Information given here describes working on the braking system of a car. This is only a rough guide, if you are not experienced with working on vehicles, I do not suggest starting on the brakes. If you crash and die – do not blame me.
This is a rough guide on working on some of the wheel hub parts on a 2004 1.2 L Vauxhall/Opel Corsa C. This may or may not apply to your vehicle, and should only be used as a guide. Additional tools or steps may be required. I am not a mechanic, merely a hobbyist, and so any advice should be taken with a pinch of salt, as there may be better ways to do things. You follow this information at your own risk, if you cause any damage to your self or your car, do not blame me. If you are not confident in solving problems as they arise, or are not prepared to spend more money to fix things if they go wrong then get a professional mechanic to do the job.
I was quoted £150 for a garage to replace the wheel bearing on this vehicle, and £250 from a different garage to replace the wheel bearing, brake pads and brake disks. Upon starting the job, I found that the drive shaft gator and stabiliser link (between strut and anti-roll bar) also needed replacing, so the cost would have been more than this.
On parts I spent about £100:
- £20 for a pair of brake disks
- £16 for a set of brake pads
- £20 for a single wheel bearing
- £10 for a stabiliser link
- £10 for a drive shaft gator
- £10 for two hub nuts (replacement on removal recommended)
- £10 for replacement strut bolts and nuts (replacement on removal recommended)
- £2.50 for new brake calliper bleed nipples
This list of tools is pretty much the minimum that you’ll need. Don’t even bother starting unless you’ve got all of these, or you’ll have to go out and buy them (like I did) or end up with a car in bits and no way to finish the job. You may be able to get away without some of them, but I don’t think so. (also – don’t rely on this list, I may have left some things out, so just make sure you have a good and comprehensive tool kit)
Tools required for brake disk replacement:
- 15mm Torx/Alldrive socket/spanner (caliper bolts)
- T27 torx bit/key to remove the brake disk retaining bolt
- Soft faced hammer/wood and large hammer
- String (to support brake calliper)
- Brake cleaning spray/petrol (to clean new disks)
- WD 40
Tools required for hub removal:
- 2x 18mm socket/spanner (Strut bolts, track rod joint)
- 2x 16mm socket/spanner (lower ball joint)
- Ball joint splitter
- 32mm socket (hub nut)
- Pliers (remove split pin)
- Hammer (general persuasion)
- Torque wrench (refitting bolts)
- String (support brake caliper)
Tools required for removing the wheel bearing from hub:
- All of the above (to remove hub and disk)
- Either a hydraulic press & puller or:
- A large vice (at least 4″)
- An assortment of sockets/metal tube sizes (to use as drifts)
- A large hammer (4lb ideal)
- A cold chisel (to remove bearing inner race from hub flange)
- Possibly a blow torch (to heat bearing inner race when chiselling off of hub)
- Circlip pliers or screwdrivers, a vice and locking wire
A brief step by step explanation of hub removal:
- Loosen the road wheel bolts before jacking the car up (only to free them)
- Chock and jack the vehicle, and support on axle stands
- Remove the road wheel
- Spray all the nuts and bolts to be removed with WD40 or similar to give it time to penetrate while you’re working. If you are not replacing the brake pads and disks be careful not to get oil, grease or WD40 on them!
- Remove any dust cap from the centre of the hub, remove the split pin from the hub nut
- Get an assistant to put their foot on the brake, or wedge something on the brake pedal (if you start the engine – servo assist will help with brake pressure – but make sure that the car is safely supported first)
- Using a 32mm socket, free the hub/castle nut from the drive shaft, remove the nut and washer. (You should use a new nut and split pin on reassembly)
- Loosen and remove the steering rod ball joint nut – make sure you fully remove the nylock nut (if you are using jaw type splitters – wind a normal nut back on to protect the ball joint threads for when you split the joint)
- Using a ball joint splitter, (or a hammer if you are careful and lucky) split the steering rod ball joint
- Loosen the lower strut bolts (2x at the top of the hub) – but do not remove them yet!
- Loosen and remove the lower ball joint clamp nut and bolt – make sure to fully remove it as it will prevent the ball joint from separating from the hub otherwise.
- Remove the ABS wheel speed sensor from the back of the hub, and hang it out of the way
- Get some string handy and loop it around the suspension spring, and get ready to tie and support the brake calliper with it
- While supporting the calliper – remove the calliper mounting bolts from the back of the brake calliper and hub (2x)
- Tie the string to the calliper and do not let the brake hose come under stress, as it may break off from the calliper
- If you are changing the brake disks or the wheel bearing, then you may need to free the brake disk from the centre hub – there are probably a number of ways to do this, but I removed the retaining screw from the brake disk, and then put an old bolt in one of the blank holes through the hub and disk (not a road wheel bolt hole) and then hammered it sideways. This causes the brake disk to twist off of the hub, and free it up.
- Push the drive shaft through the hub – use a soft faced hammer if necessary – and support the drive shaft by placing it on the lower wishbone. Do not let the drive shaft hang under its own weight
- While supporting the hub, remove the strut bolts, and lean the hub outwards from the vehicle slightly
- Ensuring that the steering rod and other parts are free, the hub should lift off of the vehicle.
- If the lower ball joint is tight, wedge a chisel or large screwdriver in the clamp to separate it and allow the hub to be removed
- As per Haynes: Refitting is the opposite of removal!
Heres some pictures of the hub, disks, and bearings