BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Front Wheel Bearings

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ADJUSTMENT



Refer to the procedure in Brakes of this guide for a detailed explanation.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Wheel bearings on 1983-88 318i, 325, 5 and 6

Series models, and 1987-88 7 Series are permanently sealed bearings and do not require periodic disassembly and packing.

1600, 2000 and 2002 Models
  1. Remove the wheel. Unbolt and remove the caliper. Hang it from the body. Do not disconnect or stress the hose. On models with a separate disc, remove the locking cap by gripping carefully on both sides with a pair of pliers, remove the cotter pin from the castellated nut, and remove the nut and, where equipped, the slotted washer. Then, remove the entire hub and bearing.
  2.  
  3. Remove the shaft sealing ring and take out the roller bearing.
  4.  
  5. The outer bearing race may be forced out through the recesses in the wheel hub. A BMW puller 00 8 550 or the equivalent may also be used.
  6.  
  7. Clean all bearings and races and the interior of the hub with alcohol, and allow to air dry.
  8.  

Do not dry with compressed air as this can damage the bearings by rolling them over one another unlubricated or force one loose from the cage causing injury. Replace all bearings and races if there is any sign of scoring or galling.

  1. Press in the outer races with a suitable sleeve. Pack a new shaft seal with grease and refill the hub with fresh grease.
  2.  
  3. Assemble in this order: outer race; inner race; outer race; inner race; shaft seal.
  4.  
  5. If necessary, adjust the wheel bearing play.
  6.  

3 Series Models

See Figure 1

The bearings on the 318i and 325 models are only removed if they are worn. They cannot be removed without destroying them (due to side thrust created by the bearing puller). They should not be disassembled or repacked.

  1. Remove the front wheel and support the car. Remove the attaching bolts and remove and suspend the brake caliper, hanging it from the body so as to avoid putting stress on the brake line.
  2.  
  3. Remove the setscrew with an Allen wrench. Pull off the brake disc and pry off the dust cover with a small prybar.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: An example of a collar nut which is locked by tapping with a chisel or other suitable tool

  1. Using a chisel, knock the tab on the collar nut away from the shaft. Unscrew and discard the nut.
  2.  
  3. Pull off the bearing with a puller set such as 31 2 101/102/104 or equivalent and discard it. On the M3, use a puller set such as 31 2 102/105/106. On the M3, install the main bracket of the puller with 3 wheel bolts.
  4.  
  5. If the inside bearing inner race remains on the stub axle, unbolt and remove the dust guard. Bend back the inner dust guard and pull the inner race off with a special tool capable of getting under the race (BMW 00 7 500 and 33 1 309 or equivalent). Reinstall the dust guard.
  6.  

To install:
  1. If the dust guard has been removed, install a new one. Install a special tool (BMW 31 2 120 or equivalent. On M3 models, use 31 2 110 or equivalent) over the stub axle and screw it in for the entire length of the guide sleeve's threads. Press the bearing on.
  2.  
  3. Reverse the remaining removal procedures to install the disc and caliper. Tighten the wheel hub collar nut to 188 ft. lbs. (244 Nm) Lock the collar nut by bending over the tab.
  4.  

4-Wheel Drive Models

Please refer to Drive Train of this repair guide for details of front wheel bearing removal on 4-wheel drive vehicles.

524td, 528e, 530i, 535i, 633CSi, 635CSi, M5 and M6 Models
  1. Raise the vehicle and support it securely on jackstands. Unbolt and remove the caliper, suspending it so the brake line will not be stressed.
  2.  
  3. Remove the Allen bolt and remove the brake disc.
  4.  
  5. Remove the grease cap. Use a flat punch and hammer to push the punched-in area of the retaining nut away from the groove in the axle. If necessary, chisel the nut off. Then unscrew the bearing retaining nut.
  6.  
  7. Install a puller 31 2 100 or equivalent. Screw the tool's bolt inward to pull the bearing housing out of the axle.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Install a new bearing assembly cover on the stub axle. Use special tool set 31 2 110 to pull the new bearing assembly into the axle.
  2.  
  3. Install a washer and a new retaining nut. Tighten the nut to 210 ft. lbs. (273 Nm). Use a center punch and hammer to punch the inner edge of the nut into the indentation on the axle shaft. Install a new grease cap coated with a sealer such as BMW 88 228 407 420.
  4.  

733i Models
  1. Remove the front wheel. Detach the brake line clamp and bracket on the strut. On cars with ABS, remove the rubber boot, then unbolt and remove the anti-lock sensor.
  2.  
  3. Detach the caliper without disconnecting the brake line and suspend it with a piece of wire.
  4.  
  5. Use a tool such as 21 2 000 to remove the end cap. Remove the cotter pin and unscrew the castellated nut. Then, remove the stepped washer, brake disc, and wheel hub.
  6.  
  7. Use an Allen type wrench to unscrew the bolt and separate the disc from the wheel hub.
  8.  
  9. Lift out the shaft seal. Remove the tapered roller bearings. Knock out the outer races if they show scoring with a punch by tapping all around.
  10.  
  11. Press in new outer races with special tools such as 31 2 061 for the inside bearings and 31 2 062 for the outside bearings.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Pack the inner races with wheel bearing grease. The order of installation is: outer race, inner race, outer race, inner race, shaft seal. To install the seal, lubricate the sealing lip of the shaft seal with grease and install the seal with a tool such as 31 2 040. Repack all bearings thoroughly with wheel bearing grease before installation.
  2.  
  3. Adjust the wheel bearings as described in this section.
  4.  

735i Models

See Figure 1

  1. Remove the front wheel and support the car. Remove the attaching bolts and remove and suspend the brake caliper, hanging it from the body so as to avoid putting stress on the brake line.
  2.  
  3. Remove the setscrew with an Allen wrench. Pull off the brake disc and pry off the dust cover with a small prybar.
  4.  
  5. Using a chisel, knock the tab on the collar nut away from the shaft. Unscrew and discard the nut.
  6.  
  7. Install a puller collar such as 31 2 105 to the bearing housing with 3 bolts. Install a puller such as 31 2 102 and 312 2 106 and pull off the bearing and discard it.
  8.  
  9. If the inside bearing inner race remains on the stub axle, unscrew and remove the dust guard, using a socket extension. Bend back the inner dust guard and pull the inner race off with a special tool capable of getting under the race (BMW 31 2 100 and 31 2 102 or equivalent). Reinstall the dust guard and install a new dust cover.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Install a special tool (BMW 31 2 110 or equivalent) over the stub axle and screw it in for the entire length of the guide sleeve's threads. Slide the bearing on and follow it with 31 2 100 or equivalent, and use this tool to press the bearing on.
  2.  
  3. Reverse the remaining removal procedures to install the disc and caliper. Tighten the wheel hub collar nut to 210 ft. lbs. (273 Nm). Lock the collar nut by bending over the tab.
  4.  
  5. Install a new grease cap coated with a sealer such as BMW 88 228 407 420.
  6.  

 
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