Category Archives: Tyres & Wheels

Toyota Avensis D4D front wheel bearing replacement

The Toyota Avensis 2.0 D4D is a large family car. Introduced to the market in 1997, it has seen three generations of build, with the last being introduced from 2009 to the present day. In this article, we tackle the second generation Toyota Avensis D4D front wheel bearing and give some handy hints and tips to assist with the replacement.

Bearing type

The type of bearing used is a generation one bearing with no encoding sensor built in, so the bearing can be installed in either way. It can, however, still be a little tricky as the bearing has to be pressed into the hub and, if done incorrectly during this process, can damage the bearing.

Firstly, check to see if the vehicle is fitted with alloy wheels. If it has, the chances are that they may be fitted with anti-theft locking bolts, so make sure that you have the key before starting the repair. Raise the vehicle on the ramp to the full working height – although the repair could be carried out on the floor if necessary – and remove the wheel on the relevant side.

Whenever possible it is advised to replace the wheel bearings in pairs as it is more than likely that the bearing on the opposite side is just as worn as the one you are replacing. Undo the large hub nut that secures the drive shaft to the hub and release the drive shaft from its position. Clean the track rod end, using a wire brush to remove any hard rust, and remove the locking pin. Loosen and remove the nut from the track rod end, release from its position and move to one side (Fig 1 below).

Fig 1

Remove the brake calliper piston and support by hooking it directly to the coil spring (Fig 2 below).

Fig 2

Remove the two bolts that secure the brake calliper to the hub and remove the complete assembly away from the work area. You will need to gain access to the wheel arch, but the removal of the wheel arch liner is unnecessary, so just remove the fixing bolts to the front half of the liner and allow it to hang down (Fig 3 below).

Fig 3

The ABS sensor is to be disconnected, and this can be found inside the wheel arch. With the liner now free you will have enough access to reach the sensor and disconnect it (Fig 4 below).

Fig 4

Remove the ABS lead from its support bracket once disconnected.

Remove the flange

Release the wishbone from the ball joint by removing two bolts. Undo the two bolts that secure the hub to the suspension strut and release it from the strut. With the hub removed, we can now concentrate on the removal of the bearing. Firstly, the drive flange has to be removed from the bearing; in this example we used a strong steel tube positioned centrally on the flange. By using a press, carefully push the flange out to remove (Fig 5 below).

Fig 5

Remove the back plate from the hub to make it easier to remove the bearing and remove the circlip. We removed the bearing from the wheel hub by using an old bearing and, through the use of a press, we pushed the bearing out. Because the bearing can be fitted either way, it could be a good idea to note the position of the old bearing and install the new bearing the same way.

The inner raceway of the bearing will then have to be removed from the hub; it can be a little tricky to attach a puller securely to remove this. Hold the hub securely in a vice and, with a die grinder, carefully score part way through the inner race – just enough to weaken it and taking extra care not to cut right through and damage the hub (Fig 6 below).

Fig 6

Using a blunt air chisel to crack and then remove is a nice controlled way of extracting the inner race without causing damage. Once the bearing has been removed, take the time to check that the hub profile is perfectly round and not damaged.

The outer race of a bearing will always take the shape of the hub its being pressed into so, if the hub has been damaged and is not perfectly round, this could prematurely wear the bearing over time. Clean the hub and drive flange to remove any dirt and rust.

Pressing force

When you fit the bearing into the hub, make sure you press on the outer race and not on the flange. By doing this you ensure that the pressing force is not transmitted through the balls or rollers in the bearing, but only through the outer race. In our case we’ve used the old bearing to press the new one into the hub as this is a perfect diameter and will not cause any damage.

The new bearing will have a new circlip supplied, which can now be fitted. After finding a suitably sized tube (the same size as the inner race) the hub can then be pressed onto the drive flange, avoiding any damage to the ball races. The installation of the remaining parts is the reverse of the removal.

How to replace the front wheel bearing replacement on a Ford Transit

First introduced into the UK in 1965, the Ford Transit is now into its fifth generation. With over 800,000 vehicles on UK roads today, this article from FAG – a brand of Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket – focuses on front LH wheel bearing replacement on the 2006+ model.

Front wheel bearing replacement on this model can prove tricky and we know of many independent garages who have been struggling with this particular application. For the repair you will require a torque wrench, a suitable press and a puller, as the old bearing will need to be extracted from the hub. The Sykes Pickavant removal and installation tool (08254500) was developed following complaints from garages and we used it for this repair with the vehicle on a two-post ramp.

First you need to determine the correct bearing for the application as two types are available depending on the payload – the first is up to 1,750kg and the second is up to 1,850kg. The bearing diameter is different and you will not be able to interchange them. You will find the payload for the vehicle on the nearside door pillar.

