This article guides you through changing the rear bearing on a 2003-2006 Toyota Corolla.
Usually the first sign that you have a bad bearing is a loud roar coming from that tire. It can be a bit difficult to diagnose. Usually you can tell whether it is coming from the front or the back of the vehicle (though sometimes that is not straightforward either). For details on how to check if you have a bad bearing (and which wheel it is), check out this article which describes the procedure.
Okay, so now let’s assume you have narrowed down the problem to one of your rear bearings. The most common way to replace this on a Toyota Corolla is to replace the entire Wheel Bearing Hub Assembly.
This article is written based on the work done on a 2004 Toyota Corolla CE, but also applies to 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 Toyota Corolla’s as well.
The first step is to jack up the rear wheel, and put a jack-stand under there. Pry off the hubcap and set it aside.
Remove the lug nuts. I use this air-compressor impact wrench. It saves a significant amount of time as compared to the elbow grease method!
Remove the wheel and set it aside. If the wheel is rusted on, check out this post on how to remove rusted-on wheels, and how to prevent it in the future.
Often the brake drum is rusted onto the hub. Use the 2 holes in the drum to remove it. Insert a bolt into those and tighten it slowly until the drum pops off. These were metric in my case, M8 x 1.25. Meaning 8 mm in diameter and 1.25 mm thread pitch. See the two unused holes in the brake drum below.
Next, slide the brake drum off of the hub.
This is what you will be faced with.
Now move to the back of the hub assembly, and remove the 4 bolts. Here is a picture of the hub assembly from the back, once the hub had been removed.
And here is a shot of the old hub assembly.
I broke 2 of the 4 bolts when removing the hub assembly, they were just so rusted.
If the bolts appear in rough shape like those, take the safe route and replace them. I purchased a pack of 4 of them off of Amazon.
Clean the mating surfaces with a wire brush as best you can without disturbing the brake shoes. Incidentally, this would be an excellent time to replace the rear brakes. Click on this link to see an article on how to change the brake shoes and drums on a Toyota Corolla.
Here’s a shot of the old and new hub assemblies side by side.
Carefully re-install the brake drum, put on the tire, and tighten the lug nuts to 76 ft-lbs.
Remember to re-torque your lug nuts after driving for 50-100 miles to make sure they are still tight.
And that’s it. Nice work! Doing this job yourself can easily save you a couple hundred dollars. And it will probably take less time than taking your car in and waiting for someone to get to it!
Supplies needed for this job (with links to product page on Amazon):
Tools you need:
- Car jack
- Socket wrench or impact wrench
- 13/16″ lug nut socket
- Torque Wrench ~ $40
- Metric Socket Set ½” drive
- Brake Cleaner