GMC/Chevy 2500 & 3500 Pickups (Includes HD Models) Front Wheel Hub Bearing Replacement

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Here is another set of instructions we found online. We copied and pasted them here for you and we added a few little tidbits. Thanks for visiting our site and we hope these will help you. You can also call our ASE certified staff with any questions at 1-866-770-2771. We provide these instructions free of charge and these are meant as a guide only.

How To: Replace Front Wheel Hub Bearing Assembly on 2500HD/3500SRW (dually similar):

Preface: The front wheel hub bearing assemblies on the Chevy and GMC 2500 and 3500 series trucks are very expensive to replace. The good news is that you can follow these instructions and do this job yourself and save several hundred dollars. This job can cost $500-$1000 at a repair shop and if you have done a brake job before, then you should be capable of handling this job.

FIRST THING FIRST: IS MY BEARING BAD???

You can tell if the wheel bearing is failed or failing by a couple of different methods. The most common early symptom is noise. The noise will usually start as a slight growling or roaring sound. This noise typically can be heard from 30-50 MPH and the frequency will match the speed of the vehicle. Sometimes the noise will come and go and the longer you wait to deal with it, usually the louder it will get until it finally fails completely. You really should get into this job well before the bearing fails completely because further damage and expense can occur. Basically if you start hearing a noise, then check it out fast. Some diesel trucks are loud and make it difficult to hear the noise from the bearing so this next inspection is good to do at-least once a year or have a shop do it every oil change.  by jacking the truck up til the wheel is off the ground, grabbing the top and bottom of the tire and try to wobble it in and out. Their should be zero movement. If the wheel wobbles and it pivots from the center of the wheel, then the bearing is the most likely culprit. If their is play and the pivot point is toward the front or back of the wheel or from the top or bottom, then a through front end check should be performed. ANY movement is wear and tear and requires a thorough inspection. Ours were worn to the point of more than 2″ slop at the tire with 50,000mi on the truck. With that said, we must admit that we do have oversize tires and rims and we do a little mudding now and then.

NEXT, YOU NEED THE PART. HERE IS THE PRICES WE HAVE FOUND FOR THESE:
AutoPartsDirectToYou.com $189.99 BEST PRICE
Auto Zone $364.69
Advance Auto Parts $294.99
Napa Auto Parts $319.99
GM Dealer $390.00
The best price by far is AutoPartsDirectToYou.com. These guys wholesale auto parts and sell directly to the public. You can save big bucks by purchasing from them and using these instructions. Also AutoPartsDirectToYou.info is their instructional website that has many useful instructional videos for all kinds of parts. They are ASE certified technicians and have extensive knowledge that you usually cannot find at a regular parts store.

The Hub Bearing Assembly comes with an ABS wheel speed sensor with cable and also has the studs pre-installed. GM has recently updated the part number to #15225770 or AC Delco #FW289. Retail for the unit can be as high as $450 ea, to a low of $190 ea, so it pays to shop around.

Let’s Begin/

What you will need:

You will need:

Floor jack

Jack stand

15mm socket and ratchet, wrench will work if you are strong.

21mm socket and BIG ASS breaker bar. Cutting torch will have better luck than a wrench on this *****.

36mm socket and breaker bar. Nut is actually 35.5mm, so a 1 3/8″ socket can be beaten on it.

Sharp flat blade screwdriver.

Hammer.

Pliers.

Large C-Clamp.

Grease.

In picture, not absolutely necessary – impact wrench.

Not in picture, something a foot tall and will support 20lb, like a toolbox.

And last but certainly not least: about 3 beers per side, although after 5-6, some bloody knuckles are very possible

Step 1:

Jack side of truck up, and put a jack-stand under it. Use frame rail.

Remove Wheel.

Step 2:

Unplug the wheel sensor wire near the top of the shock. Look closely at the sensor connector and you can see how it simply unclips and slides apart. The new Hub will come with a new connector on the bearing side of the wire, just in case the plastic tabs break.

Step 3:

Use C-Clamp to compress the brake pistons so it will be easy to reinstall. If you are replacing the brake pads and rotors at this time (perfect time to do it), then fully compressing the pistons into the caliper is necessary. Technically the proper way to do this is to drain the brake fluid. If you have never flushed or bled the brakes, then this is a great time to learn. The safest way to do this is attach a hose to the bleeder screw and put the other end into a suitable container. Then, open the bleeder screw, slowly compress the brake caliper, and brake fluid will fill the container. We do not recommend pumping the brake pedal to bleed the brakes unless you are well versed in hydraulic and ABS brake systems. If you simply take the cap off of the brake master cylinder (under the hood), then you allow the brake fluid to gravity bleed out into the container. You can add fresh clean brake fluid to the master cylinder and watch the fluid coming out until it is also clean. Then snug down the bleeder screw and disconnect the hose. You can do this to the remaining wheels and then you have flushed your entire brake system, This is something that should be done every 2-3 years.

Step 4:

There are 2 21mm bolts that hold the brake caliper frame to the axle support. THESE ARE TIGHT!!! Rotate the steering to get to them easier. Remove the bottom, then loosen the top one so you can remove it with your fingers. You will need to have something ready to support it when you remove the brake assy. Do not allow the caliper to hang from the brake hose or you will most likely have to replace the hose.

