Changing Front Wheel Bearings on 86-92's

Mazda, for some unexplained reason, made changing 86-92 front wheel bearings "impossible" and they only offer the complete front hubs, with new bearings, for an outrageous price.

The bearings ARE changeable, although extra work is required, and we DO sell the bearings.

Inner bearing is part number 33-0470-B001
Outer bearing is number 33-0750-1391-MV
Seal is part number 33-065A-FB01

"Normal" bearing swap tools needed: hammer, punch w/flat end, bearing grease, etc.

"Extras" needed: rotary file - with a flat end, and something to turn it - drill motor, die grinder, etc.

"Special" tools that make life easier: carbide rotary file with a reverse taper (gets smaller toward grinder), high speed die grinder, bearing installer tools, bearing packer.

Front Hub on car Normal starting place - need to remove caliper, bearing dust cap, cotter pin, and axle nut. Remove rotor from hub (not all rotors have the two locating screws).
Front Spindle With rotor and hub removed, be sure to inspect spindle for any damage done if bearing was spun on axle.
Bad Bearing Race Nice example of very bad bearing race.
Cleaned Front Hub This is hub after old grease has been cleaned. Shows how Mazda did not leave any notches to remove the outer races (of the inner and outer bearings) from the hub. Close-up of Hub
Grinding Notches This shows how to grind the notches in the aluminum hubs behind the outer races using a rotary file and die grinder.
2 Notches Done Grind two notches for each race, 180 degress from each other, deep enough to get the punch behind the race.
Removing Races Drive the races out, using punch and hammer, alternating between the notches (normal bearing race removal)
Races Out Be sure to remove ANY burrs that would keep the new race from seating all the way down.
Installing Races Bearing installers make life easier, but punch and hammer work also.
Bearing Packer We prefer this type of bearing packer - it is not very expensive, works very well, manually operated, and is portable. There are many other types that work also.
Finished Hub Finished hub, with new seal installed, ready to go back on car.
The purpose of this FAQ is to show the notch grinding. Reassembly of the front hub, rotor, and caliper is "normal".


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