Chrysler Neon 1995-1999 Repair Guide

Front Hub and Bearing

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1995 Vehicles

See Figures 1, 2 and 3

This vehicle uses a sealed for life front hub and bearing assembly attached to the front steering knuckle. The outer CV-joint assembly is splined to the front hub and bearing assembly. The front wheel bearing is called a cartridge bearing. The wheel bearing can be serviced separately from the front steering knuckle and hub assembly. Installation and retention of the front wheel bearing in the steering knuckle is by an interference fit and retained by a snapring. If the front wheel bearing requires replacement, the hub must be removed from the original wheel bearing and transferred to the replacement bearing.

Note that the Neon does not use a rubber lip seal as on past front wheel drive cars to prevent contamination of the front wheel bearing. On this vehicle, the face of the outer CV-joint fits deeply into the steering knuckle using a close fit. This design deters direct water splash on the bearing seal while allowing any water that gets in, to run out the bottom. It is important to thoroughly clean the outer CV-joint and the wheel bearing area in the steering knuckle before it is assembled after servicing.

The steering knuckle MUST be removed to replace both the hub and the front wheel bearing.

  1. Remove the front hub cotter pin, nut lock and spring washer. Discard the cotter pin.
  2.  


WARNING
Wheel bearing damage will result if, after loosening the hub nut, the vehicle is rolled on the ground or the weight of the vehicle is allowed to be supported by the tires.

  1. Loosen the hub nut while the vehicle is on the floor with the brakes applied. The front hub and halfshaft are splined together through the knuckle (bearing) and retained by the hub nut. The front wheel bearing supports the front hub and weight of the vehicle.
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  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the front wheels.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front disc brake caliper from the steering knuckle. The caliper is removed by first lifting the bottom of the caliper away from the steering knuckle and then removing the top of the caliper out from under the steering knuckle. Support the caliper using wire. Do not allow the caliper to hand by the brake hose.
  6.  
  7. Remove the brake rotor from the front hub/bearing assembly.
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  9. Remove the nut attaching the outer tie rod end to the steering knuckle.
    1. Hold the tie rod end stud with an 11 / 32 inch socket while loosening and removing the nut with the wrench.
    2.  
    3. Remove the tie rod end from the steering knuckle using a puller. Do not hammer wedge-type tools or the steering tie rod end joint will be damaged.
    4.  

  10.  
  11. Locate and remove the lower control arm ball joint clamping nut and bolt and separate the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle by prying down on the lower control arm. Use care not to damage the steering tie rod end or seal. In addition, use care not to allow the halfshaft to become overextended as the steering knuckle is removed. Do not allow the halfshaft to hang by the inner CV-joint boot. The halfshaft must be supported.
  12.  

The steering knuckle to strut assembly attaching bolts are serrated and must NOT be turned during removal. Remove and reinstall the nuts while holding the bolts stationary in the steering knuckle.

  1. With the steering knuckle removed from the vehicle, use a suitable press to remove the wheel bearing from the steering knuckle. Use care to jig the knuckle level in the press bed and press the wheel hub and bearing slowly from the knuckle. One bearing race may come out with the hub when the hub is removed. Remove the knuckle from the press and remove the snapring retaining the hub bearing in the steering knuckle. Reposition the knuckle in the press and press the hub bearing from its bore.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Use a prytool to carefully remove the snapring from the hub and bearing



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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the hub and bearing from the steering knuckle



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: You must use a suitable press to remove the bearing race from the hub

To install:
  1. Clean all parts well. Again, use care to jig the steering knuckle level in the press bed. Place the new hub bearing into the bore of the steering knuckle so it is square with the bore. Place a bearing driver on the outer race of the hub bearing and press the hub bearing into the steering knuckle until it is fully seated in the bottom of its bore. Install the hub bearing retaining snapring into its groove in the knuckle bore. Be sure it is fully seated in its groove. Use care not to damage the just-installed bearing seal when installing the snapring.
  2.  
  3. Again, place the knuckle assembly with the hub bearing installed on the press bed using care to align and level the assembly. Use suitable drivers and arbors to support the hub bearing on its inner race. Place the wheel hub in the bearing using care to align it square with the bearing. Using suitable drivers, press the hub into the bearing until it bottoms in the hub bearing.
  4.  
  5. Reinstall the steering knuckle/hub/wheel bearing assembly back into the front strut and install the through bolts. The steering knuckle-to-strut bolts are serrated (toothed) and must not be turned in the steering knuckle during installation. Torque the nuts (do not turn the bolt heads) to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm) plus an additional 1 / 4 turn after the specified torque is met.
  6.  
  7. Slide the halfshaft back into the front hub and bearing assembly. Then, install the steering knuckle onto the ball joint stud.
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  9. Install a NEW steering knuckle-to-ball joint stud, clamp bolt and nut. Torque the clamp bolt to 6 ft. lbs. (100 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Reinstall the tie rod end into the steering knuckle. Start the tie rod end-to-steering knuckle attaching nut onto the stud of the tie rod end. While holding the stud of the tie rod end stationary, torque the tie rod end nut. Using a crow's foot wrench and 11 / 32 inch socket, torque the tie rod end nut to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Reinstall the brake rotor and the caliper onto the steering knuckle.
    1. The caliper is installed by first sliding the top of the caliper under the top abutment on the steering knuckle, then installing the bottom of the caliper against the bottom abutment of the steering knuckle.
    2.  
    3. Install the caliper attaching bolts and torque to 23 ft. lbs. (31 Nm).
    4.  

