How to Change the Wheel Bearings on a 1998 Sunfire

The 1998 Pontiac Sunfire shared a platform with the Chevrolet Cavalier. The Sunfire was fitted with a 2.2-liter or optional 2.4-liter inline-four cylinder engine. The Sunfire used MacPherson struts to provide independent front suspension. The front wheel bearings on the Sunfire are part of a hub and bearing assembly and must be replaced as a unit. The procedure is the same for either side.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheel chocks
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Breaker bar
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Torx bit set
  • Wire
  • Torque wrench

Instructions

  1. Removal

    • 1

      Park the Sunfire on a level, paved surface and set the parking brake. Place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels. Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels. Loosen the hub nut two to three turns with a breaker bar and socket. Raise the front of the Sunfire with a jack and support with jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and wheels.

    • 2

      Unbolt the brake caliper with a ratchet and Torx bit. Pull the caliper from the rotor and tie to the coil spring with a piece of wire. Pull the rotor off of the wheel hub.

    • 3

      Finish removing the hub nut with a ratchet and socket. Remove the washer behind the hub nut.

    • 4

      Remove the three Torx head bolts that hold the hub assembly to the steering knuckle. Use a ratchet, extension and Torx bit to reach through the hole in the axle flange.

    • 5

      Pull the hub and the attached wheel bearing from the steering knuckle and axle.

    Installation

    • 6

      Slide a new hub onto the axle and steering knuckle. Install and torque the bolts to 70 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench, extension and Torx bit.

    • 7

      Mount the brake rotor onto the hub. Slide the caliper onto the rotor. Install and torque the caliper bolts to 40 foot-pounds.

    • 8

      Mount the wheel and screw the lug nuts loosely into place. Raise the Sunfire, remove the jack stands and lower it to the ground. Torque the lug nuts to 100 foot-pounds. Torque the hub nut to 185 foot-pounds. Remove the wheel chocks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the rotor and pads for excessive wear. Replace if necessary.
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