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      01-16-2013, 11:36 AM   #29
Enlisted Member

Drives: '09 E92 M3
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Bay Area, California

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Originally Posted by M3PO View Post
Thanks for the follow up! Way to go! Did the axles come out easily for you? Did you disconnect any arms, remove the spring or unbolt the shock?
I didn't have any real trouble with anything. I used the Harbor Freight Tools bearing splitter (about $20) and was able to remove the hub from the axle. With my electric impact wrench, it was actually very easy/fast. Putting the axles back in the hub was more difficult though. I'll explain why below.

To remove the bearing (after the hub was out), I removed the upper suspension components. There are two aluminum suspension struts and the sway bar. I was able to flop the outer hub assembly out, and pull out the axle and set it aside. I then reinstalled the two upper aluminum suspension struts, and used the Harbor Freight Tools "Front Wheel Bearing Adapter" kit to remove and then reinstall. It was quite physical, and a very big crescent wrench is helpful. But the old one came out and the new one went in without too much trouble.

I was able to reinstall the central hub with the same tool, and it was also quite easy. The hard part is reinstalling the axle into the central hub. There is really no way to pull it in, and it would not go in far enough for the axle nut to have any threads to grab. So I ended up removing the axle from the diff, and removing all of the suspension components from the outer hub, and removing the whole assembly from the car. Sounds like a lot--but it actually comes out quite quickly, especially if you have an impact wrench. I then "pressed" the central hub by putting a 2x4 on the ground and pile driving the central hub onto the axle. A few knocks are enough to get the axle threads through, and then I draw it on the rest of the way with the axle nut and my trusty impact wrench.

Installing the whole axle/hub assembly can be tricky. I installed two of the upper aluminum struts to the hub, and then use really long extensions on my ratchet (acutually several of them) to get the axle mounted to the diff. Six bolts. (Note, I leave the heat shield off during this--though you'll need to Dremmel it so it can be installed with the central hub on.) If you leave the suspension connectors finger tight, putting everything back together is easier. Sometimes it is helpful to use a floor jack under the hub to get things to line up. Be careful with crossthreading the bolts for the aluminum struts.

I was able to do the entire job (one wheel) in about 3 hours.