  14.  
  15. Clean all foreign matter from the threads of the outer CV-joint stub axle. Install the hub nut onto the threads of the stub axle and tighten the nut.
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  17. With the vehicle's brakes applied to keep the brake rotor from turning, torque the hub nut to 135 ft. lbs. (183 Nm).
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  19. Reinstall the wheels and lower the vehicle.
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  21. Reinstall the spring washer, hub nut lock and a new cotter pin. Wrap the cotter pin prongs tightly around the hub nut lock.
  22.  
  23. Take the vehicle to a reputable repair shop to have the front end alignment checked and the toe adjusted as required.
  24.  

1996-99 Vehicles

See Figures 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9

  1. Remove the steering knuckle and hub and bearing assembly from the vehicle, as outlined earlier.
  2.  

The hub and bearing can only be replaced after the steering knuckle is removed from the vehicle. The hub and bearing must be removed using a suitable press and the following procedure.

  1. Use a suitable C-clamp and adapter, tool 4150A or equivalent to press one wheel lug stud out of the hub flange.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Use a proper C-clamp and adapter tool to press out one of the lug studs

  1. Rotate the hub to align the removed lug stud with the notch in the bearing retainer plate. Remove the lug stud from the hub.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Rotate the hub in order to remove the lug stud

  1. Rotate the hub so the hole in the hub that the stud was removed from is facing away from the brake caliper lower rail on the steering knuckle. Install one half of a bearing splitter tool, Special tool 1130 or equivalent between the hub and the bearing retainer plate. The threaded hold in this half of the bearing splitter is to be aligned with the caliper rail on the steering knuckle.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Install half of a suitable bearing splitter tool on the knuckle

  1. Install the remaining pieces of the bearing splitter on the steering knuckle. Hand-tighten the nuts to hold the splitter in place on the knuckle.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Proper installation of the bearing splitter

  1. When the bearing splitter is installed, make sure the 3 bolts attaching the bearing retainer plate to the knuckle are contacting the bearing splitter. The bearing retainer plate should not support the knuckle or contact the splitter.
  2.  
  3. Place the steering knuckle in a suitable press, supported by the bearing splitter as shown in the accompanying figure.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: The steering knuckle must be properly supported for hub and bearing removal

  1. Position a suitable sized driver on the small end of the hub. Using the press, remove the hub from the wheel bearing. The outer bearing race will come out of the wheel bearing when the hub is pressed out of the bearing.
  2.  
  3. Remove the bearing splitter tool from the knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Place the knuckle in a press supported by the press blocks, as shown in the accompanying figure. The blocks must not obstruct the bore in the steering knuckle so the wheel bearing can be pressed out of the knuckle. Place a suitable driver on the outer race of the wheel bearing, then press the bearing out of the knuckle.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: Wheel bearing removal from the steering knuckle

  1. Install the bearing splitter on the hub. The splitter is to be installed on the hub so it is between the flange of the hub and the bearing race on the hub. Place the hub, bearing race and splitter in a press. Use a driver to press the hub out of the bearing race.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Use clean, dry cloth to wipe and grease or dirt from the bore of the steering knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Clean the rust preventative from the replacement wheel bearing using a clean, dry towel.
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  5. Place the new wheel bearing into the bore of the steering knuckle. Make sure the bearing is placed squarely into the bore. Place the knuckle in a press with a receiver tool, C-4698-2 supporting the steering knuckle. Place a suitable driver tool on the outer race of the wheel bearing. Press the wheel bearing into the steering knuckle until it is fully bottomed in the bore of the steering knuckle.
  6.  

Only the original or original equipment replacement bolts should be used to mounting the bearing retainer to the knuckle. If a bolt requires replacement when installing the bearing retainer plate, make sure to get the proper type of replacement.

  1. Install the bearing retainer plate on the steering knuckle. Install the 3 bearing retainer mounting bolts. Tighten the bolts to 21 ft. lbs. (28 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the removed wheel lug stud into the hub flange.
  4.  
  5. Place the hub, with the lug stud installed, in a suitable press supported by adapter tool C-4698-1 or equivalent. Press the wheel lug stud into the hub flange until it is fully seated against the back side on the hub flange.
  6.  
  7. Place the steering knuckle, with the wheel bearing installed, in a press with special receiver tool MB-990799 supporting the inner race of the wheel bearing. Place the hub in the wheel bearing, making sure it is square with the bearing. Press the hub into the wheel bearing until it is fully bottomed in the wheel bearing.
  8.  
  9. Install the steering knuckle in the vehicle, as outlined earlier in this section.
  10.  
  11. Install the wheel and tire assembly, then carefully lower the vehicle.
  12.  
  13. Take the vehicle to a reputable repair shop to have the front end alignment checked and the toe adjusted as required.
  14.  

 
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