Toyota 4Runner 1996-2002: How to Replace Wheel Hub and Bearings

If you're hearing weird noises or feeling some vibrations coming from the front of your 4Runner, it might be time to replace those worn out bearings. This article will show you how to get it done right.

By Brett Foote - February 10, 2016

This article applies to the Toyota 4Runner (1996-2002).

Worn wheel bearings can oftentimes be hard to detect because they can exhibit a wide variety of symptoms. Noises coming from worn bearings can run the gauntlet from snapping, clicking, or popping noises to grinding, humming, or even clunking. You might also experience a vibration or wobble coming from the wheel, a pull to one side, uneven brake or tire wear, and vibrations at speed. Replacing the front wheel bearings and hub isn't a terribly difficult job, and replacement parts can be had without breaking the bank as well. Keep reading and we'll walk you through the process.

Toyota 4Runner How to Replace Wheel Hub and Bearings

Materials Needed

  • 54mm or 2 1/8" socket
  • Wheel bearing/hub kit
  • Jack and jack stands
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Bungee cord
  • Pliers

Step 1 – Remove brake components

Jack the front of the car up and place it on jack stands. Remove the front wheels. Use a flat head screwdriver to remove the dust cover. Remove the brake caliper bolts with a 12mm socket and wrench, then hold the caliper with a bungee cord to prevent brake line damage. Remove the brake rotor. If the rotor is stubborn or difficult to remove, you can spray some penetrating fluid in between each bolt and the hub, then tap between the bolts with a hammer to loosen it up.

  • Removing dust cap on wheel
    Figure 1. Remove the dust cap.
  • Removing brake caliper bolts
    Figure 2. Remove the brake caliper bolts.
  • removing brake rotor
    Figure 3. Remove the brake rotor.

Step 2 – Remove wheel hub and bearings

Use a pair of pliers to remove the pin holding the hub in place. Remove the bolt from the center of the wheel hub with a 54mm socket. Remove the bolts holding the wheel bearing assembly in place and then pull the assembly off. This will likely also prove difficult, so you might need to use penetrating oil and a hammer and/or chisel to get it off. Just be careful not to damage anything while doing so.

  • toyota 4runner wheel bearing hub DIY how to
    Figure 4. Remove the pin from the center of the hub.
  • toyota 4runner wheel bearing hub DIY how to
    Figure 5. Remove the center bolt.
  • toyota 4runner wheel bearing hub DIY how to
    Figure 6. Remove the wheel bearing bolts.
  • toyota 4runner wheel bearing hub DIY how to
    Figure 7. Remove the wheel bearing assembly.

Step 3 – Install new wheel bearing and hub assembly

Slide the new wheel bearing assembly in place and replace the bearing bolts, then tighten them. Reinstall the center bolt on the hub. Slide the brake rotor back in place. Place the brake caliper back over the rotor and reinstall the brake caliper bolts. Reinstall the wheel as well as tire, and lower from the jack stands.

toyota 4runner wheel bearing hub DIY how to
Figure 8. Install the new wheel bearing assembly.

Featured Video: 4Runner Wheel Bearing and Hub Replacement

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