I need to replace the bearing and hub for my 4runner (4wd). I have already replaced the rotor and brakes before. I believe this part replacement is basically the same (just one step further which involves removing the wheel hub and bearing assembly).

My question is: Is the replacement the same for 4wd vs not 4wd, and if I've already done the rotor replacement is it basically very similar to replacing the bearing and hub?


Several suppliers sell a hub and bearing assembly. While more expensive it makes replacement a one trip job. There is no need to bring the assembly to a shop to have the hub removed and installed from the bearing. It does appear that once the rotor is removed you have access to the four bolts that retain the bearing to the knuckle. It will also require the axle nut to be removed. That said, be aware that the bearing to knuckle fit is tight. The bearing assembly may come out with a few taps with a hammer. It may also require heating with a torch, use of a slide hammer or gear puller. Of course there is no way to tell until you start taking it apart.

  • So, with the hub+ bearing assembly, it's just a matter of removing the 4 bolts and the axle nut. That was my original understanding. Basically this job is just removing everything up to the rotor, then the rotor itself, then a few bolts, then the axle bolt? Replacing the whole assembly, then putting the whole thing back together? I guess I should have clarified, I intend to replace the whole assembly (~150). Instead of paying 600 at the dealer – William Falcon Jan 12 '15 at 13:32
  • Basically, is the 4wd replacement different from this (what I intend to do). m.youtube.com/watch?v=BVuM8iVO6u8 – William Falcon Jan 12 '15 at 14:02
  • remove the axle nut first with the vehicle on the ground. Have an assistant step on the brake. This will prevent possible axle joint or trans damage from the torque needed to remove the nut. – mikes Jan 12 '15 at 15:47
  • Awesome. Great tip. I'm going to try it out. From the spec I've seen, I don't believe I have to remove the drive shaft. So this should be 1 degree more difficult than changing the rotor. – William Falcon Jan 13 '15 at 0:55

It is definitely not the same between a 4x4 and a 4x2 vehicle. The major difference between the two is that in a 4x4 application, there is the drive shaft which runs through the middle of the hub. You have to remove this in order to get to the bearing. 4wd is much more involved than a 2wd. Not knowing which year of vehicle you have, I cannot tell you exactly how they differ, but needless to say, there's a bunch. Replacing the rotor for the breaks is a pretty straight forward operation. Depending on the setup, in order to change out the bearings the additional steps may (or may not) include (but are not limited to):

  • Removing the drive shaft (as I mentioned)
  • Removing the steering knuckle (breaking the upper/lower ball joints)
  • Pressing out old bearings
  • Grease packing the new bearings (if needed)
  • Pressing in new bearings
  • Reinstallation of the knuckle
  • Alignment of front end after assembly

There may be other things involved as well. Without the Year/Model of your vehicle, this makes it a little harder to pin point the steps needed.

  • 2008 toyota 4runner. It seems that for the bearing, I have to remove the rotor, then the next piece to be removed is the hub/bearing assembly. Either way, it sounds like it may not be as simple as the disk rotor replacement? – William Falcon Jan 11 '15 at 3:41
  • Yes, what I was suggesting as things to be done is above and beyond that of rotor replacement. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 11 '15 at 4:47

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