Volkswagen Cars 2000-05

Bearing Housing (Knuckle)


If the front bearing housing (knuckle) is to be replaced, the hub must pressed out of the housing and the wheel bearing replaced.

Removal & Installation

  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  3. Remove the wheel trim. If equipped with aluminum wheels, remove the center trim cap with a suitable suction cup such as Tool No. 3208.
  5. Remove the hex head halfshaft bolt.
  7. Loosen, but Do NOT remove the wheels.
  9. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  11. Remove the wheels.
  13. Reinstall two of the lug bolts about three turns each.
  15. Remove the ABS sensor cable from the brake caliper without disconnecting the electrical connector.
  17. Remove the brake caliper mounting bracket bolts and remove the caliper. If necessary press the brake pads in enough to clear the wear ridge on the outside perimeter of the brake rotor. Support the rotor with mechanic's wire making sure to not allow the caliper to hang by the brake hoses.
  19. Remove the brake rotor assembly. If corroded in place, leave the two lug bolts installed and rap sharply on the flat surface of the rotor between the lug bolts to 'shock' the rotor and release it from the hub.
  21. Remove the splash guard fasteners and the splash guard.
  23. Remove the ABS sensor from the bearing holder, release the cables from their brackets making sure not to damage them, and place the sensor aside without disconnecting the electrical connectors.
  25. Loosen and remove the lower control arm ball joint nuts but leave them installed.
  27. Remove the top bolt from the steering tie rod end, then remove the pinch bolt and release the tie rod end (track rod).
  29. Using a tie rod end removal tool, disconnect both lower ball joints.
  31. Loosen the upper control arm pinch bolt, then using a tie rod end removal tool, remove the tie rod ends from the bearing housing (knuckle).

Do NOT widen the bearing housing (knuckle) to release the ball joints.

  1. Tilt the bearing housing (knuckle) backward slightly and remove the housing from the halfshaft and front suspension assembly. Note if the halfshaft is bound in place, install the old hex fastener about 10 turns and tap on fastener to drive the halfshaft toward the center of the vehicle to loosen it in the hub.

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Fig. Remove the halfshaft hex bolt and slightly loosen the lug bolts before raising the vehicle

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Fig. Always loosen and . . .

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Fig. . . . Tighten the axle fastener with the vehicle on the ground. The high torque required could cause the vehicle to fall off a lift or jack stands

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Fig. Remove the brake caliper along with the mounting bracket and support it using mechanic's wire. Do NOT allow the caliper to hang by the brake hose

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Fig. Remove the ABS sensor, but Do NOT disconnect the electrical connector

To install:

  1. Install the bearing housing (knuckle) onto the lower ball joints, counter hold with a 4mm hex tool and tighten to:

    Lower support link-to-bearing housing (knuckle): 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm)
    Lower guide link-to-bearing housing (knuckle): 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm)

Remove any residual thread adhesive and counter hold with a 4mm hex tool if necessary.

  1. Guide the halfshaft through the hub and install a new hex head fastener until it is lightly seated.
  3. Install the upper track control arms and tighten to:

    Upper track control arm-to-bearing housing (knuckle): 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm)
    Install the tie rod end (track rod) onto the bearing housing (knuckle) and tighten to:

Tie rod end (track rod)-to-bearing housing (knuckle)

Clamping bolt: 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm)
Upper retaining bolt: 62 inch lbs. (7 Nm)

  1. Route the ABS sensor wiring through the routing brackets, then coat the sensor with a light film of brake cylinder grease and press the sensor completely into place.
  3. Install the brake splash plate, then install the brake caliper along with the mounting bracket and tighten to:

Brake caliper bracket-to-bearing housing (knuckle):

1998-00 Passat models: 89 ft. lbs. (120 Nm)
A4 models: 92 ft. lbs. (125 Nm)

  1. Install the wheels, but Do NOT fully tighten the lug bolts.
  3. Carefully lower the vehicle until the tires sufficiently contact the ground and tighten the lug bolts in a crisscross pattern in three steps to:

    Wheel lug bolts: 89 ft. lbs. (120 Nm)

  5. Tighten the hex head halfshaft axle-to-wheel hub bolt to:

Halfshaft-to-wheel hub

M14 (replace)

Step 1: 85 ft. lbs. (115 Nm)
Step 2: 180° ( 1 / 2 turn)

M16 (replace)

Step 1: 140 ft. lbs. (190 Nm)
Step 2: 180° ( 1 / 2 turn)

  1. Connect the negative battery cable then reset the following electrical components;
    1. Enter the anti-theft code for the radio.
    3. Operate each window fully closed, fully open and fully closed again and hold the window switch in the closed position for at least one full second to activate the one-touch function.
    5. Set the clock to the correct time.

  3. After assembly test drive the vehicle and check the steering over bumps. The vehicle should maintain good straight-line stability over bumps without excessive steering input. If necessary, check and adjust the front-end alignment and toe in.