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Questions and Answers

Dodge Caravan Front Wheel Bearings

Q. I have a 1992 Dodge Caravan, 3.0 liter, automatic transmission and 190,000 miles. There is a growling from the front wheels. My mechanic told me the bearings, left and right, are going bad and need to be replaced. This would involve a replacement of the "hub assembly" on both sides, $100.00 apiece, and $200.00 labor.

Dodge Caravan Front Wheel Bearings

Can I do this work myself? I'm handy and have replaced pads, rotors, starters, alternators, and such before. Does it require special tools or superhuman strength? Tell me I can save $200.00?

Bradley

A. You can save $200.00 if you are up to the task. I'll outline the procedure and then you can decide if you are up to the challenge.

This hub and bearing assembly is being used on certain extended wheelbase Caravan, Voyager and Mini Ram Vans. This unit is serviced as a complete assembly, and is attached to the steering knuckle by four mounting screws that are removed from the rear of the knuckle assembly.

Removal

  1. Remove cotter pin, nut lock, and spring washer.
  2. Loosen hub nut while the vehicle is on the floor with the brakes applied. The hub and drive shaft are splined together through the knuckle (bearing) and retained by the hub nut.
  3. Raise vehicle.
  4. Remove hub nut, washer, and wheel and tire assembly.
  5. Disconnect tie rod end from steering arm.
  6. Remove clamp bolt securing ball joint stud into steering knuckle.
  7. Remove caliper guide pins and separate caliper assembly from braking disc. SUPPORT CALIPER WITH WIRE HOOK AND NOT BY HYDRAULIC HOSE. Remove brake rotor.
  8. Separate ball joint stud from knuckle assembly. Pull knuckle assembly out and away from drive shaft. NOTE: Care must be taken not to separate the Inner C/V joint during this operation. Do not allow drive shaft to hang by inner C/V joint, drive shaft must be supported.
  9. Remove the four hub and bearing assembly mounting screws from rear of steering knuckle.
  10. Remove hub and bearing assembly. Replacement of the grease seal is recommended whenever this service is performed.
Dodge Caravan Front Wheel Bearings

Installation

  1. Install new hub and bearing assembly and tighten screws in a criss-cross pattern to 45 foot pounds. CAUTION: Knuckle and bearing mounting surfaces must be smooth and completely free of foreign material or nicks.
  2. Position new seal in recess.
  3. Assemble tool and install seal. CAUTION: During any service procedures where knuckle and drive shaft are separated, thoroughly clean seal and wear sleeve and relubricate BOTH components.
  4. Lubricate the full circumference of the seal (and wear sleeve) with Multi-Purpose Lubricant.
  5. Install drive shaft through hub, then install steering knuckle assembly on lower control arm ball joint stud.
  6. Install original (or equivalent) ball joint to knuckle clamp bolt, torque to 70 foot pounds.
  7. Install tie rod end into steering arm, tighten nut to 35 foot pounds torque and install cotter key.
  8. Install brake rotor.
  9. Carefully lower caliper over braking disc and guide hold-down spring under machined abutment on knuckle assembly. Install guide pins and tighten to 18-26 foot pounds. When installing guide pins, use extreme caution not to cross the threads.
  10. Install washer and hub nut after cleaning foreign matter from threads.
  11. With brakes applied, tighten nut to 180 foot pounds.
  12. Install spring washer, nut lock, and new cotter pin. Wrap cotter pin prongs tightly around nut lock.
  13. Install wheel and tire assembly. Tighten wheel nuts to 85 foot pounds.

This is just an outline, if you get a Chiltons Manual it will have the complete procedure, with diagrams, that might be better for you to work from.

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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