Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

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Notmikeb
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Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by Notmikeb » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:13 am

I wanted to replace the drivers side front hub bearing on my car and was left with the option of buying a press ($$$) or paying someone at a shop to press the bearing out of my knuckle for me. After calling around, the best price I got was $75 (!!!!).

I saw this bearing press set at Harbor Freight while picking up a strut spring compressor and decided to give it a shot.
http://www.harborfreight.com/fwd-front- ... 20provided

Works great! the basic premise is you have an adaptor that sits against the outer race of the bearing and a large cup that goes on the other side. A large bolt goes through the middle and by tightening the bolt it presses the bearing out or in depending on how you have it configured. The only thing it doesn't have a provision for is pressing out the hub itself but that knocked out fine with a socket and a hammer.

It was a little more than paying the mechanic to press it out but if I ever have to do the other side (or any other car for that matter) it will have paid for itself. Plus, it allowed me to buy more tools so there's a win right there :D

instructions said to use an impact wrench but I wanted to try with a breaker bar first since I didn't have an impact socket of the correct size and didn't want to chance blowing up my regular socket if it was really tight. I used my torch to heat up the knuckle first and it pressed out like butter! Super easy.

Anyway, nice alternative to a press for anyone needing to do this job in the future. I wouldn't be surprised if you could get a rental version from Autozone or a Pep Boys.
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1985 Tercel 5dr Hatchback
2003 Chevy Suburban
2014 Ford Flex

"I don't get it! I've cut this thing FIVE times now and it's STILL too SHORT!"

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Petros
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Re: Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by Petros » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:20 am

I have something that looks similar but instead of the mandrel and threaded rod it has a big steel striking handle. You hold it in place and whack the end with a small sledge hammer to drive out the bearing. I bought it at a garage sale for $5. it comes with several handles/anvils, and a lot of different size and shape of cups or driving tools, I have used them to drive seals too, using light tapes with a soft hammer. works well for removing old bearings, seals and races, but you have to be very careful using it to align it properly before you strike it or you can mare up the lip of the bore. The screw-in mandrel is easier to hold it in line and apply slow pressure to get it into place vs. the one I have.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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ARCHINSTL
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Re: Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by ARCHINSTL » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:47 am

@ Notmikeb:
Great addition to the Tool Talk Forum! Thanks!
Did you go with the clamshell HF compressor or the suicide sticks?
I got the clamshell back in 2007 (for $40) and was completely happy, although being 75, will prob never use it again, but perhaps my nephew will...but never my grandson ("What's a strut? Is it digital? Why do you keep moving that stick around in the console-why do I have to turn the handle to move the windows"). Ahhh, callow youth...
http://www.harborfreight.com/single-act ... 43753.html

My bucket list for 2016 is to replace the front bearings on Goldie, as well as to finally do the timing belt, unfortunately sidelined by a fractured left femur this Summer.
Geez, getting old is challenging!!!
Tom M.
P.S. Getting old sucks!
T4WD augury?
"Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit."
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rer233
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Re: Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by rer233 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:55 am

ARCHINSTL wrote:@ Notmikeb:

P.S. Getting old sucks!

Yeah, but it beats the alternative! ('Tho the older I get, the less sure I am of that statement.)
if it aint there, there's a good chance it won't break!
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85 SR5 Blue
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Notmikeb
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Re: Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by Notmikeb » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:02 am

I got the suicide sticks. You'll notice I am not posting a positive review of those. They work but man are they crappy. I think I could have cast that metal better in my garage. I have successfully compressed one spring but it was not a smooth affair. I may "break" them so I can return them and exchange for the one piece system. Seems a better design but I was feeling cheap after blowing $100 on the press kit.
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1985 Tercel 5dr Hatchback
2003 Chevy Suburban
2014 Ford Flex

"I don't get it! I've cut this thing FIVE times now and it's STILL too SHORT!"

