1987 Dodge Caravan Hub Bearing Assembly Removal & Replacement

The 1987 Dodge Caravan uses a sealed hub and bearing assembly like most front wheel drive cars. The assembly is normally very durable, but failures do occur. To replace a hub and bearing assembly, you must remove the wheel, the brake assembly, and parts of the steering linkage. Since you need to remove the brake assembly, it is a good idea to plan to replace the brake pads and rotors if they are close to worn out. Plan on about three hours to replace both front hub and bearing assemblies.

Tools Used: Jack and Jackstands, Set of metric sockets, Set of metric wrenches, Helper, Wheel wrench, Pickle fork kit to fit the tie rod, Mallet

Remove & Replace Hub Bearing Assembly

Jack up the front of the vehicle and support it with jack stands. Use the wheel wrench to remove the front wheels from the vehicle. Remove the cotter pin from the center of the nut on the shaft coming through the center of the wheel. The cotter pin is a small piece of steel with a bent end to hold it in place. Remove the lock nut on the end of the shaft with a metric socket and remove the spring washer.

Loosen the hub nut on the axle shaft that extends through the wheel. Have a helper hold the brake to make this easier. Loosen the nut on the tie rod steering linkage and remove the nut. A cotter pin holds this nut in place. Insert the pickle fork tool between the tie rod end and the steering knuckle. Strike the end of the tool with several sharp blows from a hammer until the tie rod separates from the knuckle.

Remove the bolt holding the lower ball joint to the wheel. Remove the brake caliper guide pins by loosening them. Slide the brake caliper off the brake rotor and move it clear. Support the brake caliper with a bent wire hanger; do not let the caliper hang by the brake hose. Pull the brake rotor off the hub. Insert the pickle fork tool between the ball joint and the knuckle. Strike the handle with the hammer until the ball joint pulls out from the knuckle.

Remove the four bolts that secure the hub and bearing assembly to the knuckle. Pull the hub and bearing free from the knuckle and the axle shaft.

Install the hub and bearing assembly on the axle shaft and the knuckle. Tighten the bolts in a cross pattern. Lubricate a new grease seal around the circumference, and tap it into the knuckle with a hammer. Install the wear sleeve into the center of the knuckle after lubricating around the sleeve. Slide the axle shaft through the middle of the hub, and attach the ball joint to the bottom of the hub. Tighten the nut on the ball joint, and insert a new cotter pin through the castle nut.

Install the tie rod onto the knuckle, and install a new cotter pin through the castle nut. Slide the brake rotor on the hub. Install the brake caliper over the rotor onto the slides for the brake caliper. Guide the hold down spring under the guides on the knuckle assembly. Install the brake caliper retaining pins. Install and tighten the castle nut on the axle shaft at the center of the hub. Install a new cotter pin through the castle nut. Have your helper hold the brakes to make tightening easier. Install the spring washer and lock nut. Replace the wheel and tighten the wheel nuts. Lower the vehicle to the ground.

Tips & Warnings

Use motor oil or white lithium grease to lubricate seals and wear sleeves.

Be careful that you don't separate the inner and outer part of the constant velocity joint on the axle shaft. Always use care when jacking and supporting the vehicle.

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