Pulling front hub on 1999 SE . . . Some notes (long) - Saab 9-5 Bulletin Board - Saabnet.com
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Pulling front hub on 1999 SE . . . Some notes (long)
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Posted by Mark in Marine [Email] (#1837) [Profile/Gallery] (more from Mark in Marine) on Sat, 1 Apr 2017 18:34:18 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: Re: question about pulling front hub.., scotsglen [Profile/Gallery] , Sun, 12 Feb 2017 06:47:57
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Today I finally got around to attacking the RF wheel bearing on Silver Sal, a '99 SE 2.3lpt with 228K miles. It's in Minnesota, and there was plenty of rust.

Pulling / pushing the axle out was no problem, It had enough grease and protection from the seal at the outer CV and the axle nut. The first problem I had was the rust preventing removal of the rotor from the hub. I PB'd it and left it several days, then I used two 70mm long M10 bolts passed through the mounting ears for the brake caliper. I threaded the nuts on between the ears and the rotor, and I used the leverage to push on the rotor just next to the edge of the hub. This worked way better than I had hoped ! There are You Tube videos on this method.

Next Steps: To avoid breaking the ABS sensor, I removed it before removing any other parts. I then removed tie rod end BJ, three nuts for control arm BJ, and then the two strut nuts and bolts - in that order. With the axle out of the bearing I could feel the slop - the bearing was bad.

The FUN part: I had the knuckle/bearing/hub/dust shield off the car and took it to my press. I used a Harbor Freight bearing splitter to support the knuckle between the dust shield and the hub flange, and I pressed out the hub. The inner race did not come out with the hub as it often seems to do, but the seal was pushed up against the C-clip (Snap Ring) that holds the bearing in place. I thought I was good to go, BUT the snap ring was rust-welded to the knuckle. My big snap ring pliers would not budge it. I put it back into the press and pressed on just the snap ring, released, pressed again, etc. trying to get PB and acetone to loosen the rust bond. No dice. Finally I took out a MAP torch and heated just the knuckle, the circumference around the snap ring. I removed the torch, squirted WD40 onto the snap ring, heated again . . . repeated 3X. It worked enough to get one side of the snap ring to respond to my pliers, the other side took a lot more leverage to loosen. BE CAREFUL, these large snap rings can cause severe injury if they launch and hit you in the face or elsewhere. If you are not comfortable do this, take it to a shop !

I did not heat to glowing or even close, and I figured modest heat must be okay, because BMW (and others ?) use Loctite high temp sleeve retainer on their bearings and it takes 500F to soften it.

With the outer snap ring removed, I went back to the press and pressed the bearing out of the knuckle. I examined my knuckle carefully, and mine has no 'second snap ring'. Instead it had a machined lip for the bearing to bottom out against. I didn't buy new snap rings, so I'm not out the money for a part I didn't need, but the parts diagrams all showed the inner and outer snap rings . . . you mileage may vary ! I did buy a new Febi hub (which would not have been essential) and a new axle nut (very essential) – old axle nut came partly apart while removing with an impact wrench.

I am still in the middle of the job, but the pieces should go back together way easier than they came apart. Hope this might help someone. By the way, I used Loctite sleeve and bearing retainer on BMW front bearings that I pressed in, since the shop manual said to – and I plan on doing the same for this one. The rational is that sometimes pressing the old bearing out enlarges the knuckle and the new bearing can spin. The car is in its dotage and this is not a job I am likely to do again on it.

Mark in Marine


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