Replace Front Outer Bearing Race On Wheel Drum – 1966 VW Beetle Project

While removing the narrowed beam, I inspected the bearings and races on the front drums. They weren’t too bad, but not perfect either. I decided now was a good time to replace them since it was all apart anyway. What follows hopefully illustrates how to remove/replace the race from a drum. To learn how to remove the drums, read my previous blog post where I removed the shockless 6″ narrowed beam from the car.

The old bearings…



The old race, still installed in the drum (2 pictures)…



I used my shop press and a homemade tool to remove the old races. This homemade tool was needed in order to press them out. I went to the hardware store to buy a piece of steel bar, which I ground down to fit inside the drum.


In the picture below, you can see the notches that the tool must fit within. I’ve circled the inner race notch and outer race notch in this picture. This blog post shows removing the outer race only. The steps would be the same for the inner race.


Here’s what it looks like when the tool is seated in the notches, ready to push the outer race out…


Here’s a sequence showing the race being pushed out. In the first shot, you can see the race is still up in the drum.




Here’s the drum with the outer race removed. This actually shows the internal notches better than the earlier image in this post.


Time to put the new race in…


You’ll need a bearing race driver in order to press the new races into the drum. You can rent a bearing race driver set (usually for free) from your local autoparts store. The set comes with different size bases, which screw on to the handle. I chose the one closest in size to the bearing race outer diameter. You can see it’s just a tiny bit smaller than the actual race outer diameter. All set up in the press, ready to go…


Pressing the race down into the drum…



All done! The new race is now inserted in the drum…


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