2003 gmc envoy_slt_xl
Thanks for your responses. I changed both front wheel bearings today. Took about three hours. First one was slow because I was being very cautious about what I was doing. Once I removed the three bolts securing the bearing hub, it slid out easily. The second one was a bit of a pain in that is seems it was quite stuck. But eventually it came loose.
Tool recomendation was very handy and all went well. Very easy job all in all. I main bolt holding everything in place is a 36MM and all others are 18MM as eeehabt stated.
I did find, however, that the right front tie rod is shot! I wonder how easy this is to replace.... Probably not as easy as the bearing!
Is the tie the inner or the outer? If it's the outer one, its change is pretty easy, but you need do extra work after you've done it.
1- Lift the front of the truck and secure it. (right & left)
2- Align The steering wheel to the center.(how it drives forward without drifting right or left. (Important to remember the exact posture of the steering wheel)
3- Get a tape measure and note down the distances between the front wheels from the front side and the rear side. Don't panic if you find a slight difference. This is normal. Usually it's 2-3mm narrower in the front. (See picture)
4- Get someone to apply the brakes and you remove the wheel nuts of the side you're gonna work on.
5- Get two open-ended wrenches and loosen the lock nut on the tie. (Size differs according to model)
6- Remove the nut on the ball joint.
7- Use the ball joint removing tool to loosen it and free it (Preferable if available). If it's not available, get a heavy hammer and start knocking the part holding it until it is freed. (I hate using the hammer for such jobs).
8- Hold the inner tie rod with a press grip and turn the outer one loose until it's removed. (get rid of it in the nearest garbage can)
9- Fit the new one in its place and only tighten the ball joint nut.
10- Return the wheel and tighten the nuts.
11- Return the steering wheel to the exact posture you set it at before you removed the wheel. It must have moved while working)
12- turn the inner tie rod and keep measuring the distances between the front wheels until you restore the original distance. (Important to have someone help you keep the steering wheel in the correct posture when you measure it)
13- Tighten the lock nut and lower the truck down.
14- Test-drive it. If it drifts to the right, increase the distance between the front wheels at the front side. If it drifts to the left, decrease the distance. Apply the adjustment to the side you worked on. Don't interfere with the intact side.
This way you won't need to go to an alignment workshop and pay money for a job you can do with a tape measure.
A picture of the ball joint remover tool is down.
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