Replacing a Wheel Bearing & Hub

The stress of racing puts a lot of load on the wheel bearings for the Spec Racer Ford especially with the newer stickier tires. To change out a wheel bearing you need to disassemble the upright from the car and used a press with a set of dies matched to the bearing races.

Spec Racer Ford Wheel Bearing and Hub Replacement Old Dead Bearing.JPG

Tools and Equipment Needed:

  • SKF B31 Wheel Bearing / Enterprise PN: 200436
  • Press
  • Wheel Bearing Dies
  • 11/16, 3/4, 15/16 inch Wrench / Spanners
  • 19mm, 3/4, 15/16 inch Deep Socket
  • 3/8 inch Drive Ratchet
  • E14 Torx Socket
  • Hub Assembly Enterprise PN: 1197035
  • Impact Driver and Adapters
  • Hammer
  • Drift
  • Screwdriver
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Bench Top Vise
  • Rags
  • Cleaner and Degreaser
Spec Racer Ford Wheel Bearing and Hub Replacement Tools.JPG

Replacing a Wheel Hub Bearing

The hardest thing about doing a wheel bearing trackside is making sure you have access to a press to get the old bearing out and put the new bearing in.

Spec Racer Ford Wheel Bearing and Hub Replacement.JPG

Start by breaking the lug nuts with the 19mm socket and 3/8 inch drive ratchet. Don't remove the wheel yet. Jack up the car and put jack stands under it. Use the impact drive with 19mm deep socket to remove the lug nuts. Remove the wheel out of the way.

Using an E14 Torx socket and 3/8th drive ratchet remove the two bolts holding the brake caliper in place. I tend to place it up on the frame above the pedal box out of the way. Then slide the rotor off to gain access to the upright.

Spec Racer Ford Wheel Bearing and Hub Replacement Disassembly.JPG

Use the 11/16th wrench to brake loose the tie rod nut. Don't remove the nut just yet. Remove the cotter pin from the lower castle nut. Use the 3/4 inch wrench to loosen the lower castle nut.

With the nuts loose you can now tap on the side of the steering arm and separate the tie rod from the upright. Hammer on the side of the steering arm only after a few times the tie rod should loosen. Don't smash down on the top of the tie rod as you can ruin the threads.

Use a 3/4 inch wrench and deep impact socket combined with the impact driver to remove the two upper bracket bolts.

Spec Racer Ford Wheel Bearing and Hub Replacement Old Hub.JPG

The upright should be free from the car now. Place it in a bench top vice. Depending on how bad the wheel bearing is you can use needle nose pliers to remove the cotter pin on the rear of the upright. If the bearing is real bad it will have crushed the pin and you might need a drift to hammer it out.

Use the 15/16th wrench to undo the rear castle nut and retainer from the spindle. On really bad wheel bearings the hub will come right out. Some bearings you might need to pry the front hub out. 

Spec Racer Ford Wheel Bearing and Hub Replacement Worn Out Hub.JPG

With the hub removed clean out the upright so you can get to the retaining ring.

Spec Racer Ford Wheel Bearing and Hub Replacement Old Bearing.JPG

Use a blunt screwdriver to remove the bearing retaining ring from the upright.

Spec Racer Ford Wheel Bearing and Hub Replacement Retaining Ring.JPG

You can now press the bearing out from the back side. You will need some way to hold the upright in place and a die to matched to the bearing size. I have seen people use old brake caliper pistons. Make sure to press the bearing out evenly. Move and adjust upright in the press to get the bearing out square.

Spec Racer Ford Wheel Bearing and Hub Replacement Press out old bearings.JPG

Clean out the upright using the rags and degreaser.

Spec Racer Ford Wheel Bearing and Hub Replacement Clean Out Upright.JPG

Use the press to put the new SKF B31 bearing in the upright. You need the correct sized die to press the bearing and a way for holding the upright. Make sure it goes in square. You might need to move the upright from side to side.

Spec Racer Ford Wheel Bearing and Hub Replacement Press New Bearing In.JPG

I needed a new wheel hub, Enterprise PN: 1197035.

With the new bearing in the upright now press the bearing onto the new hub.

The upright and hub should have new bearings in place. Reinstall the retaining ring on the back side.

Now install the upright back onto the car. I put one of the upper mount bolts in place then connect up the lower rod end. Install the spacer and castle nut. Then put the tie rod bolt back in place and nut. Install the second upper mount bolt. Now torque everything down.

Make sure to install the retaining pin through the castle nut.

Reinstall the brake rotor and caliper and use the E14 Torx socket to tighten in place. Replace the wheel and tighten the lug nuts. Lower the car to the ground and torque the lug nuts and you should be good to go. You should recheck the setup just to make sure things haven't moved, especially toe.

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James Chartres

San Jose, CA