How to replace a Wheel Bearing with magnetic encoder for ABS cars

Important points for fitting and removal


Please use suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) 

For model specific requirements, please follow car manufacturer installation instructions

In this video the focus is on the first generation type wheel bearing without a magnetic encoder seal. The example shown here is for a front wheel bearing from a Toyota Corolla.

Removing the knuckle from the car (1:00)

  • Remove the wheel cap and remove the wheel.
  • Remove the brake caliper.
  • Carefully hang the caliper out of the working area.
  • If it is hard to remove, screw a bolt into the exposed threaded hole on the disc to remove it.
  • Remove the speed sensor.
  • If rust exists, use a penetrating fluid to ease removal.

Tip: It is better not to use an impact wrench to avoid damage to the driven shaft

  • Now the drive shaft lock nut needs to be removed.
  • Unstake the staked part of the lock nut by using a screwdriver or similar tool. 
  • Loosen the drive shaft nut and remove 
  • Loosely fit the nut until it is flush with the end of the drive shaft

Tip: This helps to prevent damage to the drive shaft threads and is also a reason to discard the nut

  • To remove stearing-arm ball joint, first take out the split pin.
  • Loosen the ball joint nut.
  • The ball joint at the stearing-arm end is often secured to the knuckle very tightly.

Tip: In case the nut is rotating with the ball joint, press the ball joint further into the knuckle arm. The nut can now be loosened.

  • Use a dedicated tool and hammer it from above with care not to damage the bolt threads

Tip: If you don’t have a dedicated tool as shown, or a ball joint splitter, do not hammer the ball joint directly. It is possible to hammer the end of the knuckle mounting arm lightly to loosen and remove the ball joint.

  • Remove clip and nut for dismounting front suspension arm.
  • Remove ball joint of front suspension arm by using a dedicated ball joint splitter.
  • Loosen and remove the bolts which fasten the knuckle to the suspension. The knuckle can now be removed.

Removing the wheel bearing from the knuckle (3:12)

  • Insert a crowbar or something similar into the gap to avoid deforming the dust cover when removing the front axle hub.
  • Remove the snap ring from the knuckle.
  • Keep the knuckle horizontal on a support, put a suitable tool on the end face of the hub and remove the hub.
  • The inner ring must now be removed from the hub. Insert a separator into the gap between the end face of the inner ring and the hub.

Tip: For safe removal ensure that there is enough contact between the end face of the inner ring and the separator.

  • Pull off the inner ring. 
  • Alternatively it is possible to use a hydraulic press.

Tip: Keep the inner ring to press out the bearing in the next step.

  • Ensure the knuckle is supported safely and the bearing is in a vertical orientation.
  • Reinsert the removed inner ring.
  • Ensure the dedicated tool outside diameter matches the bearing inner ring.
  • Press the bearing out of the knuckle.
  • Always inspect the knuckle bore and the hub shaft for damage.
  • Clean the removed parts with a parts cleaner.

Tip: By cleaning the parts before assembly the mounting is less problematic and premature failure can be avoided.

Installing the new wheel bearing into the knuckle (4:40)

  • Due to the magnetic encoder on one side of the bearing, you need to pay attention for directing of inserting the bearing.
  • NSK recommends to use such a card to identify which side of the bearing has the encoder seal.
ABS, NSK Test Card, Magnetic encoder check

Tip: Avoid any damage to the encoder surface

  • Inside the seal there are many N+S poles which are read by the speed sensor.

Tip: Only remove the bearing from its protective packaging immediately before the fitting

  • The bearing should be inserted to the knuckle so that the encoder surface is adjacent to the sensor after assembly.

Tip: Do not put pressure on the encoder surface and keep it away from magnets or dirt.

  • Use a suitable tool that comes in contact with only the end face of the outer ring.

Tip: Outer diameter of tool < outer diameter of bearing.

  • It is important to keep the bearing aligned to the knuckle bore and press it vertically into the knuckle. 

Tip: Never press the inner ring to insert the bearing.

  • Make sure that the bearing is not inclined, and press it until correctly seated.
  • Insert a new snap ring.

Tip: The gap in the snap ring should align with the sensor mounting hole on the knuckle.

  • Avoid any damage to the encoder surface.
  • Keep the front axle hub horizontal.
  • Support the hub, so that the shaft is vertical.
  • By using a suitable tool, push on the end face of the inner ring.
  • Press the bearing until seated against the indicated position.

Mounting the knuckle (6:45)

  • Insert the knuckle assembly onto the drive shaft and suspension.
  • Tighten the knuckle mounting bolts to the torque value specified by the vehicle manufacturer. 

Tip: Torque settings can vary significantly between car models. Therefore check the manufacturer values. 

  • Attach the ball joint at the tie-rod end.
  • Tighten the nut to the specified torque value.

Tip: In case the nut is rotating with the ball joint, press the ball joint further into the knuckle arm. The nut can now be tightened.

  • Insert the split pin. Be sure to use a new one.
  • Mount the front suspension arm.
  • The nut must be tightened to the specified torque value. Use a new clip.
  • After fitting the new nut by hand, tighten further with a socket to ensure the drive shaft is seated.
  • The final torque setting will be done later when the car is on the ground.
  • Attach the speed sensor.
  • Mount the brake disc and the brake caliper.

Tip: Ensure the brake hose has not be twisted or damaged.

  • Mount the tyre and lower the car.
  • Now the car is on the ground, the drive shaft nut can be tightened to the value specified by the manufacturer.
  • Stake the nut into the groove of the shaft.
  • The replacing of the hub bearing with magnetic encoder is completed.


  • Depending whether the wheel is alloy or steel, there are various torque values and procedures. Please check carefully with the manufacturer`s instructions.
  • Before driving, press several times on the brake pedal to ensure the brake pads come in contact with the brake discs.
  • As the suspension has been disassembled, it is advisable to have the steering geometry checked.