The Craftmans Shop > PowerSports

Bearing blues.


I have Ford Focus II. Two months ago I heard that rear wheel bearing was heading south and changed the rear bearing unit. Basically very simple, because it's complete bearing assy with ABS ring and all. It was all rusted. Had to turn every bolt back and fro, rust oil, steel brush and the works.

Now other rear bearing is letting out signals and both front bearings are just little bit iffy. Front bearings are GEN 2. type that needs some special tool to change. Just wonderng should I make the tool, buy one (170-400) or farm the whole thing out.



Re the front bearings:

I would farm it out.

I recently changed front left hand bearing on my Citroen Saxo. And, although I have done dozens of them over the years, I found it a real struggle.  So I got a local garage to do the other side. They charged 30 . So with the bearing cost of 25 the total was 85.  Well worth it.
Doing any job that need any tools you don't have means it is often cheaper in the long run to get someone who has the equipment to do it.

It will take you longer to make the tool than it will for a garage to do the job. And you may never need that tool again.


It would have been my first choice, but my favorite mechanic is taking two years of summervacation starting next week. He said he has no time for it, but could lend me the tool if I remove the buggers and go there...

Removal / assembly is pretty much like this, but this is older generation and easier (new one has no circlips, but harder to work with).

this model is closer, but some other issues:

The bearing type is HBU2.1 front bearing, SKF/FAG here 96-130 a piece:

The tool (cheap):

Why is there always annoying music on these clips? :lol:

Most of the YT videos on this topic seem to be wrong. Found one, where guy did it first all wrong and then almost right.

But I'm with you. Professional does it right in no time and I fight half a day. But now the other option on to take it Ford dealer, closer to 300 per side!


Rear bearing started to get louder and have been busy at the work and my favorite mechanic was busy too.

Decided to cut somer corners (in the end I ended up cutting the corners :doh:

Everything come out easy, but stuck on brake disc. I sprayed it with a rust oil and than heated it up with hot air gun, few hits with a mallet and it was still solid.  It was nearly 2100 and not wanting to annoy neighbours with cursing and bounding I got a bright idea of removing the bearing and brake disc as whole unit. Bolts looked rusty, but maybe impact driver would open them?

Bad decission! Two open fine, one opened 3 mm before driver stripped the head and last one felt like it started to open, but I stripped the head. I had panted myself in the corner. Decided to go to sleep.

Next day after the work I set up to remove the offending the brake disc: Some penetrating oil, heating up longer time and two good hits between the wheel bolts with a rather big hammer. Disc off.

I taped some pizza boxes on wheel wells to contain sparks and taped glass fibre blanket on side.

First I groun the most stuck bolt protruding tip off and though of drilling it out, but the wheel boss was on the way, I should have drilled trough it first. I abandoned the idea.

Then I desided to use cutting disc to chop trough the stuck bolt right between the bearing flange and disc shield. I though that I might ruin the sheet metal but would not cock up the swing arm. Worked like a charm.

I was able to pry the flange open for 2-3 mm, perfect space for hack saw blade and I sawed of the last bolt in a minute max. Phew!

Quick clean up, cup of coffee and it took longer to find all bolt torques from the manual than bolt all parts back!

Both rear bearings done and the wheel rumble type noice was gone, but now I can hear that front bearings are shot. Yep.


Changed both front bearings.

I did read Ford focus II Haynes manual, but it was not very usefull on front wheel bearing change. Good thing is that it has bolt/nut torgue table in it, that came handy.

1: I jacked upt he car, clogged rear wheels and put extra pair of stands under front end, therefore I could work both sides at the same time.

2: After removing the wheel, first priority is drive shaft bolt 13 mm AF, but impact driver opened it nicely.

3: Then I swapped AF socet and opened schock (strut?) clamp bolt, steering ball joint nut and lasttly brake support bolts fron the frame, I went this route, because I changed the barake calibres and rotor last autum, I knew it could come of as a pacage. Older rotors have grooves and you need to open sliding bolts frist and takae the brake pads away.

Front calibers are heavy it's important to support them. Brake discs come out easy. Then removing the ABS-sensor connector is easy, you have to know where to press, someone had been too eager wiht the other side and it has very little "keep" left.

4: Ball joints came out easy, and drive shaft came out easy too. But then I found that the gas strut clamp was tight. Gas struts were changed this spring, it's just a nature of it. Manuals suggests punding it (ABS sensor is near it) ot prying it with a screw driver...jikes. I scoured M12 hex bolt and 5 mm flat steel piece to use the screw on the split mout to open it.

ABS-sensor dit not move, I doused the mount on rust removal oil and let it sit all night. Next day it still did not move. I called and he told that it is very common. and his kit has a reliev for the sensor.

5: Took the asyy to shop and he had all the tools to change and two bearigs took almost half a hour to change, most of the time spent me making guestions and him answering to them. Operation itself was more intricate that normal press work, all clamshells and other parts had to be just goldilocks size for this bearing and mounted on right places.

Other bearing - righ side was perceptively rough, I could hear typical bearing noise when I was turnig left. The other was better, but normally they have pretty much same MTBF.

6: Assembly was easy, most time was spent on torquing the stuff and drinking watter, it was hotter day than normal. Only sligh inconvenice was to torque the drive shaf. I was told NOT to lover the car down before torquing, because that would seriously harm the bearing (probably rolling elemets dislocating, rear sleeve seems to be clamped by drive shaft).

Test drive showed that the bearing noise is gone, now there is tyre noise and nothing extra. I hope I'm not getting paranoid of listening all annomalities. Let's see how long they will last. I got FAG bearings, made in Slovenia.



[0] Message Index

Go to full version