1990 Dodge Omni FWD - How do I pull the Driver side wheel hub from the knuckle . . .
Needed to replace driver side wheel bearings, bought a wheel hub so I didn't have to press
the bearings. There are no bolts on the backside holding the the hub in, just three on the
front side holding the retainer. The are no holes in the hub allowing the retainer bolts to
pass through, unless I remove the lug nut bolts . . . At this point I'm lost and confused, my
haynes book doesn't cover hub removal, only knuckle removal.
Unfortunately, the L-body vehicles (Omni/Horizon/Turismo/Charger) do require that the front wheel bearings be pressed onto the hub, and then the hub pressed into the steering knuckle (unlike newer vehicles or other Chrysler vehicles of the era which had bolted in bearing/hub assemblies). If you purchased a hub with the bearing already pressed onto it, it will still need to be pressed into the knuckle. Enclosed are the pages from the factory service manual outlining the steps required. They specify special tools, but similar ones can be loaned from most automotive part stores. The easy way to deal with bearings is to remove the knuckle from the vehicle and bring it, along with the new bearing to a mechanic (who has a hydraulic press) and have him deal with it. Most shops will charge maybe $30 - $50. If you're the do-it-yourself type of person, you'll need a slide hammer puller, a bearing press, 2 jaw puller and a vice. (Slide hammer, jaw puller and bearing press are usually available from AutoZone, O'Riley's etc.) Remove the knuckle and hub from the vehicle and put it in the vice. Using a small wrench, undo the three bolts securing the bearing retainer plate to the knuckle (they're short bolts so you don't need to take them all the way out). Attach the slide hammer to the lug nuts on the hub and begin pulling. The hub will pull one of the inner races out and usually the other stays in the bearing. If you already have a new hub, you don't need to worry about removing the inner race from the old hub. If you need to reuse the hub, pull the race off with the jaw puller, as shown in the picture below. Using the bearing press (basically a giant forcing screw with various sized cups and dies) press the old bearing out of the knuckle. It only goes out one way (toward the front, where the bearing retainer plate was). Press the new bearing into the knuckle the same way. Reinstall the retainer plate and use blue loctite on the bolts. Press the hub into the bearing, being careful you don't separate the inner races on the bearing. Usually it would be advisable to also replace the inner seal (where the axle contacts the bearing) at the same time. Torque down the axle hub nut to 180 ft-lbs. (THIS IS IMPORTANT! Don't just use an impact wrench and call it good enough. The torque setting applies a pre-load to bearing. Too much or too little torque will mean the bearing will have a short life.)
Page two of the FSM.
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