Removing stuck wheel bearing assembly

I’m attempting to replace a front wheel bearing and hub assembly on a 2004 Chrysler Sebring. I’ve removed all the hub bolts and all other more external components. I’ve tried hammering the assembly, reinserting the bolts partially and hammering those, a slide hammer, liquid wrench…

Any other tips?

I have never had a problem removing hub bearing like yours by backing off all the through bolts to about .050" clearence and smacking them each with a brass hammer, then backing the bolts out uniformely 2 turns and smacking them again, then repeating until there was clearence for a cold chisel to be inserted and used to wedge the bearing assembly out. Removing the steering knuckle and using a press will certainly unstick the bearing but luckily I’ve never seen a bearing that wouldn’t somewhat easily tap out. Did driving on the bolts not give any indication of moving the bearing?

I have a slide hammer to pull hubs off but I rarely get to us it, no rust here.

Those bearing/hub assemblies can be a bear to remove because they rust into the steering knuckle.

I’ve sometimes had to resort to heating up the steering knuckle with an oxy/acetylene torch to get them removed.


I’m assuming butane or propane torch would be insufficient. Right?


Too much mass for the amount of heat that’s produced.


When all else fails, the smoke wrench…

If you dont have access to a Shop Size Oxy Acetylene setup…which is understandable if you arent a Pro… You can go to Sears Hardware and or Home Depot and buy a Nice little Oxy / Propane or MAP gas setup I believe it is made by Benzomatic… Hell here is the Link

Its a nice small little rig… You simply screw on one Oxy tank and then either screw on the other canister (I use MAP as its Hotter still)… Its a small torch setup that costs about $60 bucks at Sears HW or Home Depot… It will hit approx 2700 degrees…which will be JUST FINE for what you are doing.

SOMETIMES…All the fiddling you do on the first day without a torch loosens the bearing up for Round two on the second day…With simple spray lubes aplenty…just soak the Hell out of the assy before you go to bed… the next day…try again with a baby sledge Hammer and Pound that Bearing assy out of there… Hit it on the left side…then right…sort of walk it out of there.

If you buy the small Oxy Torch setup I referred you to…Simply heat that baby up…and proceed with the Baby sledge hammer…and it will come out of there… The bearings that bolt in can sometimes be a bear…but they always come out in the end… Heat or no Heat.

HEAT is MUCH BETTER However…well worth the money spent…and you will have a nice tool afterwards that has many many uses beyond this job.


Having endured this twice on a GM truck residing in the rust belt, I feel for you. My bearings were attached like they were cast from the same pour of iron. I removed the entire knuckle and placed it in a hydraulic press and divorced the bearing from the knuckle with force and swear words.

I did find a YouTube video where a guy used all-thread and a nut to push on the back side of the wheel flange and the front side of the knuckle to press the bearing off. Search YouTube if you don’t understand my description. A little press force combined with a bit of hammer action and maybe even a little heat should separate those two. Good Luck!

I was also going to mention the effectiveness of a 20 Ton Press… I thought if the Op didnt have Heat…the Press was a Moot point as well.

Oh there are many many Super Effective ways to approach a stuck bearing like this. One overlooked item is the Good Ole AIR CHISEL… Its not just a Chisel anymore kids. The vibrations from the chisel can often loosen stuck wheel bearings of this nature. The ones that usually get stuck are the pressed in type…ive cut my fair share of those off using a small cutoff wheel on a Dremel tool…the only type of cutoff wheel that would fit inside the bearing race…once you cut a slot in them…they basically fall right out.

The problem here is that rust has made the bearing swell up in size…and things can get properly stuck when that happens… Use lots of spray lube…vibration…from either a Sledge Hammer or Air Chisel etc and it will loosen this stubborn character in time. This is when you dont have the option of HEAT that is.