How to make bearing repairs easier and more predictable with loaded knuckles
For professional installers, replacing a wheel bearing can be a hit-or-miss job. For do-it-yourselfers, it’s nearly impossible.
This is particularly true in rust-belt regions and coastal environments. Moisture, road salt and other debris can corrode the critical mating surfaces between bearings, hubs and the rest of the assembly. That makes the whole procedure unpredictable from the standpoint of shop time, and completely impractical if you don’t have specialized ship equipment.
Dorman’s OE FIX loaded knuckle assemblies fix this frequent problem by combining all the major components – suspension knuckle, wheel bearing, hub, backing plates, and in many cases the parking brake hardware – into one pre-constructed, ready-to-install assembly. No more soaking parts in penetrating lube, torching the hub or worrying about damage to other parts just to get to the bearing.
With no need to disassemble old parts, the most unpredictable part of this job becomes completely predictable. Eliminating the requirement for a hydraulic press to tear down the old knuckle also means almost any shop can now replace wheel bearings in-house, even if it doesn’t have a shop press.
That also means this formerly professional-only repair can potentially be done by vehicle owners in their own garage or driveway. Simply take off the corroded equipment and bolt on the new.
Dorman makes these pre-pressed assemblies for a wide range of vehicles, from Ford Explorers, to Toyota 4Runners and Tacomas. One of Dorman’s newer releases, for instance, is for Subaru Forester vehicles from 2002 to 2010. In addition to the usual challenges of swapping out a worn wheel bearing on these vehicles, the long lower mounting bolts for these assemblies sit largely exposed to the elements at the vehicle’s lowest point. Rust eventually develops around the bolt’s threads, making this hard-to-source part difficult, if not impossible, to remove without damaging or destroying it.
Available in left and right applications for vehicles equipped with either disc (part numbers 698-416 and 698-417) or drum (part numbers 698-418 and 698-419) rear brakes, each loaded knuckle for the Forester also includes a new lower mounting bolt as well as lateral arm bushing. Including this allows the original components to be sacrificed during removal should conditions call for it. For the technician, there’s no lost time pressing out bearings or waiting for additional parts to be ordered. For DIYers, it makes these even more complex job relatively easy.
You can learn more about these convenient solutions at DormanProducts.com/knuckles.