Replacing the rear wheel bearings
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The grinding noise that I now recognise as worn wheel bearings was back, this time coming from the rear of the car. I jacked each wheel up and spun the wheels and I didn't have to listen to hard to recognise the sound of worn bearings.
Replacing the rear wheel bearings on a Mini is a lot easier than doing the front (assuming drum brakes on the rear). For one, there's no drive shaft to extract, and two, there are no ball joints.
Loosen your wheel nuts and jack the wheel up and place an axel stand underneath. Remove the road wheel, and with a flat-headed screwdriver, remove the hub cap. This is a pain to get off, but if you keep working around it with your screwdriver, it will finally pop out.
Remove the split pin and the hub nut. I had to go and buy another socket to remove the hub nut as my socket set did not go up to 15/16.
With the hub nut and washer removed, just pull off the rear hub. Remove the rear hard black plastic oil seal and begin the process of tapping out the bearings. I wanted to use a 12, 6, 3, 9 clock face tapping method, but there was only slots in the hub wall that allowed a 12, 6 tapping method to remove the bearings.
The bearings that I were replacing, were the ball bearing race type. The new ones were Timkin tapered roller bearings.
After both sets of bearings were removed, I inspected the hub's inner walls for wear, then I greased the new bearings making sure I kept the tapered bearings and outer casings paired up. I packed in as much grease as I could.
Fitting both bearings took time using a 12, 6, 3, 9 clock face tapping method, but they both went in nicely.
I refitted the oil seal, put the hub back over the shaft, replaced the hub washer and nut, and tightened the hub nut to 81nm as per the manual, before fitting the new split pin.
Then all you have to do is replace the hub cap and road wheel and you're done.
Definitely a lot easier than replacing the front wheel bearings, by a factor of ten!