Notes on front hub assembly replacement 4WD V6 - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 05:08 PM
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Notes on front hub assembly replacement 4WD V6

Just wanted to help you guys out on replacing the front hub assemblies on a RAV4. I didn't take any pictures but I'll try to be as detailed as possible. My notes are for a 2007 4WD V6 Rav4. There might be some slight variation for other models but you'll definitely need a 30mm 12 point deep socket for all models.

First let me express how disappointed with how quickly BOTH my front hub assemblies have failed. My car only has 85K (which is high for a 2007) however we're talking about a frickin' toyota here. My passenger side was the worst of the 2 so i changed that first. I'll get around to the driver side hub assembly with pictures, as I'm hearing a faint whirring noise at 30+ mph.

Air tools are always nice but not necessary.
Tools required:
-BRAND NEW OEM AXLE NUT FROM TOYOTA (DON'T REUSE YOUR OLD ONE)
-17mm open end wrench
-breaker bar
-30mm 12 point DEEP or axle nut socket. (12 point is a must!)
-1/2" drive torque wrench capable of at least 215lbs/ft
-sockets varying from 12mm to 14
-WD40
-(2) M8 hex (length doesn't matter as long it's at least an inch long.
-JACK STANDS! (don't skimp on this!)
-Medium or large size C- clamp

I struggled to loosen up the axle nut even with a breaker bar but managed to loosen it by jacking up the end of the bar w/ a spare jack and using the weight of the vehicle to break it loose. Even after loosening it the corrosion made it difficult to rachet it out. I stripped my axle nut which was frustrating because it would've cost me an additional 200 dollars for an axle if I couldn't salvage it. Luckily I was able to reuse the threads and tighten the axle nut all the way through.

1. Soak the axle nut with WD40 to penetrate the threads.
2. use a punch or screwdriver and hammer the notch out of the slot on the axle nut. Flare it out a little more to clear the threads on the axle.

OPTIONAL: I would've gone this route if I knew how seized the axle nut was. Find a buddy or mechanic who has air tools to break the axle nut loose and remove it for you. Offer him 10 or 20 bucks to help you. Trust me it's worth it and you're still saving some money. All he has to do is remove the wheel center cap and impact wrench it all the way out. After just clean the threads a bit and retorque the axle nut back to about 195lbs. Then drive back home and finish up the project. That is if you don't live too far.

3. Remove the wheel and now you have to remove the brake pads. Just remove the bottom bolt for the caliper and pivot the caliper up. This will free up your pads and allow you to take the inner and outter brake pad off. Make note of which pad was inner and outter.

4. Use a 17mm to remove the (2) bolts that hold the caliper behind hub assembly.

5. Follow the brake lines and remove both (2) 14mm bolts that hold the brake line in place. Now i was able to rest my brake assembly on the axle itself without putting stress on the brake line. Whatever you do, don't stress the brake line by hanging the braking assembly.

6. Now you can see there's 2 small holes near the center of the rotor. Apply a little bit of WD40 in there and screw your M8 bolts into each hole. Do 2 or 3 turns on each bolt then alternate to the other bolt. This helps evenly loosen the rotor from the hub assembly. Eventually you'll hear a crack sound and your rotor should slip off.

7. Remove the rotor and now you have an exposed hub assembly. Take your 17mm open end wrench and loosen the 4 bolts behind the hub. These are probably seized pretty tight so I had to hammer it out by tapping the end of my wrench until they break loose.

8. As you loosen the (4) 17mm bolts the hub assembly should start to come off. If not give it a few wacks with a hammer to break the hub off the corrosion. Hammer the hub from behind if you're having a little trouble pulling it off the spline. Grab a good hold of it and pull it hard towards you. I secured a jackstand underneath the frame just in case things start to give.

9. Remove brake dust cover and make a note of how it goes back in.

10. Now that everything is out assembly is pretty much reverse. Take a metal brush and clean off the threads on the axle. Clean behind the assembly to ensure a flat clean mating surface. Apply a little bit of axle grease or anti seize if you'd like

11. Put the brake dust cover back on

12. Apply a little a little bit of anti-seize on the axle's threads

13.Slip the hub assembly back on and make sure axle splines fit perfectly in the center of the hub. Go ahead and hand tighten the axle nut for now to keep the axle from slipping around.

14. Screw the 17mm bolts back on from behind. Not sure what the torque specs are but I just tightened as much as I could.

