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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2010 rav4 4cyl base AWD with 68k miles on it. I am getting a whump whump whump sounds kind of like a helicopter coming from front drivers side. The noises happens when you drive straight, gets worse than you turn right, and gets quieter when you turn left. I originally assumed warped rotor so I replaced both the rotors and brake pads on the front and it didn't help at all. Based on reading forums and google searches people seem to think this is a bad wheel bearing and because it gets worse when you turn right, that its most likely the drivers side bearing. Also there is some possibility of CV axle problems causing similar noises.

I jacked it up again and checked for play in the hub, didn't feel any play on either front bearings and all of the CV boots are in tact and not leaking grease. Lack of play doesn't necessarily mean the bearing is still good so I decided to take the hub off and inspect it further.

I took the new rotor back off and removed the axle nut (huge pain in the ass to punch out the notch locking it in) so now I have an exposed wheel hub. I took out the 4 17MM bolts that are holding the hub assemble to the steering knuckle and I got a FWD hub puller from the Autozone loan-a-tool. After I attached the hub puller and tried to screw it down to pull the hub it wouldn't budge. In fact I put so much torque on the puller trying to pull the hub off of the spindle that the threads on the puller completely stripped out making it worthless. I banged a few hammer bangs at various angles on the hub as well.

In several other DIY threads and YouTube videos the hub assembly usually comes off a lot easier than what I am experiencing. So am I missing something here? Our next step is likely to get a torch to heat it but I am concerned the heat will ruin something and then I'll never know if the bearing was bad to begin with. Any other suggestions?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So this is the method I used to remove stuck on rotors last week.

To get the hub assembly loose from the steering knuckle I put the old junk rotor back on to the hub and bolted it down using the lug nuts. Then I repeated the process in the video as if I was trying to remove the rotor again and because it was bolted to the hub this time it actually broke the hub loose from the knuckle.

The problem after this was that the hub was still stuck onto the axle splines. I knew from previous experience that the hub puller would just strip out again so I came up with something that used the hub puller a bit differently.

Rather than bolt the puller to the hub and try to use the screw to put pressure on the axle I removed the screw from the puller altogether. I put a large bolt to shim between the axle and the back side of the puller right over the hole where I removed the puller screw. Then I used the wheel lug nuts to tighten down the puller towards the hub. This is like a pseudo press. I tightened each of the lug nuts a little bit at a time until I heard the axle pop loose from the hub. Then I had to back off the puller, get a longer shim between the axle and the puller body and tighten it down again. This got it loose enough to where I could actually use the puller how it was intended to be used to finish getting it the rest of the way out of the hub. Note that my lug nuts got a bit chewed up doing this so I will have to replace 3 of them with new lugs.

Now that I had the hub in my hand I could freely spin it and yeah it is definitely making a grinding sound. There is also some discoloration of the metal some bluish some yellowish tints in the area where the axle spline grooves are. I am assuming it got hot from being bad and that heat is what caused it to be stuck on there so bad.

I am guessing that the CV axle is still good and that I should just have to clean up the the mating surfaces before putting the new hub in.

I saw they have "economy" tier hubs that are $35 a piece. http://a.co/eoC0APY Anyone have experience with Drivestar hubs that could comment their quality?
 

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Good to hear that you managed finally to get the hub unstuck! Had to use some ingenuity and muscle to accomplish that part of the job. Good luck with the rest of it.
 

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Just to add to this thread, nice solution you used by the way. Here is what I ended up using to free mine, a heavy brass "drift". I have several, most look like blunt chisels and about the same size, but this sob wouldn't budge. Used penetrating oil, block of wood with 5lb hammer, and tried my air hammer out with no joy, but once I started hitting the end of the axle with this mofo it worked. Probably hit it at least 25 times, maybe more! I hardly ever use this thing but did today, it weighs 13.5 lbs, solid brass. For those wondering about brass, it's softer than the axle and will not mar the threads or even worse mushroom the end of the axle. Don't mean to hijack the thread but seemed to make sense since title is stuck axle hub and just another solution. Also I was swinging it pretty hard near the end, decided to leave my purse home haha. And I started alternating between hitting axle, and then picking up hammer and hitting sides of hub to try and shake things loose. Not sure if it helped but seemed to be logical.
149946
 

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I put the nut back on flush with the end of of the axle shaft and gave it a couple of hard knocks with a 15# sledge I use for splitting wood. The axle is spring loaded so it pushed in about 3/8 inch. That is all that was needed to get the splines to slide on the hub so the hub would come out easier.
 
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Just to add to this thread, nice solution you used by the way. Here is what I ended up using to free mine, a heavy brass "drift". I have several, most look like blunt chisels and about the same size, but this sob wouldn't budge. Used penetrating oil, block of wood with 5lb hammer, and tried my air hammer out with no joy, but once I started hitting the end of the axle with this mofo it worked. Probably hit it at least 25 times, maybe more! I hardly ever use this thing but did today, it weighs 13.5 lbs, solid brass. For those wondering about brass, it's softer than the axle and will not mar the threads or even worse mushroom the end of the axle. Don't mean to hijack the thread but seemed to make sense since title is stuck axle hub and just another solution. Also I was swinging it pretty hard near the end, decided to leave my purse home haha. And I started alternating between hitting axle, and then picking up hammer and hitting sides of hub to try and shake things loose. Not sure if it helped but seemed to be logical.
View attachment 149946
I can tell you live some place where there is snow and road salt is used. I think the youtube video make it look easy because of the lack of heavy rust. Nothing is easy to remove when you live in areas that use salt to melt snow and ice.
 

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I can tell you live some place where there is snow and road salt is used. I think the youtube video make it look easy because of the lack of heavy rust. Nothing is easy to remove when you live in areas that use salt to melt snow and ice.
Yep, it can be a pain sometimes too. The heat wrench (oxy/acetylene) is used a lot in these parts on suspension stuff. And I tend to use lots of anti-seize where I can :)
I actually replaced both sides, passenger side going bad as well, but that side came out much easier with a few hits from normal sized drift.
 

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I put the nut back on flush with the end of of the axle shaft and gave it a couple of hard knocks with a 15# sledge I use for splitting wood. The axle is spring loaded so it pushed in about 3/8 inch. That is all that was needed to get the splines to slide on the hub so the hub would come out easier.
Yeah I started doing that but was a little worried about ruining that as well, since it's a thin wall and gets staked/unstaked. And you are right all you really need to see is some movement inwards, you know it's loose then.
 
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