Step 5:

Pull the top bolt and set the brake assy on something that will not stress the brake line. You can destroy a brake line by hanging that much weight on it.

Step 6:

In this picture, the lug at 11 o’clock and 5 o’clock have a retaining washer that holds the disc on the hub for assembly purposes. Remove these by rotating them with a screwdriver, then pry them off. You do not need to re-install these, I suggest you throw them away. Once they are removed, you can pull the disc off the hub. If it does NOT come off easy? You may need a flat heavy hammer to tap it off. Any damage to the rotor or if you noticed any blue coloring (overheated) in the rotor, pad & rotor replacement is recommended.

Step 7:

Pry the center dust cover off with a sharp flat blade screwdriver. Be fairly gentle as you will reuse this. This keeps the nut and threads inside cleaner and less rusty then exposed areas.

Step 8:

That nut in the center keeps the axle from wandering too deep into the differential. Other than that, it does nothing. It is not a load component. It measures 35.5mm, you can remove it with a 36mm socket and breaker bar or tap a 1 3/8″ socket onto it. If the truck is in 4WD with the truck in park, it will not spin the hub. The nut is a locking nut, so it will be tight most the way off. A Pneumatic impact gun can be used to quickly remove the nut, however do not re-install the nut with the impact gun.

Step 9:

Once the nut is off, spray some WD40 into the center spline, then tap the axle into the hub gently until it stops. It will move about 1″. This will make it easy to pull the hub off when it’s time.

Step 10:

There are four 15mm bolts that hold the hub on. These are also pretty tight. If you turn the steering wheel, it makes them easier to remove.

Step 11:

The hub should slip right out. You might have to tap the axle a bit more while holding the hub out from the base. Clean all mating surfaces, grease the o-ring in base. Dust shield faces forward.

INSTALLATION

IMPORTANT TORQUE SPECS

Hub and Bearing Assembly to Steering Knuckle Bolts – 180 N·m / 133 lb ft

Axle Shaft Nut – 210 N·m / 155 lb ft

Caliper Mounting Bracket to Knuckle, Front – 300 N·m / 221 lb ft

Here’s the new hub/bearing assy. There is some electrical tape on the wire holding them together, tear it off.

Line up the spline to the holes with the wire at TDC. If the bolt holes do not line up, you can either take the truck out of 4WD, or pull it off the spline and try to align it better. I suggest align it better. There is a lot of slop in the axle rotation, so you don’t have to precisely get the right tooth on the spline for it line up. Screw the axle nut on by hand to hold it in place.

Use a few drops of Blue Loctite (yes I know it comes in a red bottle) on the 15mm bolts, and bolt the hub back down. Don’t forget the dust shield. The wire goes UNDER the tab on the dust shield.

Tighten down the axle nut and washer on the axle. Tap the dust cover back on with the handle of the hammer.

Replace the rotor.

Hold the brake pads apart with your fingers and slide the brake assy onto the rotor. Use loctite and reinstall the two 21mm bolts. Do I know the torques? Uh… REAL tight? (see torque specs above)

Snap the 4 wire holders into the same holes the old one came out of, and reconnect the connector near the shock.

Put wheel back on, lower truck..

IMPORTANT, pump the brakes to re-position the calipers!!!

Start engine and pump the brakes slowly several times. When you pushed the pistons back into the calipers, they are still sitting far away from the rotors and YOU WILL HAVE NO BRAKES.

Road test, and finish the last beer.

Joel

ASE Certified Auto Technician 16+ Years Of Auto Repair Experience

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21 Responses

  1. Jim Watson says:

    This bearing replacement was going to cost me $525.00 at a shop, I found your web page and wow how easy. My cost now is $153.00. I thank you and surely my wife Thanks you. Jim Watson

  2. Louie says:

    Just a note. The 22mm wrench/socket is too big for the caliper bracket bolts , at least for my 2001 2500HD GMC 4×4. A 13/16 – 1/2 drive socket fits.

    Also note, if continue to drive on a bad hub, (my “slop” was barely 3/4 inch), the inner side top of the rotor will directly rub (grind) on the Knuckle (near the upper ball joint, which I really believe is the grinding noise that is heard (felt). I am sure that there can be metal-to-metal sparks going on, with likely the sparks hitting the Brake line. (Danger)… As a secondary, you are not likely to get a shop to turn the rotor if you are also going to do a brake job at the same time with the result of this rotor “grind”, due to the material ground away from the inner top of the rotor (1/4 inch “hit”). The pads dont really come in contact with this area of the rotor though.

    Good Job on the web page. Likely would not have done the work myself if I had not read this article. Your right, if you can do a brake job, you can do this. Breaker Bar and 2 inch diameter / 2ft long pipe manditory. Had it completely broke down in two hours, and about 1.5 hours to assemble (in the freezing cold of my driveway in Feb in Michigan).

