Here is a great set of instructions for the installation of a GM front wheel hub bearing assembly. One of our customers submitted this for us to show to the public. Hopefully, anyone thinking about tackling this job will find these helpful. These instructions came from a 2002 Buick Lesabre Limited. However, they will work for numerous GM front wheel drive vehicles including:
Buick Lesabre, Park Avenue, Century, Regal, Riviera, Rendezvous, Cadillac Concours, Seville, Deville, Eldorado Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo, Venture Oldsmobile Aurora, Intrigue, Silhouette, Pontiac Aztec, Bonneville, Grand Prix, Montanna, Transport
1. Remove hub cap/dust cover. Tip: If you do not have an impact wrench (air operated gun), you may want to remove the center axle nut at this point. Removing this nut with the wheel still on and before jacking up the vehicle will make it much easier and give you enough leverage to get it loose with a regular ratchet or breaker bar (recommended). You may have access to the axle nut without removing the wheel. If you do not have access, you can remove the wheel and put the spare tire/wheel on. The spare wheel has a very large center hole and gives you access to the center axle nut. With the vehicle back on the ground, you can put the breaker bar with the proper size axle nut socket on the nut and loosen it. Then jack up the vehicle and remove the wheel.
2. Jack up vehicle and support properly. **We know you know, but be very careful. You should always put a jack stand under the vehicle and use that to support the vehicle, not the jack. Also, you should also use wheel chocks to prevent the vehicle from accidentally rolling. If you are doing do-it-yourself repairs often, it is wise to buy good quality tools and equipment. This can help get the job done quicker and certainly safer.
3. Remove lug nuts using a 19mm socket. Remove the wheel and set aside.
4. Remove two caliper mounting bolts using a 15mm socket. Set caliper aside. Do not let it hang from the rubber brake hose.
5. Remove two caliper mount bolts using 15mm socket. Set caliper mount aside.
6. Remove the brake rotor by sliding it off and set aside. NOTE: If the brake rotor has never been removed, there may be two small screws or retainers holding it in place. Remove these and the rotor will slide off. If it is stuck, you can lightly tap it with a hammer.
7. Remove three hub mounting bolts using a 13mm socket. These are located on the inside of the steering knuckle next to the outer CV boot. A 3/8 drive ratchet with swivel and extension is best for this. Also if you are having trouble, look closely at how you have it jacked up. You may be able to reposition the jack and change the angle of the axle. If you have it jacked up under the control arm, you still have the suspension compressed. If you jacked it up by the frame rail, the suspension is opened up and may give you a better angle. Again be very careful with the jack and always use a jack stand for support. You can always use more than one jack stand to help as a safety also.
8. Remove axle nut using 1 5/16″ or 34mm socket.
9. Unhook and then unplug the ABS sensor.
10. Remove hub assembly. Be careful to make sure the axle splines are free from the hub. Once you have the axle nut off you should be able to push the axle in towards the engine with the bottom of the palm of your hand. If it is stuck, you can rethread the axle nut 1-2 threads, then place the socket back on and tap it with a hammer. This is mainly to assure the axle does not get pulled out while pulling off the hub. The hub may also require a slight tap with a hammer or very rarely a puller to get the hub loose. Hit the hub and pry with a screwdriver or small pry bar until the hub comes out. (Most AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts stores will allow you to borrow a puller if needed.)
11. Clean the mounting area with a wire brush so new hub slides on easily. Make sure there is no rust or material that may cause the hub to not sit flush.
12. Install new hub assembly.
13. Use thread locker on the three 13mm mounting bolts and tighten. **GM recommends replacing these bolts every time they are removed. This is because the torque can be affected by re-using the bolts. The threads stretch when the are originally installed/removed and they can never really be torqued properly again. Also, it is strongly recommended to replace the axle nut for the same reason**
14. Hook up the new sensor plug.
15. Install the axle nut using a 1 5/16″ or 34mm socket. VERY IMPORTANT!!! Do not over-torque or under torque this nut. Also, it is strongly recommended to never use an impact wrench to tighten this nut. Please tighten with a torque wrench to 118 ft. Lbs. Other year and model vehicle torques specs may differ, please email us if you would like to know yours. Over or under torquing this nut is the number one cause of premature bearing failure!!!!!! It is also recommended to replace this nut as the threads will usually be stretched from being installed and removed. Threads will be stretched if installed with an impact wrench and also the bearing will be squeezed excessively which will cause premature failure.
16. Slide on the brake rotor.
17. Use a tiny bit of thread locker on the two 15mm caliper mount bolts and tighten.
18. Install the caliper mount bolts using a 15mm socket.
19. Install the wheel using a 19mm socket (torque lug nuts with a torque wrench to 100 ft. lbs.) and press hub dust cover into place.