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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.
 

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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?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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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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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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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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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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.
There are no wires or abs sensors on the hub assembly itself. This is a fairly straight forward remove and replace job.
I ordered the Timken hub from Rockauto.com and so far I am very happy with it.

***Note our Rav4 is 2wd so there may be some differences.
 

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There are no wires or abs sensors on the hub assembly itself. This is a fairly straight forward remove and replace job.
I ordered the Timken hub from Rockauto.com and so far I am very happy with it.

***Note our Rav4 is 2wd so there may be some differences.
Thanks for the info. Mine's also 2wd.
 

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I just successfully replaced the Front Driver side hub assembly last week. Thanks to the OP for the detailed instructions - It was very useful..

The only quirk was that the check engine light came on after everything was complete. After a while only I realized it was because I ran the engine with the ABS sensor disconnected while the car was on the jack stands. Disconnected the battery terminals for a couple of minutes and that was taken care of. Anyways scared me for a bit.
 

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The wheel bearings starting grinding on my 2009 Sport V6 AWD with fewer than 75k miles. :mad:

Has anyone tried Febest? They are less than $60 each with a one year warranty!

Front: 43550-42020
Rear: 42410-42040

(OEM part numbers from http://www.toyodiy.com/)
 

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I replaced both front hub assemblies this weekend. It took me about three hours total. The photos below are not all from the same side, and I am (obviously?) not a mechanic - sorry for any confusion or misleading information. :shrug:

I tackled the axle nut using a Lisle 39510 30mm Axle Nut Socket.



I left the wheel on the ground, popped the center cap and cranked the axle nut off using a Mountain 16250 1/2-inch Drive Torque Wrench - 25" long 250 ft/lbs.



I was not able to knock the notch out of the slot enough to prevent it from munging my axle threads (I should have bought the Toyota / Lexus 30mm Front Axle Lock Nut Remover Kit instead). I can't think of any reasons why this approach is better than a good old cotter pin, but I can think of at least one reason why it is worse! :confused:



I removed the calipers with the pads intact and used two M8 bolts to pop the rotor off of the hub.



I used a hammer to tap out the old hub assembly. Once the four bolts are removed, tapping on the ears to spin the assembly in the hub helped loosened it up.




I sanded the area with emory cloth and used too much anti-seize thinking it would help loosen things up next time, but it eventually coated the speed sensor and threw a code (C1235/35 = Foreign Object is Attached on Tip
of Front Speed Sensor RH). :oops:




The stock hub assembly I removed spins easily but sounds dry and loose. The Febest 43550-42020 hub assembly I installed (it's the same part for both sides) is harder to spin but is smooth and tight.



Installation is the opposite of removal. First put the bolts through:



Hang the shield:



Tighten down the new hub assembly:



Mount the rotor:



Slide the caliper over the rotor and bolt on (don't forget to retrieve the bungee cord you used to hang it!):



Mount the wheel, lower the jack, torque down the lug nuts and the axle nut and pop the wheel cover on. Done! The "wah-wah" sound when driving is now completely gone. :thumbs_up:
 

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Thanks for the great pictures and detailed steps. Here are a couple observations from my replacement of the front wheel bearing.
1. If you don't already have a 30 MM socket buy the Lisle kit that has the socket plus the lock nut removal tool. It will be a real time saver. I broke the tip off a screwdriver trying to pry out the notch and the tip stayed wedged in the slot. Had to drill it out.
2. I used a 3-jaw puller to try to pull the bearing out but the bearing was so rusted in place that all the 3-jaw puller did was push in the axle. Make sure the bearing is actually coming out as you tighten down the nut on the puller. If the bearing isn't coming loose use a hammer on the lobes of the bearing by the bolt holes to loosen it up. It may take some persuasion.
 

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Thanks for the great pictures and detailed steps. Here are a couple observations from my replacement of the front wheel bearing.
1. If you don't already have a 30 MM socket buy the Lisle kit that has the socket plus the lock nut removal tool. It will be a real time saver. I broke the tip off a screwdriver trying to pry out the notch and the tip stayed wedged in the slot. Had to drill it out.
2. I used a 3-jaw puller to try to pull the bearing out but the bearing was so rusted in place that all the 3-jaw puller did was push in the axle. Make sure the bearing is actually coming out as you tighten down the nut on the puller. If the bearing isn't coming loose use a hammer on the lobes of the bearing by the bolt holes to loosen it up. It may take some persuasion.
I haven't done a RAV4 yet but have done a whole lot of Fiat 128s years ago (they use a 30mm nut too!) and both of my F-250s so here are a few added tips:
1. I use a long thin prick punch to release the dimple in the nut.
2. I wouldn't try to remove a stuck bearing with the 3-jaw puller - would only use it to remove the shaft and keep it from coming out and breaking the ABS sensor. Putting too much pressure on the puller jams the axle shaft into the transmission possibly damaging it or the inner joint. Would be best to remove the sensor to keep it safe (but the dust shield may be in the way). In any case be gentle, the sensor is expensive.
3. In fact I've never used a puller at all. Just tapping on the end of the shaft pushes it out of the bearing.
4. The bearing can be unstuck by a combination of hammering on the back of the disc (with a block of wood as a buffer), hammering on the bearing bolt heads and wedging a chisel into the mating surfaces. Remove the disc from the old bearing after its off the car.
 

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I just wanted to drop a big fat thank you as this thread is still useful and relevant 6 years later. Instructions here are better and clearer than all of the YouTube videos I have watched.
.
 

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I just used these instructions as a very successful guide in my replacement and as a pay it forward I will add my experience with each step.

My notes and comments will be inline and bolded

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
-Coat hanger
-Schley Products 65420 Toyota Lexus Axle Nut Unlocking Tool
-3 Jaw Puller (7 ton more for the size than the weight.)

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.

I strongly recommend using the Schley Products 65420 Toyota Lexus Axle Nut Unlocking Tool for this step as it was the one step that scared me about this process. Be sure to flair out the notch as much as possible. I would work on it, take a break, and spray WD-40. epeat till I was sure it was good to go.

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.

Unless you are 1000% sure that you have hammered out that notch, don't use an impact gun to back out that nut. I had the luxury of living in Texas and not having to deal with rust. I used a breaker bar and it broke free fairly easily, the ease with which it continued to turn told me I had knocked out the notch sufficiently. I don't think an impact gun will give you this level of feedback and you could potentially munge up your threads which would be a bad thing.

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.

I skipped removing the break line nuts and cut about 9 inches of wirehanger and bent it into an "S" shape and hung the brake assembly off the suspension spring.

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.

I don't live up North and I recently had my rotors machined so it pretty much fell off with no effort.

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.

This was a failure for me. The hub simple did not want to come off. I felt like I was gonna accidentally hit something else important while hammering so I got a 3 Jaw Puller and it slide off like hot butter.

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.

Hopefully our combined experiences will make for an easier time for someone else.
 
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