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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I picked up a 2005 Mazda3 with 170k miles and a bad case of rod knock and replaced the engine with a Ford 2.5L (see the sticky in this section for the how to).

Unfortunately the previous owner did very little maintenance so most of the suspension bits were in need of replacement. The wheel bearings seemed to be good but I figured while everything was out I'd do these too. I've done Subaru bearings many times and figured the Mazda couldn't be any worse.

My service manual is for an '06/'07 and the bearings design changed in early '05. I found this out when I was ordering the bearings. The '04 early '05 are a one piece unit with the hub already pressed into the bearing.

It took me a while to figure out the best way to press out the old bearing and ended up using an old Subaru bearing race to press out the bearing and hub...yes it comes out as one unit the same way it goes in.

Using a bearing separator tool and my 12K pound press I was able to press out the old bearing. The Subaru race worked well as it was almost the same diameter as the Mazda bearings OD. I tried pressing on the center of the bearing (similar to a Subaru) but the bearing wouldn't budge. I tried positioning the hub using the caliper mounting ears as a support but they could not support the force needed to press out the bearing. There is only one way to press out the bearings...from the backside of knuckle.

After the bearings were removed I cleaned the knuckle and greased the bearing and knuckle. The bearing must be pressed in from the front (see picture of bare knuckle). You can see the lip where the bearing will stop once fully seated. There are no circlips so you won't have to worry about those pita parts.

Unfortunately I could not start pressing in the new bearing assembly using the press without it getting cocked. To get the bearing started evenly I used a bearing hand tool. This worked well and once the bearing was started I was able to use the press to finish the job.
 

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What you did in the first shot is so sketchy. If you are going to use one of those bearing puller clamps don't let the sides with the bolts straddle between your support, rotate it 90*. Also, it might be easier to put the bearing/hub on the bottom and press the knuckle into it. At work this is how I press hubs into bearings and it makes it so much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What you did in the first shot is so sketchy. If you are going to use one of those bearing puller clamps don't let the sides with the bolts straddle between your support, rotate it 90*. Also, it might be easier to put the bearing/hub on the bottom and press the knuckle into it. At work this is how I press hubs into bearings and it makes it so much easier.
Good feedback, thanks. Like I said it took me a while to it situated where I felt comfortable. I stopped several times to check and readjust but your suggestion would work better.
 

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First off, thanks for sharing your experience.

Secondly, do you know the manufacture month of your 2005 Mazda? Or when the cut off date was for changing the bearing style? My 2005 was manufactured in 02/2005, which is pretty "early", but not sure which type I need. I see for the parts they have available on Amazon, they sell just the bearing or the whole hub assembly, I was going to just get the whole assembly since the car is over 12 years old by now.
 

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According to Rockauto the cutoff date was 01/2005. Ones made before the cutoff used the hub/bearing assembly and the later ones used a stand alone bearing.
 

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Does the 2006 and latter use a retaining clip to secure the wheel bearings?

I have 1/05 built Mazda 3 with no ABS that I use as a track-day car. I replace/pressed in new wheel bearings last spring and at the time was puzzeled as to why there's no reaining clip holding everything together. Now after 5 track day events I noticed that the left caliper frame was rubbing the outer side of the rotor. Digging into it I now see that the wheel bearing has moved out ~ 2mm = why the rotor was contacting the caliper.

P.S. 3's are awesome on a wet track with RE71's!
 

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Does the 2006 and latter use a retaining clip to secure the wheel bearings?

I have 1/05 built Mazda 3 with no ABS that I use as a track-day car. I replace/pressed in new wheel bearings last spring and at the time was puzzeled as to why there's no reaining clip holding everything together. Now after 5 track day events I noticed that the left caliper frame was rubbing the outer side of the rotor. Digging into it I now see that the wheel bearing has moved out ~ 2mm = why the rotor was contacting the caliper.

P.S. 3's are awesome on a wet track with RE71's!
Was there even a place for one? There has to be with a press in bearing.
 

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Does the 2006 and latter use a retaining clip to secure the wheel bearings?

I have 1/05 built Mazda 3 with no ABS that I use as a track-day car. I replace/pressed in new wheel bearings last spring and at the time was puzzeled as to why there's no reaining clip holding everything together. Now after 5 track day events I noticed that the left caliper frame was rubbing the outer side of the rotor. Digging into it I now see that the wheel bearing has moved out ~ 2mm = why the rotor was contacting the caliper.

P.S. 3's are awesome on a wet track with RE71's!
Hey mate. Did you end up sorting this out? I have the same problem. Hub keeps walking out with no circlip in the design. Seems silly. Thinking the best option is to get a post-2004 knuckle with a circlip.
 
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