How to replace rear wheel bearing hub assembly on 2003 Dodge Caravan



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Thread: How to replace rear wheel bearing hub assembly on 2003 Dodge Caravan

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    How to replace rear wheel bearing hub assembly on 2003 Dodge Caravan

    I have a 2003 Dodge Caravan which I need to replace the rear wheel bearings. Auto parts place said on 2003 it uses a hub bearings assemble and the entire hub assembly has to be replaced. Trying to find out the steps and how difficult to do this myself.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LLAPPE View Post
    I have a 2003 Dodge Caravan which I need to replace the rear wheel bearings. Auto parts place said on 2003 it uses a hub bearings assemble and the entire hub assembly has to be replaced. Trying to find out the steps and how difficult to do this myself.

    Thanks.
    The Haynes Manual has it covered. Rotors, drums and some brake parts have to be removed. If you have ABS, you will need to remove the speed sensor. After that there's 4 bolts to contend with. The installed torque on those is 95 ft. lbs.
    Then hopefully you can pull the assembly out easily with possibly a few taps with a hammer, if needed. Since you are replacing the part, a slide hammer can be used to remove the hub if it's stubborn. Otherwise, if one were reusing the bearing, the slide hammer might damage it.
    If you have done brakes, struts or shocks, you should be able to handle this, providing you have some appropriate tools.
    Does the parts supplier lend out slide hammers?
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    I have had to do this repair twice.
    Slide hammer is a must. The hub assembly will be too tight to just hammer out.
    Once I put it all back together, the anti lock brake light was on. Somehow, the speed sensor went bad. Had to run to the dealer and purchase a new one.

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    What type of tool did you use to get the bottom bolts? do you recall the size of the bolt? I thought it was like a 18mm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooman View Post
    I have had to do this repair twice.
    Slide hammer is a must. The hub assembly will be too tight to just hammer out.
    Once I put it all back together, the anti lock brake light was on. Somehow, the speed sensor went bad. Had to run to the dealer and purchase a new one.
    I beat on mine with a 4# hammer, and torched it warm.

    Can you share more details of what you did? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzdodge View Post
    I beat on mine with a 4# hammer, and torched it warm.

    Can you share more details of what you did? Thanks.
    Yes, please, more details.

    My assembly is thoroughly stuck. How hard do I beat it? And, from what directions?

    Does it help to torch it hot, or will that damage anything inside?

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    Here's how I did mine a few months ago (I replaced both rear hub assemblies), assuming you've already got the rear safely up on jackstands:

    1) For the 4 bolts: Penetrating oil, then 18mm universal socket and breaker bar (or impact if you're equipped). They're on tight and you'll probably damage the socket, but they'll come off.

    2) Attach a slide hammer with an adapter to the wheel studs. Your mileage will vary, but it shouldn't take too many good shots with the slide hammer to remove the hub assembly

    3) Both the hub assembly and brake backing plate will come off together, so now you have to separate them. The only problem is that the two are rust-bonded around the entire outside edge of the hub assembly. I made a box frame out of lumber I had laying around (2x10 I think, but 2x6 would work). Setting the backing plate down on the frame and letting the hub assembly hang into the middle, I alternated beating on the hub assembly with a hand sledge and cold chisel, heating it with a mapp gas torch, and penetrating oil (be careful about spraying oil directly onto extremely hot parts).

    4) Clean up the backing plate where it will contact the new hub assembly. Use anti-sieze if you think you'll ever have to do this job again. Put the new hub and backing plate together

    5) Put anti-sieze on the 4 bolts and re-install the new hub assembly, tightening to 95 ft-lbs.

    Nate
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate95366 View Post
    Here's how I did mine a few months ago (I replaced both rear hub assemblies), assuming you've already got the rear safely up on jackstands:

    1) For the 4 bolts: Penetrating oil, then 18mm universal socket and breaker bar (or impact if you're equipped). They're on tight and you'll probably damage the socket, but they'll come off.

    2) Attach a slide hammer with an adapter to the wheel studs. Your mileage will vary, but it shouldn't take too many good shots with the slide hammer to remove the hub assembly

    3) Both the hub assembly and brake backing plate will come off together, so now you have to separate them. The only problem is that the two are rust-bonded around the entire outside edge of the hub assembly. I made a box frame out of lumber I had laying around (2x10 I think, but 2x6 would work). Setting the backing plate down on the frame and letting the hub assembly hang into the middle, I alternated beating on the hub assembly with a hand sledge and cold chisel, heating it with a mapp gas torch, and penetrating oil (be careful about spraying oil directly onto extremely hot parts).

    4) Clean up the backing plate where it will contact the new hub assembly. Use anti-sieze if you think you'll ever have to do this job again. Put the new hub and backing plate together

    5) Put anti-sieze on the 4 bolts and re-install the new hub assembly, tightening to 95 ft-lbs.

    Nate

    Many many thanks Nate!

    Additionally, I have figure out an alternative way to get the hub assembly off of the car.

    Once the 18mm bolts are off (and yes they are tricky to get to - and sit quite tight) I used two identical three armed bearing pullers.


    I removed the threaded rod from one of the pullers and placed the (rod-less) three arms like "legs" around the round plate that holds the five wheel studs. The three "hooks" of the puller now act as feet, standing firmly on the back plate.

    This now becomes the base for the other puller.

    The other puller is placed with its hooks around the wheel stud plate, and the threaded rod will thus screw down onto the base puller. If perfectly centred (difficult and unnecessary) the rod will actually screw into the threaded hole of the base puller (which is no good) so I placed a thick piece of metal plate there. You will find that the threaded rod pushes down with force on the metal plate and if this is not thick enough, even bore through it.

    regardless, some experimentation and the construction eventually started to pull on the hub assembly. A good sturdy cross bar and the correct socket on the bolt-headed threaded rod helped to apply a forceful pulling on the assembly!

    At one point I was afraid I would bend the back plate rather than pull out the hub - but there is the "knuckle" behing to support the back plate, and eventually - lo and behold - a crack appeared beteween the hub assembly and the base plate.

    I immediately sprayed with penetrating oil, and gave this chance to work (still the whole thing under the pulling force).

    Next time I turned a few turns, the hub slid out - plop!

    No banging. No heat. No expensive equipment other than the two pullers.

    Just make sure the pullers have the right dimensions & provisions to fit around the hub assembly, and one on top of the other!

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    I've done this a couple times. If the hammer isn't working, a lot of hardware stores carry these big coupling nuts that are 2" long or so. Get one of those and a bolt about the same length, center it on the hub from behind, brace it on the leaf spring holder, and use the coupling nut and bolt to press the assembly out.

    Works every time, even on the insanely rusty. That's the only way I was able to replace these on my father's old 1996 Caravan with 300k+ kms on it. I don't even reach for the hammer first anymore, that's how well this works.

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Oklahoma Wolf For This Useful Post:

    Hankster (07-18-2012), nate95366 (07-18-2012)

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    Nate,

    how do I thank? I've been through the FAQ and can't seem to find the nifty function to ascribe gratitude points.

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