How to fit a front wheel bearing on a Vauxhall Meriva

How to fit a front wheel bearing on a Vauxhall Meriva

Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket (UK) explains how to fit a front wheel bearing on a Vauxhall Meriva 1.4 Gen 1.

The Vauxhall Meriva is a compact MPV that is engineered and produced by the German manufacturer Opel. The generation 1 version went on sale in May 2003 until 2010, when the Meriva generation 2 was introduced. In this article we’re replacing the N/S/F wheel bearing on a generation 1 Meriva, so we can give some handy hints and tips to aid independent garages with such repairs.

Recommended labour time: approx. 2 hours. FAG part number installed: 713644080.

The type of bearing used is a conventional generation 1 bearing with no ABS encoding rotor built in, so the bearing can be installed in either way. The bearing has to be pressed into the hub where damage can occur if carried out incorrectly.

For this repair the workshop equipment we used was a two-post ramp and hydraulic press with mandrels. Other special tools used are large internal circlip pliers and a die grinder with a cutting disc. If the vehicle is fitted with locking wheel bolts, it is advisable to locate the key before starting the repair. Place the vehicle on the ramp and, before raising the vehicle, slacken the wheel bolts and, more importantly, slacken the hub nut.

On this particular car we removed the wheel trim and then removed the hub nut split pin to slacken the castellated hub nut. Raise the vehicle to waist height and remove the wheel. The hub nut can then be fully removed with its washer.

Now remove the brake calliper and tie it to the suspension strut or spring to stow safely and not strain the flexible rubber brake pipe. You should then remove the brake pads, the brake calliper carrier and the front brake disc which is retained with a small Torx screw. Carefully remove the ABS sensor and stow safely out of the way. We’re now in a position to unbolt and remove the hub assembly

Remove the track rod end retaining nut and disconnect from the hub (a ball joint splitter may be required for this) and then remove the bottom ball joint bolt; the bottom arm can then be levered down to disconnect the bottom ball joint. Pull the hub assembly outwards and remove the outer CV joint from the hub before removing the two lower strut bolts that hold the hub assembly to the strut (ensure these have no camber adjustment on them but, if so, mark the position and carry out a wheel alignment after the repair) (see Fig 1), and remove the hub assembly.

Remove the bearing

Bearing Replacement - Vauxhall MerivaWe’re now in a position to remove the bearing. Firstly we need to press out the drive flange; you should support the body of the hub assembly on the press, giving clearance for the drive flange to be pressed out. Now use a correct size mandrel to press on the drive flange, ensuring it will pass through the inner race of the bearing (see Fig 2). Press the flange out of the bearing, noting that there is a high chance that one half of the inner race will stay attached to the flange. If this is the case there are many ways to remove this, but a tried and tested method is to securely hold the flange in a vice and cut a groove in the bearing race with a cutting disc in a die grinder to weaken the race (being careful not to mark the drive flange).

Bearing Replacement - Vauxhall Meriva

Once a groove has been cut, a chisel or air chisel can be used to crack the bearing race and remove. Now remove the internal circlip from the hub assembly using the correct size circlip pliers (see Fig 3) – the bearing can be pressed out. Support the hub assembly, ensuring clearance for the bearing to be pressed out. Using the inner race to press on, you should then press out the bearing.


Bearing Replacement - Vauxhall MerivaOnce the bearing has been removed, take the time to check that the hub profile is perfectly round and not damaged. The outer race of a bearing will always take the shape of the hub it’s being pressed into, so if the hub has been damaged or is not perfectly round it could cause the bearing to fail prematurely.



Bearing Replacement - Vauxhall Meriva
Ensure the circlip groove is clean (clean it with a wire brush, if required) and then place the hub assembly on the press, and press the new bearing on the outer race, not on the inner race; this will ensure that the pressing force is not being transmitted through the balls or rollers in the bearing, but only through the outer race (see Fig 4). Press the bearing up to the shoulder and now the new circlip can be installed (see Fig 5) then support the underside of the bearing inner race and press the flange into the new bearing (see Fig 6).

Bearing Replacement - Vauxhall MerivaThe hub assembly is now ready to be fitted back on the vehicle. Refit in the reverse order, ensuring all bolts are torqued to the manufacturer’s specification and replaced, if required. When the wheel has been fitted, the car can then be lowered to the floor and the hub nut torqued and the split pin fitted to the castellated nut. Always remember to press the brake pedal a couple of times to ensure correct adjustment, as the brake calliper has been removed.Bearing Replacement - Vauxhall Meriva





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