A Honda Civic has a sealed bearing located in the front hub. This requires the use of a large hydraulic press and special tools to replace the bearing in the center hub. In most cases, it is easier and less expensive to purchase a re-built hub using the old hub as a core. When loosening the front hub nut on the half shaft, it is a good idea to loosen it with the tire installed and on the ground. The torque is high enough that it could cause a car to fall off the jack stands when loosening it elevated.
Things You'll Need
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- 3/8-inch drive ratchet
- Set of 3/8-inch drive sockets
- Set of wrenches
- Ball joint separator tool
- Wire cutters
- Phillips screwdriver
- 2 8-by-1/25mm bolts
- ½-inch drive air gun
- Set of ½-inch drive sockets
- Common screwdriver
Remove the center cap or hub cap from the wheel exposing the hub nut on the half shaft. Bend the stake up on the hub nut using a common screwdriver. Loosen but do not remove the hub nut.
Raise and support the vehicle on jack stands. Remove the front wheel/tire assembly. Remove the brake caliper using the 3/8-inch drive ratchet and a socket. Support the caliper with a suitable piece of wire attached to the spring so it does not hang by its hose.
Remove the two 6mm screws in the center of the rotor. Insert the two 8-by-1.25 bolts in the holes in the center of the rotor and turn the bolts two turns on each side with a wrench. Turn the bolts a little at a time so the rotor does not angle and become difficult to remove. Remove the cotter pin from the castle nut on the tie rod and remove the nut with a wrench.
Insert the ball joint separator between the tie rod and the knuckle and hit it with a hammer until the tie rod comes out of the knuckle. Remove the cotter pin from the lower ball joint castle nut using the wire cutter. Use a wrench to loosen the nut, but leave it on by a couple of threads to support the knuckle when the top ball joint is removed. Insert the ball joint separator between the ball joint and knuckle and hit it with a hammer until the ball joint comes loose.
Separate the upper ball joint in the same manner. Remove the cotter pin from the castle nut and remove the nut with a wrench. Insert the ball joint separator between the upper ball joint and knuckle and hit it until the upper ball joint comes loose.
Remove the lower ball joint castle nut and lift the knuckle and hub off the ball joint studs. Install the new hub and knuckle combination in reverse order of removal.
- Don Bowman, A.S.E. Certified Mechanic
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