How to Repair a 1997 Toyota Corolla Front Hub Bearing
Replacement of the front hub bearing in the Toyota Corolla is a challenge. The bearing in the hub is a sealed roller bearing and must be pressed in and out of the steering knuckle with a hydraulic press. The DIY mechanic can save time and money by farming the press work out to a local auto parts store or repair shop while performing the removal and installation of the steering knuckle and hub assembly at home.
- Socket set
- Wrench set
- Pry bar
- Breaker bar
- Axle nut socket set
Set the parking brake. Raise and support the front wheel that has the bad bearing, using a floor jack and a jack stand positioned under the front sub-frame. Block the opposite-side rear wheel with wheel chocks. Remove the front wheel and lay it aside.
Have a helper press and hold the brake pedal. Remove the axle nut using a 32 mm axle nut socket and breaker bar. Remove the brake caliper bolts using a 14 mm socket and ratchet, then lift the caliper off the rotor. Remove the brake rotor by pulling it off the hub assembly.
Disconnect the tie rod, attached to the steering knuckle, by using a pair of wire cutters to remove the cotter pin and a 17 mm wrench to remove the lock nut. Hit the steering arm near the tie rod with a hammer until the tie rod pops loose from the knuckle.
Remove the lower ball joint by removing the three 14 mm bolts that attach it to the lower control arm using a wrench. Pry down on the control arm and slip the ball joint free of the control arm.
Unbolt the steering knuckle from the strut by removing the two 19 mm bolts and nuts that attach it to the strut. Slide the knuckle and hub assembly off the axle. Take the steering knuckle and hub assembly to the parts store or repair shop and have the new bearing installed.
Push the axle through the new hub and slip the knuckle into the strut. Reinstall the bolts and tighten them securely. Pry down on the lower control arm and slide the ball joint into place. Reinstall the bolts and tighten them securely. Reinstall the tie rod, rotor, axle nut and caliper.
Reinstall the wheel. Raise the car off the jack stand and remove the stand before lowering the jack. Pump the brake pedal a few times to expand the brake caliper. Test drive the Corolla to the auto repair shop and have the front end alignment checked.