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How to Re-Tighten Wheel Bearing 92-99 Mitsubishi Montero

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How to Re-Tighten Wheel Bearing 92-99 Mitsubishi Montero

Created on: 2018-07-23

How to re-tighten a loose wheel bearing on 1999 Mitsubishi Montero.

  1. step 1 :Removing the Wheel
    • Loosen the lug nuts with the vehicle on the ground with a 21mm socket and breaker bar
    • Raise the vehicle with a floor jack
    • Secure the vehicle on jack stands
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Pull off the wheel
  2. step 2 :Removing the Wheel Bearing Lock Ring
    • Pry off the dust cap with a pry bar
    • Remove the snap ring with snap ring pliers
    • Remove the washer
    • Loosen the hub nut cover bolts with a 14mm socket and ratchet
    • Pop the hub cover off with a pry bar
    • Wipe excess grease out of lock ring
    • Remove the two Phillips screws from the lock ring with a #3 Phillips screwdriver
    • Pull the lock ring out with a right angle pick
  3. step 3 :Retightening the Wheel Bearing
    • Insert a spindle drive socket with a torque wrench to the wheel bearing
    • Torque the wheel bearing to 130 foot-pounds
    • Insert a spindle drive socket with a breaker bar to the wheel bearing
    • Loosen the wheel bearing
    • Insert a pick into the rotor for support
    • Spin the bearing clockwise until it stops
    • Insert a spindle drive socket and a torque wrench to the wheel bearing
    • Torque the wheel bearing to 18 foot-pounds
    • Insert a spindle drive socket with torque angle gauge and a torque wrench to the wheel bearing
    • Back the bearing off 30-40 degrees (to 330 on the gauge)
  4. step 4 :Reinstalling the Wheel Bearing Lock Ring
    • Match the slots on the axle with the points on the lock ring
    • Insert the wheel bearing lock ring into place
    • Tighten the Phillips screws to the lock ring
    • Insert the hub cover into place
    • Tighten the 14mm bolts to the hub cover
    • Torque the bolts to 38 foot-pounds in a cross pattern
    • Remove the pick from the rotor
    • Insert the flat washer into place
    • Insert the snap ring into place with snap ring pliers
    • Tap the dust cap on with a dead blow hammer
  5. step 5 :Installing the Wheel
    • Slide the wheel into place
    • Start the lug nuts by hand
    • Tighten the lug nuts preliminarily
    • Lower the vehicle to the ground
    • Double-check the wheel bearing
    • Tighten the lug nuts to 80 foot-pounds in a crossing or star pattern

Tools needed for replacement

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

    Cloth Rags

  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions

    Torque Wrench


    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    No. 3 Phillips Screwdriver

    Pry Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

    21mm Socket

    14mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

    Dead Blow Hammer

    Torque Angle Gauge

Installation Video
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Hi, I’m Mike from 1A Auto. We’ve been selling auto parts for over 30 years!

Took this Montero in for its annual safety inspection and it did not pass. I was told the lower ball joints had failed, so we wanted to bring it into the shop and check it out and make sure that the ball joints were failed and replace them if needed. It turns out, it does not need lower ball joints. The front wheel bearings are actually slightly loose and the truck was not making any noise, or grinding, or vibrations at highway speed. The very small amount of play is kind of normal on a truck like this where it has inner and outer bearings inside of this hub.

We can open this up and we can re-tighten them because they're not really worn out. They're just kind of worn in a little bit. If they were too far gone and making noise, we would replace them. But in this case, we're just going to re-tighten them and save some money. That should take care of the looseness in the suspension.

I'm going to rock the turn wheel side-to-side. There's not much play. It's just the normal amount of play that's in the drag link steering, but if we go up and down, you can see that the ball joint isn't moving, but the rotor is moving. It felt like a failed lower ball joint, when actually the wheel bearing was loose. Now we're going to put the vehicle on the ground, loosen the lug nuts, raise and support it, and readjust the wheel bearing. Normally, you'd have a chrome center cap here. This one's missing. You'd have to pop it off to get to these lug nuts. I'm going to use a 21mm socket and a breaker bar. I'm going to break all the lug nuts free before I put the vehicle in the air. Just go along, break them all free.

To raise and support the vehicle, you can use a jack and jack stands. We're going to use our two post lift. I'm going to use the lug nut socket to finish taking them off. Take the wheel and tire off.

We need to remove this dust cap. We use a small pry bar or you can use a large flat blade screwdriver. Just pop it off. I'm going to use a rag to wipe some of this grease away. There's a snap ring under here that needs to be removed. You can kind of see it. There's a washer. You don't want to lose the washer either. It's underneath the snap ring. Just bring the snap ring around here. It's right there at the top, the opening, and there's a little washer behind it. Take some snap ring pliers and spread it open. I'll try to spread it off carefully.

You don't want to use any screwdrivers or anything to pry this off because you can ruin the snap ring. Then just kind of gently pry it off and then carefully hold onto it so it doesn't spring across wherever you're working on the truck. Grab that snap ring and then there's a tiny washer here. I'm going to grab that too so it doesn't get lost. Put those aside so we can reuse them. I need to remove these six bolts holding on the hub flange. I'm going to use this punch. I'm going to put it into the rotor, put it against the brake, and then I can break these free.

The punch keeps it from spinning on me. Now I'll just spin out all the bolts. Get the last one out. Now pop this cap off with the pry bar. Slide it right off the splines. Use a rag to wipe some of this grease out. There's two small Phillips head screws inside here. Holding on this lock ring, so you want to make sure you're a good size Phillips head screwdriver. This is a number three. I'm going to get it in there and make sure I push right down on it, because these can strip easily, but they shouldn't have much torque because that one came free. This one here, just like that. Take them both out, don't lose them. You want to be able to reuse them. They're very small.

