Front Wheel Bearing change - a digest - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-26-2007, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Front Wheel Bearing change - a digest

Hello everyone.

I have bought Kia Rio 02 a couple of weeks ago with 82,000 miles of mileage. And I have a problem with my front left wheel bearing (I assume it is it) - an increasing spinning noise with increasing speed. And actually, the noise become louder (but slower spinning) when I am stopping with a breaks.
I tried to shake a wheel but it did not shake at all. I know how to feel when the wheel shakes. Are there any other test I can do to make sure it is a wheel bearing problem.
In any case I gonna replace my front wheel bearing by myself and I have read almost every topic on this forum. But I still have answered questions.

I found that it is better to use the lithium grease with a melting point over 400F and NLG rating of 2.
Here are my questions:
1. What bearings are better to use - I mean what production company?
2. What else do I need to change when I change a bearing (any rings etc)
3. Any special advices on how to change? Especially about front wheel bearing.
4. Do I really need special tools to remove/press wheel bearings?

I would like to do this topic like a digest of information about changing wheel bearings on Kia Rio.

Thank you in advance. I think this will be helpful for everybody who gonna change wheel bearing by him self.


Last edited by Temych267; 10-26-2007 at 10:13 PM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 02:40 PM
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here goes. front wheel bearings on the rio are prone to failure.

the OEM bearings fail because of poor lubrication. Aftermarket bearings fail because of improper installation.

you NEED the special service tool to properly preload the front bearings. you will need to buy new preload spacers from the dealer. they should have many many sizes in stock.

you dont need any special tools to remove or install the inner and outer races in the knuckle. a press is handy to remove the outer bearing cone from the hub.

the wheel bearings are two pieces, inner and outer, and they are both the same part number. you should also change the inner and outer seals, they are different part numbers. buy yourself some good synthetic NLGI #2 grease, it will help prolong the life of your bearings if you dont use the special service tool.

any of the aftermarket bearings are good enough, SKF, FAG, Timken, etc.. the OEM bearings are KBC, also fine if lubricated properly.

again, beg, borrow or steal the special service tool from the dealership. otherwise, no matter which grease of bearing manufacturer you use they will fail in short order. guaranteed.

Matt

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 06:02 PM
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you can preload the bearings without any special tools. while rotating the front hub torque down the spindle nut to 25 ft. lbs, back the spindle nut off, hand tighten the spindle nut, and finally use a screwdriver as a punch to lock the spindle nut on the spindle (be careful not to hit the screwdriver so hard that you break through it). Just remember that if you aren't using air tools it's easier to break off the spindle nut with the car on the ground when you begin.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g33k View Post
you can preload the bearings without any special tools. while rotating the front hub torque down the spindle nut to 25 ft. lbs, back the spindle nut off, hand tighten the spindle nut, and finally use a screwdriver as a punch to lock the spindle nut on the spindle (be careful not to hit the screwdriver so hard that you break through it). Just remember that if you aren't using air tools it's easier to break off the spindle nut with the car on the ground when you begin.
this is 100% the incorrect way to preload the front bearings. they will fail repeatedly with this method of loading.

the front axle nut must be tightened to in excess of 100lb-ft. usually it is tightened to 200lb-ft.

IF by tightening the axle nut you gain an increase in bearing preload you have the wrong spacers in the hub. the axle butts against the outside flange of the inboard bearing cone. this flange must be on the same plane as the hub spindle. if it is then tightening the axle nut will have no effect on bearing preload. if it is not, then the preload spacer is either too thick or too thin, either situation will destroy the front wheel bearings in no time.

Matt

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Last edited by sportage4x4; 10-28-2007 at 07:18 PM.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportage4x4 View Post
again, beg, borrow or steal the special service tool from the dealership. otherwise, no matter which grease of bearing manufacturer you use they will fail in short order. guaranteed.
I think buying special tools is to expensive.
Do you know any company/services which can borrow these special tools?
I am in US if it is matter.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:02 PM
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just have the dealership change them. it will save you money in the long run. or ask a dealership if you can borrow their tool. the tool is specific to the Rio.

Matt

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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The dealership cost of labor is $83 + cost of wheel bearing, seals etc.
I asked them about borrowing tools - they do not do it.
But the good news - is that I can bring them a hub and they will press the bearing in for $40.
Now the question is: To remove/install a hub - do I need any special tools?
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 08:31 AM
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to take the knuckle off the car you need just basic hand tools. the hardest part will be loosening the axle nut.

if they are only charging $83 for labour, they are not doing the bearings properly. it takes minimum 1.5hrs per side.

Matt

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-03-2007, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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sportage4x4,
I am not really happy to hear it, since this is the only one Kia Service Center around me. They will give me the warranty for the labor and wheel bearing, I hope it might help me.

Thanks to everybody!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2007, 12:45 AM
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LISTEN to Matt (Sportage), he is right. Also, you need to buy multiple sized spacers from the dealer to ensure you get the right torque specs on the bearing or it will guaranteed fail within weeks. I have been thru this garbage for 5 yrs now. If the problem recurs then you have a defective wheel hub and it MUST be replaced in order for the bearings to stop failing, thats assuming you or the mechanic you choose knows how to replace a Kia front bearing and I assure you, 99% of mechanics DONT KNOW HOW!!!!!!. Save yourself the aggravation, go to the dealer, get a new hub and new bearing and the problem will be gone, once and for all.
Trust me, nobody knows more about these cars than the people who have given you advice on this thread. I have almost 8500 bucks invested in new OEM and aftermarket suspension parts on my car and still had bearings problems up until 3 months ago. You can replace the entire under part of the car and if you don't load the bearings right and get new hubs, you will just keep wasting money.
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