How to Change a Rear Wheel Bearing on a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire

by Robert Moore

    On some vehicles you can replace a wheel hub or the wheel bearings separately, but this isn't the case for your 2000 Pontiac Sunfire. The rear wheel bearing, wheel hub and wheel speed sensor are contained in a single unit that isn't serviceable. This makes replacement a bit easier, albeit a bit more expensive, versus a traditional bearing setup. You don't have to pack the bearings with grease or adjust them in any way. The wheel hub assembly is between the brake drum and backing plate.

    Items you will need

    • Wheel chocks
    • Breaker bar
    • Floor jack
    • Jack stands
    • Socket set
    • Ratchet
    • Ratchet extension
    • Box-end wrench set
    • Wire brush
    • Torque wrench
    Step 1

    Park the vehicle on a flat, level surface and kick a set of wheel chocks around the front wheels. Release the parking brake. Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel to be serviced, using breaker bar and socket. Lift the rear end with a floor jack. Place a jack stand under the pinch weld – indicated with an arrow – on each rocker panel, just in front of the rear wheels. Lower the floor jack until the rear end sits securely on the jack stands. Leave the floor jack in place for extra safety.

    Step 2

    Remove the wheel and tire from the vehicle. Grasp the brake drum and pull it off of the wheel hub and backing plate. Tap around the edges and in the center of the drum with a rubber mallet, if the drum is difficult to remove.

    Step 3

    Follow the pigtail from the back of the hub to its connection at the wiring harness, then squeeze the locking tab and disconnect it. Rotate the wheel hub until the hole allows access to the top left bolt. Remove the top left bolt with a socket, ratchet and ratchet extension. Remove both bottom bolts in the same fashion.

    Step 4

    Rotate the wheel hub so that the hole is positioned for the top, right bolt. Prevent the bolt from spinning with a breaker bar, ratchet extension and socket, while you remove the nut with a box-end wrench. Slide your index finger through the hole in the hub and press it against the bolt. Pull the hub away from the backing plate. Slide the bolt out of the wheel hub.

    Step 1

    Turn the hub on a new wheel bearing until the hole is aligned with the top, right mounting hole. Slide a bolt into the hub and hold it in place with your index finger. Guide the wheel hub onto the backing plate. Install the nut on the bolt and tighten it snug.

    Step 2

    Install the remaining three bolts through the hole in the wheel hub. Tighten the bolts to 44 foot-pounds with a torque wrench, ratchet extension and socket. Hold the nut stationary with a box-end wrench while you tighten the top, right bolt. Connect the ABS pigtail to the wiring harness.

    Step 3

    Clean the mating surface on the drum – the area around the stud holes – with a wire brush. Align the stud holes with the wheel studs and slide the drum onto the wheel hub. Install the wheel and tighten the lug nuts snug.

    Step 4

    Lift the rear end off the jack stands and remove them. Lower the vehicle. Tighten the lug nuts to 100 foot-pounds in a crisscross pattern.

    References

    • Prodemand.com: 2000 Pontiac Sunfire; Components; Wheel Bearing; Removal and Installation
    • Prodemand.com: 2000 Pontiac Sunfire; Service Manual; Common Specs and Procedures; Specifications