I'm going to use a small right angle pick and just pull this lock ring out. Just kind of get underneath it. It's probably stuck in there with the grease. Now we can reuse this too. I want to put it aside in a safe place. There's two holes in here. There's the threaded holes for those two screws and then opposite of those. They have some grease in them on the two holes that you use to tighten the bearing. We can see this bearing lock is pretty loose. It spins on here. If we spun it all the way off—You don't have to do this, I just want to show you what's inside here. If you took it all the way off, your wheel bearings are in here. They look like they have plenty of grease in there, so I'm going to reinstall this. By tightening this ring, you're setting the tension on that wheel bearing. If this is too loose, you have too much play. If it's too tight, it won't spin at all. That's pretty tight. But we're going to set it to the correct torque.

I have a spindle drive socket. There is a specific one for a Mitsubishi. We didn't have access to it, but if you take a three quarter ton GM one. Normally, it has four pins on it. You can grind off two and leave two opposite and they'll line up just about right. There's four holes, so two of the holes have threads in it. Those are the smaller holes for the screws. Don't use those holes, because you don't want to damage the threads. You want to use these bigger holes here and the tool's going to go in there and just kind of sit in here. You can see I'm loosening it and tightening it.

I'm going to torque it to... The factory specification is 129 foot-pounds. It's a little easier to just go to 130 on your torque wrench. I'm going to torque it to 130 foot-pounds and when it clicks I'll stop. Almost too close. Once it clicks, you're all set. This wheel bearing is currently over-tightened. You torque to the 130 to basically set it, and you can see it won't spin, so clearly that's not going to work. Now we need to back it off to zero torque and then we'll re-torque it to 18 foot pounds and then back it off to 30 to 40 degrees. I'm going to do 30 degrees on this truck, and that should be just enough play that it's within spec. Also, allows it to spin freely.

I'm going to use the socket again and the breaker bar now. Don't use your torque wrench. Torque wrench is not for removing things. There we go. Spin free. Now it spins freely, so there's zero torque in there. I'm just going to bring it back down till it stops, so there's less for me to spin. I'll torque this to 18 foot-pounds. Now I've switched to a smaller torque wrench that goes to 18 foot-pounds and I torque this to 18 foot-pounds. Doesn't take much. It'll go right there. It doesn't take much. You can barely hear a click. I'm going to use a torque angle gauge.

I'm going to get this thing set up here. Set up where it needs to be. Then we can put the little arm in there. I'm going to put the arm in here. Make sure I'm set to zero, and then we're going to back it off. It's not going to go to 30 degrees on this side, because you're not tightening it. It's going to go backwards. If zero is 360, we're going to go 330, so that's a 30 degree turn. Right there. It was 30 to 40 degrees, but because I want a little more tension because this bearing is worn in, I'm going to go to 30 degrees. I'm going to put the lock ring back in. The tab sits in there. If it doesn't—it's got tons of holes in it. It should line up with the threaded holes. If it doesn't, you can adjust this up to 20 degrees, but it should line up. They're kind of hard to see because of all the grease.

Reinstall the lock ring. It's got a tab. It's going to line up with the tab on the top here. A little keyway. It's got a ton of holes in it, so it should line up with the threaded holes for the screws. I can see it ... It's kind of hard to see with all the grease, but it lines up with these two here. Now I'll get this bottom one started. If they don't line up, you can adjust the bearing lock nut or the spindle lock nut. These will get tightened down. They don't take much torque, just tighten them like that. That keeps that nut, the spindle lock nut from spinning. It locks it in place so it can only move that much, the little keyway.

I'm going to reinstall this cover now. Take it over the splines. If it doesn't line up with the holes, you can turn it. Just like that. Reinstall all these bolts, make sure the lock washers don't fall off. I want to have them on there. You can start it by hand. I'm just going to use a short ratchet and a 14mm socket. Just thread these down. I don't want to go fully tight with them because I'm going to come back and torque them. I just want to get them seated. Just line that up and I'll come back and torque them. Torques stuck on these bolts was 35 to 43 foot-pounds, so I'm going to set my torque wrench to 38 foot pounds, kind of in the middle. I'll just do these in a cross pattern. We can use our punch here to keep that from spinning. Once they click, they're all set. Take the punch out. Don't forget to reinstall this little flat washer.

Now we got our snap ring. Get it kind of close. Hold onto it so it doesn't spring all over the place. Kind of get it started here. Now, push it in place. Just kind of push it down into the groove, like that. Then that will groove on the axle. That's where it needs to live. This axle will have a little bit of implant, that's normal. You need a dead blow? You can get these from Just tap the dust cap back on.

Reinstall the wheel and tire. Start the lug nuts by hand. I'm just going to use the socket to sledge these up. Now get the last one sledge up. Put the vehicle on the ground and torque the lug nuts. Now, we'll double check the wheel bearing. It has a very, very small amount of play, which is normal and within spec. If it was too tight, the vehicle wouldn't want to roll and you'd cause excessive friction and reduce the bearing life. It needs to have a little bit of play in it. You're going to torque the lug nuts in a cross pattern to 80 foot-pounds. Once it clicks, you can stop. At this point, you can reinstall your center cap if you have one. Job is complete. If your truck does need front end parts, you can buy quality ones at and get fast and free shipping.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Cloth Rags

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • No. 3 Phillips Screwdriver
  • Pry Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 21mm Socket
  • 14mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Dead Blow Hammer
  • Torque Angle Gauge

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