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Petros
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Re: Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by Petros » Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:16 pm

I have also seen the clam shell spring compressors fail, or pop out. I have two sets of heavy duty suicide sticks, usually putting three on one spring at a time, seems to work okay, gives an extra back up. the best ones I have seen are used in some of the local shops, they are wall mounted and the whole strut gets mounted in it, and either a large lever arm, or a pneumatic cylinder, compresses the assembly. best one I have seen, costly but I hope one day to find one in an auction or used tool sale, so I can mounted it on my garage wall, and not worry about being injured every time I need to dismantle a strut.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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ARCHINSTL
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Re: Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by ARCHINSTL » Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:54 am

Well, I've only used the HF clamshell on Goldie, so dunno how they would perform on an F-350, so...
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
"Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit."
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
"Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."
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Re: Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by xirdneh » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:15 pm

I use three on a spring also
much more control and feels much safer
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

Notmikeb
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Re: Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by Notmikeb » Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:21 pm

I absolutely will use 3 in the future or get a better design. I had one compressor swing around from 6 o'clock to 9 o'clock on me when doing the second strut leaving 3/4 of the diameter unsupported. Got it done with the help of a tie down strap but was a scary few seconds. Made a point to not stand in the direction of potential launch for the entirety of the time as well :D
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1985 Tercel 5dr Hatchback
2003 Chevy Suburban
2014 Ford Flex

"I don't get it! I've cut this thing FIVE times now and it's STILL too SHORT!"

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Re: Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by irowiki » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:36 am

"Well honey, you wanted a sky light in the garage..."
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Petros
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Re: Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by Petros » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:01 pm

It is not just the roof that is at risk. forum member Synth got a trip to the emergency room using the "suicide stick" spring compressor, high quality ones I might add, not the cheap ones. He decided it was not worth trying to save money so he bought himself the hydraulic clam shell type spring compressor from harbor freight tools. He came over to get some springs off some junk struts I was giving him, when he used the clam shell on the second strut the seals blew out all at once and it became useless. though looking over the much more costly spring compressor, it really did not look like it would hold it any more securely, the advantage is it used a remote hydraulic pump, connected by a flex hose, to compress the spring and you did not have to have your hands on it.

that is when I started considering alternatives to either type, and remembered the wall mounted unit they had at the local Les Swab tire center. I have not found a souse for those. So I put three screw compressors on each spring, and a heavy duty cargo strap around the assembly is not a bad idea either, to hopefully keep it all contained should you loose the screw type compressor.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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Re: Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by marlinh » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:58 pm

Nice score on the bearing press. I made my own using 5/8 ready rod because the only source I could find north of the border was around $450. It works pretty slick. Over the years I save old bearings and such and was able to mix and match what I needed to do the job.

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lannvouivre
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Re: Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by lannvouivre » Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:36 am

This is very similar to the one I used to do the full set on the red Tercel and the front all-trac struts. It went well, and was easy to use. I only had to get Tom to help me once after he showed me on the first shock. Still terrifying. I saw pictures once of someone's hand; it got split open by a coil spring getting free. We're talking hundreds of pounds of very explosive force, here. Even the hydraulic wall-mounted ones can have a strut slip off, although then usually it just goes straight down.

At the local Toyota dealership, the shop compressor was damaged by people not making sure it was lined up properly and the top got bent up so bad that you could only put struts on it wrong. It was one like this.
But...did you try hitting it with a hammer?

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Petros
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Re: Harbor Freight FWD Hub Bearing Tool

Post by Petros » Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:05 pm

not really any good solution for the home mechanic that only needs to use it occasionally. perhaps putting a couple of cargo straps on it as a back up containment when using the normal "suicide sticks" might improve safety, but adds to the hassle of getting it apart and back together.

I might consider making one just sized to fit the Tercel strut, that contains it in a cage, wall mounted, and using over center lever that locks down. that way you can stand back while you undo/install the nut.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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