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PassatWorld Elder
8,231 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've posted on this before, and I have stated that changing out the clutch master cylinder is definitely in the top 5 list of most undesirable jobs to do on the Passat.
Well today, I've come to another conclusion and a new top 5 worst addition.
Changing out the rear wheel bearing hub with a non genuine VW/Audi replacement, and the ABS speed sensor that goes into the center of the wheel bearing hub.

The victim, my '98 GLS V6 5sp daily driver.
I have been putting off changing out the passengers side rear hub for about a year now. Oh believe me, I was on borrowed time. :crazy: I'm surprised the bearing hasn't come apart yet. Was pretty hard to turn when the wheel was lifted off the ground. Crap, I'll probably get another 3-5 miles per gallon now. :rolleyes:
Anyways, I've got a last minute trip to the Southwest in the next few weeks and changing the wheel bearing hub became priority today.
This car has spent it's entire 18 year life span in the god forsaken state of Wisconsin and it's salt ridden roads for 6 months out of the year.
Purchased a set of Moog (left & right side) bearing hubs for $100 a piece.
Removing the hubs, well of course it was a PITA. Of the (5) M10 bolts that hold the hub on, three of the bolts snapped off.
Then there is that fancy wheel speed sensor that is mounted in the center, backside of the hub. The Bentley says "use pry tool idonteffingownit_stroke 69BS".
YouTube shows a guy who says, " just snap off this plastic clip and pry out the speed sensor" I wanted to reach into my computer screen and tear out that guys throat and show it to him.
By the time I got that little bastard of a speed sensor worked loose there wasn't much left. So now I'm franticly calling all the local stores to see if anybody has got a pair of speed sensors, and of course, nobody has any in stock. So I continue on and re-assemble the whole hub assembly, brake caliper bracket, wait, what the f%ck is this? The brake caliper bracket doesn't fit anymore? :banghead::mad:
After closer inspection I found out that the Moog bearing hub is almost a 1/4" per side bigger than the original bearing hub, interfering with the brake caliper bracket. Remove bearing hub, grind off a crap ton of material at 2 locations so the brake caliper bracket can fit back on. Invented some new cuss words in the process.

Everything is back together except for the speed sensors. Those can be pushed into place with relative ease and re-connected under the rear floor boards.

You know, there is something to be said for genuine VW/Audi. Yeah the stuff is most always ridiculously priced, but when the time merits buying genuine, there is just no substitute.
After all that jacking around, cut this, grind that, pound the shyte out of that, I could have just as well spent double my money and been done.

So yeah, rear wheel bearing hubs, they suck ass.

Rant over.

PassatWorld Elder
8,231 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As Rommel, and every other General I'm sure said, the plan goes in the trash once the bullets start flying. Glad you can report back a victory. Was any of the speed sensor stubbornness (and stuck bolts for that matter) due to corrosion from the regular application of genuine Wisconsin salt baths?
Oh you bet it was. Some of those M10 bolts were so crusty the 8mm hex bit just rounded out the inside of the socket head cap screw.
I had to beat the passengers side wheel bearing hub of the axle with a 5lb hammer.

I've done well with after market bits on GM, Ford, Toyota, and even an old British MG sports car. But EVERY time I've gone non-genuine on a VW I've had disasters. Why the heck is that?
Pretty much the same here. Aftermarket stuff for my Ford truck, dime a dozen, and pretty much anything works. But then there's the VW. Not saying VW is the best of automotive cars, but if you compare a VW part to an American made car part such as Ford or GM, there is definitely a difference in build quality.
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