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Old 04-14-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
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Wheel Hub Assembly *HELP* - 97 Jetta


I have posted this on a VW Vortex website as well, but figured I would get it out to the another forum in case I can get help here as well.

Recently, I went to my local auto shop and had them do an inspection on a Jetta, that I recently purchased. I was having them check the suspension and they came up with that I need to have the Wheel Hub Assembly replaced along with the bearings. Now he did say that my passenger side front hub is barely hanging on and he doesn't know how it's still on. I can only take the mechanics word for it.

Today, I attempted to replace the hub but got to a point that I needed to search online for the next step.

ANYWAYS.................I got to thinking. How do I know that my hub assembly really needs replaced? I went to the drivers side of the car and tried to wiggle the tire and it doesn't move a whole lot. It wobbles slightly but I am not sure how much wobble is TOO MUCH. When I drive the car, I hear no noises that would alarm me. I haven't heard any grinding or squeals or anything of the sort.
Can I tell "visually" if a hub is bad?

Here are some pictures of the hub assembly. This is as far as I got since I can't figure out how to remove it completely..........Can you see anything from the photos?

http://s804.photobucket.com/albums/y...enger%20front/

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Last edited by crankbait09; 04-14-2012 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:08 AM   #2
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Wheel Hub Assembly *HELP* - 97 Jetta


crank, ANY wobble is too much wobble. With the car jacked up, grab the wheel by the sides and push straight in, then pull straight out. If there's any movement at all the bearings and hub need to be replaced. Best thing to do is buy the parts, remove the knuckle and take it all to a shop with a press. It can be done DIY with some blocks of wood, a punch, a couple big impact sockets, and a sledge, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Sorry I didn't see your posts about this car sooner, haven't been around here much lately. I restored a Cabrio for my daughter a while back, same A3 platform as your Jetta. If you'll let me know which problems you haven't resolved yet, I might be able to help with some of it.

The best money you can spend on this thing is about $65 for a Bentley service manual. Haynes, etc., are almost worthless on these cars except for some routine maintenance. If you watch Amazon, sometimes you can find good used Bentleys for about half price.

Also, there are several good VW salvage yards on Ebay with good used parts at very reasonable prices. Just stick with the ones that clearly identify the donor car and offer a warranty.

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Old 04-15-2012, 07:51 AM   #3
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Wheel Hub Assembly *HELP* - 97 Jetta


hmmmmm, then the mechanic wasn't lying to me, cause it does wobble. Although not a lot, wobble there is.

as for the manual, I haven't ever seen a Bentley manual. I do have the Haynes and the details or lack there of, don't help a whole lot in this. Why is the Bentley manual better? Can they be found at libraries??

Well I will be continuing this process over the next few days and if I run in to any problems, I will definitely post them here

thanks for your help!!
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:09 AM   #4
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Wheel Hub Assembly *HELP* - 97 Jetta


well, actually, rocking tire on the car with hands on 3 and 9 is not wheel hub test. it is tie rod ends test, along with tie rods and some other STEERING components. for true test, both wheels must be up in the air. this is simple test ANY alignment shop does, or should, perform, before attempting alignment.
rough hub bearing test is rocking tire with hands on 6 and 12. RBF is right here - most cars do not tolerate any play there, as hub bearing is SUSPENSION AND STEERING component, and play in resultsin, usually: knocking noise in extreme turns; car "snaking" on the road at higher speeds, or moving like a snake by itself; "death wobble", or severe front end shake, if a bump is hit on a road, at high speeds, with steering slightly turned off to the bad bearing. All this is due to high centrifugal forces developed by wheel/tire assembly.
Normally, takes about 30 minutes rookie job to replace one DIY. Biggest hindrence is breaking center bolt loose. Knowing Germans though, they might have complicated it beyond any reason easily.

Sure thing:
removal & installation



1990-94 Cabriolet, 1990-93 Fox, 1990-92 Golf and Jetta
Without Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)

NOTE
The hub and bearing are pressed into the knuckle and the bearing cannot be reused once the hub has been removed.


You have to remove steering knuckle, press bearing out(any tire shop) and press new one back in (same).

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/rep...00c15280267edf
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:40 PM   #5
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Wheel Hub Assembly *HELP* - 97 Jetta


FWD hub bearings aren't a 30 minute job even for a pro. I can do one in about an 1.5 hrs, but I have a tool to press out the bearing without removing the hub. It's called "Hub Tamer" and works well. It still takes a bit of time even with it.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:24 PM   #6
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Wheel Hub Assembly *HELP* - 97 Jetta


I ran in to an additional problem while trying to get my hub off. I have all bolts removed except ONE.
Here is a link to the bolt that still needs to be removed.

