Last night I finished the removal process of trailing arms, rear wheel bearings and stub axles from the 2002 in my garage. The job was not nearly as tough as I had heard. The 36mm axle nuts were a piece of cake to remove (3/4" breaker bar sure helped!) and I found that as long as you have the right TOOLS - the job doesn't have to be a nightmare.
Essential tools for those who don't appreciate pain:
bearing drift/driver. These are sold as a kit with several different aluminum disks for removing or installing bearings. About $28 bucks - great for front wheel bearings too!
small sledge hammer (for application of a little "tough love")
big plastic faced mallet (won't mar the stub axle threads!)
2 or 3 arm puller for hub removal (hang it on your garage wall - and everyone will know you're a "real" gearhead.)
18" - 24" large prybar ( I have a "special" name for mine - which I prefer NOT to share in this public forum.) ;-)
vice grips - the last resort evil tool for rear shock removal.
8mm, 13mm,14mm, 16mm, 17mm, 19mm, 22mm, 36mm wrenches and sockets.
high quality spring compresor(s)
brass or steel punch about 8" long and at least a 1/8" flat tip.
***The single most important thing to remember when doing ANY rear subframe / trailing arm removal or service - is to take a good long look at how it's assembled - and find EVERY part that might be under load or spring tension.*** ie: removing the shock while the car is on jackstands, without the spring first, will cause the trailing arm to slam down as the spring "unloads"- causing untold havoc! If you do remove the shock - support the trailing arm with a floor jack FIRST!
I'll post the first steps of rear bearing removal in a later post. We'll make this sort of an old time serial story!
Trust me - it's a cinch!
Maximillian Importing Co.