15. Put the rotor back on and put your wheel lugs back on to hold it against the hub for now.

16. Put the brake assembly back on tighten the (2) 14mm bolts

17. Compress the caliper piston with a C clamp.

18. Slide the brake pads back into place and pivot the caliper over it. Tighten the the bolt (12mm or 14mm? I can't remember)

19. Torque the NEW axle nut down to 215lbs / ft for fronts and 159ft/lb for rears. Don't use old axle nuts because it'll strip the threads on your axle. I'm not sure if other hub manufacturers have different torque values but my SKF Hub assembly recommends 215lbs/ft. I also applied a little bit of anti-seize. Some people argue that it makes torque reading inaccurate but I guess i'll take that chance. One things for sure, I'll have an easier time removing it the next time! (hopefully never again)

20. Put the wheels back on! Fire up the car! Pump your brakes until you get brake pressure again! Then test drive it!

I don't know if I missed anything. Feel free to contribute with tips or corrections or even pictures.



A few comments on hub assembly brands etc etc:

I went with SKF because they seem to be regarded as the best quality. Timken is also another one which is regarded as top quality. However, Timken has been recently bought out by Koyo. From my research Koyo is so-so quality. I would've bought a Timken if it were available at the time and decided against Koyo simply because I didn't want to chance an early hub failure again. SKF was the most costly of the bunch but I mainly wanted the 3 yr warranty that was offered through NAPA. My failed hub assembly had a Koyo bearing on it and the new SKF I bought also had the same Koyo markings on it, however the salesmen assured it was US-made vs something overseas.

Last edited by 1jzgte; 11-19-2011 at 06:37 AM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 11:41 PM
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$400 for each hub at dealer 2wd rear due to wheel sensor
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#3 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 12:00 AM
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Just because god hates me he'll probably make my rears fail pretty soon also
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 12:07 AM
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I have the same year model with 93K and mine are silent (transmission is a different story). What kind of driving was that 85K miles? When did the noises start?

2007 Red Limited V6 4WD
w/ Tow package
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#5 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 12:22 AM
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Passenger front wheel bearing started wearing at about 75K. Lots of freeway mileage, drove on dirt road trails less than 10 times of it's life.
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#6 (permalink) Old 04-13-2013, 03:21 AM
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I am in this boat now too. I hear a hum that sounds like it's coming from the rear passenger wheel. Frustrating at only 99k miles, and especially after replacing four ignition coils and an axle seal, all within a month of purchasing the vehicle. I am only the second owner, and it is a local, well cared for RAV4.

Toyota mechanic said it sounds like a wheel bearing, and it's a noise he's heard before. They'll have to diagnose it to be 100% sure which wheel it is. I can get the rear bearing assembly w/hub from the dealer for $158 (that's after a friendly military discount), but they'll have to order it in.

Is this an ok repair to do myself? I pulled the intake off and replaced all the spark plugs and most of the ignition coils. I'm not a complete stranger to auto work, I'd just like a second opinion.

Is it worth the diagnostic? Are there ways I can just "diagnose" which wheel bearing is bad myself? Thanks for the help in advance!!
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#7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 07:49 AM
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The best way I have used to diagnose which wheel bearing is bad (or if it is a wheel bearing at all) is to jack up the vehicle and put jack stands under all 4 corners. Take the wheels off, then use a mechanics stethoscope (has a metal probe on the end) with the car running and in drive, to listen for the noise.

It is very difficult to tell exactly where a noise is really coming from underneath a car while driving it. I once replaced a wheel bearing on a full size chevy truck as I thought I could tell where the noise was coming from (driver's side front) but is did not fix the problem. After putting the truck in the air and running it while using a stethoscope I determined that I needed to put new bearings in the rear axle center section, rather than at the wheel. Noises can echo and reverberate and travel through other components under the car so that you cannot tell where they are coming from sitting in the drivers seat.
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-04-2013, 10:36 PM
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Great write-up! I had to change the driver's side hub on my wife's Rav4 tonight so I followed 1jzgte's directions. It worked out pretty well, but I had a couple notes to add.

1. 1jzgte is correct you will need a 30mm 12pt deep socket to remove the axel nut, but I had a hell of a time trying to find one. I ended up finding one a Northern Tool & Equipment.

2. You might need to use a 3 jaw puller tool to get the hub assembly to let go of the axle. Mine was pretty stuck.

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#9 (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 04:49 PM
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Thanks for the great writeup. Quick question to folks who've worked on this - Are there any sensors (ABS?) or wires coming out of the front hub assembly? I need to replace my Front Driver hub assembly and was trying to see if I can just get a Timken from Autozone or should I go with the OEM part. Thanks!
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#10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 09:49 PM
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My 2006 RAV4 4WD had left torn axle seal and extended warranty covered it. Also had a bad bearing. $952. After driving in sand (hey, it's a 4WD, right?) the seal tore again. Warranty would not cover it saying I drove it in sand. Reminder, it is a 4WD. I'm unable to drive in sand without tearing the axle seal? Has been repaired, at my expense and I know next time I go to the beach house it will be the same story. It should have a cap or something that protects it. Toyota gives me no satisfaction. Note on print out says "Advised customer not to drive in sand".
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