle, then remove the large snapring.
  20.  
  21. Support the trailing arm and using suitable press tools, press out the bearing.
  22.  
  23. If the inner bearing race did not release from the stub axle during removal use a suitable puller to remove the inner race. If necessary, use a chisel, wedging it side to side to move the inner race away from the shoulder to allow adequate room for the puller. Clean the stub axle thoroughly and remove or smooth any burrs with a metal file.
  24.  



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Fig. The rear brake disk is removed to access the rear hub



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Fig. The axle is installed into the splined grooves of the rear wheel hub



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Fig. The splines allow the axle to transfer power from the differential to the rear wheel hub. Clean the splines and coat with a medium strength locking compound during assembly



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Fig. The axle nut should be replaced, tightened to specification and staked during installation

To install:

  1. If available, place the bearing assembly in a plastic bag and spray it with a coating of light spray on lubricant, seal the bag and place the bearing in a freezer an hour or more before installing. This will shrink the bearing and ease its installation.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the trailing arm for damage and thoroughly clean the area where the wheel bearing is installed. Make sure there are no sharp edges on the entrance of the bore where the bearing is to be installed. If necessary, chamfer the edges of the housing to avoid binding when pressing the bearing in place.
  4.  
  5. Support the trailing arm in a suitable press and press the bearing using suitable press tools into the trailing arm until it is fully seated.
  6.  
  7. Install the bearing snapring into the trailing arm.
  8.  
  9. If previously removed, or if replacing the trailing arm install/transfer any dust shields as necessary.
  10.  
  11. Support the inner bearing race of the bearing that has been pressed into the trailing arm and press the stub axle into the inner bearing race making sure it is fully seated.
  12.  
  13. Install the trailing arm onto the vehicle.
  14.  
  15. On E36 models make sure to align the match marks made during disassembly.
  16.  
  17. The balance of the assembly procedure is in reverse of the removal procedure making sure to use a new axle nut and properly tighten all fasteners.
  18.  
  19. Check and adjust the rear wheel alignment if necessary.
  20.  

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Negative battery cable
     
    Wheel assembly
     
    Half shaft assembly
     
    Brake caliper assembly and support it such that there is no tension on the brake hose
     
    Rear brake caliper and disconnect the parking brake cable
     
    Brake dust cover along with the parking brake assembly
     

  4.  
  5. Matchmark the mounting brackets for the trailing arm
  6.  
  7. Support the trailing arm with a suitable jack and remove the fasteners that attach the rear shock assembly to the trailing arm.
  8.  
  9. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Stabilizer bar, and if installed, the upper control arm
     
    Trailing arm assembly
     
    Large snapring in front of the wheel bearing
     

  10.  
  11. Using suitable press tools, support the trailing arm in a suitable hydraulic press and press the bearing from the trailing arm assembly.To install:
  12.  
  13. Inspect the trailing arm for damage and thoroughly clean the area where the wheel bearing is installed. Make sure there are no sharp edges on the entrance of the bore where the bearing is to be installed. If necessary, chamfer the edges of the housing to avoid binding when pressing the bearing in place.
  14.  
  15. Using a suitable hydraulic press and press tools, press the bearing into the trailing arm.
  16.  
  17. Install or connect the following:

    Bearing snapring into the trailing arm
     
    Trailing arm onto the vehicle, making sure to align the match marks made during disassembly
     

  18.  
  19. The balance of the assembly procedure is in reverse of the removal procedure.
  20.  
  21. Install the road wheel and torque the wheel bolts as follows:

    All models except the 740i with sport package 18 inch wheels: 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm)
     
    740i models with sport package 18 inch wheels: 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm)
     

  22.  
  23. Check and adjust the rear wheel alignment if necessary.
  24.  

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Negative battery cable
     
    Wheel assembly
     
    Half shaft assembly
     
    Brake caliper assembly and support it such that there is no tension on the brake hose
     
    Rear brake caliper and disconnect the parking brake cable
     
    Brake dust cover along with the parking brake assembly
     

  4.  
  5. Matchmark the mounting brackets for the trailing arm
  6.  
  7. Support the trailing arm with a suitable jack and remove the fasteners that attach the rear shock assembly to the trailing arm.
  8.  
  9. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Stabilizer bar, and if installed, the upper control arm
     
    Trailing arm assembly
     
    Large snapring in front of the wheel bearing
     

  10.  
  11. Using suitable press tools, support the trailing arm in a suitable hydraulic press and press the bearing from the trailing arm assembly. To install:
  12.  
  13. Inspect the trailing arm for damage and thoroughly clean the area where the wheel bearing is installed. Make sure there are no sharp edges on the entrance of the bore where the bearing is to be installed. If necessary, chamfer the edges of the housing to avoid binding when pressing the bearing in place.
  14.  
  15. Using a suitable hydraulic press and press tools, press the bearing into the trailing arm.
  16.  
  17. Install or connect the following:

    Bearing snapring into the trailing arm
     
    Trailing arm onto the vehicle, making sure to align the match marks made during disassembly
     

  18.  
  19. The balance of the assembly procedure is in reverse of the removal procedure.
  20.  
  21. Install the road wheel and torque the wheel bolts as follows:

    All models except the 740i with sport package 18 inch wheels: 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm)
     
    740i models with sport package 18 inch wheels: 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm)
     

  22.  
  23. Check and adjust the rear wheel alignment if necessary.
  24.  

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Negative battery cable
     
    Wheel assembly
     
    Half shaft assembly
     
    Brake caliper assembly and support it such that there is no tension on the brake hose
     
    Rear brake caliper and disconnect the parking brake cable
     
    Brake dust cover along with the parking brake assembly
     

  4.  
  5. Matchmark the mounting brackets for the trailing arm
  6.  
  7. Support the trailing arm with a suitable jack and remove the fasteners that attach the rear shock assembly to the trailing arm.
  8.  
  9. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Stabilizer bar, and if installed, the upper control arm
     
    Trailing arm assembly
     
    Large snapring in front of the wheel bearing
     

  10.  
  11. Using suitable press tools, support the trailing arm in a suitable hydraulic press and press the bearing from the trailing arm assembly. To install:
  12.  
  13. Inspect the trailing arm for damage and thoroughly clean the area where the wheel bearing is installed. Make sure there are no sharp edges on the entrance of the bore where the bearing is to be installed. If necessary, chamfer the edges of the housing to avoid binding when pressing the bearing in place.
  14.  
  15. Using a suitable hydraulic press and press tools, press the bearing into the trailing arm.
  16.  
  17. Install or connect the following:

    Bearing snapring into the trailing arm
     
    Trailing arm onto the vehicle, making sure to align the match marks made during disassembly
     

  18.  
  19. The balance of the assembly procedure is in reverse of the removal procedure.
  20.  
  21. Install the road wheel and torque the wheel bolts as follows:

    All models except the 740i with sport package 18 inch wheels: 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm)
     
    740i models with sport package 18 inch wheels: 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm)
     

  22.  
  23. Check and adjust the rear wheel alignment if necessary.
  24.  

 
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