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Thread: How do you change Rear wheel bearings on 2001 Grand Caravan ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    How do you change Rear wheel bearings on 2001 Grand Caravan ?

    I'm looking for information on changeing the rear wheel bearings on my 2001 Grand Caravan. Mike is not happy unless he has my latest van in pieces. The rear breakes were grinding mildly. He was determined to take the rusted on drums off, to check the brakes. That required a lot of pounding & torch to get the drums red hot, before they would move. Low & behold everything was ok, probably rust deposits causeing some grinding.
    Now things are not fine. I hear rear wheel bearing noise, since the wheel drums were fried & beaten off. Mike thought one of the wheel bearings had a whoop de whoop in it, when he had the drum off.
    The question is what tool is needed to get the lower bolts off the wheel bearing. The nuts are jamed in behind, & appear difficult to get at. Any advice would be appreciated.
    The 2001 gets 24 mpg, nice.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    High Ridge, Missouri
    Thanked 15 Times in 12 Posts

    Removal/Installation of rear hub bearing. This is from the F.S.M.

    (1) Raise vehicle. (Refer to LUBRICATION &
    (2) Remove wheel and tire. (Refer to 22 - TIRES/
    (3) Remove brake drum or disc brake caliper and
    rotor from hub and bearing. (Refer to 5 - BRAKES/
    (4) If equipped with antilock brakes, perform the
    (a) Remove secondary (yellow) retaining clip at
    rear of wheel speed sensor head (Fig. 8).
    (b) Push up on metal retaining clip (Fig. 8) until
    it bottoms. This will release wheel speed sensor
    head from hub and bearing.
    (c) While holding metal clip up, pull back on
    wheel speed sensor head removing it from hub and
    (5) Remove the 4 bolts attaching the hub and bearing
    to the rear axle.
    CAUTION: Corrosion may occur between the hub
    and bearing, and the axle. If this occurs the hub
    and bearing will be difficult to remove from the
    axle. If the hub and bearing will not come out of the
    axle by pulling on it by hand, do not pound on the
    hub and bearing to remove it from the axle. Damage
    will occur. Use the following procedure.
    (6) If hub and bearing cannot be removed from the
    axle by hand, use Remover, Special Tool 8458 (Fig. 9)
    and following procedure to press the hub and bearing
    out of the axle.
    (a) Thread Threaded Guide Pins into hub and
    bearing mounting bolt holes.
    (b) Remove the two outboard spring plate bolts.
    (c) Using the spring plate bolts, install the
    Screw Mount, Special Tool 84582, as shown (Fig.
    (d) Place Push Plate, Special Tool 84581, on
    ends of Threaded Guide Pins
    (e) Place a dab of grease in dimple of Push
    (f) Tighten the Forcing Screw, Special Tool
    84583, up against dimple in Push Plate and press
    hub and bearing out of axle by continuing to
    tighten screw.
    (g) Remove the tool.
    (h) Reinstall the two outboard spring plate bolts.
    Tighten the bolts to 102 Nm (75 ft. lbs.) torque.
    (7) Remove the hub/bearing from the rear axle and
    brake support plate.

    (1) Install the 4 hub and bearing to axle mounting
    bolts into the holes in the flange of the rear axle.
    (2) Install the rear brake support plate on the 4
    mounting bolts installed in the flange of the rear axle.
    (3) Align the rear hub and bearing with the 4
    mounting bolts and start mounting bolts into hub
    and bearing. Tighten the 4 bolts in a crisscross pattern
    until the hub and bearing and brake support
    plate is fully and squarely seated onto flange of rear
    axle. Tighten the 4 mounting bolts to a torque of 129
    Nm (95 ft. lbs.)
    NOTE: If equipped with antilock brakes, make sure
    wheel speed sensor stays clean and dry as it is
    installed into the hub and bearing cap.
    (4) If the vehicle is equipped with antilock brakes,
    perform the following:
    (a) If metal sensor retaining clip is not in the
    neutral installed position on hub and bearing cap,
    install from the bottom, if necessary, and push clip
    upward until it snaps into position.
    (b) Install wheel speed sensor head into rear of
    hub and bearing aligning index tab with the notch in
    the top of the mounting hole. Push the sensor in until
    it snaps into place on the metal retaining clip.
    (c) Install secondary (yellow) retaining clip over
    wheel speed sensor head and engage the tabs on
    each side (Fig. 8).
    (5) Install brake drum or disc brake rotor and
    brake caliper. (Refer to 5 - BRAKES/HYDRAULIC/
    (6) Install wheel and tire (Refer to 22 - TIRES/
    WHEELS - INSTALLATION). Tighten the wheel
    nuts in the proper sequence to a torque of 135 Nm
    (100 ft. lbs.).
    (7) Adjust the rear brakes as necessary. (Refer to 5
    (8) Lower vehicle.
    (9) Road test vehicle to ensure proper operation of
    Avatar: EconoVoyager Concept
    2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.3L
    2004 Chrysler Pacifica AWD 3.5L

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Hub Removal:
    Removing the 4 bolts / nuts should be fairly easy. I'm looking at a Haynes Manual instead of the actual assembly on my van and would suggest using a socket wrench on the bolt heads located on the back side, while holding the nuts on the front side with a box-end wrench or a crescent wrench, or a pair of vice-grips. Apply a little WD-40 beforehand to penetrate the threads and make removal easier.

    - Pounding the brake drum and using heat in the process may have caused the drum to warp.
    - Any buildup (lip) on the edge of the drum should have been thoroughly removed (grinding works), before reinstallation.
    - All the pulling may have resulted in the stretching of the retainer pins or the backing plate holes the retainer pins go through. The brake shoes will move outward slightly as a result of that and rub on the buildup (if not thoroughly removed).

    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 173,000 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 358,500 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 279,000 kms

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Portland Oregon

    Doing this at a junkyard is the pits. Well great place to learn things for $2! :-)

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Eastern Nebraska

    I replaced my rear wheel hub assemblies on my '05 a few weeks ago, and there are certainly a few differences between my van and yours, so take that into account, but:
    1) The 4 bolts that hold the assembly in require a fair amount of force to remove. I hit them with PB Blaster a number of times for a few days before I started. I also found it helped to get an 18mm universal socket to fit in there.

    2) The special tool works to get the hub assembly off and does not damage the bearings, but the special tool is rather expensive. If you're not going to re-use the bearings b/c you're replacing them, get a slide hammer and a wheel/hub adapter from an auto-parts store and it will work.

    3) Separating the old hub assembly (which I was replacing) from the backing plate (which I was re-using) required a lot of strategic heat, penetrating oil, and pounding with a hand sledge and cold chisel while the entire backing plate/hub was suspended in an ad-hoc wooden frame. The first one took me the better part of 45 minutes to separate. After learning my lessons, I got the next one a lot faster.

    All that said, make sure the bearings really are the problem. I just replace mine b/c they were the problem, but my van also had 137,000 miles on it at the time.

    '05 Town & Country Touring
    3.8L 200,000 mi

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Portland Oregon

    Oh, yea, mine are a problem... Im the dude that took my rear CV joints out and drove like that... Till the wheel almost fell off. The only thing holding it on was the rear Disk brake pads and the caliper.

    Sometimes, DIY is not the way to go... But I did learn a VERY important lesson...What not to do..

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