VW Passat & Audi A4 1990-2000

Rear Wheel Bearings (FWD)

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Adjustment
Front Wheel Drive (FWD) Vehicles
  1. Block the front wheels. On models with automatic transmission, select Park. On models with manual transmission, select first gear.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  4.  
  5. If the wheel must be removed to access the dust cap, remove the cap.
  6.  
  7. Release the parking brake.
  8.  
  9. Remove the grease cap.
  10.  
  11. Remove the cotter pin and the locking cap.
  12.  
  13. Lightly tighten the adjusting nut. Do NOT use excessive force.
  14.  
  15. While backing of the nut, use a suitable flat blade screwdriver and attempt to slide the thrust washer side to side. Use the thrust washer as if it were a feeler gauge. When the washer can be moved side to side smoothly, without excessive force install the locking cap using a new cotter key, and then install the dust cap.
  16.  
  17. If removed, install the wheel, tightening the lug bolts by hand.
  18.  
  19. Check the wheel bearing by attempting to rock the top or bottom of the wheel in and out toward the center of the vehicle.
  20.  


NOTE
If the top or bottom of the wheel can be moved in and out toward the center of the vehicle with the bearings properly adjusted, the bearings may be worn and should be replaced.


WARNING
Do NOT preload the wheel bearings adjustment nut to compensate for worn bearings. The heat generated during operation will allow the bearings to expand and ultimately seize.

  1. The balance of the procedure is in reverse order of checking and adjusting.
  2.  
  3. If removed, torque the lug bolts in a crisscross pattern to:
  4.  
  5. M 12 x 1.5 Wheel lug bolts: 81 ft. lbs. (110 Nm)
  6.  
  7. M 14 x 1.5 Wheel lug bolts: 89 ft. lbs. (120 Nm)
  8.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the rear wheels.
  2.  
  3. Remove the brake caliper and support it with mechanic's wire.
  4.  
  5. Remove the grease cap, cotter pin, locking ring, axle nut and thrust washer. Carefully remove the bearing and place the components where they will stay clean.
  6.  
  7. Remove the brake rotor and pry out the inner seal to remove the inner bearing.
  8.  
  9. Clean all the grease off the bearings using solvent. If the bearings appear worn or damaged, they must be replaced.
  10.  
  11. To remove the bearing races, support the rotor on blocks of wood and carefully drive the race out with a long brass drift pin. They can also be removed using a press.
  12.  



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Fig. A chisel with a sharp edge can be used to remove the dust cap. Tap it side to side to remove the cap



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Fig. Removing the dust cap



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Fig. Remove the cotter pin



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Fig. Use pliers to hold the end of a stuck cotter pin and then lightly tap the pliers with a hammer to remove the pin



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Fig. Remove the locking cap



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Fig. Typically a 24mm ( 15 / 16 inch) nut is used



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Fig. Remove the nut holding the rotor on the spindle



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Fig. Remove the thrust washer



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Fig. View of the outer wheel bearing



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Fig. Remove the brake rotor



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Fig. Inner wheel grease seal and bearing. Always install a new seal with grease applied to the inner lips only



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Fig. Once the wheel bearing is thoroughly packed with grease it can be installed into the rotor then a new grease seal is installed



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Fig. Note the small recessed area in the rotor for bearing race removal



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Fig. Drive the race out of the rotor using a brass punch and moderate size hammer



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Fig. View of the race removed from the rotor



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Fig. Use a bearing and race driver to re-install the race. This tool can be found at most auto parts suppliers



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Fig. Work fresh wheel bearing grease into the bearing as shown



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Fig. Commercially available tools such as this one make bearing packing easier



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Fig. Install a new seal using an appropriate driver

To install:

  1. Clean the inner area of the rotor thoroughly.
  2.  
  3. Carefully press or with a bearing driver, drive the new races into the rotor. The old races can be used as a press tool if the outer circumference is ground down slightly and has smooth surface. Make sure they don't become stuck in the hub.
  4.  
  5. Pack the inner and outer bearings with clean wheel bearing grease.
  6.  
  7. Install the inner bearing then install a new grease seal using a suitable driver.
  8.  
  9. Lightly coat the stub axle and inner lip of the grease seal with grease and install the rotor. Be careful not to damage the axle seal.
  10.  
  11. Center the rotor on the spindle and install the outer bearing and then the thrust washer. Press the bearing and thrust washer as far as possible into the opening and while holding it lightly seated, install the spindle nut.
  12.  
  13. Lightly tighten the adjusting nut. Do NOT use excessive force.
  14.  
  15. While backing of the nut, use a suitable flat blade screwdriver and attempt to slide the thrust washer side to side. Use the thrust washer as if it were a feeler gauge. When the washer can be moved side to side smoothly, without excessive force install the locking cap using a new cotter key, and then install the dust cap.
  16.  
  17. Install the wheel, tightening the lug bolts by hand.
  18.  
  19. Safely lower the vehicle and tighten the lug bolts in a 3-step crisscross pattern as follows:
  20.  
  21. M 12 x 1.5 Wheel lug bolts: 81 ft. lbs. (110 Nm)
  22.  
  23. M 14 x 1.5 Wheel lug bolts: 89 ft. lbs. (120 Nm)
  24.  

 
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