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Newbie Question - 2001 Tahoe 4x4, Wheel Bearing Removal

Discussion in 'Lifted & Offroad Suspension' started by cbaker007, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. cbaker007

    cbaker007 New Member

    I used your site to figure out that I needed a 36 mm socket to remove the spindle nut so maybe you can help me with my real problem....

    I am trying to replace my wheeling bearing on my 2001 Tahoe LT, 5.3, 4x4 ... front left (driver) side. I was able to remove the spindle nut, all 3 bolts holding the wheeling bearing on (and of course the caliper, pads, caliper bracket, and rotar). But I can't get the assembly free from the car.

    I have a hub/spindler puller but when I attach that, it just pushes the spindle into the bearing assembly and the bearing does not separate from the car. I tried some hammering to see if I could hammer it forward and it won't.

    Looking at the new piece, it appears that part of the bearing slides into the part attached to the car (steering assembly). It might be rusted?

    Everything I can find on the web site it for a 2 wheel drive and the back of the assembly ... part that slide in is accessable and can be hit from behind. I have 4x4 so the spindle is there.

    Any ideas how to get this off? I could try the puller more but don't want to damage the spindle or CV joint/boot. What should I do??
  2. cbaker007

    cbaker007 New Member

    Asking around, someone locally suggested I take the top ball joint off and swing the hub assembly down (hopefully without damaging the CV boot), removing the spindle and beating it out from the back. Not sure how that plays out and what other parts I might need to replace from doing that. Anyone done this before?

    Someone else suggested I take an neumatic hammer and hitting the flange were the bolts connect, try to get the whole assembly to rotate, releasing it (and the rust holding it). Anyone have experience with this way?

    Any help from someone with experience with this would be appreciated. My car is just sitting in my garage begging for some attention... :)
  3. swedp

    swedp Rockstar

    i just replaced the hubs on my s10 4wd,guess it´s similiar on your truck,if so the hub glides on splines and should come off fairly easy.you could try to pry lightly between hub and spindel with a screwdriver and a hammer.the hub has a close fit in the spindel with a seal,so if there is dirt it can stuck but not much.worst scenario would be to heat the hub a little if it jams at splines,i don´t think you should have to take spindel apart from a-arms/peter

    ---------- Post added at 05:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:56 PM ----------

    the puller should be attached with center on driveshaft and fingers behind wheelstudsplate
  4. cbaker007

    cbaker007 New Member

    The spindle is free from the bearing/hub. I am not sure what the part is that the hub/bearing assembly attaches to (a steering member) but the hub/bearing assembly is stuck in that piece. I rigged up a piece of angle iron to span the hub/bearing assembly and used a hub puller (3 arm) and it just would not come free (just bent the angle iron and that was after a bottle of wd-40 over two days). I even tried a hammer and chisel and an air hammer to try to spin the thing while the puller was on it.

    At this point, I think I have to just bite the bullet and take off 3 ball joints and remove that "steering member" that the hub assembly attaches to and work with it on a bench. Then I can hit the bearing assembly from behind and I could even heat the bearing without worry of melting the CV boot.

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever experienced on a car repair. Never been so frustrated. Terrible design!

    ---------- Post added at 09:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:38 PM ----------

    Yeah, the spindle is free. I do have the fingers behind the wheel stud plate. But I actually have a "bridege" across the whole hub assembly trying to pull the hub assembly out.

    I tried a HUGE pry bar behind the wheel stud plate and that steering member I don't know the name of that the hub is attached to. Hub assembly did not even move! It is FROZEN SOLID.

    Thanks for the suggestion though.
  5. swedp

    swedp Rockstar

    sounds strange.release the torsion arm before you disassemble the spindel to loose tension in under a-arm.i´ll check in a manual today!!

    ---------- Post added at 04:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:06 AM ----------

    again,you say spindel is free from the hub?? if so your done and should start assemble new hub after cleaning spindelhole

    ---------- Post added at 04:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:08 AM ----------

    check net on "front beringhub chevrolet ´07 z71" pictures, and you´ll find a lot of info or similar search

    ---------- Post added at 04:11 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:10 AM ----------

    sorry,i ment your truck of course

    ---------- Post added at 04:19 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:11 AM ----------

    chech the net for "replacing front bearinghub on chevrolet tahoe ´01" and you´ll find a whole lot of info. it is as on my s10 4wd
  6. cbaker007

    cbaker007 New Member



    Thanks for your reply. I had searched for 01 tahoe specific stuff, but started to realize that all GM wheel bearing assemblies were about the same on all front wheel/4x4 cars/trucks. So I did find a video that explains my issue....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF_KSoM0PI0&feature=related

    He used a chisel to separate the two parts. I guess I will try that next. I really don't want to take the (found the name) steering knuckle (sp??) off the car (I have no ball joint tools).

    ---------- Post added at 01:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:09 PM ----------

    I guess I need this tool.... maybe I can fabricate one....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4pygRExlus&feature=related
  7. swedp

    swedp Rockstar

    that´s what i ment,a chisel between spindel and hub and lightly tap it free. then use the puller to slide it from the splines on driveshaft.took me 1 and a 1/2 hour per side.strait forward and no rush

    ---------- Post added at 08:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:26 PM ----------

    well that jambalamba tool i would scrap,go by the book. it´s not welded!!!

    ---------- Post added at 08:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:33 PM ----------

    spindel might be swedish,steering knuckle is the word
  8. cbaker007

    cbaker007 New Member

    Just a follow-up for anyone who might need the help in the future....

    1) I had a "hub-buster" type tool made for about $30 from a local weld shop. It helped me get (after some serious beating with a sledge and working it back and forth manually) a spot open between the steering knuckle and the hub assembly by the top bolt.
    2) I broke the splash shield off so I could easily get to the knuckle side of it. (purchased a new one).
    3) Then using a hammer (read small sledge hammer) and a chisel, working the new gap at the top bolt and the gap in the splash shield by the speed sensor, I was able to finally get the chisel worked into the gap.
    4) Moving aroud the 3 bolt locations, I was finally able to get the hub assembly free.

    I cleaned up the nicks with a file, used sand paper and penetrating oil to remove as much rust as possible and had the whole thing back together in about 1 hr.

    The hammer and chisel really did do a lot of the work. That combined with breaking off the shield. While the custom made tool attached to the hub did help me get a gap to start with, I might have been able to do the same by really working gap by the speed sensor and breaking off the shield.

    Really a frustrating fix. In the end though, probably saved $500+ in labor though.

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