Wrangler TJ wheel hub / bearing assembly replacement


Staff member
On a Jeep Wrangler TJ, the hub bearings (also known as wheel bearings, or unit bearings) are a single sealed unit – this makes replacing them fairly easy, but does make things more expensive, since you have to replace the entire unit. Below I’ll go over how to replace them.

How do you know your hub bearings are bad? Normally you’ll hear a grinding, hum, or roar coming from a front wheel. You may also get some wobble, if the wheel bearings have too much play in them.

Replacing the hub bearings is a pretty straight forward process, and can be done in your driveway with regular hand tools (the only exception being a 36mm socket). I choose to use Timken hub bearings simply because I’ve read so many positive reviews.



This is an exploded view of a Wrangler TJ wheel hub.


  1. So, to get started, just jackup your Jeep.

  2. Remove the wheel and brake caliper, being sure to support the caliper (don’t let it hang from the break line).

  3. This is what the hub / bearing assembly looks like

  4. With a pair of pliers, remove the cotter pin


  5. With your hand, pull off the retainer

  6. Here is what the cotter pin and retainer look like

  7. Remove the wheel nut. Air tools make it easier.

  8. Remove the washer

  9. Remove the three bolts holding the hub assembly on (I've backed them out a bit in the two photos below).


  10. Pull the hub assembly off with your hand

  11. At this point we begin reassembly. Make sure you install the brake shield facing the correct way, or else you’ll have to take everything apart again (ask me how I know).

  12. Install the hub assembly, and tighten the three bolts that keep it in place.

  13. Put the washer back on

  14. Replace and tighten the wheel nut

  15. Replace the retainer and install a new cotter pin, and put the brake rotor back on.

  16. Re-install the brake caliper

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Sealed bearing units certainly are more expensive but they speed up the job and make packing bearings passé . At least you remembered to replace the castellation nuts , I got upper , lower joints and both bearing units and forgot to buy the castle nuts. Wish I was a member then , would have been fresh in my mind . Pictures worth a thousand words . Great post ! Well done sir !

P.S. - I learned to install the backing plate that way to !
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I'm not sure if this is where I am supposed to type, but here goes. I don't understand Trackbacks or parsing. Are you sure that it is legal?????!!

I have a 1995 XJ with a slight rumble from the front RHS which could be a bearing. I am familiar with the Range Rover set up (2 opposing big taper roller bearings) but not the Jeep.
Can you advise if the procedure above is good for an XJ and how to identify what axle I have?
Can the bearings be replaced seperately or do you have to change the full assembly?
Can you advise the Timken part numbers for each option since where I live (Spain), it might be easier just to get bearings?
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I believe you want the Timken 513084. You can see it on amazon here

This procedure should be similar to your XJ.
You appear to have a sealed hub assembly, so you can't just repack the bearings yourself, like we did in the old days. Now you just replace the entire unit.

Hi Terry
Thanks for the advice. I shall have to trawl the dreaded internet as local suppliers don't recognise Timken numbers. Initial searches show many variants, so I'll have to be careful with the numbers.
Just for info I have attached the Range Rover steering hub. The bearing bore is about 2ins and the CV joint runs in oil within the knuckle (centre of pic). Far more truck-like.

My greatest sadness in recent years is the demise of the grease nipple and a screwdriver slot you can adjust stuff with.

QUOTE If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? Albert Einstein


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Sure glad you posted a picture of the front hub assembly of your jeep .
the axle in this jeep , from the Range Rover , is completely different from a Dana 30 open knuckle axle . You could not order parts for a traditional jeep Cherokee XJ as we are accustomed to here in the United States . If parts numbers cannot be gotten from the axle ( possibly stamped on axle tubes ) , you'll have to find out what year vehicle this axle originated from .
I don't know much about jeeps produced for foreign consumption or if this was produced in Europe under license but if it were originally built with that axle from the factory , there should be records from a dealer or at least on line regarding parts numbers of the axle assembly and/or its related parts . Your jeeps front axle is a closed knuckle design and dosen't appear from the photo posted that it has anything at all in common with the Dana 30 open knuckle design we are accustomed to here in the U.S. . I'm afraid the Timkin parts numbers won't apply to your jeep .
Real interesting set up though . If you wouldn't mind , we would sure like to see some more pictures of the jeep . Body , engine and drivetrain would be nice . Would like to say , it appears to be an awesome design ! Love to know more about it !
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Thanks for your help. When comparing the XJ to the Range Rover there is nothing in common except they are 4 x 4s.
My XJ was built in Toledo South Plant, Ohio in 1994. It spent its early life in Japan where they do not keep cars for long. It was then imported to the UK when I bought it from quayside auction. I have had it since 2005.
From what I have discovered so far there does not seem to be anything different from any other XJ except for a swing out spare wheel on the back door. This is not seen on UK Jeeps. It has been a really good car.
If you are interested I can put something together on the Range Rover but please can you advise where to post it, I am still a newbie round here.


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