Replacing Rear Wheel Bearing on Beetle

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VW service professionals show you the steps that are required to Replace the Rear Wheel Bearings on your Beetle TDI.




When you notice loud unusual noises coming from the rear of your Beetle, you need to act fast to avoid expensive repairs. The suspected culprit could be the rear wheel bearing. For this project, VW service professionals walk you through the repair steps so that you can Fix-It-Yourself and save MONEY on professional repairs.


Repair Steps


Step 1

- Using a flat-blade screwdriver, remove the wheel cover.


Step 2 - Use a breaker bar and 17mm socket to loosen the lug nuts on the wheel on either the drivers-side or the passenger-side of the vehicle.


Step 3 - Use a lifting device to raise the vehicle off the ground.


Step 4 - Place jack stands under the vehicle for support.


Step 4 - Remove the lifting device from under  vehicle.


Step 5 - Place wheel chocks (2) under the front wheels.


Step 6 - Remove the wheel lug nuts.


Step 7 - Remove the wheel and set aside.


Step 8 - Using a 13mm box wrench or 13mm socket, remove the caliper from the rotor and set aside (See Figure 48-1).




Figure 48-1 Removing Brake Caliper




To prevent damage to the flexible brake hose, support the caliper with a coat hanger or wire. On models equipped  with ABS brakes, turn the ignition to the "OFF" position. Disconnect the electrical connector to the wheel speed sensor.


Step 9 - Using a phillips screwdriver, remove screw (1) securing rotor to hub.


Step 10 - Remove brake rotor and set aside.


Step 11 - Using a flat-blade screwdriver, remove the hub dust cover (See Figure 48-2).




Figure 48-2 Removing Hub Dust Cover


Step 12 - Using a 30mm socket, remove the wheel hub nut.


Step 13 - Using a large hammer and punch, strike the hub (Figure 48-3).




Figure 48-3 Loosening Hub Flange With Hammer


Step 14 - Rotate the hammer and punch around the hub flange to loosen.


Step 15 - Position a  gear puller to the hub flange


Step 16 - Secure the puller to hub flange with three (3) bolts and tighten (See Figure 48-4).




Figure 48-4 Attaching Gear Puller to Hub Flange




Make sure that the bolt crown in resting in the center of the axle for proper alignment.


Step 17 - Using a 11/16-inch box wrench, turn the gear puller handle "clockwise".


Step 18 -  Continue turning the puller handle with the wrench until the hub flange and outer bearing can is removed.


Step 19 - Set the removed hub and outer bearing aside. Figure 48-5 shows the hub flange removed and the inner bearing race exposed.




Figure 48-5 Photo of Inner Bearing





A three (3) jaw puller can be used when it is  placed around the hub flange for removal.


Step 20 - :Using a sledge hammer and pry bar, knock the inner race of the inner bearing away from the shoulder of stub axle so that there there is enough room for a puller to grasp the inner race.


Step 21 - Place a three (3) jaw gear puller around the bearing inner race (See Figure 48-6).




Figure 48-6 Removing Bearing Inner Race


Step 22 - Using a 5/8-inch box wrench, turn the puller handle "clockwise" for removal.


Step 23 - Set the removed inner race aside. Figure 48-7 shows the inner race removed from the stub axle.




Figure 48-7 Inner Race Removed


Finishing Up


Step 24 - Clean the stub axle of all foreign matter with brake cleaner and wipe dry with compressed air and a clean shop rag..


Step 25 - Apply a thick coat of wheel bearing grease to the stub axle where the bearings ride. Figure 48-8 shows the bearing hub assembly that is to be installed.




Figure 48-8 Replacement Bearing Hub Assembly


Step 26 - Push the replacement hub and bearing onto the stub axle until it bottoms out (See Figure 48-9).




Figure 48-9 Aligning Bearing Hub Assembly




Make sure that the hub is straight and aligned properly. A hub driven on the axle crooked will damage the bearing cage and lead to early bearing failure.


Step 27 - Using a hammer and a 2x6, drive the hub and bearing assembly until it fits inside the hub opening and mates with the inner race of the outer bearing (See Figure 48-10).




Figure 48-10 Driving Bearing Hub Assembly


Step 28 - Using a large hammer and large socket (fits inside hub opening) drive the hub and bearing assembly onto the stub axle far enough so that the hub nut can be installed (See Figure 48-11).




Figure 48-11 Driving On Hub Bearing Assembly


Step 29 - Use an impact wrench to install the previously removed hub nut and tighten.


Step 30 - Engage the trigger of the impact wrench and tighten the nut until it no longer moves.


Step 31 - Using a torque wrench and 30mm socket tighten the hub nut to 129 ftlb.


Step 32 - Install the dust cover that was previously removed (See Figure 48-12).




Figure 48-12 Installing Dust Cover


Step 33 - Install the rotor and anchor screw previously removed.


Step 34 - Install the caliper assembly previously removed.


Step 35 - Install the rear wheel on the drivers-side or passenger-side of the vehicle.


Step 36 - Install the lug nuts onto the wheel by hand.


Step 37 - Using a torque wrench and 17mm socket, tighten the lug nuts in a staggered pattern to 89 ftlb.


Step 38 - Install the wheel cover.


Step 39 - Using a lifting device, raise the vehicle.


Step 40 - Remove the jack stands from under the vehicle.


Step 41 - Remove the lifting device from under the vehicle.


Step 42 - Remove the chocks (2) behind the front wheels.


Step 43 - Road test the vehicle.


Tools and Equipment


Flat-blade screwdriver

Breaker bar

17mm socket

Lifting device

Jack stands

Wheel chocks

13mm box wrench

Phillips screwdriver

30mm socket

Sledge hammer


Gear puller

3-jaw gear puller

5/8-inch box wrench

Pry bar

Air Compressor

Brake cleaner

Wheel bearing grease

Shop rags

Torque wrench