    Regards,

    Louie

  3. Troy says:

    Thank you, what a huge help this website was for me! Good luck on the bolts that hold the brake calipar frame to the axle support, they are tight. The step-by-step process was perfect. I found the hub assembale at Advanced Auto for 187.99. Make sure you shop around,Good luck and thank you!

  4. Jeff says:

    Your info was a huge help in replacing my H2’s hubs. Thank You for such an informative post with proper Torque specs! Anyone that has a vehicle with this hub and keeps it for a long period of time will probably do this twice. Seems to be a 50K mile part. Thanks to this info it is an easy fix!

  5. michael bernholz says:

    excellent stuff…thank you

  6. Roger says:

    Good job on the pictures and step by step instructions.I would like to add a few things to this..The axle nut actually puts a preload on the bearings in the unitized assembly,that is why the torque value is so high and it must be accurate as well,otherwise the new hub assembly will prematurly fail. Also,if the hub flange does not want to come out, a slide hammer can be used to get it off.

  7. john says:

    well i should have looked for this post before i did the job. yes i did one years ago but not on a one ton. everything i figured out is the exact as described but……. i only had one beer….. because thats all that was left i strongly suggest following the beer intake part of this post seriously. do not attemp with one beer.

  8. toby says:

    I thought I could do the job, but just needed a little clarification. Thanks for the pics and easy instructions. Took me less than an hour to gather all the tools and tear it all apart. Tomorrow I’ll put it all back together…hopefully in about the same amount of time. You’ve added value to this project and I feel that I can come to you for parts now too because of the added value.

  9. joe says:

    I followed these instuctions trying to get the thing off my 2003 3500 4wd DRW. Everything went smoothly, 4 bolts came out of the back, big axle nut came off, stub axle moves freely in its splines, but the hub will not break free from the upright. My truck is slightly different from the pictures, being a DRW the front rotor bolts on and cant be removed until the hub is off, makes it hard to get to the hub mounting area, but my hub will not seem to separate from the carrier, Any suggestions??

  10. Mr Galvan........... says:

    Its a great feeling to find people that acctually take the time to help the common man do jobs like this………man; we all know how hard it is to earn a hard earned dollar,…………Thanks for helping me save a buck,and another thing,…..My family rides on my vehicles, so is my full resposabitlity that the job is done right….Gracias Amigos………..Seriously….Thanks for the help…..H2 is ready for the winter…………

  11. Mike says:

    I replaced my driver side hub and still have the same problem before i fixed it. just not as bad. I had the dealer put there computer on it to tell me what was wrong and they informed my hub was bad so i replaced it. the code now tells me a brake switch circuit which i have no idea what that means. I also have heard that aftermarket hubs with bearings made in other countrys like korea or china or mexico are not being read right by the computer in my truck any advice would be great. great help with the pics and how to

  12. Andrew H says:

    Great walk-thru!!!!

  13. Jerry says:

    (2006 GMC 2500 diesel) Your instructions were great. I pulled the truck into my garage this weekend and yanked the tire off. The biggest problem was the axle lug. My dad recently gave me a really nice electric impact wrench and it did the trick in no time. I pulled the rotor off, knocked out the bearing assembly and put the new one in. I bolted everything down in no time at all. The truck drives great with no noises coming from the wheel.I really appreciate the opportunity to do it myself and save a lot of money. Oh and three beers per side is spot on my friend. Thanks again, Jerry

  14. Johnny Guillory says:

    Do instructions. I was able to do this Ina about 3 hours and a 6 pack. Thanks.

  15. Andrew Mellendorf says:

    Just a quick question. I have replaced mine on both sides and was just curious. Is there a difference in the hub between a 2500 and a 2500HD?

    I have found nothing stating a difference but do not want to find out after I pay for the part.

  16. Joel says:

    Hi Andrew, The HD designation really depends on the year and the model name GM designates to it, This will sound more confusing then it really is but when you look up hub bearings or any part, just make sure you select your specific model name for the specific year and then of course 2WD & 4WD and any other options that are asked. The catalog will display the proper part as long as the year, make, model and options are entered.

  17. Greg T says:

    Thanks for posting this. You helped me save over $300 by doing it myself. I found my bad hub when I jacked up my Silverado to change the oil. I noticed the wheel tilted/moved inward about an inch. I have a long drive/trip planned. I can’t imagine the horror of loosing a wheel while on a trip. I rotate my tires every 6,000 miles and check my hubs whenever I do a rotation so this happened fast.
    Great posting.

  18. Mike says:

    I know this is old, but I just found the wheel hub assembly on amazon.com with prime for 144!! Free shipping!!

    Definitely can’t complain about that. My ABS failed on my hub, turned the whole inside of the hub blue and yellow… This write up is perfect for what I need… And completely replacing brakes.

  19. Bill says:

    I did a brake rotor replacement on my 2005 chevy express and had a hard time getting the caliper mounting bolts off. Now I read that they should be at 225 ft lbs of torque!! Yikes I set mine at 110 ft lbs since I thought that was pretty tight. Should I worry? Do I have to go back and tighten more…but who has a 225 torque wrench? I have never had bolts that tight? Maybe a lock washer instead? Reply pls

  1. March 13, 2008

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