Raise the vehicle safely and remove the LH wheel. Remove the brake calliper by carefully squeezing the piston back and then removing the two securing bolts. Stow the calliper using a bungee tie, ensuring no strain is applied to the brake hose in the process, and attach it to the coil spring securely. Unclip the ABS sensor lead and stow safely. Remove the split pin and castellated cap and release the hub nut.

Remove the five torx bolts that hold the bearing to the hub assembly and suspension arm. To remove the hub assembly, install the three legs by fastening them to the hub studs as equally as you can. Install the impact plate onto the legs and secure in place with three top nuts. Now install the slide hammer assembly through the centre hole of the impact plate and hold in place using one large washer and nut either side of the plate.

With the hub ready to be removed, slide the hammer away from the hub as many times as required until it becomes free. This procedure should be done with two people so the hub can be removed safely, rather than letting the hub and tool drop suddenly.

Remove the brake disc

With the hub assembly removed, the brake disc will need to be removed before the bearing can be released from the hub. Release the five hexagonal bolts using a good quality socket, taking care not to round the bolt heads as they will be solid and rusted. With the brake disc removed, the bearing can now be pulled from the hub.
Push the five legs through the hub from the stud side, the bolt holes of the bearing and then secure in place with the nuts provided. Attach the impact plate to the legs by lining up the five recessed holes. Insert the slide hammer assembly rod through the centre hole and then through the drive shaft hole. Keep one of the larger nuts on the impact plate side. On the other end of the slide hammer shaft use the two large washers and the remaining large nut, making sure that as many threads are engaged as possible, before tightening against each other.

Secure the hub assembly and slide the hammer towards the back of the impact plate several times and then re-tighten the nuts, as they will become lose with each strike. Alternate between the slide hammer action and the tightening of the large nuts until the bearing comes free.

To remove the inner race, first install the backing ring to the bearing then position the bearing separator with the profiled sharp edges located between the back of the bearing and the hub.

Tighten the nuts equally, but not too tight, as you do not want to grab onto the drive flange. Install the five legs to the impact plate with the nuts provided and then install the legs through the hub from the stud side. Insert the slide hammer assembly through the impact plate and centre of the hub and attach the two large washers and nuts as before. Make sure the five legs are pressed squarely against the backing ring with pressure. Tighten the large nuts against each other until the bearing becomes free from the drive flange.

You may need some assistance by using the slide hammer. During this process ensure that the large washers are centred as they can become caught on the bearing during removal. Clean the hub and the drive flange, removing any dirt and rust before pressing the bearing into place. Install the bearing in the correct way and press onto the drive flange, applying the pressure to the inner race.

Clean the contact surface of the hub and brake disc and refit the disc to the hub, tightening them evenly and sequentially to the manufacturer’s tightening torque of 53Nm. Re-attach the hub carrier to the drive shaft and suspension arm and install the new hub nut. Do not tighten fully. Refit the brake calliper and tighten the bolts to 175Nm. As the brake calliper has been removed, it is advisable to pump the brake pedal a couple of times to allow the piston to return to its correct position. Refit the wheel and lower the vehicle. Tighten the hub nut in two stages: the first stage is 250Nm, and then rotate the wheel hub by five turns. The second stage is 500Nm, then rotate the wheel hub by five turns. Refit the new castellated cap and split pin.

Helping to prevent drive train noises

In the UK Schaeffler is renowned for its leading LuK clutch, INA tensioner and FAG wheel bearing brands, and the company always goes the extra mile to provide even better products for its customers. This was demonstrated by the efforts it made when building a new acoustic testing facility at its Technical Development Centre in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

A room within a room
A special feature of the facility is a ‘room-in-room concept’, where an entire room is spring-mounted inside a larger room so that it moves independently and can be completely isolated as it is decoupled from the oscillation of the rest of the building. Special bricks were imported from Sweden as the interior rooms had to be of particularly high density (at least 2,400 kg/m³). Unsurprisingly, it has been named ‘the wobble room’ by staff!

The company’s engineers in the Competence Acoustics Centre (part of the Technical Development team) investigate the origins of irritating noise using the latest state-of-the-art analytical methods to discover how noise is generated and what can be done to eliminate it at the beginning of development. As such, typical tasks include investigations of airborne sound and vibration behaviour in the vehicle drive train, as well as in the chassis and its components, such as ball screw drives and roll stabilisers.

In addition, engineers also examine plain bearings and rolling bearings of all types and designs that are used in applications such as production machinery, wind turbines, hydroelectric power plants, railway, medical technology and household applications.

Vehicle test stand: here vehicles up to the size of a delivery van can be examined from a noise technical point of view.

Hi-tech equipment
Equipped with state-of-the-art measurement and computer technology, three test rooms and the so-called ‘wobble room’ have been installed in a 180 square metre area.

