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Re: Front hub and bearing assembly questions (more (archive)

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Posted by Jon on April 18, 2002 at 13:22:35:

In Reply to: Front hub and bearing assembly questions (more) posted by pete on April 18, 2002 at 12:16:14:

I did this. It's not too hard. As far as strength and durability go, I would bet that the actual hub assemblies are identical except for the ABS ring. Even if they aren't, I see that the 535i and M5 hubs are the same and if a hub is strong enough for either of these cars, I'm sure it's strong enough for the lighter M3.

Aside from the regular tools, you'll need:

- a 46mm or 1-13/16 socket
- an impact wrench or breaker bar
- a 250 ft-lb. torque wrench
- a fairly large 2 or 3 jaw puller (3 is better but I did it with 2)
- a socket that matches the inner race for tapping the new bearing on. (I can't exactly remember how this worked but see my note below)
- a chisel to dent in the new axle nut
- Blaster PB, Wurth Rost-Off, or equivalent for the allen bolt on the brake rotor (maybe)

Everything was straightforward except for pulling the ABS rings off. Here's what I did for each hub:

1. Loosely bolted the hub to one of my wheel spacers using 4 long lug bolts.

2. Inserted a pry bar between the hub and the spacer thereby covering the hole in the center of the hub. This gave me something in the center of the hub for the center of the puller to push against. I used a pry bar because it was thin enough to fit yet strong enough to take the pressure.

3. Attached the puller and pulled the ring off.

Note on tapping the new bearing on:
I actually used the old inner race against the new one. I think I used a socket against that. If you do this, make sure you don't tap it on too far because you don't want the old race getting wedged on there (I'm not sure if this could happen but you wouldn't want to find out). Just tap it until you can get the nut threaded on a bit (I think the manuals say 1/4 of the threads).

I don't know if you needed all this advice but I personally hate going into a job without any seems to happen a lot.


Okay, only five more days until I put my M3 on the road for the spring/summer. I noticed last season that there was a slight vibration from the front passenger bearing and as I feared I will need to replace it. I have read in the past that one "cheaper" solution to purchasing a new E30 M3 front hub and bearing assembly is to purchase a 535i Front Hub Assembly and swap the existing abs ring. I was wondering if anyone out there has done this and whether or not the 535i front hub assembly is as strong as the original E30 M3 assembly. There is a considerable price saving in doing this (approximately $200), but I want to ensure it is not a short term savings.

Thanks for any assistance you may have in this matter. Please email me directly and or post here with your input.


'88 M3 Alpine
'84 VW Rabbit (winter beater)

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