Wheel Bearing Replacement/Repacking on a CJ


Staff member
What's a wheel bearing?
Wheel bearings basically let your axle spin freely, by reducing drag. They are usually made up of rollers (or bearings) that are pressed in between two rings.​

Why would I want to replace them?

Over the years, your wheel bearings can wear down. The truth is that you probably won't need to replace them, but instead repack them. Repacking a bearing just means to gut more grease in it.​

What you need

  • 4 wheel bearings (two inner and two outer)
  • some bearing grease​
  • a wheel nut socket (I had to order this from 4wd Hardware)​
Last edited:

Wheel Bearing Replacement/Repacking on a CJ - The install

This is performed on my 1985 Jeep CJ7​

<TABLE width="100%" border=1><TBODY><TR><TD></TD><TD>You start the install by jacking up your Jeep, and removing the wheel. Remember to be careful when jacking up your vehicle.</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>Now, you need to remove the brake caliper. Start by loosening the two torx bolts (these should be T-45)</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>The two bolts won't come all the way out, just unscrew them until the caliper is free on the rotor</TD></TR>

<TR><TD></TD><TD>It's easiest to get the caliper off by prying as shown in the picture</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>now, pull off the brake pads</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>Now, you have to pull off the hub</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>Every time I tried to loosen the bolts, the rotor would spin. I solved this problem by wedging my jack handle in the lugs as shown in the picture</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>Once you get the hub off, you need the pull off the small C clamp. it's on the end of the axle, and easy to overlook</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>this is what the C clamp looks like</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>Now you need to loosen the main wheel nuts</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>This is the giant socket that I had to order from 4WD hardware.</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>First you take off the outer wheel nut, then you will find a washer, another nut, just like the first, and finally another washer.</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>Once you have the nuts off, you can just pull on the rotor, and it should just slide off the axle</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>This is what the axle looks like after the rotor is off</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>Now, you need to get the wheel bearings out of each end of the rotor. They should come out easily, but you may need to pry them out with a screw driver</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>This is my old seal and bearing. You will need to replace the seal (sits on top of the inner bearing), the inner bearing, and the outer bearing.

</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD>To get the seal in place, just tap it in with a hammer. once you get the bearings in, tighten up the inner wheel nut as tight as you can, then back it off until the wheel spins freely, then continue putting everything back together.

nice walk-thru. I have an 76 cj. how is the best way to keep the hub from spinning and get the spindle nut off on the rear axle? Counter torque using a stud nut?Put the tire back on ,parking brake and in gear?A special tool?
I took a piece of angle iron and drilled a hole in it so I bolt it to 1 lug and put a nut on the other then rotate it till the angle binds against the 2nd lug nut then just wrench away at it. I can post up a picture but it should be easy to figure out.

I always remove the locking hubs, remove the outer wheel nut and loosen the inner wheel nut a 1/4 to 1/2 turn before jacking the Jeep up.
Torque the wheel bolt before placing the Jeep on the ground again, because you will need to spin the hub while tightening the main axel nut. Then reassemble the locking hubs and torque them to specifications.
Great stuff! For 2 months, I am really wondering on how can I possibly replace them by myself. Again thanks for this post.
Last edited by a moderator:

Re: Wheel Bearing Replacement/Repacking on a CJ - The install

having trouble removing the caliper on my '81 cj7. Do you have any good advice or links to how-to videos?
Great walk through. I got my cj all apart and now am trying to track down parts. Unfortunately I own Frankenstein. Parts from many jeeps and many years are making this a real challenge. I also have no clue what I have, or how much it is worth. Know anyone that can help?
Re: Wheel Bearing Replacement/Repacking on a CJ - The install

First time n the site, please bear with me if I am doing something incorrect

These are great instructions for repacking/replacing the front wheel bearing on your Jeep. Is there anything different that I should be aware of since my old 74 has drum brakes in the front? I am trying to keep it as original as possible.

Thanks Jim