How to Replace a 2006 Uplander Front Hub

By Tim Petruccio , last updated March 13, 2012
The 2006 Chevrolet Uplander base models were equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and front-wheel drive. The base models included the Cargo Van FWD, and the LS FWD. The 2006 Uplander uses a hub assembly and wheel bearing combination, called a hub bearing. The hub on the 2006 Uplander is mounted directly to the front spindle or steering knuckle. Removal of other components is necessary to gain access for removal and installation of the hub bearing assembly.
  1. Remove the wheel center cap from the side you are going to work on, using a small flat-head screwdriver or pick. Remove the cotter pin from the axle shaft in the center of the hub using pliers. Loosen the axle nut through the center hole in the wheel using a 1/2-inch-drive breaker bar and a spindle nut socket. Loosen the front wheel lug nuts on the Uplander, on the side on which you are replacing the hub assembly.
  2. Raise the entire front end of the Uplander using a jack. Place jack stands beneath the front subframe rails, just inward from the lower control arms. Lower the Uplander onto the jack stands. Remove the wheel nuts from the wheel, then remove the wheel and tire assembly from the side you are working on.
  3. Install a large C-clamp around the front of the caliper body and the rear of the caliper bracket. Tighten the C-clamp just slightly, to loosen the brake pads from the rotor for easier removal. Remove the caliper mounting bracket bolts using a ratchet and socket. Remove the entire caliper and bracket assembly as a whole, and hang the assembly from the front strut coil spring with a metal clothes hanger. Do not let the assembly hang from the rubber brake hose behind the caliper.
  4. Rotate the center axle nut counterclockwise until the outer lip of the nut aligns with the outer edge of the axle. Tap the nut and axle with a hammer lightly to help knock the axle loose from the hub bearing. Install a three-jawed puller around the hub assembly, and insert the through bolt into the recess in the end of the axle. Tighten the three-jawed puller until the axle pops free from the inner hub bearing. Remove the axle nut completely.
  5. Go to the driver's side of the Uplander and turn the key to the accessories mode. Do not turn on the Uplander's engine. Rotate the steering wheel completely to the left, then turn the key off to lock the steering wheel. Step back to the wheel well where you are working.
  6. Remove the three hub-and-bearing assembly bolts using a ratchet and socket. Disconnect the ABS sensor by hand, from behind the bearing assembly.
  7. Make a mental note of the position of the ABS sensor and wire prior to removing the old hub assembly. Remove the hub bearing from the spindle.
  8. Clean the inner hub bearing mounting surface on the spindle. Use a wire brush to remove all of the oxidation and corrosion from the outer face of the spindle and the inner lip of the mounting hole. Apply a light coat of grease to the inner spindle mounting hole for the hub assembly.
  9. Apply a light coat of grease to both sides of the bearing shim plate. Install the plate onto the spindle, allowing the grease to stick the plate to the spindle. Insert the ABS sensor wire through the spindle mounting hole with one hand. Guide the new hub bearing assembly onto the spindle with your other hand. Make sure the ABS sensor is facing the same direction as the hub assembly you removed. Apply a thin coating of grease onto the end of the axle, and the inner splines of the new hub bearing. Guide the hub assembly over the axle.
  10. Push the hub assembly against the face of the spindle. If the hub assembly does not slide into the spindle mounting hole easily, remove the assembly and check the spindle for burrs or missed corrosion. Remove any debris that is in the way of the hub assembly being installed. Apply a light coating of grease to the outside of the hub assembly to aid installation. Install the new hub bearing mounting bolts, which come with the new hub bearing, with your fingers, and tighten each bolt a few turns by hand. This will ensure that you have proper threading for each bolt.
  11. Tighten the hub bearing mounting bolts to 96 foot-pounds using a 1/2-inch-drive torque wrench and socket. Install an extension between the torque wrench and socket if needed. Push the axle inward again to clear the CV boots if necessary. Connect the ABS sensor connector ends by hand.
  12. Add a light coating of grease to each space in between the wheel studs, on the outer face of the new hub assembly. Wipe away any excess grease with a rag or paper towel. Install the brake rotor onto the hub assembly, and tighten a single lug nut against the face of the rotor to hold it in place. Spray both sides of the rotor thoroughly with aerosol brake parts cleaner.
  13. Install the caliper and mounting bracket assembly over the brake rotor. Tighten the caliper mounting bracket bolts to 137 foot-pounds of torque with your torque wrench and a socket. Remove the single lug nut from the wheel stud.
  14. Install a new axle nut onto the end of the axle and tighten it snug with your breaker bar and a spindle nut socket. Install the front wheel onto the Uplander and tighten the lug nuts snug with a tire iron. Raise the front of the Uplander off of the jack stands, then remove the stands from beneath the Uplander. Lower the vehicle to the ground.
  15. Tighten the center axle nut to 118 foot-pounds with your torque wrench and the spindle nut socket. Install a new cotter pin to hold the nut in place. Bend and lock the cotter pin around the axle, so that it does not contact the wheel. Tighten the wheel lug nuts to 100 foot-pounds with your torque wrench and a wheel nut socket.
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