The GM W-Body models, like most Front Wheel Drive vehicles, are equipped with sealed hub and bearing assemblies. The hub and bearing cannot be separated for regreasing. If the assembly is damaged, the complete hub and bearing assembly must be replaced. Please see Section 8 for the hub and bearing removal and installation procedure.
Removal & Installation
Because the outer CV-Joint is essentially a press-fit in the front hub and bearing assembly, a good-quality hub/spindle puller is recommended. Use care if using substitutes or expensive damage may result. A new service replacement drive shaft axle nut is specified as well as new hub/bearing retainer bolts. Procure the necessary parts before beginning this procedure. GM recommends the following sequence to avoid damage to the bearing.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle.
- Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
- Loosen the drive shaft axle nut (sometimes called a spindle nut) one turn. The torque specification on this nut is 150 ft. lbs. (205 Nm), so expect to need a lot of torque on the wrench to break the nut loose. To keep the brake rotor and hub assembly from turning when loosening the nut, insert a suitably sized drift pin or other suitable tool through the brake caliper inspection opening into the brake rotor's ventilation openings. This should lock the assembly in place so the spindle nut can be loosened. It is good practice to wire-brush any exposed threads on the end of the spindle and apply a generous coating of penetrating oil. Do not remove the nut yet.
- Remove the brake caliper, bracket and the rotor. Please see Section 9.
- Remove the drive shaft nut.
- Loosen the hub and bearing assembly to knuckle attaching bolts.
- Using a hub puller, push the axle shaft splines back out of the hub and bearing assembly. Don't try to hammer on the end of the spindle (part of the outer CV-joint) or the joint and possibly also the hub bearing will be damaged. Use a hub puller to press the spindle out of the hub. It is good practice to leave the hub nut in place to protect the threads on the spindle as the hub puller presses the spindle free of the hub.
- Remove the hub and bearing assembly from the vehicle.
- Install the service replacement hub and bearing to the knuckle, over the splines of the drive axle shaft (actually part of the outer CV-joint).
- Install new knuckle to front wheel hub and bearing attaching bolts. Tighten the bolts to 96 ft. lbs. (130 Nm).
- Install the rotor, bracket and brake caliper. Please see Section 9.
- Install a new service replacement front wheel drive axle nut. To keep the brake rotor and hub assembly from turning when tightening the nut, insert a suitably sized drift pin or other suitable tool through the brake caliper inspection opening into the brake rotor's ventilation openings, locking the assembly in place so the spindle nut can be tightened. Torque the nut to 150 ft. lbs. (205 Nm).
- Install the front wheel and tire assemblies. Torque the wheel nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (140 Nm).
- Lower the vehicle.