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.
“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.
|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).
|With rotor and hub removed, be sure to inspect spindle for any damage done if bearing was spun on axle.
|Nice example of very bad bearing race.
|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.
|This shows how to grind the notches in the aluminum hubs behind the outer races using a rotary file and die grinder.
|Grind two notches for each race, 180 degress from each other, deep enough to get the punch behind the race.
|Drive the races out, using punch and hammer, alternating between the notches (normal bearing race removal)
|Be sure to remove ANY burrs that would keep the new race from seating all the way down.
|Bearing installers make life easier, but punch and hammer work also.
|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, 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”.