Passat B5.5 Front Wheel Bearing Replace Using Puller Kit

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Passat model: B5.5 Highline
Location: Harrogate

Passat B5.5 Front Wheel Bearing Replace Using Puller Kit

Post by BIG F@ TW@ » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:17 pm

OK, before I start this is not an instructional guide, it's purely to show how I did the bearing on my car. You replace the bearings on your car at your own risk.

Before attempting this job I had only ever changed a wheel bearing on my 1971 Type 3 Squareback about 20yrs ago. However I am comfortable attempting these jobs as I do 'most' of my own work.

I had seen the bearing puller kits mentioned on here by another member ct.p so I decided to have a go myself. I purchased said kit and the bearings needed and needless to say my first attempt at the drivers side wasn't as successful as I had hoped, this ended with me both threading the puller tool and then breaking the threaded puller bar due to some basic errors. In the end I had to remove the knuckle assembly and take it to my local mechanic to remove the hub that I had jammed in the bearing (due to the bearing being pressed in successfully the wrong way round!) and then press the hub in correctly.

However I am happy to make mistakes on my own car especially if it's the first time I have done the job as this is the only way to learn. I was determined to do the passenger side correctly.... which I did!

I decided to create a How-To as there wasn't much info out there on how to use the bearing puller/press kits at home, and the downfalls to look out for.

So here is my attempt at showing how I did the job on my car, it took approx 2hrs, and tools required were various sockets/spanners 32mm socket, 28mm socket, 18mm socket ,16mm socket and spanner, 2 x breaker bars. 17mm Hex Bit for hub, Plus the usual hammer/mallet/coffee/tea/biscuits etc

So this is what I did.

Whilst car is on ground slacken off the wheel bolts and hub bolt
Chock rear wheels
Remove front wheel
Use a pair of axle stands to support car.
Undo brake caliper 2 x 18mm
Hang caliper from shock spring (taking care not to twist brake pipe
Remove disc locking screw if fitted (could be allen key bolt)
Remove brake disc
Remove hub bolt
Undo track rod end from knuckle assembly
Remove pinch bolt (be prepared to fight this if it's never been removed before)
Hub should now flop forwards so you can remove CV joint with ease.
You could also remove the two lower control arms instead of the top two, but I knew my pinchbolt was good from previous work.
Once CV joint is out you can temporarily put the track rod and upper arms back, this holds the knuckle assembly in place.

Remove 4 x 8mm or 10mm bolts (sorry forgot which size) holding brake backing plate onto assembly. (These are usually crusted up so be prepared) so I used a rounded nut socket set.
Pull out ABS speed sensor (doesn't need to come far, just enough so you don't damage when pulling bearing etc)
Drift the hub spindle out from the rear of the hub using a socket (I used a 30mm). You could also use a standard hub puller here if you have one. Ensure the socket isn't too big that it touches the bearing, you only want it to push the spindle.
It's a little fiddly but it does come out and usually with the bearing outer race attached (more on that later) Although my drivers side came out cleanly which was a bonus.

Now's the time to pull the bearing:

Looking at the diagram this shows the correct way to use the kit. However due to the nature of doing the work on the car and not in a workshop, I found that putting the drive bolt and nut the other way worked fine, allowing me to wrench on the nut from the wheels side of the hub.
Use the largest sleeve.
Grease the threads and the washers etc well as these need help, alternatively you can use a thrust washer between the nut and the drift to aid the rotation and reduce friction. (Link below)
I used the 955-17 sized drift on the bearing, pass the bolt through with washer, and used the largest sleeve and sleevecap on the outer hub. Attach the nut and hand tighten squarely. It's 28mm socket at the back and 32mm at the front, breaker bar on each and start tightening the bolt drawing the bearing through.
Keep going until the bearing has popped out, congratulate yourself and have a brew and a Penguin.
Clean up the inner surface of the hub and ensure the edges are nice and smooth ready for the new bearing to be pressed in. I used some fine grade wet and dry to remove the light pitting and rust.

Pressing new bearing in:

I found that gently tapping the bearing with a hammer working opposite sides like 3/9/6/12 on a clock face helped to get the bearing started nice and squarely. I measured regularly to ensure it was square. (very important otherwise there's a risk of damage)
Once happy it was starting squarely I installed the press as shown.
Lubricating the bearing as I go I started to wind it in and it went it very easily.
Drive all the way until the bearing hits the seat.

Removing the old bearing inner race from hub spindle:

As I don't have a legged bearing puller I had to use a cutting disc on a grinder.
I secured the hub in a vice and cut 2 diagonal grooves/cuts on either side of the race, taking care to not cut too far through as I didn't want to damage the spindle face.
Then simply using a chisel I tapped the race off the spindle with a couple of taps. I was expecting it to fight me but it didn't (which is nice for a change)
I checked the spindle for any damage and there wasn't any so I cleaned it ready for re-installation.

Pressing hub into bearing:

I found that using one of the end caps 955-09 over the end of the hub worked well, this then helped to keep the hub centred whilst it was getting pressed. I used 955-17 drift at the rear to ensure the bearing was secure.
It's important to ensure that you use the flat side of the drift against the bearing, this ensures you are not pulling on the inner race.
The picture top left shows for illustration purposes how I set this up.
Carefully wind the hub into the bearing, this should not be too difficult, and keep going until it rests flat against the hub. Make sure you visually check the rear of the bearing to ensure the inner race it has not been pushed through.


Remove the top arms and track rod end from knuckle and then refit the CV joint into rear of hub.
Refit the two top arms and track rod end and secure with bolts.
Refit the backing disc (I used new allen bolts), push the ABS sensor home and ensure it's not catching on the sensor ring by spinning the hub and listening for it catching, it it is just pull it out slightly.
Attach brake disc and securing screw.
Bolt brake caliper back on.
Screw hub bolt back in hand tight or with ratchet (this will be torqued up once car is on the ground)
Put wheel back on and drop down off axle stands.
Hub will need to be torqued to 115 N.m / 85 ft-lbs and then another 180 degrees after that.

This is the kit I used: ... ect=mobile

All in all the kit is perfect, I'm glad I did the job as after the mess I made of the drivers side I really wanted to do it right hahaha. I know there are many other techniques and ways to do the same job, but I'm happy with this and I hope this might help someone else in the future as reference.

Thrust Bearing Link: ... 1089180217

My first attempt at removing/installing drivers side: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=95030

PS. I'm sure I might have missed something, or not used the correct terminology but hopefully it's all there in the pics.


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Last edited by BIG F@ TW@ on Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:45 am, edited 11 times in total.

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