CTO Prof. Dr. Peter Gutzmer said: “This is an audible and tangible further extension of expertise at Schaeffler. With the new Herzogenaurach acoustic centre, we have created ideal conditions to further optimise the globally networked development activities at Schaeffler and adapt to customer needs even better than before.”

Especially in the field of drive technology, customers are paying more and more attention to low friction coupled with the quiet operation of the individual system components, and this is also true for bearings in electric motors and devices for the home and office environments.

Acoustic issues from all areas of automotive and industrial engineering can also be addressed quickly and competently.

Dr. Arbogast Grunau, Senior Vice President Corporate R&D Competence and Service, said: “The expertise concentrated here is the result of long-standing experience in product and system development and it is continuously being developed further.

“We use our network of competence to spread our knowledge and experience throughout the world, with training and seminars being an important medium. In this way we make an important contribution to Schaeffler’s global alignment, true to our motto ‘Together we move the world’ – here with a particular focus on noise optimisation.”

Examination of airborne sound and vibration behaviour of car wheel bearings in an anechoic room

Reducing outside noise
The test rooms include a large acoustic vehicle test bay, a room for fatigue tests and one with extensive adaptation options. The ‘room-in-room concept’ covers 30-50 square metres of floor space with the largest room weighing more than 130 tons.

The interior ceilings and walls of the test rooms are lined with up to 35cm thick acoustic broadband compact absorbers to meet the sensitive metrological requirements of the acoustic staff.

Dr. Alfred Pecher, Manager, Testing Competence Centre Acoustics, said: “This constructional measure means it has also been possible to reduce noise intruding into the test rooms from outside – such as the sounds of trucks passing by – to a minimum, and to obtain technically accurate measurements.”

 Even large-size bearings weighing several tons can get inside the acoustic centre by means of a crane system, designed specifically for this purpose. They can also be examined there.

Why do modern wheel bearings utilise magnetic encoding technology?

Did you know that there is a lot more going on inside the modern wheel bearing than just balls or rollers? To offer evidence, many FAG wheel bearings now incorporate magnetic encoding technology that provides essential data to various vehicle safety systems, helping drivers keep control of their vehicle in hazardous conditions.

“Many modern safety features that we take for granted rely on data fed from the wheel bearing encoder.” – Malcolm Short, Technical Services Manager at Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket

The encoders found in modern FAG wheel bearings provide data for the following safety-critical systems:

ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System)
Prevents wheel lock-up by continuously comparing wheel speed data. If wheels lock up the brake pressure is released electronically, allowing the wheels to rotate and vehicle control to be restored during harsh braking.

Torque Vectoring (YAW Control)
In modern automotive applications differential torque vectoring is employed to vary the power that is applied to each wheel by monitoring rotational speeds and steering angles from the wheels.

Stability Management Systems (ESP, DSC, TRC, ASR)
This works continuously whilst driving by taking data from speed sensors to control systems such as Electronic Brake Distribution – to aid vehicle control in the event traction loss when cornering – and steering angle sensors – to relay the steering wheel angle and direction of the vehicle.

Speedo/Cruise Control
Modern vehicles now have electronic speedometers that are operated from the signal generated by the magnetic pulse from the encoder built into the seal on the wheel bearing. Cruise control will use the data to electronically maintain vehicle speed, with the same technology used in vehicles fitted with speed limiters.

Distance Control/Automatic Braking/Park Assist
In conjunction with front and rear sensors, or a front mounted camera, speed can be either reduced or increased by applying the brake or throttle to maintain the distance between the driven vehicle and the vehicle in front. Park assist also uses speed data from the wheel bearing, along with the steering sensor and front and rear parking sensors on the vehicle.

Hill Start
The magnetic poles in the wheel bearing work from 0mph. Hill start is monitored from this data and the brakes are electronically applied until the accelerator is depressed.

Hill Descent
Some modern day all-wheel drive vehicles are now fitted with a ‘hill descent’ option, which controls the speed of each wheel whilst applying even brake pressure to maintain safe control of the vehicle.

Sat Nav/GPS
Accurate wheel speed data supplied to these systems allows information to the driver to be relayed. This includes arrival times and current speed, even when working at low speed or during a loss of the GPS signal.

How to correctly replace the front axle wheel bearing


The Kia Picanto is a small but spacious city car with various engine and body style options available to choose from. Launched in 2004, it has become an increasingly popular vehicle on the UK roads today.

If the vehicle has alloy wheels fitted, ensure the locking nut is with the vehicle before undertaking the repair. Raise the vehicle on the ramp to a suitable working height – we used a two-post ramp in this case but the repair could be carried out on the floor if necessary.

Remove the front wheel on the relevant side; we would advise whenever possible, to replace the wheel bearings in pairs as it is likely the bearing on the opposite side is as worn as the one being replaced.

Remove the drive shaft nut and release the drive shaft from the hub.