The other two bolts in the area came right out, but this nut/bolt just spins. I have tried to use vice grips to hold it, but nothing. It looks as if this nut is supposed to be part of the metal piece but some how came apart. There is no hex head to it at all, but rather one complete circled head.

How do I get this bolt out?

Last edited by crankbait09; 04-15-2012 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:13 PM   #7
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I can't tell which bolt you are talking about. Can you point to where it is or describe what's around it?
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:30 PM   #8
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my bad, I thought I circled it in RED.....let me check on it
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:35 PM   #9
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try it now........

http://i804.photobucket.com/albums/y.../Brokennut.jpg
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:53 PM   #10
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Wheel Hub Assembly *HELP* - 97 Jetta


Quote:
Originally Posted by crankbait09 View Post
I ran in to an additional problem while trying to get my hub off. I have all bolts removed except ONE.
Here is a link to the bolt that still needs to be removed.

The other two bolts in the area came right out, but this nut/bolt just spins. I have tried to use vice grips to hold it, but nothing. It looks as if this nut is supposed to be part of the metal piece but some how came apart. There is no hex head to it at all, but rather one complete circled head.

How do I get this bolt out?
Yep, the nut was originally welded to the retaining plate. One of many design flaws on these cars, IMO. You're taking the right approach holding the nut with vice grips and turning the bolt from below. You might try heating it first, but if it still won't come apart you'll have to use a nut splitter or cut the bolt. It would be best to get a new retaining plate, but you could get away with just replacing that nut and bolt with hex as long as the other two are still good. Be sure to mark the position of the ball joint to the control arm before removing it so you can reinstall it in the same position.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:07 PM   #11
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Wheel Hub Assembly *HELP* - 97 Jetta


Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
well, actually, rocking tire on the car with hands on 3 and 9 is not wheel hub test. it is tie rod ends test, along with tie rods and some other STEERING components. for true test, both wheels must be up in the air. this is simple test ANY alignment shop does, or should, perform, before attempting alignment.
rough hub bearing test is rocking tire with hands on 6 and 12. RBF is right here - most cars do not tolerate any play there, as hub bearing is SUSPENSION AND STEERING component, and play in resultsin, usually: knocking noise in extreme turns; car "snaking" on the road at higher speeds, or moving like a snake by itself; "death wobble", or severe front end shake, if a bump is hit on a road, at high speeds, with steering slightly turned off to the bad bearing. All this is due to high centrifugal forces developed by wheel/tire assembly.
Normally, takes about 30 minutes rookie job to replace one DIY. Biggest hindrence is breaking center bolt loose. Knowing Germans though, they might have complicated it beyond any reason easily.

Sure thing:
removal & installation



1990-94 Cabriolet, 1990-93 Fox, 1990-92 Golf and Jetta
Without Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)

NOTE
The hub and bearing are pressed into the knuckle and the bearing cannot be reused once the hub has been removed.


You have to remove steering knuckle, press bearing out(any tire shop) and press new one back in (same).

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/rep...00c15280267edf

Reread my post, didn't say anything about "rocking at 3 and 9".

The reason I suggest the "push/pull" method is because I've found on these cars you can sometimes detect endplay before there's any significant wobble. Obviously, this particular car is beyond that point.

Agree on the Germans over complicating things. They should have stuck with the old air cooled. And on this generation of VW I think a lot got lost in translation between them and the people in Puebla who built the cars. Que?
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:08 PM   #12
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Wheel Hub Assembly *HELP* - 97 Jetta


Quote:
Originally Posted by ratherbefishin' View Post
Be sure to mark the position of the ball joint to the control arm before removing it so you can reinstall it in the same position.
I am not completely car savvy but what exactly am I supposed to be marking and how?

Can you see it on the photo I am referring you too?
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:40 PM   #13
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Wheel Hub Assembly *HELP* - 97 Jetta


Quote:
Originally Posted by crankbait09 View Post

as for the manual, I haven't ever seen a Bentley manual. I do have the Haynes and the details or lack there of, don't help a whole lot in this. Why is the Bentley manual better? Can they be found at libraries??


You might be able to find one in a library. There's a used one at Amazon right now for $35. If you plan to keep this car, I highly recommend it.
Why is it better? Well, it's about five times thicker than a Haynes, so if you finally get frustated and give up, you can get a lot more wipes out of it.

Seriously, though, it's a pro quality complete service manual.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:45 PM   #14
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Wheel Hub Assembly *HELP* - 97 Jetta


Quote:
Originally Posted by crankbait09 View Post
I am not completely car savvy but what exactly am I supposed to be marking and how?

Can you see it on the photo I am referring you too?
Just mark the position of the retaining plate to the control arm. I'd scribe it since you have all that penetrating oil on it already.
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:11 AM   #15
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Wheel Hub Assembly *HELP* - 97 Jetta


Take a dremel and grind opposite surfaces flat, that will give the vice grips something to grab.

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