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I've never done a wheel bearing before. I would prefer to save the wheel hub if possible. I don't have a press but they look pretty simple to make so I thought I'd give it a try. Basically two steal u-beams connected by two threaded rods.

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The more difficult problems are how to use it:

  1. I need to get the knuckle straight on the press.
  2. I need to craft a plate to fit over the bearing so the press has something to push against.

Do you have any advice on how I can do this? I'm trying to do this as cheap as possible. Ideally I won't have to buy anything other than the materials to create the press.

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    I have done this in the past with two large steel rings and a big hardened bolt with nuts and washers... scary if the bolt breaks. I find it easier to take the part to a garage and use their press - but then, I have a good relationship with them... Also, drilling into each of the bearing rings (inner & outer) and then busting them with a chisel works - nicking the edges with a grinder gets the drill started... – Solar Mike May 24 at 4:54
  • I decided to take it to a shop. I don't have time for messing around with something that has a good chance of not working and a good chance of injuring me. Oh well. – user875234 May 25 at 1:23
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That press you have won't get the job done, you need 10-20 ton large press.

I have done that type in a big vice on a large stout workbench , long large tapered punch or iron workers alignment bar, 5lb hammer and the appropriate sized impact sockets.

I clamped the part with 2 holes (clamp the machined surface) in the vice, snap ring side side up, use the hammer to really tighten the vice. Stick the punch through the hole on the opposite side and block the end of the tapered punch up from the bench to make it fairly level so the assembly cannot pivot downward toward the bench when you start wailing on it with the hammer. If the bench the vice is on is not stout enough you will get too much rebound and you may not get the bearing out, I always used a heavy steel home made bench, 3/8-1/2 thick steel plate top.

Pick a deep impact socket that is slightly smaller than the inside of the wheel bearing, (use the new bearing figure that out.)

Place the socket on the inner hub and start hitting it as hard as you can, it takes a while but it will push out. Keep checking the vice is kept tight. If it does not move get a bigger hammer. I always had a helper when doing these.

Once out you can remove the snap ring and use a larger socket to push or hammer the bearing out from the other side. Once the bearing is out, clean the snap ring groove and bearing hole, lube the hole, lube the new bearing on the outside and press it in, put in new snap ring. then press (or hammer) the spindle into the new bearing while using a large socket on the other side to support the inner bearing race so you don't damage the snap ring or the new bearing.

This is the only way I have ever done this type since making a press jig for the assembly would require a machine shop and welder.

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As @moab says, you're gonna need a bigger press.

Consider; you can build a press. That's going to be some heavy plates and thick threaded rods. You'll have a homemade tool, with no guarantees that it will take the pressure, and you'll still have purchased a bottle jack and the materials to make the press. It's unlikely that you'll have that quality of equipment lying around in the shop.

Or, you could buy a 12-ton press (or better, a 20ton press). Not a cheap option for a one-off job.

Or... you could buy the correct tool for servicing wheel bearings. The cheapest option, the safest, and no need to even take the hub off the car to do the work. And once you've finished with it, you can always sell the kit to offset the total cost of the job.

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