Clean the track rod end with a wire brush to remove any hard rust, remove the split pin and disconnect the track rod from its position. The lower ball joint can then be disconnected.

Remove the brake calliper as a complete assembly and support it to the coil spring using a bungee tie. Remove the brake disc. Disconnect the ABS sensor and stow to the side so it is not damaged in any way.

The hub can now be removed so the wheel bearing can be replaced.

Remove the rusty old circlip and then proceed to remove the drive flange from the hub.

In our case we used a pull hammer that was fixed to the wheel bolt fixings to release the drive flange.

The next step is to remove the bearing from the hub using a hydraulic press and suitable diameter wheel bearing tool, or you could use an old bearing with the same diameter to push out the bearing.

The inner raceway of the bearing will then need to be removed from the drive flange. It can be a little tricky to attach a puller securely to remove the inner raceway, so in our case we secured the drive flange in a vice. Using a die grinder, very carefully score part way through the inner raceway – just enough to weaken it, and taking extra care to not cut right through and damage the stub axle.

With the race now scored, use a blunt chisel to crack the score point and remove it in a controlled way, without causing any damage to the race.

With the bearing and inner race now removed, take time to check that the hub profile is round and not damaged; the outer race will always take the form of the hub it is being pressed into and could possibly cause the premature wear of the new wheel bearing. Clean the hub and stub axle to remove any dirt and rust.

When installing the new bearing into the hub it is vital that you press on the outer race and not on the flange. By doing this you ensure that the pressing force is not transmitted through the balls or rollers of the bearing, but only through the outer race. In this case we used the bearing that was removed as we know it is exactly the same diameter to press the bearing into the hub. Once the bearing is installed, the new circlip supplied with the bearing can be fitted.

Using a suitable diameter wheel bearing tool or a tube of the same size as the inner race, the hub can now be pressed onto the drive flange, avoiding any potential damage to the ball races.

The installation of the remaining parts is the reverse of the removal.

The trends driving the wheel alignment and tyre replacement markets

Thinking about getting into wheel alignment and tyre servicing? The specialists at Bosch look at the current trends driving the market while offering some advice for those looking to take the next step.

Developments and Advancements

  • Safety systems are becoming more widespread throughout the vehicle price range.
  • ESP is a mandatory safety system and this utilises a steering wheel position sensor which must be accurately calibrated for correct operation.
  • Driver assistance systems are also now offered on entry level vehicles, e.g .VW Polo, and these require accurate wheel alignment for calibration and correct operation (stereo camera, lane departure warning, active cruise control, autonomous parking).
  • Run flat tyres are widely used to save the weight of a spare wheel, and specialised wheel service equipment is required to mount/dismount these tyres.

Profit Opportunities

New technology in the wheel aligner means reduced inspection time. The extent of this is such that every vehicle entering the workshop can have the alignment checked without any inconvenience to the customer, offering the opportunity to ‘upsell’ any alignment work that may be necessary.

Using equipment form Bosch, the garage can offer the customer the complete service – from MOT to alignment to wheels/tyres. This ensures that the garage never has to send their customers in the direction of a specialist.

Products and Specifications

  • Just as we recommend fitting Bosch OE quality components to the vehicle, we also advise the use of OE quality equipment in vehicle service and repair.
  • As producers of many of the safety systems in the car, Bosch can ensure that repair equipment quality exactly meets the requirements.
  • Bosch wheel alignment equipment is delivered with an extensive database of vehicle specifications, supplied directly by the vehicle manufacturers.
  • Bosch is one of the only manufacturers to offer full integration of all aspects of vehicle service. Linking control unit diagnosis and sensor activation with workshop test equipment – such as alignment and brake testers – is becoming increasingly important.


Current Trends

  • Advanced systems are now starting to move down the model range.
  • The continuing deterioration in the UK road network is resulting in increasing cases of damage to both tyres and suspension systems.
  • The focus on fuel efficiency through the use of lightweight suspension components means that there is a need for an increase in wheel alignment checks, as these parts can be damaged more easily.
  • Drivers are experiencing improved fuel economy with the fitment of low rolling resistance tyres.

Technical Advice

  • Technicians should understand the importance of preparing the vehicle for accurate wheel alignment. Items such as tyre pressures and the condition of the lifting platform have a significant effect on the accuracy of the result.
  • Relying on ‘low-end’ equipment may give the illusion of speed but this can be at the expense of accuracy – resulting in customer dissatisfaction. Systems from Bosch, whether CCD or 3D technology based, all offer a combination of speed, accuracy and repeatability.
  • Training is also important for technicians and this is something Bosch has invested heavily in with the state-of-the-art Service Training Centre in Uxbridge, and its new apprenticeship scheme.

Market Size

  • The UK has had the second highest number of new car registrations, falling close behind Germany.